Awake: Hurts So Good

When the sight of Wilder Valderrama in a dramatic role does nothing to take away from a television series, clearly something is going well. NBC's Awake, the latest from Lone Star creator Kyle Killen, opened its run with a spectacular pilot that hit hard in both the heart and the brain. Seriously, this pilot was one of the best first episodes of a series I've seen in years. I really, really like this pilot. We'll get to whether or not Awake can survive as a series later, but as protagonist Michael Britten says, let's start with right now.

The premise of Awake is heartbreaking: Michael (Jason Isaacs), a Los Angeles detective, was in a car crash with his son and wife. The accident claimed one fatality, and Michael came out of the accident in a bizarre circumstance: He now lives in two realities that switch when he wakes up. In one, his wife survived the crash. In the other, his son survived. He doesn't know whether he's dreaming and he doesn't know which reality is real.

We've seen countless movies and TV shows about questioning reality. The protagonist's only desire is to figure out what's real or not, pushing away what he thinks is fabricated in his struggle to find the truth. Then he figures out, your mind ends up in a state of being blown, and you go home. Awake isn't like that at all. Michael Britten isn't like that at all.

What makes Awake unique is how Michael handles his situation. He doesn't want to know what's real, he just wants to have his family back. And the only way he can have that now is to walk the line between both realities. He's happy in both. He needs both. Is it heartbreaking to watch him desperately grasp at both realities and refuse to progress? Or is it uplifting to see a man fight so hard and sacrifice so much for his family? Awake falls in that magic place somewhere in the middle, but ultimately Michael's struggle is nothing short of beautiful.

But there are forces at work that are making Michael's dual citizenship extremely difficult. The use of work-ordered psychiatrists in both realities is brilliant and a key to the series. The two shrinks are practically dueling with each other, each one presenting a pretty solid argument for his or her side being real and slowly tearing Michael right down the middle. It's incredibly effective in creating the world Michael lives in for the audience. And how about that scene where Dr. Evans (Cherry Jones) had him read the Constitution? She was just doing her job. She wants him to get better and made a pretty good case that hers is the real reality, which just about offended Michael and sent him spiraling into confusion. It's telling that the only time Michael flips out is when he thinks he's losing one of his realities.

Michael's son Rex and wife Hannah are also going to make things hard on Michael. Rex is completely devastated after losing his mom. Hannah is in some strange combination of denial and being ready to move on. Going back and forth between seeing these two in different spaces is going to be brutal for Michael to keep up with; plus, neither person is really gone for Michael. What's going to happen when Michael tells Rex he sees Rex's mother every other day? Will Michael be able to relay messages back and forth between the two?

Awake also gets to show itself off as a procedural, though the police work is a distant second to the show's main concept. Not even two minutes into the opening, we saw Michael at work, solving the case of a shooting. Now, many high-concept shows have found lives on network television by adding procedural elements, and Awake is no different. There was a case in each reality in the first episode, but ultimately they were both inconsequential (and how could they not be while sharing so much time with so much else?). But Awake knows that it won't survive as just a procedural, and has found a way to tell more of its bigger story through Michael's everyday casework. There's the obvious mixing of clues across realities, adding depth to Michael's mysterious condition. There are the same characters in different circumstances in both realities. But what really resonated with me in the pilot was the way people responded to him, particularly Detective Vega (Valderrama) and Detective Freeman (Steve Harris). His partners in both realities know what's happened to him and what's going on in his head. It's a constant reminder of how much Michael has to juggle between his work and his personal life, his sanity and his grief, his secret life and the life he is in now. Michael's burning the dynamite on both ends with a flamethrower, and he's only one misstep or lapse of detail away from frying his brain.

I've heard that later episodes don't look as good as the pilot episode, but wow! How gorgeous of a show is this? The color schemes for each reality, the cuts between the two sides, and the simple score all come together to make Awake more art piece than TV show. Stunning work all around. Pat yourselves on the back, whoever you are. Phenomenal acting by everyone involved, too, with a special shout-out to Isaacs, Jones, and B.D. Wong as Dr. Lee.

