Review: The InBetween 1×1 (US: NBC; UK: Universal)

Medium is not enough

The InBetween

In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC
In the UK: Acquired by Universal

For almost as long as there have been people calling themselves psychics, there have been people calling themselves psychics who have claimed to have helped the police to solve crimes. How many of them have actually even spoken to police is debatable and the number who have helped police, rather than hindered them, is debatable. Yet, the phenomenon does exist.

That makes it questionable whether the makers of Medium could ever sue the makers of The InBetween, despite both shows having some obvious similarities – particularly the fact they’re about blonde psychic women helping the police to solve crimes.

The InBetween
Harriet Dyer (right) in The InBetween

Not Medium

This particular iteration of the idea sees Harriet Dyer (Love Child, No Activity) playing a 20-something Seattle bartender who’s beset by the Sixth Sense – yes, she can see dead people. She also gets dreams, a lot of which seem to be of help in murder investigations. She doesn’t want her gift, but it’s not going away any time soon and neither are the ghosts, so she’s happy to help the police, no matter how sceptical they might be.

All that good psychic information would probably go unheeded, however, were it not for the fact that Seattle PD’s top detective is also her adoptive father (The Dresden Files/Arrow‘s Paul Blackthorne) and has known about her gift all her life.

A simple retread of Medium? Yet another tedious summer one-season wonder of no actual merit?

Surprisingly, no. The InBetween is by no means an instant classic but it does have a lot to add to the genre that its predecessor didn’t cover.

Yes, boys and girls, Medium is not enough.

More puns after the jump, probably.

Paul Blackthorne, Justin Cornwell and Harriet Dyer
Paul Blackthorne, Justin Cornwell and Harriet Dyer in The Between © Sergei Bachlakov/NBC

Not Mr InBetween

What’s moderately interesting about The InBetween is that it’s more or less two separate shows. Dyer doesn’t actually want to solve crimes, as she wants nothing to do with her gift, so she’s very happy to simply tell Blackthorne what she’s seen and then get on with her life.

That leaves Blackthorne to go off back to HQ with his coterie of cop colleagues (Anne-Marie Johnson, Cindy Luna, Andres Joseph), as well as his new, secret-harbouring, former profiler partner (Training Day‘s Justin Cornwell), to solve the crimes, armed with his new clues.

Meanwhile, Dyer deals with matters psychic, helping ghosts to solve their issues, in surprisingly dark ways. The first episode, for example, involves her teaching a ghost child how to use her nascent powers of telekinesis to punish the abuser who killed her. The episode even ends with (spoiler alert) Dyer being haunted by a dead serial killer, who wants to have a word .

The InBetween
Justin Cornwell in The InBetween

Not The Inbetweeners

So that’s two shows for the price of one. Don’t like cop shows but like psychic shows? Don’t like psychic shows but don’t like cop shows? Then have I got the show for both of you. Or at least half of one.

Format aside, The InBetween remains moderately interesting. We have whatever secrets Cornwell is mulling that caused him to request assignment to Seattle. We have that new ghost. We also have Blackthorne getting to be English again, and gay at that.

Dyer’s character is also the diametric opposite of Patricia Arquette’s. Like the central character of In the Dark, she’s a hard-drinking, hard-shagging misanthrope who doesn’t care who believes her, does enjoy punishing the wicked and knows all the tricks in the faux psychic book and thus how to prove she’s on the up if she needs to – before she has another drink.

As I said, though, it’s not an instant classic. There are fight scenes that frankly are pretty poor. There are elements that start off subtle but which the director and writers don’t trust the audience to pick up on, so immediately twat you round the back of a head with a “Look, scum!”, such as with ghost girl – didn’t pick up on the fact that she’s a ghost? Well, let’s make her walk through things! Got it now?

But I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, especially for a summer NBC show. At the very least, I’ll be tuning in for more.

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