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Awake: Sliding Doors, Tragic Edition


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#31

Selianth

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Posted Jan 19, 2012 @ 4:28 PM

I'm worried now that they're going to decide to hold it back for the Fall and do a big push then. But by then so much time will have passed that there will probably be production staff changes, writers leaving, etc... It's never a good thing when a show gets delayed this long. I have been really looking forward to it, too, and will be disappointed if it doesn't get a fair chance.
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#32

WileyCoyote

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Posted Jan 19, 2012 @ 7:48 PM

I'm worried now that they're going to decide to hold it back for the Fall and do a big push then. But by then so much time will have passed that there will probably be production staff changes, writers leaving, etc... It's never a good thing when a show gets delayed this long. I have been really looking forward to it, too, and will be disappointed if it doesn't get a fair chance.

That's not an issue here, because it seems that a good number of episodes are already shot and in the can.

At least 6 were done when they asked for the delay. And the initial 4 week production delay was to write more, so that says to me they had an episode order of probably 13, at a minimum (so with the extra time those may all be done).

Worst case is it may lead to an abbreviated Season 1. Perhaps that 13 never is given a back 9, because of the delay. But THEN if the show does well, they flip over into production for the next season--and that won't be much different than what normally would have happened.
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#33

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Posted Jan 22, 2012 @ 7:08 PM

The idea that they'll go with the initial order of 13 to account for the late start makes a lot of sense.

Either way, I'm sure it's been a crazy introduction to the US studio network system for Isaacs.

On IMDB there seems to be a lot of disagreement over whether Awake should 1) take over Parenthood's spot after it's short season ends Feb 28th, 2) get paired with Grimm after the Chuck finale, 3) replace the struggling Firm or Rock Center. Personally I don't love the idea of pairing Awake with the Biggest Loser on Tuesdays and Friday nights are tough on everyone, but especially heavy thinkers.
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#34

grimm2

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Posted Jan 23, 2012 @ 1:16 AM

Personally I don't love the idea of pairing Awake with the Biggest Loser on Tuesdays and Friday nights are tough on everyone, but especially heavy thinkers.

The premise seems more of an emotional take on the grieving pysche than a heavy thinker type of drama. That is, if there's indeed a death in the family and the character is actually choosing to live in a permanent state of insanity (rather than face the reality of it).

To me, it seems an innovative way to approach the police procedural.

Edited by grimm2, Jan 23, 2012 @ 1:17 AM.

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#35

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Posted Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:26 PM

I agree that it looks like a very emotional show - Isaacs' work in the trailer was certainly moving - but given all the marketing language initially put out there about quantum realities/immortality, I suspect Awake is also going to be more thoughtful than not. To my eye, the pilot snippets suggest the show will be rather intriguing in how it chews on those metaphysical questions and then weaves them into the weekly case of the week. That it'll be one of those shows that aims to entertain us on multiple, interwoven levels.

Now of course, much of that could have changed since the pilot. Those who have seen the pilot and are fans, namely the professional TV critics, have brought up the question of whether audiences can keep up - asking if the show is too high concept for a network audience. The show runners assured them that they have the right mix of procedural and metaphysical, but I find it telling that the question was even brought up. So yep, I worry that NBC could possibly place a thinker/Sci-Fi/procedural on a night that's rough to begin with. The delightfully successful Grimm is no slouch in the Sci-Fi/procedural departments but it has yet to attempt meaning of life questions on the level of Fringe, for example.

Edited by halo_pub, Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:29 PM.

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#36

secretk

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Posted Jan 26, 2012 @ 4:29 AM

I like that kind of shows and the premise looks really good, but I will have to see the Pilot to make up my decision. The problem is that sci-fi fans are not that much and we don't know how much will be liked that show. After all it sounds kinda of odd, but I prefer it that way.

ETA: I just realized that Howard Gordon is executive producer and I really liked his new show Homeland and its premise (I also watched 24 and it wasn't bad), so that is another reason for me to watch this show. Although he's not the creator, he might have some influence there.

Edited by secretk, Jan 26, 2012 @ 4:34 AM.

