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Awake: Sliding Doors, Tragic Edition


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#1

WileyCoyote

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 9:09 AM

Upfronts trailer: http://www.hulu.com/...up-from-reality

Out of the whole pile of shit tossed out by NBC at the Upfronts, only this and Grimm seem worth anything. Both are
"high concept" shows, which NBC traditionally ruins.

Awake gives them a chance to (sort of) ruin one show twice. "Sliding Doors", but with a tragic angle (the TWoP blog compared it to Life on Mars crossed with Memento, but I think Sliding Doors is a closer match).

Anyway, in any given year really only ONE high concept show seems to survive... so I'm betting it won't be this one. I'm putting my money on FOX's Alcatraz.

EDIT - Okay, I fully realize that "Sliding Doors" ALSO has a pretty tragic bent (even moreso in one of the alternate universes), but IMO its not rooted in that. Awake seems to be tragic right out of the gate.
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#2

BeenHere

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 9:35 AM

I was expecting to find this in the Drama forum. I am looking forward to watching Awake. I hope NBC does not disappoint. It has 4400 Lily, Eugene from The Practice, the Asian dude who was in No Ordinary Family and the British guy. I know I have seen him somewhere but my mind is blank at the moment.





EDIT: Asian dude was not on The Event.

Edited by BeenHere, May 22, 2011 @ 12:59 PM.

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#3

WileyCoyote

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 9:52 AM

I was expecting to find this in the Drama forum.

{Shrugs}

Seems hard to call. I guess we'll have to wait to see it to see how heavy the show hits the fantastical elements. At the very least the promo trailer suggests "crossover" between the two alternates, where stuff in one place predicts the other.

I hope NBC does not disappoint.

Its NBC. Of course they will.

The big question will be if the disappointment winds up being with the show itself, or with NBC's treatment of it (how they promote and support it).
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#4

Merve

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 10:27 AM

This looks stupid and needlessly confusing. Tonally, it seems relentlessly gloomy. Not only will this be a train wreck, it'll also be no fun to watch.
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#5

WileyCoyote

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 10:57 AM

This looks stupid and needlessly confusing

It MAY be stupid, but I don't know if its inherently any more confusing than lets say... Memento and/or Sliding Doors and/or Life On Mars.

And it certainly HAS to be far less confusing than Lost or The Event.

Tonally, it seems relentlessly gloomy.

True, it does. No matter what spin they put on it, either way he's got one person dead. Unless he's in a coma the whole time and his wife and kid are the ones walking around (and the fact that I thought of that so soon shows how paint-by-numbers these shows can be).
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#6

BeenHere

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 1:15 PM

Tonally, it seems relentlessly gloomy.


True, it does. No matter what spin they put on it, either way he's got one person dead.


It's what makes it appealing. The producers can get rid of the cop aspect of the show and it will still be interesting. The British actor is incredible. I have seen the trailer a couple times and it gets me everytime. Poor guy.

I think he might be in the Twilight Zone.
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#7

Merve

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 1:47 PM

It's what makes it appealing. The producers can get rid of the cop aspect of the show and it will still be interesting. The British actor is incredible. I have seen the trailer a couple times and it gets me everytime. Poor guy.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I love me some Jason Isaacs. (Though, in the interest of full disclosure, I've only ever seen him portray Lucius Malfoy.) So, I'm sure the acting will be great. I'm more worried about the concept. It seems like something that will wear out its welcome after a few episodes. I can see this show as a miniseries, but I don't see how it can last beyond 13 episodes without getting repetitive or without adding a twist.
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#8

DEM

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 3:02 PM

"Sliding Doors", but with a tragic angle (the TWoP blog compared it to Life on Mars crossed with Memento, but I think Sliding Doors is a closer match).

Yeah, I agree with you, WileyCoyote. HitFix called it "Sliding Doors meets Jacob's Ladder," and that seems apt, too.

I dunno. (Intriguing High Fantastical Concept + Excellent Cast) x NBC = My Worst Nightmare.

I'll definitely check it out, but if the son starts irritating me and/or the wife is nothing more than a prop, Cherry Jones might not even be able to keep me watching. Then again, the great posters of The Event forum have kept me going through that show's run, so one never knows!

I can see this show as a miniseries, but I don't see how it can last beyond 13 episodes without getting repetitive or without adding a twist.

Yeah, there is that. I wonder, though, if they're just doing a complicated or fresh-take (and character-driven) police procedural?

Edited by DEM, May 22, 2011 @ 3:04 PM.

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#9

brighthope

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 8:05 PM

I'm intrigued by the concept but agree that I have no idea how the show will continue in the long-term. In any case, despite the gloominess of the trailer, it looks well done with the potential to strike a strong emotional cord, so I'll probably give it a chance.
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#10

swansong

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Posted May 23, 2011 @ 7:41 AM

I'm intrigued and it's Jason Issacs so I'll definitely check it out, but I was watching the trailer wondering how they plan to sustain this show over seasons, assuming it isn't cancelled within its first five episodes; and I can't see it having much of a happy ending. Not that that's necessary, but the set-up lends itself to a lot of gloom and that might prove a bit much.
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#11

WileyCoyote

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Posted May 23, 2011 @ 11:03 AM

I was watching the trailer wondering how they plan to sustain this show over seasons

Not that it stands a chance, but I can think of a few obvious "game changing" seasonal flips they could do.

