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One Season Wonder: Awake

CAST: Jason Isaacs, Laura Allen, Steve Harris
CREATOR: Kyle Killen 
PLOT: After a car accident takes the life of a family member, a police detective lives two alternating parallel lives, one with his wife and one with his son. Is one of his "realities" merely a dream? 
AIR DATE: 2012 

This was a show that shouldn't have gone off-air that fast. Each episode was mind-blowing as the next, and while the cancellation was unexpected (having taped the episodes prior to the announcement), they did have a very good series finale. The show was smart and interesting, and was advanced for its time. It plays with the notion of time and space, as well as adding a little crime drama that gets viewers hooked. Each episode leaves unanswered questions, as well as dives further as to what its inner cause it. Awake was a show that placed its focus more on the scientific/psychological matter rather than the crime aspect of it. When the series unfolded, I thought that the crime part could use some work, as there was a really incompetent reason as to why it all happened. However, they portrayed it through an interesting avenue that leads the mind away from the crime, and into the mystery of existence that it presents.

The show begins with the scene of the crime, the accident where Detective Michael Britten wakes up to find himself hoisted upside down in a car accident, his wife and son bloodied by the fall. Soon he finds himself waking up to two alternatives: his wife has died in one life, and his son at the other. Besides the similarity of his life in these two worlds, there were still minor differences, such as his partners in his alternating lives, and the crimes that he solves. Due to his alternating life, he is able to find clues to the crimes he solves in his other life, as well as a trail as to what has really happened that led to his accident. 

The crime factor was not its focus, but rather it became the situation the character was placed in order to work his parallel living. The finale, in terms of the criminal aspect, was such a let down, as when everything became clear, it was all an elaborate scheme to hide something shallow. The question it posed, however is that how he was able to lead double lives, and which of these was real. I guess the finale can be seen in three ways: it can be a let down to find that everything that happened was just that, but it can also be seen as the creator adding a third dimension, that what may seem is really not what it seemed, and it becomes a ploy to further dive into time and space. Lastly, it can also be viewed as something ending itself in a happy note, that nothing in the show really was what it seemed. 

The show diverted into content in many ways. It wanted to focus on the concept of having two realities. It also allowed Detective Britten to have information he might have not known about his family, not to mention, the source and the cause of the accident that has turned his life into turmoil. We journey with him to the two realities that may or may not exist. I thought that Jason Isaacs made a good character lead, as he embodied Detective Britten well. He's also supported with a good cast, although playing minimal roles.

I liked the show because it was interesting, and I wanted to see where they would take it. The plot definitely needed some work, as in order to further expand the setting, there has to be more substance than what it leads on. Then again, the finale gave the show its closure. While it might not be the best, it was still mind-boggling, but a kind of ending that you'd want for his character.