There are obvious concerns about the series' longevity, given its concept. Awake can't tell us which side of Michael's life is real, and really, I don't think that's important—nor do I think the answer is as simple as "one is real and one is not." Where I hope Awake goes is in examining how Michael is able to maintain both realities, and how his relationship with his son and wife are strained given that his grieving is entirely different. But if Michael Britten has taught me anything, it's to worry about that when you get to it and appreciate what you have now.


Notes & Questions

– I loved the monologue in the last scene so much that I might get it tattooed on my back. Isaacs delivered it so well and was so convincing. "The thing is doctor, yes I still see my wife and my son. But I've also watched both of them lowered into the ground. And when you see a loved one buried, you have one thought over and over again. And that's you would do anything—anything—to get them back. So if you're telling me the price of seeing them, feeling them, of having them in my life is my sanity, it's a price I will happily pay. Now I'll come and see you, talk to you, as long as they make me, but trust me, when it comes to letting one of them go, I have no desire to ever make progress." A defining moment of the 2011-2012 TV season for me.

– Is it okay to sleep with your son's tennis instructor in one reality and sleep with your wife in the other? What's the morality police's verdict on that?

– It's not often that a show has a single character in every single scene, but Michael was there in pretty much every frame. Can the show even operate and hold its premise in any other way?

– What was your reaction to Hannah telling Michael to tell Rex she loves him at the end? God, that killed me.

– I think we're all a little worried that the show will get canceled quickly because of bad ratings. But I think NBC will at least let it run out its first season. They tend to be more lenient on shows because they just don't have much else.

– How much did you cry?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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in love with this show!
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I found this show to be of an expression of art just like Breaking Bad often is, utilizing every aspect of film making to drive the viewer to feel. The color schemes were beautiful, and the music really added to the emotional drive of the show. However, even with the colors as subtle hints, I often found myself confused as to which world he was in, as they keep switching back and forth fluidly. I fear that some viewers may get confused. I also agree and wonder how this can continue on as a legitimate series. It was delightful and heartbreaking at the same time, but how long can the storyline be drawn out? However, this was the same fear I had about Homeland, and they certainly proved me wrong.
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First of all I think it wrong that that comment concerning Wilmere Valderama was made. It's offensive to the actor. Secondly, this writer is writing like this show is the second coming. I remember two similar shows which I think were great, maybe even better, and they are (1) My Own Worst Enemy with Christian Slater, and (2) Journeyman with Kevin McKidd. Those two shows were incredible but were cut short too soon. While Awake seemed good, the pilot that is, Christian Slater and Kevin McKidd did great justice to those shows and I would put them above Awake any day.
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who's to say michael isn't in a coma
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It would be great if NBC had the balls just to finish this in one season.
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I liked the pilot - if they can keep the rest of the episodes as good as the pilot then it ought to be one of the best new series out. I just wonder about those 2 realities though - are neither of those realities real and the true reality is that both died and he can't handle that so he goes between one and the other as a coping mechanism. That would be a stunner. And nope, no crying yet, just intrigued with the plot.
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Loved it, just hope it survives Thursday when the regulars on ABC, CBS return and Burn Notice. Best bet to air only when others are on Spring/Summer break like Grimm did. Taking advantage of the vacancy. lol smart unlike Fox.
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I loved it. I've admired the talent of Jason Isaacs for years now, both in his USA work and in his native British work. Another one of Britains exceptionally talented actors. I like the premise and can see it developing nicely. As for the tennis instructor, I would hardly consider him cheating in a reality where he is a widower. I've been a widow since I was 32, and I have no problem with this. This will be must see tv for me for the present at least.
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Jason was in movie with wolf boy from Twilight , Taylor Lautner's movie -Kidnapped or something.
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I have to say that after the build up I read from Tim and others I expected to be blown away, and I wasn't, maybe because a lot of the show is visually plain, despite the differently lit realities. The show feels a little bit distanced to me and the procedural elements will need to get more interesting to not weigh it down, although I loved seeing Eugene Young again. Having said that I still really liked it and found it gaining momentum towards. The ending became very emotional and I did tear up a bit, so I'll definitely keep watching.
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I really want to see how this plays out over the coming months! It was so beautiful and extremely well thought out (unlike most of the new garbage this year). I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing Laura Allen back on TV. However, much like Terriers, I feel like this show should only run one season. I feel like one season of pure genius and beauty is much better than the many shows that run well past their expiration dates just so that the big execs can write themselves big bonuses at the end of the year. Either way, I am very excited to see what this show is planning for the rest of the season in front of it!
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love this new series. hope it continues.
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I did enjoy the episode, but I hate that it's on NBC; I loved having absolutely no reason to turn on their channel.