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#37

WileyCoyote

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Posted Jan 26, 2012 @ 10:27 PM

Now of course, much of that could have changed since the pilot. Those who have seen the pilot and are fans, namely the professional TV critics, have brought up the question of whether audiences can keep up - asking if the show is too high concept for a network audience. The show runners assured them that they have the right mix of procedural and metaphysical, but I find it telling that the question was even brought up. So yep, I worry that NBC could possibly place a thinker/Sci-Fi/procedural on a night that's rough to begin with. The delightfully successful Grimm is no slouch in the Sci-Fi/procedural departments but it has yet to attempt meaning of life questions on the level of Fringe, for example.

Its a valid concern, since even Fringe has to fight tooth and nail to build an audience, for that very reason.
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#38

secretk

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Posted Jan 27, 2012 @ 5:44 AM

Well, I'm not sure that we should be afraid about this without even seeing the Pilot.

For example I don't watch Fringe not because it's difficult to follow, it was just boring to me (I couldn't pass the first six episodes and the characters weren't interesting to me at all). And yes I know that they say that it got more interesting, but I don't watch a series from the middle. I either watch it from the start, or don't watch it at all. And Fringe didn't start interesting for me and although I tried more than once, I still can't find those first episodes interesting. So basically what's more important are the characters, if they are interesting and complex enough, people might watch it. Of course not everyone is a fan of sci-fi, but still they can watch it if there is something compelling enough.

The premise is where some series start, but it's not everything. The actors and their charisma, the characters and their interaction is what makes us stay when we watch some TV show.

P.S: I find it funny when some fans think that others don't watch their show, because they are either stupid or can't follow the series. I don't think that all of us are so not smart to understand some show premise. It's not about that, it's about what's interesting for us. For example my parents just don't want to watch a sci-fi series, because it's not interesting for them. Not that they can't catch it, they just find it bland. On the other hand, I prefer to watch that kind of stuff, but that still doesn't mean that I watch every sci-fi that has been on air. It's about preferences. So we have to wait and see what the audience will think about this one.
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#39

grimm2

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Posted Jan 27, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

The premise seems more of an emotional take on the grieving pysche than a heavy thinker type of drama. That is, if there's indeed a death in the family and the character is actually choosing to live in a permanent state of insanity (rather than face the reality of it).

To me, it seems an innovative way to approach the police procedural.

I agree that it looks like a very emotional show - Isaacs' work in the trailer was certainly moving - but given all the marketing language initially put out there about quantum realities/immortality, I suspect Awake is also going to be more thoughtful than not. To my eye, the pilot snippets suggest the show will be rather intriguing in how it chews on those metaphysical questions and then weaves them into the weekly case of the week. That it'll be one of those shows that aims to entertain us on multiple, interwoven levels.

I don't see it stuck on either level though. Awake doesn't seem to me a purely metaphysical drama any more than it does a pure procedural, much like the character's psyche it seems to go back and forth between the two.

For example I don't watch Fringe not because it's difficult to follow, it was just boring to me (I couldn't pass the first six episodes and the characters weren't interesting to me at all). And yes I know that they say that it got more interesting, but I don't watch a series from the middle.

In my opinion, Awake has nothing of Sci Fi (either Fringe or Alcatraz) because the character is not time traveling, but living a fractured existance - in the same present - due to his own inability to cope.

Edited by grimm2, Jan 27, 2012 @ 11:45 AM.

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#40

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Posted Jan 27, 2012 @ 11:43 AM

Secret K, I agree it's not a matter of intelligence but whether on that particular day/time a sizeable, diverse audience finds it compelling it enough to spend the brainpower following intricate story lines that will unfold over months rather than an hour. It's not easy getting folks to put down their phones and tablets to put their singular focus on one's show, let alone when they're trying to unwind from the work week. I think the ABC marketing team for Lost was pretty creative in that respect, running the previous week's episode right before with unsanctioned word bubbles.

Entertainment Weekly reported today that Kevin Weisman (Marshall Flinkman, Alias) has joined the cast. While I enjoyed how he used to play off Victor Garber's grumpy spy daddy, I'm feeling meh about him getting cast as a potential baddie.

