TV: Awake, Episode One

WARNING: Total spoilerage ahead!

Michael Britten has a problem.

It’s his sleep.

A car accident of undetermined origin(!!!) …

… killed his wife …

… or killed his son.

Maybe both. Maybe neither. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

He finds himself closing his eyes to sleep and immediately opening them in a different — for want of a better term — timeline.

In one, his wife is alive but his son is dead.

In the other, his wife is dead but his son is alive.

Apparently this minor inability to distinguish what is exactly real has caused some concern among his employers.

Because he is a cop. A detective. Who carries a gun and can kill people.

Yes, mass-market TV has become so desperate in its attempt to attract and retain bored viewers that will try just about anything to collect an audience.

Including something as thoroughly ridiculous as this series.

This guy even has a therapist in both “realities”!

This gets so confusing for him at times that he slaps himself silly:

Which is what should have been done to the person who pitched this series.

Then he should have been thrown out of the network’s offices.

Look, I can understand the appeal of playing with reality. This is an idea that has a long and honorable tradition. Philip K. Dick’s entire career was based on asking, “What is real?”

But this series just asks too damned much!

Seriously, you’re going to make a cop the main character?

I could understand this if the main character was, say, an advertising executive. They’re nuts to begin with and it would have at least been fun watching him devise campaigns and steal clients from rivals based on the lines being blurred.

But a cop? Someone who can’t afford to be sharp all the time?

In fact — another spoiler ahead — at one point he becomes so disoriented that it nearly costs him his life!

Yeah, that’s how much this series is asking you to swallow.

A massive mouthful of Stupid.

And, please, this story has been told over and over. At some point, the car accident itself will be questioned. So if a car accident didn’t lead to this, what did?

And then some recurring trouble-making character will be introduced whose true identity will be revealed in the series finale as — ooh, how clever! — the surgeon who saved his life after the car accident or the determined therapist who brought him out of a coma after he actually had a stroke that led to these hallucinations.

What bollocks!

This is the third series NBC will be putting in the Thursday 10PM timeslot. The atrocious remake of Prime Suspect failed. Its replacement, The Firm, also failed. Now this.

This series will be the third failure for them at that time.

I don’t think NBC would know a good idea if it bit it in the ass.

You can watch this for yourself online or at the iTunes Store. I’m not linking to it at all because I want you to save your time.

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