At Least I Didn't Fall Asleep Watching "Awake". . .

But I probably would have if I watched it during its 10pm premier time on Thursday. Though to be fair my drifting into the land of sweet sleep would have happened if I was watching a stellar documentary of the most interesting man in the world (stay thirsty my friends).

It also wasn't the most exciting hour I ever spent watching a TV show. And I think my expectations were a little unfairly raised, considering it's a midseason premier. The concept of a man living in a universe where his son died but his wife lived then waking up to a universe where his wife died but his son lived is compelling and original. But the execution so far has been slightly more interesting than watching slugs procreate.

Okay, that isn't very fair. The show wasn't the most boring and sleep inducing drama I've ever seen. And I do think part of my disappointment comes from the fact the concept got me really excited and I was also expecting a different kind of show.

The guy is a detective, and the trailers promised him trying to solve two murder mysteries. I was fooled into thinking these mysteries were going to be a crucial part of the show -- maybe even the series. On top of that, you have the mystery of a guy who is literally living two lives. He doesn't know what is a dream and what is reality.

But the murder cases were more of an afterthought and a backdrop to get the viewer thinking that the two worlds are interconnected. This is fine, except that nothing else really stood out to make the drama speed along. Instead, we spent lots of time hearing him get advice from his two different psychiatrists, and watch them try to convince him that the other is a part of an elaborate dream.

The problem is that the concept that I find so compelling, also is what hampered the storytelling. The show crams two lives into one hour long episode, and ends up not giving anything time to breath. So, the crimes were revealed and solved, and you never were given time to care about either. His wife and son had minimal screen time, and so you're left not giving a rip about either of the people who are supposed to mean so much to the main character.

I sort of wish he punched at least one of the psychiatrists. That would have made the show a little more interesting. And I sort of hope their roles get diminished as the series progresses.

I understand it was a pilot episode, and so it had to squeeze in all the info to get the story moving. Almost every pilot has its kinks to work out, and it usually takes a few episodes to really find its groove. I'm willing to cut the show some slack. The lead did his role well, and I still think the concept has so much potential for good storytelling. I like how the supporting characters exist in both worlds, but their lives are changed based off who survived a car crash. Fez from That 70s Show is the leads detective partner in one world, but just a lowly policeman in the other. Actually, I do have to add that I had a hard time taking Fez seriously, but I blame that more on evil typecasting in my mind rather than anything he did wrong.

I was expecting a drama/action/suspense, while it was more a story focused on dealing with loss and trying to pull a family together. Even then, it was kind of rushed and didn't leave the kind of impact the show would have been trying to achieve. But I think it is a strong enough idea that it deserves a few episodes to find its groove. I saw the potential of a great show.

It just needs to stop trying to go for that "art house" vibe. It can't flop so quickly between both worlds. It needs to let the story build. This is a show where it would benefit if the crime cases were given a few episodes to play out. They can't try to squeeze everything into one episode. It causes the impact to be dulled, and for nothing to really stick or be appealing.

Despite all those criticisms, I'll likely tune in for episode 2, and hope that it is a stronger show. There is a good chance the pilot was filmed months before the next set of episodes. I hope the writers set out some long term plans, and developed stories that will make this concept as compelling as it has the potential to be.

Or at least, not make me regret that I'm awake.