(VOD) AWAKE was a short-lived high-concept procedural TV crime drama about Michael Britten (Jason Issacs, HARRY POTTER, THE DEATH OF STALIN), a detective who loses his wife (Laura Allen, TERRIERS, THE 4400) in a car accident. He falls asleep and, when he wakes, instead of his wife being dead, it’s his son (13 REASONS WHY’s Dylan Minnette). Next time he falls asleep, his son is still dead. He straddles these two realms, living a fractured life, all while solving crimes and attending therapy sessions with separate therapists (BD Wong in one, Cherry Jones in the other).
The show’s creator, Kyle Killen, previously dabbled in the ‘dual lives’ genre with his infamously truncated FOX series LONE STAR, which featured James Wolk (the Bob in MAD MEN’s ‘Not great, Bob!’. Also, ZOO.) as a bigamist and, while LONE STAR was unjustly canceled too soon, AWAKE feels like a more mature, more interesting take on the material, as it scrutinizes a man who won’t reckon with the schism in his life, so he’s forced to endure all permutations.
AWAKE was one of the rare post-LOST genre shows that used its high-concept to dig deep into the humanity of its characters, while still fueling a remarkable storytelling engine. The season one finale — also the series finale — broke the future potential of the show wide open, or lent the show some closure, depending on how you look at it.
If you do watch it and want to read about what they intended with the finale and potential future of the show, there’s a great interview with Killen here: https://ew.com/article/2012/05/26/awake-finale-kyle-killen-burning-questions/