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A New Twist on Crime Shows


Emily Dabbs

Staff Writer


The new NBC show “Awake,” which premiered on March 1, puts a new twist on the popular crime drama television genre.

Following a devastating car crash, Detective Michael Britten, played by Jason Isaacs, finds himself bouncing back and forth between two different realities; in one his son, played by Dylan Minnette, survived the crash, in the other his wife, played by Laura Allen.

In both realities, the police department sends Britten to a psychiatrist to help him cope with the loss of a family member.  The viewer watches as Britten works to sort through the various aspects of both lives to figure out which one is in fact reality, while trying to solve two interconnected crimes.

The crew of the show has employed many techniques to clue viewers in to which day is which.  In regards to costuming, Britten is seen wearing a green rubber band on the days that his son is alive and a red one on the days with his wife.

As far as the set goes, in the Pilot episode, we see Britten’s wife painting the walls of the house to help her cope with the loss, so in each reality the walls of the house are different colors.  Also, on the red days, the set has warmer tones, such as reds and oranges, while on the green days, cooler tones, such as blues and greens are used.

The biggest clue to the viewers of which day it is are the characters present.  In the green reality, Britten remains with his long-time partner, played by Steve Harris, while in the red reality, Britten’s previous partner is transferred and he is paired with a rookie, played by Wilmer Valderrama.

Also, the therapists he is sent to are different in both realities; his therapist on the green day, played by Cherry Jones, has a very nurturing approach to dealing with the multiple realities problem; his red day therapist, on the other hand, is played by BD Wong and is very confrontational in his approach; both therapists believe that their day is the true reality and work to convince Britten of this fact.

The show has gotten nothing but good reviews from viewers on the “International Movie Database.”

“Awake made me feel like I was watching ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Inception’ all packed in one story.  I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next,” said one viewer after watching the Pilot episode online.  Others said their eyes were glued to the screen and that they couldn’t have picked a better actor for the lead role.

Tune in to NBC Thursday at 9 pm to check out this hot new crime drama and decide what you think.