I would say it would be cheating to hook up with the tennis instructor. She's technically dead there, of course, but he'll see her tomorrow. I think it's a good opportunity for him to be a saintly widower on that side. Even if it's in another reality...a wife will know. It's just not worth it.



As was already said, the future episodes might not be as good as the pilot, but it if doesn't fall into too much stupid, I'm in. I still watch the River, after all.
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The show is absolutely visually stunning; the red reality the colour scheme is very warm with red/yellow tones and the green reality is much colder/cooler - maybe a sign that Michael is happiest in the red reality where everything is warm and glowy - maybe that's a sign its the dream reality. I don't know, just rambling here.



Jason Isaacs was A++ I gotta say, he was insanely amazing. This is my fave new show to come out of this television season by far. I hope it does well and it's viewers pick up!



In terms of the realities and the whole one is a dream thing, I don't know what to believe. The show reminds me of Fringe with the two realities and if this were Fringe I would say Michael may try to move his wife to the other reality or vice versa with his son, but I feel it is more drama than sci-fi/fantasy.
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It reminds me of Life on Mars (the UK version - never saw the US) a bit with the not knowing what is real, thing. And they managed to do scenes without Sam all the time without anyone questioning it, even though it could all just be in his head, too. In the pilot, when we see the kidnapper in the kitchen, we saw what he was doing, but Michael wasn't watching him, so wouldn't that be similar? If you say he was imagining the kidnapper's actions, why couldn't he do that with the others, too?
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About the tennis instructor, I was sort of under the impression that it would be Rex, not Michael, who would end up sleeping with her. How he hugged her, how they seem to do stuff together outside of tennis, and how he would be alone with her when she was to give him a ride home. That said though, it would have to be off-screen, since, like Tim mentioned, this show can't really have a scene without Michael in it.



Also, I'm worried for the future episodes, that they may push why this is happening to Michael rather than how he is coping with it... Maybe it's because I saw the The Event alien lady in the preview for next week, but I'm scared for the future of this show, but I don't want to be.
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If Rex does sleep with the tennis instructor that would be a totally Oedipal thing. Clearly he's latched onto her as a surrogate mother figure.
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Don't know if this has been talked about, but did anyone notice that in each reality the person he's missing is getting replaced. His wife suggests having another son, possibly his mind finding a way to cope with the loss of his son. Then the tennis teacher is the replacement for his wife.

It seems like the ending will be a third reality in which he dreams both of these worlds
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Just realized I hadn't commented on this article yet.



It was a really good pilot. Not amazing, but maybe the fantastic trailer set my expectations too high.



The only thing I didn't like, and it's very very small, is the moment between Michael and Rex as Michael was leaving the restaurant. His "did your tennis instructor tell you to do that?" line after Rex hugged him made me groan. I assume the writers meant it to be Michael just trying to lighten the mood n such, but it didn't reflect well onto the screen in that situation.



I was also going to say that the biggest compliment I could give was them being able to make Valderrama tolerable, but the same was said in this article's first line.
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I didn't cry. Maybe it's because I neither like the wife nor the son. I would go for the tennis instructor. After weaking up.
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LOOOOOOVED IT! so much potential...
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Great pilot indeed, added it to my list of series



And I loved that quote as well, one of the best (serious) quotes on TV in a long time (comedies tend to have great quotes as well, but that's a different game).



I just hope they can maintain some of this quality throughout the series.

