Awake (Season 1)

Awake is an American television police procedural fantasy drama, created by writer and executive producer Kyle Killen, that centers on Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs), a detective living in two separate realities after a car accident. In one reality, in which he wears a green wrist band, his wife Hannah Britten (Laura Allen) was killed in the crash, and in another reality, in which he wears a red wrist band, his son Rex Britten (Dylan Minnette) was the one killed. Michael does not know which reality is real. He sees two separate therapists: Dr. Jonathan Lee (BD Wong) in the "red reality", and Dr. Judith Evans (Cherry Jones) in the "green reality".

Awake (Series 1): after a fatal crash a cop lives two lives, one where his wife survived, the other where his son did – he’s just not sure which one is his dream. It’s a high-concept show, but it helps that both ‘realities’ are instantly distinguishable: different partners, cases, therapists and to further aid distinction, one has a cold turquoise hue, whilst the other is a glowing amber colour. The first 10 episodes are basically dual-homicide investigations, where details from one world are subconsciously pointing Detective Britten towards the clues in another, very interesting, and easy to roll with. There’s a much bigger story/conspiracy that’s infrequently – but ominously – mentioned, although it doesn’t materialise until Ep10. (Hello to) Jason Isaacs is fantastic, having a difficult dual-role and really shining towards the end of the series when his character and psyche starts to buckle under the stress. The rest of the cast are all decent, but it’s a one-man show. Episodes 10-13 are fantastic, thrilling and adrenaline-pumping, leading in to the final 15 minutes of the series; which has Inception levels of mind-bending inner-consciousness, in which it looks like we’re going to see a definitive, wrapped up, (brave) one-season deal – then WHAM… a wholly unnecessary – series tainting – final scene. Despite that, Awake is a fresh, new and interesting twist on quite a stale, overcrowded format & genre. Top production, writing, acting and more family/police procedural than action thriller – it’s very watchable top-drawer Telly.

Score: 8/10

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2 comments
  1. Jaina said:

    Sounds like I should have maybe stuck this one out. I bailed after about 5 episodes. Though Isaacs was fantastic but they had this brilliant central concept and wasted it by turning it into an average procedural show. Sounds like it got a heck of a lot better towards the end.

    Like

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      It did indeed gather momentum, right up until the last 20 minutes, where it pussied out and lost all/any convictions it had.

      Like

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