Long Island Medium represents one of TLC's more unconventional TV reality shows. The series features the adventures of Theresa Caputo, a self-described medium who practices her alleged gift of communicating with the dead in Long Island, New York.
Long Island Medium Debuts
Long Island Medium debuted over TLC – The Learning Channel – on Sunday night, September 25, 2011. The premiere segment introduced Theresa Caputo, a Long Island housewife who states that at age 28 she first realized that she possessed special powers. Those "powers," she relates, are the ability to communicate with the dead. Caputo, who is married to Larry and has two adult children, now spends her time assisting her many clients, serving as a medium to the spirit world as she relays the latest news from deceased loved ones.
Theresa Caputo is the Long Island Medium - TLC
Long Island Medium: TV Reality Show Review
Every half-hour episode of Long Island Medium features Theresa Caputo at home and on the psychic trail. Typical – if I dare use that word here – is a recent segment in which Caputo was seemingly possessed by a six-year-old child named Stephen, who had died of pneumonia in 2011. The apparently strong-willed Stephen is trying his best to communicate with his grieving mother via Caputo.
Unable to shake Stephen, who has mentioned the name "Susie" or "Susie Q," Caputo consults her call log and discovers that it does contain a Susan. She calls the woman, stating her dead son Stephen has emotionally attached himself to her and that they need to meet. An appointment is set up for Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Caputo meets with a young woman named Lisa, who wishes to channel her dead father, a recent victim of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Caputo informs Lisa that her dad saluted her, eliciting a response from Lisa that dad was indeed in the Army. Caputo also mentions old pictures, which Lisa's father liked to look at, and white butterflies, which also hits the psychic bell. An emotional Lisa finds the session comforting, thanking Caputo for her bringing her peace.
Stephen's mother Susie later calls, canceling their appointment. But Stephen is persistent on his end, still coming through loud and clear, rendering Caputo unable to eat or sleep and nauseous to boot. Stephen also wants Caputo to gift his mother with a special necklace.
Caputo heads to the Crossroads Restorante for her once-a-month public reading. Stephen has informed the medium that his mother will be present. Caputo calls out that she needs to speak to the Susan who had lost a son. Sure enough, Susan is here, breaking into tears as Caputo relates news from her son. "Are they naming a park after him?" Caputo queries. They are, Susan answers. "Where's Dad," Caputo asks. Well, it's his birthday today, we learn. Caputo takes a five-minute break with Susan, with Caputo's husband Larry later showing up with the special angel wings necklace. The necklace is then given to Susan, with Caputo adding that Stephen wishes to let his mother know that he is at peace and will always be with her.
The segment ends with the epitaph: "In Memory of Stephen 2005-2011."
Long Island Medium Seen on Sunday Nights
New episodes of Long Island Medium are telecast over TLC on Sunday nights. The TV reality show, of course, has both its undying followers and hardcore skeptics. Regarding the latter, many Long Island Medium detractors point to the tried-and-true method of "cold calling," an old magician's trick in which a "psychic" methodically extracts information from his or her audience. It's done via a series of quick questions, employing a hit-and-miss system designed to garner the correct answers. Theresa Caputo can be seen using a similar method, most notably in her public readings at Crossroads.
Long Island Medium can be entertaining, but how seriously one wants to take it is in the eye of the beholder. I do know one thing, however, my old, dearly departed Great Uncle Elmo wants no part of the series. Before he died, in fact, he specifically left the instructions in his will: Do Not Disturb.
Copyright © 2012 William J. Felchner. All rights reserved.