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a very brilliant show (pilor for now)

amazed by the actor's performance and the concept

thought of this intially as some kind of form of limbo as in Inception but the plot is too good and succeeds in catching real emotion. But yes agreed also wondering how long will this last, probably atleast a season (turned mini-series?) who knows he might end up waking and the entrie thing was just one complicated dream! that won't be suprising
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Oh, and I thought about it a lot during the day -- and I never do when things are presented as open and shut, unless the 'how' plays into it -- and need to address again Tim's question on keeping Michael in pretty much every frame of the show. I am more convinced than in my second comment on this thread that it is absolutely necessary that they keep him in EVERY shot, either directly or through suggested POV. The minute they start showing another character's story outside of Michael's POV, or leave him out for too long, and the idea of a 'dream' is shattered -- it can only be reality if other characters are truly developing on their own. That leaves only two options: the 'world' in which the characters are not in the dream is reality, or there are in fact two worlds (then it's strictly Sci-Fi).



It's got to be strictly Michael's POV, subjective or not, and it can be done with good direction and script (and acting, of course).
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It mightn't be quite as simple as that. For other characters in a reality he creates to appear real, THEY would have to believe they were living completely outside of Michael's sphere of consciousness. Showing scenes not involving Michael could explain the detailed backstory he's created for these characters without necessarily being something directly experienced by anyone or being something that actually has happened in the physical reality of the show.



I'm trying really hard to think of precedents where 'imaginary' characters are given scenes in tv/movies without being in the presence of their imaginer. I have a feeling that Spider (2002) might have had a scene like that but I haven't seen it for ages.
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I just touched on this in a reply to another poster (XY, I believe), but I believe it warrants touching on again since I think it is ultimately a praise of the show itself.



The mere fact that we have a number of posters on here giving their theories about what's actually going on (and seeming so convinced they call them 'spoilers', or 'potential spoilers' when we've only seen the pilot!) is tribute to the vast potential of the show, but also a warning as to how quick it could turn the audience away. The utmost important thing the producers need to keep in mind is that audience will be driven to find out what's going on through the mystery of not knowing for sure -- but the minute they are TOLD what is actually happen is when the show will lose said audience. The genius is in the amount of possibilities, and the lack of any REAL indication as to what is... well... 'real'.
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I totally agree with you there. It's just a beautiful premise and idea. Whatever they do, they will have to do it sensitively and still in the end... "haters gonna hate" ;-)

Anyway, a story lives through it's characters and if they develop them good enough I can definitely swallow any endig. I'm one of these ppl loving LOST and BSG despite their endings. If 98% of a show is good (i.e. until it's ending), it's still good overall I guess.



We will have to see! The only thing which could dissapoint me after such a strong pilot would be an Alcatraz-thing, i.e. 95% serialized, 5% story-arch development without even having interesting character interactions or cases of the week.
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Life, Death... or simply Limbo!...
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Does this show qualify as science fiction? Coz i would like to know where its headed.

