March 2, 2012

SO HERE'S ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT TV FACES...:

A detective struggles with two realities (David Hiltbrand, 3/01/12, Philadelphia INQUIRER)

Following a car crash, police detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs, the malevolent Lucius Malfoy of the Harry Potter universe) spends his days in alternating realities.

In one, his wife (Laura Allen) survived the accident and is grieving the loss of their teenaged son.

The next day, Britten will awaken to a world in which he is left to raise his son (Dylan Minnette, whom you may remember as Jack's son on Lost) because his wife died in the crash.


Britten takes to wearing colored rubber bracelets to keep his days, and thus his family circumstances, straight. If this guy ever starts catnapping, his life could get really complicated.

The scenarios in each reality are markedly different. He has different murders to solve, different investigative partners (Steve Harris and Wilmer Valderrama), even different psychiatrists (BD Wong and Cherry Jones).

The shrinks each try to convince him that they are real and that the other world is merely an elaborate coping mechanism his subconscious is projecting onto his dreaming state.

Soon, like some kind of Jungian chess match, the details from one crime begin to bleed over into the other (no pun intended). Suddenly, it seems like the levelheaded detective is working the most harebrained hunches.

At one point, his puzzled boss asks, "Why are you pulling all these mug shots of short people anyway?" Well, this crazy homeless guy who doesn't exist in this particular space-time continuum told me . . . aw, forget it.

Awake is wonderfully acted, especially by Isaacs, who gives a riveting performance. The look of the show is unusually rich and vivid.

The question is, will the concept hold up over the long haul?


Why should we watch the show until we know that it they did manage to hold it up to a satisfying conclusion?  But, if the network won't commit to completing a self-contained story arc, the show needs viewers or it won't have a long haul.





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Posted by at March 2, 2012 5:58 AM
  

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