April 28/12


Another wet, gloomy morning here. Two doors down they hung out some washing but it got rained on overnight. When I was a kid, clotheslines were common; around here now, you don't see them much. Well, I guess we need lots of rain to soak the lime into the soil.:)

How much TV do you watch? I asked myself that question yesterday as I planned this post about the new show Awake (NBC).

From a critical point of view, I watch a lot of TV. There's Days and Y&R, then Fringe, Secret Circle, and Trump's Apprentice. When Hell's Kitchen returns, I'll definitely follow it, too. Of course, there's Awake, today's feature.

Since I watch most of those shows online, they don't take as long as on TV. I usually program or draw while I'm watching them. Still, I'm busted.

In my defence, TV has come a long way since I was a kid. It's gotten so good, even the reclusive academic might find it hard to resist.

To Awake: Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs), the star, lives in two realities: one in which his son is dead, the other in which his wife is dead. A fatal car crash started the phenomenon.

At first, Britten has to wear alternating rubber bands on his wrist to keep track of which reality he is in. (It switches every time he goes to sleep.) On red days, his wife is alive and his partner at the precinct is the young Effrem Vega (played by Wilmer Valderrama). On green days his son Rex is alive, and his partner is the older Isaiah Freeman (Steve Harris).

Hints develop that suggest (to me, anyway) that green is "real" and red is invented. For instance, in green reality, Britten's partner is long-standing (you can just tell); Britten's "red" partner is new to the force.

Britten and both his partners are lovable. The confrontational shrink - Dr. Jonathan Lee (BD Wong) - is more engaging than the gentle Dr. Judith Evans (Cherry Jones). Interestingly, both Britten's wife Hannah (Laura Allen) and his son Rex (Dylan Minnette) are written too distantly to bond with.

Awake is a detective drama as well. In each episode, Britten's got a case in the green, and one in the red. The cases are different. However, a connection develops: there is a clue in one that also emerges from the other, though not in the same way. The relationship is enough to point Britten to another similarity between the cases. Ultimately, he solves one, then uses the "bridge" clue to solve the other. It's a brilliantly written show.

If your TV quota still has room, and you haven't checked out Awake, why not? Warning: you'll probably get hooked.

Wikipedia was a source for this article.

Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) Back