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don't think so, just more of a thriller psyhological drama
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Think LOST+FRINGE mashup... if written, directed, acted and promoted correctly... it can get there or it just can las 4 episodes...
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a truly amazing show. I think I'll watch this episode a couple more times soon. can't wait for the next ones.
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I balled my eyes out when I saw the trailer for this show. Then I watched the premiere I cried again. So far I love this show.
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Is this a Universe A/B thing, or a timeline A/B thing?
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yes and no....
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I loved it, I thought it was going to be like FOX's new show Touch. The show was awesome and so intriguing. And there are other stories circling the main character that are going to be good, i can tell. NBC has chosen a lot of bad shows lately so this is something to be excited about. This show kind of reminded me of Life that was on NBC, which I loved.
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Shortly, "Awake" and "Touch" will be competing for viewers. Fox moved "Touch" to Thursday in, I believe, the same time slot as "Awake." Can't believe I'm going to have to choose between the two! I have been tracking the premiere of "Awake" for months and was so impressed by the premiere episode, I can't wait to see another!! Until it was noted in the article, I thought both the wife AND son had died, so now I have a whole new thought process while watching! I pray that NBC gives this show a fighting chance and doesn't screw it up. It's the only show on NBC I can tolerate. Fingers crossed.
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When I first thought of this, I imagined it to be that one side of it would be constant ..and the other would be ever-changing. NOT two constants. What I mean is... Who has the same dream ever night? Who has dreams that are extended to the next night and the night after that, etc.. Nobody does. That wasn't my intention. You took a good idea that had longevity and turned it into some kind of 2 episode play out. The basis of it was to be that one side would be a constant, with odd happenings throughout it, to make one question the truth of that reality. The other was to be more imaginative with things of a spectacular and preposterous nature behind them, but with more of a strong-hold of what the character longs for and wants out of life. The "spectacular" side would always be changing from one theme to another to keep things interesting. The "constant" side would have the oddities to keep you wondering. I gave you this in hopes you would not screw this up. AND think of it this way... If this is how this man lives his life. NOTHING is preposterous. Everything is taken at face value and he questions nothing, except what is real. That was supposed to be the concept.
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As a pilot, as an hour of tv -- specacular! But my wife spotted one thing by -- literally -- the first intermission that I can't argue with her on. The LIFE ON MARS comparison is obvious, but that worked because, from the bginning it was designed to run 16 episodes and no more. The reader knew there would be a resolution. It made him or her care about the show, because there was no chance of being left dangling at the end. (The ending might be ambiguous or as bad as LOST finally was, but at least it existed.)



I almost want to say I won't watch the show unless I know the final episode is already written and there is a promise that it will be shown whatever happens to the show. Of course, I won't because the rest of the aspects that make a good show, good writing, intelligence, an interesting cast, are all there. (On the other hand, if the 'Lady in Red' shown in the 'Season Preview' means another Mysterious Conspiracy behind it all, they may not be enough. MC shows are getting so overdone. They usually die long before anyone who still cares can find out the answer, or -- as with JJA -- the ending never matches the build. I think one that's out there now will have a 'satisfactory' and surprise ending, but it's got a couple of years to go before the ending is revealed.)



I have another problem as well. Once you've put that much in the Pilot -- where do you go from there? The situation was laid out so completely I can't see how they can advance it much in each episode. We may get bogged down in the procedural -- which I am enjoying -- or the personality without moving away from square one. And how much room is there to create more interest or more depth in the character once you've started where they have? It could become as repetitious as Poppy Montgomery's stare into space.



But I'll certainly keep watching, and hope that they are as good at creating a real series as they are at creating a great polit.

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- Same here, I shivered, he was awesome, and in a creepy way.

- I bet that's going to be an issue if they don't cancel it quick.

- It's interesting she wasn't creeped out by the fact that he probably has serious mental problems. So she is kind of okay that he has different realities?

- LOL NBC

- I can't say I did. I was busy with thinking: "This is frakked up!"



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I think Awake is one of the few tv shows that doesn't think its audience is stupid. It's clever, ambitious, complexe, moving and yet sober. It's by far the best new show of the season.
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I apparently am too stupid for the show b/c I found it very confusing and depressing. There is no chance for anything but sadness. It's giving me a headache.
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Actually I thought it was depressing too. But it's okay because I sometimes enjoy depressive shows.
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I'm wondering what everyone thinks is really going on here. Do we honestly believe that one reality is merely a dream? I've heard some say "he's dead and his family lived", but I'm putting my bet down right now, after one episode.



I think the main character was put in a comma due to the crash, and he won't come out of it until he learns to cope with the possible loss of his family.
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I reckon it's better he was put in a comma instead of a colon.
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It's probably another "Lost" and they are all dead -- ugh
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OMG!! They were not all dead.
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Great pilot. Probably one of the best I've seen. There was no clunky exposition or set up. The storytelling all felt natural and not forced. It was the first time I watched a pilot and didn't feel like the writers thought I was too stupid to follow and had to dumb it down.



But really, Steve Harris was completely unintelligible.
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I kept wondering, if he is living in two realities, how is he getting any sleep??? That would make you nuts right there.



