“Awake”: Fantasy Crime Drama Involves Going to Therapy

A new TV show, a “fantasy crime drama,” debuts on NBC tonight called Awake. According to Wikipedia, it’s about a police detective, Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) who returns to the job after a fatal car crash involving him, his wife, and his son. Who died—his wife or his son? Could it be both?

I have no idea. But the thing is, every time he now wakens from sleep there’s one of two different scenarios. One version of his post-sleep life finds only him and his wife alive, the other only him and his son alive. Is one of them a dream?

No, really—I don’t know. But, maybe his shrinks can help—that’s right—shrinks. Two of them. In one version of his post-accident life, he’s seeing psychiatrist Dr. Lee (B.D. Wong), described as a “confrontational” shrink, and in the other, he’s seeing psychologist Dr. Evans (Cherry Jones), who’s “more nurturing.” Which one is better?

How should I know? In an interesting twist for the gay community, though, each therapist is played by an openly gay actor. And the Advocate states that it’s the conversations that “…the surprisingly self-aware cop has with these two shrinks that fuel much of what’s wonderful about Awake.” Each shrink, by the way, believes his/her particular reality with his/her client is the “real” one, of course. Which one is right?

Wow—you ask way too many questions. Well, take a look at the preview below and see what you think. (Update, 6/30/12: The preview is no longer available.) It seems to cover a lot of the essence of main character Britten’s dilemma.

Maybe you’re reading this too late and you’ve already missed the first episode. Don’t fret. Sleep it off. When you wake up, chances are you’ll turn on the TV and it’ll be on again—in an alternate reality.

And if that doesn’t work…well, there’s always therapy.

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