EW also confirms that the show still doesn't have a premiere date.

Edited to add: Grimm2, whether or not you think of the show as science fiction and focus on how the two mysteries of the week blend together in the cop's mind - don't you think the trailer makes the show sound more like Fringe or Joan of Arcadia, rather than a Ghost Whisperer? I think the skepticism from the critics is whether they get that balance between weekly and long term arcs - that it won't be the kind of show that's easy to jump in and out of every couple of episodes.

Edited by halo_pub, Jan 27, 2012 @ 11:53 AM.

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#41

secretk

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Posted Jan 27, 2012 @ 2:46 PM

halo_pub I agree with you - it's not even about the genre of the series, it's about the same old argument. Procedural series versus serialized.

No matter if it's sci-fi or not, the question will be how well they will balance the procedural cop work with the overall struggle of the protagonist. As to whete it's sci-fi or not, we will have to wait and see. It might be slightly sci-fi due to the fact that after all he's in two different universes, but it can be still focused on the emotional part. I guess it really depends how will unfold in the long run.
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#42

grimm2

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Posted Jan 27, 2012 @ 3:14 PM

In my opinion, Awake has nothing of Sci Fi (either Fringe or Alcatraz) because the character is not time traveling, but living a fractured existance - in the same present - due to his own inability to cope.

Grimm2, whether or not you think of the show as science fiction and focus on how the two mysteries of the week blend together in the cop's mind - don't you think the trailer makes the show sound more like Fringe or Joan of Arcadia, rather than a Ghost Whisperer?

Truth to be told, I think the plotline sounds more like A Gifted Man or The Dead Zone than it does to either one of the Sci fi shows listed above.

Edited by grimm2, Jan 27, 2012 @ 3:15 PM.

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#43

halo_pub

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Posted Jan 28, 2012 @ 8:28 PM

Sorry, I didn't mean that plot wise as much as tone/philosophical ambition.

It's interesting that you brought up The Dead Zone. I'd forgotten that show and hadn't thought of the potential parallels at all.

Edited by halo_pub, Jan 28, 2012 @ 8:28 PM.

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#44

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 1:53 PM

Premieres Thursday, March 1 at 10pm.
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#45

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 3:27 PM

The news could be better, pitting the show against The Mentalist, but maybe they can get the short promotional time rolling with a mini trailer during the Super Bowl.

The lead-in could be a better fit, too.
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#46

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Posted Feb 3, 2012 @ 8:09 PM

NBC is 0 for 2 in that time slot with The Firm getting beat by such juggernauts as Univision and A & E's Beyond Scared Straight.
I fear for this show.
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#47

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Posted Feb 6, 2012 @ 12:55 AM

They gave the show a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl that seemed to do a decent job establishing the show's premise within such a limited time frame. At this point, I'm just glad the show has a late enough premiere date that it'll be able to get all 13 episodes in the can. I'll operate under the assumption that it'll be one season and out, and anything more than that will be a bonus.
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#48

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Posted Feb 10, 2012 @ 1:25 AM

Now I'm seeing ads for this, and I wish they'd saved it for fall.
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#49

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Posted Feb 12, 2012 @ 12:53 PM

This looks great. I like the guy from [I thought it was the matrix, but I recognized him from the baby hatching scene in Jurassic Park], and I like the way it is shot - a bit greyed out. Also the inside-the-car view of the accident looked well done. Definitely going to check this out, but I have liked other series' like this and gotten played when they got canceled. I think they need to wrap it up in one season, because you can't just keep hanging on forever when there is an obvious point to the show (coughHowIMetYourMothercough)

And in case there was any doubt, YES, I am still mad about Day Break and Flash Forward. I feel like Craig in Friday telling the network to quit canceling my shows. "You already knocked two of my shows off...Don't Knock These Over!"

Edited by Doom, Feb 12, 2012 @ 12:57 PM.

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#50

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Posted Feb 12, 2012 @ 11:13 PM

I'm calling it now.


The car accident put him in a coma. Both realities are a dream.

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#51

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 4:35 AM

In my opinion, Awake has nothing of Sci Fi (either Fringe or Alcatraz) because the character is not time traveling, but living a fractured existance - in the same present - due to his own inability to cope.