I was also distracted by our station's weather warnings - needless and pointless, by the way - and missed the meaning of the Constitution reading. She had him read any page and then asks how he could recite it word for word? He read it, right? What was the point?
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Some people will argue that reading is controlled by the left hemisphere of the brain, while dreaming is controlled by the right. Even ignoring that argument, its impossible for the right side of the brain to completely generate accurate documents into a dream that you don't already have memorized in the waking world. Basically, your brain isn't that good at making stuff up if you're dreaming.
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I don't think the Reading-the-Constitution-Proof works. In a dream, everything is real, even if it doesn't make sense. He could have been reading garbage, but if the dream says it's true, then it is, subjectively. - Also, when detecting the shooting, he kept discovering new stuff which he can't have remembered. "Pinch me!" - well, he was pinched plenty of times in both realities. We're not talking your average dreams, here.
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You guys know Plato's Allegory of the Cave? Or think of Matrix.

There's only 2 possible explanations for the constitution-test:

1) Both "realities" are in fact not real (most likely as he probably repeated this test in both worlds while off-camera), 2) both are real and we deal with parallel universes (for me very unlikely).

Think of your own life and yourself reading the constitution out in your dream. So probably you said some garbage, right? To find that out, you wake up and google it and see that you HAD it right. So on a purely logical level this would mean that you either received this information or you are connected to it. If you assume a 3rd reality level like in the Matrix then it would explain this paradox situation: There is no constitution and if there is, it's definitely different than the one you experienced in your 2 realities (dream/awake): If the only sources for proof-checking are false sources and you don't know that there are other sources (like a 3rd reality) you will think your assumptions are real (this is called closed world assumption in logics).
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That's the one I was looking for - closed world assumption! In this reality (in which I'm writing this) it was buried in the back of my mind. I only remembered the essence of it. Time to go back to bed and dream some sense.
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Interesting. If I remember right, she did ask if he knew the Constitution and he said, "no'? So, that being the case, he could not have been dreaming, he was actually awake and reading the page she gave him.



If he did have the Constitution memorized in his waking life, then he could still be dreaming and reciting it from that perhaps prompted by her suggestion to do so? What if he had said, "yes", then would she have answered he was dreaming or awake or did not know?
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on comic con, they've said that he will be struggling with more and more problems because of that living in two realities. On of them is getting tired and psychotic, because his mind is not resting.
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When you release the pilot so long before you air it, you have to assume a large number of viewers have already seen it don't you? Or are people with neilsen boxes not allowed to watch TV on the Internet?
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This shows reminds me a lot of person of interest and so I hope like POI it will get a following little by little... If it manages to build up a momentum with the series-long arc as well as with the single-episodes plots...



We've had mediocre ratings for ONE episode... have to see what happens next right? And that was the ep that had been online for ages so surely that has to have affected the ratings?
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Loved it (show and your article). Hoping with all my might it doesn't get killed. i personal think Michael is in a coma after either both or one of them dieing in the accident.

--It is completely okay because either its just a dream or its your only reality.

--If it stay completly centered around his way of dealing with the deaths.

--It was sad but hopful to see she accpects Michael's way of dealing with the accident.

--I didn't cry at all. There were monents I wanted to hug the actors but no tears.
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All I can say is a fantastic emotional roller coaster, I love Jason even more now!
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With the show starting so late in the year it's certain that NBC would let the show run regardless of ratings it's course simply because they don't have anything to replace it with. The question will be whether the ratings are strong enough to get a renewal. And considering that the network doesn't have a lot of time before it starts picking it's fall shows, the show has to start strong if it's going to have a chance. The pilot did have decent numbers, so it's up to how it performs over the next few weeks.



Although, if the network had any faith in the show they wouldn't have waited until so late in the season to premiere it.
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Common law in fiction



If a character is being shown 2 realities and can't determine which is real and which is faked/dreamed/hallucinated...