The most obvious one is the one I suggest upthread--that our protagonist is himself hurt in the accident. Unless heaven and/or purgatory is involved (at least a possibility), he's not dead, but it would be more like Life On Mars original recipe, with him being in a coma. The flipped switch for at least one season would be him waking up and discovering what REALLY happened (upthread I suggested that maybe neither the wife nor kid may be hurt, but there are a number of ways they can go). Then add in... he goes to sleep and winds up BACK in the other worlds. Now alternating THREE possibilities, three colored rubber bands.

How they link this all to some uber-mystery is the key. Simply riffing on one person being alive or the other, or waking up to find them both there? Not enough. There's got to be something more, which is why the notion of Heaven or Purgatory or SOMETHING more needs to be there and adding plot elements constantly.
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#12

elle

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Posted May 24, 2011 @ 10:31 PM

B.D. Wong! I knew it was him from his voice! I wonder if they are borrowing him from L/O:SVU where he plays a psychiatrist too.

I love me some Jason Isaacs.

Oh me too! And he has played some good guys in movies, of the ones I've seen, such as the NASA advisor in "Armageddon" and a more interesting character as the friend of Charlize Theron in "Sweet November".

It is odd to hear him with an American accent, though he has used one before.

This premise reminds me somewhat of the Demi Moore movie "Passion of Mind". However, I guess being a movie it had a very specific ending.

And was that Wilmer Valderrama as the cop who says "Good Morning" to JI who in turn looks at him like he doesn't belong there?
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#13

swansong

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Posted May 24, 2011 @ 10:39 PM

And was that Wilmer Valderrama as the cop who says "Good Morning" to JI who in turn looks at him like he doesn't belong there?


Yep.
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#14

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Posted May 25, 2011 @ 4:00 PM

I think this looks like it might be the best new network drama next season. The trailers for the other shows didn't blow me away, but this one did. It looks thought-provoking, honest and intriguing. Just the question of whether it'll work as a weekly series, but one must say, Kyle Killen (Lone Star creator) knows how to write an interesting premise.
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#15

pinkmoon

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Posted May 25, 2011 @ 8:23 PM

I agree. I've seen most of the trailers for shows that are premiering and this one just grabbed me completely. That part where the tells the therapist that he doesn't want to get better? Damn.

I'm definitely intrigued. And yes, the show being gloomy is part of the appeal. I like when TV breaks my heart.
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#16

Squirrtle

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Posted May 25, 2011 @ 8:50 PM

B.D. Wong will forever be a psychiatrist or some sort of counselor. Oz and L&O: SVU. He's just so good at it.

I'm interest in it. Which does not bode well for the series. Is it wrong that I prepare for cancelation before the show even starts on the sole basis that I think I'm going to like it therefore it must fail? That seems to be the way it usually goes, but it's not on FOX so...hope?

The most obvious one is the one I suggest upthread--that our protagonist is himself hurt in the accident.


That's what I first thought when I was watching it. I really hope that they don't go that route. I would rather him be batshit insane, in an institution then in some dream coma/purgatory.

Edited by Squirrtle, May 25, 2011 @ 8:51 PM.

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#17

The Mad Maple

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Posted May 25, 2011 @ 8:59 PM

The premise seems interesting, but it seems a bit gloomy for my taste. I'll probably check out the pilot, though.
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#18

elle

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Posted May 25, 2011 @ 9:14 PM

Thanks, swansong! :0)

B.D. Wong will forever be a psychiatrist or some sort of counselor. Oz and L&O: SVU. He's just so good at it.

Or in some kind of scientific field, as he was in "Jurassic Park". But with that voice of his, he is a great Voice Artist. He was the speaking voice of Captain Li Shang in Mulan.

I think it is Cherry Jones who is playing the other therapist.

I'm curious to see if the crimes in each "universe" will be somehow interrelated or separate unto themselves.
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#19

swansong

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Posted May 26, 2011 @ 2:21 AM

Is it wrong that I prepare for cancelation before the show even starts on the sole basis that I think I'm going to like it therefore it must fail? That seems to be the way it usually goes, but it's not on FOX so...hope?


It's on NBC and they can be pretty trigger happy, but I also tend to assume that if I like a show or a character that they're probably doomed in some way.heh
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#20

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Posted May 26, 2011 @ 8:33 AM

But but Sliding Doors was already tragic. This would be on suicide watch then.
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#21

WileyCoyote

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Posted May 26, 2011 @ 5:12 PM

That's what I first thought when I was watching it. I really hope that they don't go that route. I would rather him be batshit insane, in an institution then in some dream coma/purgatory.