Science fiction, thank god, isn't limited to premises that are usually explored on TV shows. This premise sounds perfectly P.K. Dick to me, and actually reminds me of Divine Madness by Zelazny. Not too close though.

Very New Wave Sci-Fi.
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#52

grimm2

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 6:43 PM

I don't see it stuck on either level though. Awake doesn't seem to me a purely metaphysical drama any more than it does a pure procedural, much like the character's psyche it seems to go back and forth between the two.

For example I don't watch Fringe not because it's difficult to follow, it was just boring to me (I couldn't pass the first six episodes and the characters weren't interesting to me at all). And yes I know that they say that it got more interesting, but I don't watch a series from the middle.

In my opinion, Awake has nothing of Sci Fi (either Fringe or Alcatraz) because the character is not time traveling, but living a fractured existance - in the same present - due to his own inability to cope.

Science fiction, thank god, isn't limited to premises that are usually explored on TV shows. This premise sounds perfectly P.K. Dick to me, and actually reminds me of Divine Madness by Zelazny. Not too close though.

Very New Wave Sci-Fi.

I would clasify Awake as a psychological thriller in the vein of Shutter Island rather than a futuristic paranoia in the vein of Philip K. Dick because the character's delusion seems to be based on a repressed sense of guilt more than a Sci fi scenario to me.

Edited by grimm2, Feb 13, 2012 @ 6:45 PM.

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#53

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Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 11:34 PM

I would clasify Awake as a psychological thriller in the vein of Shutter Island rather than a futuristic paranoia in the vein of Philip K. Dick because the character's delusion seems to be based on a repressed sense of guilt more than a Sci fi scenario to me.

If we're defining the genre by the nature of the character's predicament, then I'd say it's impossible to determine at this stage. What precisely is happening to him appears to be the series' central mystery.

Anyway, here's the first eight minutes of the pilot. NBC put it online yesterday.
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#54

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Posted Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:13 AM

Just watched the preview. Nothing new really if you've seen the promos, but I like the tone/pacing. I'm still bummed that they're "reworking" the show to be more of a procedural (hello, predictability!) than a serial drama, so I'm guessing I'll like the pilot more than the subsequent eps. I normally like Isaacs (he was awesome in "Brotherhood") but he seems a bit robotic in the cop scenes (not the therapy scenes) and it's not just because his character is in mourning. Jones and Wong are always good. I've loved Allen since "The 4400," maybe this will make her a household name (if she's not merely "the wife"). I can do without Valderrama (limited skills) and Harris (too hammy). Sidenote: This show seems to be more inspired by Inception than P.K. Dick, though you can always say Inception is Dickian.

Edited by Numb Nut, Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:17 AM.

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#55

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Posted Feb 16, 2012 @ 1:58 PM

NBC has now put the entire pilot online.
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#56

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Posted Feb 16, 2012 @ 10:36 PM

I just watched it on Hulu. I think this show could definitely grow on me, but I do share doubt about the longevity of the concept.

I like Dr. Evans, but IMHO there was a huge gaping flaw in her Constitution plan: How does Britten know that what he just read was accurate? If he starts to think that world is real, he can't trust anything he'd check in the other world.
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#57

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Posted Feb 17, 2012 @ 3:10 AM

I watched the pilot on Comcast Xfnity on demand. Yeah, the concept was a bit Sliding Doors. When dealing with multiple realities I usually call to mind Sliders first and foremost.

I had that exact same thought Greenphoenix.

You can often read things in dreams, I mean at least I can. And the thing about dreams, as Inception says, you only realize something was off when you wake up. And if you never read something to know what's right, you've never read it to know what's wrong. It seems that would be the problem with any "test". If you go with something you know, then you could accurately put it in a dream. If you look at something you don't know, then it doesn't help you in any capacity.