Chances are neither are real, and a third reality is the "true" reality.
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Reminds me of the Season 6 Stargate SG1 Episode Changelings in which Daniel Jackson almost says the same thing



I am thinking that is the only way we can have this show develop. As long as the payoff for viewers is better than Lost or Life on Mars which both had very disappointing finales
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With a horrendous 1.9 rating Awake won't air all of it's episodes. In fact I wouldn't expect more than 5 or 6 episodes to air.
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Prime Suspect didn't do any better but NBC let it run. I think this will be the same.
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you could say this was the best show since The Wire, I still wouldn't watch a show with this premise.
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Why not? That seems silly.
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LOL roguele-beau, you took the words right out of my mouth. Just about to post the exact same thing, but I wasn't logged in yet.

I agree with you, neither reality is real, his wife and son survived and Michael is the one in a coma or on a operating table and this is like a dream. And the show will end when he dies.
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I'm just going to throw my theory out now, in case the show doesn't make it...I think Michael is the one who died in the crash. There you go!
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Hm... and he is in some kind of purgatory or limbo? (we can rule out the 6th sense explanation because of the sex scenes lol)

Don't know, it's one of the 1st things that come to my mind so I would label it as more "obvious". I got a different theory below, check it out.
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That was my thought too.
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please, stop. It was said for thousands of times, that creators of the show said, none of the OBVIOUS explanations will be used. Yes, explanation that he;s the one being dead is OBVIOUS.
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The producers of Lost said that same thing and went back on their word 6 years later.
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So then it's the Life on Mars (US) ending?
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Do we have any ratings in yet?

I want to see how well it actually did last night.

I really liked the pilot and Jason Isaacs is absolutely fantastic so far.

In response to your question, Tim, I think that Michael would definitely feel immoral if he slept with the tennis instructor.
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ratings were mediocre, unfortunately, only 1.9
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means nothing I dont think. The show was released as a preview weeks ago so many people probably already saw it. Next week will be a better telling of the ratings



Problem is I dont think this show is the kind of dumbed down TV that does well in America.



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I do not like swearing, but Holy S***. This was a FANTASTIC pilot. I don't think I've ever cried from the pilot to a TV show before. Just ridiculous. On to the notes because I won't be able to concentrate on this for much long, got to sink into music. Romantic music today probably, Mahler and Brahms and such.



-One of the BEST monologues I've heard in television in I don't know how long.

-Auugh. All sorts of emotional baggage there. And tennis instructor is interested. So complex.

-I don't know. I think he kind of has to be there.

-Started crying again. Heartbreaking.

-I hope so. This is the type of show that deserves to be on TV.

-Already said, a lot. And for a pilot. Dang. Also, Valderrama has come a long way since "That '70s Show". And we get Laura Innes for the future, so I'm excited.



Also, as you mentioned, the colour schemes and just grittiness of the episode was just fantastic. So good.
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So far, so good.
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Best pilot? It's ambitious--but this wasn't very GOOD--and I have a spoiler alert at the end of my post about what's actually going on with the story: Jason Isaacs was frequently unintelligible in speaking his dialogue. Laura Allen (Wife), Dylan Minnette (son) and BD Wong--were very boring characters and poorly acted. (Harris, Valderrama, and Cherry Jones were EXCELLENT) The tennis coach character--how hard can you try to shoe-horn in details about character, and force the issue about a potential romance--they all go to a diner after the kid's tennis match meltdown? The coach TELLS the son to go hug the father--and Jason Isaac character calls his son it? Totally unbelievable and forced...



The spoiler: the mention of blood alcohol is telling> Jason Isaacs character was drinking-which may have caused the accident. HIS CHARACTER is in a COMA. His guilt at harming his WIFE (right wrist) and his son (left wrist) as symbolized by his wrist bands...may be them PULLING on his hospital bracelets , or touching them while he is in the hospital..his mind, comatose, is picking up some things as they try to save him and bring HIM BACK... They aren't gone (or they may be) but he DEFINITELY IS...hence the title--AWAKE--



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Jorge: Interesting points about the wristbands, though easily explained away from the character's reason himself (to remind him of where he is). It's not really a 'spoiler' unless you're actually revealing something about the episode that is unknown to the reader (meaning s/he hasn't seen it yet and so you spoil it for them) -- particularly key plot points -- and hence theories do not qualify.
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I think the producers already said this was not the case.
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They sure did. Not that simple.
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