Oh, but that's effectively the same thing, just in a different setting. The key element being that BOTH worlds we'd see would be a fantasy. Be he insane, in a coma, or in Purgatory, it adds up the same way. Or in a V.R. session. Effectively its "Life on Mars" times two (heck, even the "times two" part was already done in the U.S. version of Life on Mars").

Is it all predictable? Sure. But there's got to be SOME endgame for him living in two worlds. The other notion is Alternate Universes, but with the twist that he's reality hopping between his own self in two valid worlds. Shades of "Fringe", but its also a concept I'm certain I've seen more directly (the reality hopping part) in a few printed stories I've read.

Actually that last is how I'd do it. Its the least explored, even with Fringe around. It also offers up the possibility of him somehow leveraging this reality hopping to wind up at the series end in a third world where nobody died. Happy ending.

But but Sliding Doors was already tragic. This would be on suicide watch then.

Yeah, I mentioned that later in my first post. But it probably fits--the whole "Sophie's Choice" element to this (you choose one "world" you are effectively "killing" the loved one in the other) takes it beyond the bad things which happen in Sliding Doors (where there's really no element of choice, just... synchronicity).
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#22

Squirrtle

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Posted May 26, 2011 @ 5:56 PM

Oh, but that's effectively the same thing, just in a different setting. The key element being that BOTH worlds we'd see would be a fantasy. Be he insane, in a coma, or in Purgatory, it adds up the same way.


Touche. I feel like I've seen the purgatory/coma angle more and I haven't been a huge fan of it. Granted it's generally used, in my opinion, as an easy out. i.e. Lost. I don't know. Those two options just rubs me the wrong way when I think that's how it could end up. Of course, it's all in the execution.

Either way, if this show gets a full run it'll be interesting to see how it ends. Although I probably shouldn't be thinking about how a show ends before its even aired the pilot.
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#23

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Posted Jun 3, 2011 @ 8:59 AM

Very positive early reaction from Time Magazine

I'm probably looking forward to this show more than any show that's premiering in the fall. Jason Isaacs is a ridiculously underrated actor, and this sounds like a perfect role for him. Plus, while the Lone Star non-sustainability issue is certainly going to be hanging over this one, I think this one has a better shot, if only because it seems to have a strong police procedural aspect to it. Say what you want about those kinds of shows, but their rate of success is enviable.

Positive aspect of premiering at midseason: it will no doubt get a ton of promotion during the Super Bowl.

Edited by Redtracer, Jun 3, 2011 @ 9:00 AM.

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#24

OptimisticCynic

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Posted Jun 5, 2011 @ 1:14 PM

It is odd to hear him with an American accent, though he has used one before.


He has a fantastic accent in "Brotherhood."
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#25

Spicy Bubbles

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Posted Sep 7, 2011 @ 8:00 AM

Anyone have any update on this show? It was not listed at all in the Fall TV Preview issue of EW and I can't seem to find any info. NBC has a website for it but no premiere date, just a big 'Coming soon!' at the top of their page. The boards on NBC's site aren't any help either.
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#26

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Posted Sep 7, 2011 @ 10:23 AM

The show was always planned to have a mid-season premiere, even from the upfronts in May. They don't tend to release those schedules till November or December, I think. I'm really looking forward to it myself and hope it gets some good promotion.
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#27

Spicy Bubbles

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Posted Sep 7, 2011 @ 9:06 PM

Thanks, Selianth. Everything I was seeing said 'Fall 2011' so I was confused.
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#28

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Posted Jan 18, 2012 @ 9:00 PM

A question on the Homeland boards got me wondering...anyone hear when this might be finally premiering?

In December the trades were saying March. The last I heard during the TCA press tour earlier this month was a vague, sometime before the end of the season from NBC's Greenblatt.

While I'm glad NBC continues to dangle clips in front of the already excited critics, I hope they don't screw the marketing of this by slotting it in too hastily for whatever mid-season shows get canned. With such a long lag from last year's pilot season, I hope they make the effort to remind folks all about it.
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#29

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Posted Jan 18, 2012 @ 10:56 PM

Oh man, now you've ggot me thinking about Chaos last year, which premiered way too late(April) to get any momentum.
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#30

WileyCoyote

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Posted Jan 19, 2012 @ 12:07 PM

anyone hear when this might be finally premiering?

In December the trades were saying March. The last I heard during the TCA press tour earlier this month was a vague, sometime before the end of the season from NBC's Greenblatt.

http://www.nbc.com/awake/ is still present, but also still vague

"Coming Soon!" is what is says.

Back in October though, apparently the delay was explained--the producers asked for more time. They shot the first six episodes, but then requested a four week production break for extra writing time, because after episode six they weren't that comfortable with where the plot would go next:

http://nymag.com/dai...n_of_awake.html

At that point the show producer still anticipated a January premiere, but if you follow through WHY they asked NBC for more time, maybe NBC followed through even more then they'd anticipated.
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