Awake: Is the New NBC Series Worth Watching?

Awake TV seriesTomorrow night, NBC unveils their latest 60-minute TV show, Awake. It airs at 10pm — a timeslot that has become a big problem for NBC after the failures of The Firm and Prime Suspect. Will audiences find Awake engaging enough to keep them up and watching?

In Awake, Police detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) is returning to work after being in a car crash with his wife (Laura Allen) and his son (Dylan Minnette). After the accident Britten discovers that every time he goes to sleep he switches between two realities, one in which his wife died in the crash and one in which his son died. The cast also includes Wilmer Valderrama, B.D. Wong, Steve Harris, and Michaela McManus.

Here’s what some of the critics are saying:

NY Daily News: “NBC’s NEW Awake is an intelligent, thoughtful, provocative and well-acted show that by summer is likely to be just a memory. To be blunt, it requires more work than the average TV viewer is likely to put in. That isn’t to knock either the show or the average viewer. It just doesn’t feel like a fit for prime-time network TV.”

NY Times: “It’s not easy to keep track of what’s happening on Awake, but it won’t put viewers to sleep.”

USA Today: “No one wants to return to the color-by-numbers plotting of Diagnosis: Murder, but there is such a thing as demanding too much effort from an audience without sufficient reward. Glum, grim and increasingly confused, Awake qualifies. And while this isn’t really the show’s fault, it has the whiff of a program bound to exit before it answers the questions it raises.”

Awake TV show petition and supportWashington Post: “Something about Awake is a bit too drowsy. British actor Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy to Harry Potter movie fans; also memorable to those who enjoyed Showtime’s Brotherhood) plays Michael with an understatedly macho ache that often fails to fully captivate the camera‚Äôs attention. Jones and Wong, meanwhile, are excellent and even vaguely sinister as the dueling shrinks.”

LA Times:Awake, whose first hour has been available online since mid-February, finally makes its television premiere Thursday on NBC. I have been waiting for this moment since last summer, since the pilot first went out to the press. Notwithstanding a certain stylistic chilliness and my sense of it having been pitched on the back of Inception, it promised to be one of the year’s best and most interesting new series. Having seen four episodes now, I’d say the promise has been largely kept.”

What do you think? Do you think Awake is worth watching? If you’ve seen it, will you watch again?

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