I hope there's far less therapy in future episodes. I get they wanted to fully explain their idea but I also felt it dragged down the pacing and the whole episode had a feeling of "past tense". Like nothing was suspenseful, either because it felt like it had "already happened" or because it felt surreal. Surreal is probably on purpose but that kind of quality will make turning this into a procedural fall flat. (I was already quite disappointed with all the gruesome stuff and blood. Not what I was expecting.) If one or both versions of what we are seeing is a dream then there's a sense that there's no real "stakes" in his cases. The only thing that will matter is the emotional progress he makes either with his wife or his son.

I could deal with an ending where it's a dimensional problem and he has to choose a dimension or merge them. Or if he's asleep and dreaming both. I will be VERY disappointed if it turns out he's actually dead or something.

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#58

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Posted Feb 17, 2012 @ 2:11 PM

OK, just watched the full pilot. It's was OK, not gripping. I take back what I said about Isaacs being robotic, he was overly stiff just in that one rain scene. Allen seems younger than I remember. Don't know if the dual-world premise alone can keep my interest. I've caught Sliding Doors on TV several times and I always lose interest halfway through.

I hope there's far less therapy in future episodes. I get they wanted to fully explain their idea but I also felt it dragged down the pacing and the whole episode had a feeling of "past tense". Like nothing was suspenseful, either because it felt like it had "already happened" or because it felt surreal.

I had the opposite reaction. The therapy focuses on unraveling the mystery of the sci-fi element and without that it's just another procedural with throwaway baddies and victims. So the therapy held my interest while the cases were flat and uninteresting. If they can incorporate more sci-fi into the cases beyond the psychic memories, I'll keep tuning in. I also think he's dreaming both worlds and I hope the writers don't use the cliched death or coma excuse.

Edited by Numb Nut, Feb 17, 2012 @ 2:12 PM.

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#59

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Posted Feb 17, 2012 @ 2:58 PM

I also watched the pilot online and liked it very much, although I, too, can't see it going for seasons on end. I think the point of the show is to help him work through the truth of the accident. Both worlds are unreal and my guess is that he's slipping in and out of consciousness at the accident site itself, wondering whether he can save his wife or his son, because it looks like he can only save one and it's not a choice he wants to make. Each scenario also provides some compensation for whomever is lost. There's the attractive friend of his wife's who is bonded with his son; the wife talks about having another baby. A conscious mind wouldn't factor in compensation for such a devastating loss, but the unconscious might.

The cases are clues to what is going on with the accident and the therapists are another form of detective trying to come to terms with the situation he's in. For instance, both cases involved small windows. The serial killer shot people through car windows and he rescues the kidnapped girl through the RV window. That would correspond to trying to get someone out of an overturned car.

The two partners probably are real people he knows on the force. We'll have to find out more to discern what the presence of each in the partner role means. I have a feeling that they aren't all alone in the middle of nowhere but that other people have contributed to the accident , are trying to rescue the family, etc.

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#60

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Posted Feb 18, 2012 @ 9:09 PM

I too am puzzled by this being in the sci-fi topic, but, <shrug>.

I watched the pilot and was very impressed. Love Jason Isaacs. If he seems "robotic" it's partly because his character is dealing with massive grief. This show is from the same people who brought you the ill-fated Lone Star, which had a very similar "thing" of one guy shuttling back and forth between two worlds... except I (like most of the rest of America) hated the idea of watching a bigamist cad's adventures every week. This concept seems much more sympathetic. (Hope it does better than Lone Star...)

I'm also trying to envision how they make this go every week -- and for more than one season -- so there's that. Watching the pilot I thought this would make an amazing extended miniseries, but I am having trouble seeing how this goes on for multiple years (and I don't think it can last that long with such an unrelieved elegiac tone).

I currently get my weekly TV complexity needs from Fringe (anyone who watches Fringe ought to find this show's dual-universe setting to be child's play to comprehend), but who knows, this might make a nice supplement.

I also thought that the therapy - more specifically, the duelling therapists - gives the show much needed dimension that might provide enough plot to actually run a show and not just a great pilot. That is to say, it seems the therapists will be actual characters who do more than just try to help our hero. They seem to be in a distant, unseen rivalry with each other - at least, the female therapist has got certain opinions about the male therapist. I was surprised to see the show delve into that already in the pilot.

Edited by Money Magnet, Feb 18, 2012 @ 9:14 PM.

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