Awake - Season 1

Starring: Jason Isaacs, Laura Allen, Dylan Minnette, Cherry Jones, B.D. Wong, Wilmer Valderrama, Steve Harris, Michaela McManus
Creator: Kyle Killen
Rating: ****

Air Date: 2012
There is something that caught my eye straight away when I heard about this series, and that is it's brilliant cast; for starters Jason Isaacs, who is probably most famous for his portrayal of Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, is a BAFTA award winning actor. Cherry Jones and B.D.Wong have between them won multiple Tony awards. Jones won an Emmy for her work on the TV show 24 , a Tony for her lead role in The Heiress, and has multiple nominations for other awards. Wong is the only actor to have won all five of the major New York theatre awards for M. Butterfly. Between the three of them you would expect some sort of riveting television, and that is exactly what we get.  

So basically, Awake is about Michael Britten (Isaacs) who, after a terrible car accident, has lost both his wife and son, but somehow, not at the same time. Since the crash he has been living two separate lives, experiencing two different situations. When he is asleep in one world, he is awake in the other, with his wife and son surviving in alternate realities. Also, he is a homicide cop trying to solve crimes at the same time he attempts to hold onto any old thread of his lives, and to help him do so, has different coloured strings on his wrists, and of course two different therapists (Wong & Jones) in each reality.  

Most of the roles that Isaacs has played have been villainous, so it's nice to see him as a good guy we can really root for. He is equally believable as confused, grief stricken Michael Britten in Awake as he is as the tortured vindictive warlock Lucius Malfoy. Luckily he is able to pull of a  pitch perfect, flawless American accent, which some actors aren't quite as successful at doing, *cough* Sam Worthington *cough*.    

The one basic problem with Awake is that his situation is such a severe and unique one that I wonder how long it can go on for. I just hope the writers, directors and actors can keep the tension up throughout, because this is one series I really don't want to get bored of.

I did love the way his two therapists are almost pitted against each other from the very beginning. Watching his struggle during his therapy sessions builds the viewers compassion for him immediately, which is something the character needs. For a show like this to work, it is so important that the audience are all asking themselves what they would do if they were in the same position that Michael is in. It's that. that is really going to drive the series along, and help take the audience on the journey with the characters.

Awake has so much potential due to its heady mix of great acting, fascinating premise, and deep emotional writing that's so important in the storyline. We as an audience have to root for a man who is just trying to keep the worlds together where his wife and child are both alive, even at the cost of his own sanity, don't we? It might become too difficult for some people to watch, especially if they have lost somebody close to them, which really is a credit to the show as a whole.  

But for me personally, I am going to root for him. After years of hating and loathing his character in Harry Potter, I'll happily commit to being on his team, for once, as he tries to keep his sanity together. He probably won't succeed, but I for one, want to see him try. 

Awake - Promo