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Awake – As a procedural, it’s starting to not work for me

I've defended 'Awake' and its use of procedural-like, dramatic cop elements to surround a supernatural story, but I'm already getting sick of it too.

- Season 1, Episode 4 - "Kate is Enough"

What do you say about a show, week-after-week, when there’s very little to say about what you find most interesting about the show in the first place? When a show like Awake has to attach itself to something that works for stand-alone episodes — like a crime-of-the-week — it has to make sure it’s still staying interesting. While the crimes at stake in this episode weren’t terrible, they certainly didn’t hold my interest.

There wasn’t a whole lot relating to the main theme of the show — the existence of these two worlds for Michael — nor the mystery of the crash. The morsel we got came from each of Michael’s shrinks, who are basically fighting against one another to prove that his or her world is the “real” one, and why something would carry over in dream form to appear real. There are plenty of examples already that show there’s more to these existences than mere dreams or symbolism, so it’s starting to become old news at this point.

What I’d like to see happen is for Michael to meet one of the other shrinks in one reality, then introduce the two of them and watch them pit against each other right there. I could see Michael eventually grow sick of what’s happening to him or want to better understand what is going on, going out of his way to find one or the other of the psychiatrists to meet the other. If nothing else, it’s fun to think about what might be coming up to keep things fresh with this show.

I know there were some of you commenters saying you couldn’t stand the cop drama aspect of the show. Has it lost you yet?

Photo Credit: Neil Jacobs/NBC

Categories: | Awake | Episode Reviews | Features | General | News | TV Shows |

7 Responses to “Awake – As a procedural, it’s starting to not work for me”

March 23, 2012 at 2:02 PM

I haven’t been into this show since before it started. The premise just seemed agrivating for a tv show. As a movie this would have worked much better, because there would be no need to stretch and fill, which is what this show is obviously doing. I watch it with my wife because she wants to watch it (mostly because she is studying to beocme a therapist, and thanks to Law & Order SVU, BD Wong is her favorite tv therapist ever). As I predicted, the show is dragging horribly. I was intrigued by the ending of the second episode with the brief hint of conspiracy, but the lack of follow up is total garbage. This show has totally lost me.

March 23, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I have a theory: both worlds are real. Just don’t ask me to prove that theory because I got nothing.

Two other possibilities: the son is the kid who played Jack’s son in the last, dream-like season of Lost, so maybe he’s still stuck in that world and pretty soon Jack and Juliet are going to show up with a bomb.

Or since Innes is involved in what happened to Britten, maybe this is the “event” that NBC kept telling us about….

March 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM

. . . . .


March 23, 2012 at 8:12 PM

It hasn’t lost me, but both stories bored me in this episode. I suddenly realized that as much as I try to avoid procedurals and crime stories, now I’m actually sitting through two of them condensed into one hour. But I do have to say that it was competently written and produced, and with one small exception, still hasn’t managed to insult my intelligence in 4 episodes.

As for the exception: I’m no genius. I’m no police detective. But two minutes into the show, when Rex is fighting with his friend over breaking a tennis racket, I’m yelling at the screen, “it was his mom’s racket!” I spent the whole show hoping I’m wrong, because seriously, what super-detective can’t figure that out? How do I take Britton seriously as a smart guy when that thought never occurs to him, and I see it coming a mile away? I was very sorry to be proven right at the ending. It’s the first time I’ve felt the show being condescending to the audience, assuming we’re all idiots.

But for now, I’m not too discouraged. They pulled off a family kidnapping episode without resorting to cliches or getting network TV-stupid. I still find the family scenes and the therapist scenes very interesting. I wish they’d either make the crime investigations more interesting, or shrink them down and give us more of the other parts of his life.

March 25, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Awake has gotten boring…
The first episode was amazing. I watched 3 times. I especially love the arguments between the two shrinks.
But the second episode was just too boring. The third was very good too.
This one though… I fell asleep during it!

But I’ll still continue to watch it because I just can’t leave anything halfway.

As for a theory about which world is real, I’m gonna go with the Son reality. I have some stupid reasons! Which I think I’ve said before…
But I’m gonna say it again! :D

The made up reality is more likely to be happier! I mean the color of the camera is warmer for one. And he’s having more trouble with his son that he has with his wife. And for example Kate was miserable in the son reality while she was happy in the other. Or that innocent man from last week died in the son reality but he was alive in the wife reality.
Everything is warm and happy (as it can be) in the wife reality…!
And let’s not forget that in the first episode the wife didn’t show up until he cut his hand… That’s a sign!

March 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I think he is in a comma from the car crash and at the end of the series he wakes up to both his wife and son alive. My favorite episode was with the babysitter and how in one life she evolved to be a successful positive individual and in the other became a druggy!

April 5, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I’m loving this show! I’m hooked to this one and Fringe. Usually I only have one tv show at a time, but now I’ve got two! I can’t believe all the complaints I’m seeing about it!

My theory is that the one with his wife is the dream. There’s all sorts of symbols of him letting go in that one – painting the house, his wife quitting her job, moving out of state for example. Also she’s much more one dimensional than his son.

We’d have a fantastic following like LOST if we could just get some sexy men to take of their shirts every once in a while…

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