Why “Awake” is an Awesome New Show

Detective Michael Britten is caught between two realities after a car crash: one where only his son survives, and one where only his wife survives. (Photo Credit: Postcultural)

Awake is a new drama on NBC that premiered in the Spring 2012 Season (Early March, to be exact). It features an intriguing premise and a great story that holds your attention and makes you think.

Awake is also the first show in a long while that I have been genuinely excited to watch and keep up with. Which is why this next bit pains me to relay to you.

Nowadays TV Shows struggle to gain a foothold in the ratings.¬† As a result, shows that don’t find a following within their first couple weeks are more often than not doomed to failure. It’s all about the ratings until you hit a certain point and are considered “safe” from cancellation. If your pilot does not hold the attention span of the audience, a good chunk of them won’t even see the pilot through and may not even come back next week to give it another chance. Shows like¬†Fringe are lucky because they have a cult following and are strongly supported by Fox (surprisingly enough) but shows like Awake unfortunately are doomed to failure by the masses.

It’s a shame really. I almost feel like blaming myself, because I can never catch the show when it’s airing, and for some reason DVR’ing a TV show does not factor into the ratings system. As much as I love TV, watching shows at a certain point is constricting, and is slowly being replaced by things like DVR and Netflix. But that’s a topic for another matter.

Shame on me. I am promoting this show when it’s already too late to save it. NBC is looking increasingly like they are not going to renew the show, because it’s ratings keep dropping and hit a pretty big low. Even with my optimism about the potential of the show and how great it is, I’m trying not to get my hopes up. But we will know for sure if Awake is cancelled or renewed by Monday if it shows up/doesn’t show up on NBC’s fall schedule. Even though the ratings for NBC are continually dropping, it doesn’t look likely that Awake will get a second season or any sort of closure (if it gets cancelled, the Season 1 finale will be the best thing we get, depending if the writers knew they would/would not get a second season).

One dream is real and the other is fake. But which one is it? (Photo Credit: Screenrant)

Enough of the numbers talk, for it is both boring and depressing. Instead, let me tell you why this show is awesome and deserves your attention. The basic premise of the show is that Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) was involved in a car crash that forced his mind to develop two separate realities. These realities are similar to one another but yet share key differences, two of them being the most important: in one reality, his wife is killed in the car crash and his son survives, and in the other, his son lives and his wife dies in the crash. Other differences come about as the show unravels itself, which I will delve into later. This premise is great because it is both intriguing and exciting, and the show constantly keeps the audience guessing. Which reality is real? And which is his subconscious fooling him?

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“Twelve Monkeys” Still Holds Up 17 Years Later

“Twelve Monkeys” movie poster. The movie was released in 1995, starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt and was directed by Terry Gilliam.

I recently watched 12 Monkeys again and I figured I would feature it in my first real post.

I watched this movie many years ago, but had mostly forgotten what it was about, only really being able to remember Brad Pitt’s great performance in it. I will try to be light on spoilers, and not outwardly say what happened throughout the movie, but rather only hint at what happens in a vague way.

The basic plot line of the movie is this: A con man, played by Bruce Willis, volunteers to go back into the past to save the disastrous state of the present world in the year 2035. This does not turn out as well as planned, due to certain reasons explained in the movie, which only lightly touches on what happened: a virus was unleashed onto the world that devastated most of the population, much like the black plague, and humanity is thinned down and still recovering in the present day, being forced to hide underground to maintain their small numbers and try to figure out how to make a cure for the virus.

We are not shown much of the future world. The beginning opens with some shots of the outside world, which appears to be post apocalyptic: cars are littered on the streets, buildings are tattered, the streets are empty and wild animals like bears openly walk through cities. Much of this future setting takes place in the prison James Cole (Bruce Willis) is kept in, with scientists and inmates giving us the back story of the film as it goes on. As a result, I found myself quite confused (even by reading a plot synopsis prior to watching the film, even if it was pretty vague) at first while watching the movie.

A gorgeous view of the empty surface of the world in 2035, infected by a virus.

As a result, the movie is slow to start, but starts to pick up by the 50 minute mark when the plot is set into motion by tying together characters and plot threads. But when it gets going it certainly grabs your attention. As the layers of the plot unfold the movie makes more sense, and you start to care more about the characters and better understand their motivations. This is definitely one of those films that makes more sense once the credits roll, when you can reflect on what has happened and appreciate it more (I assume even more upon repeat viewings). The ending is pretty easy to see coming, as it is foreshadowed throughout the entire movie, but that doesn’t take away from its impact. This is not a movie about twist endings and shocking moments; the plot is put on a slow burner and the movie makes you care about its characters and revels in its storytelling glory as the movie progresses. This is not an action movie, although there are various action scenes in it, rather serving as a thinking man’s movie, and therefore won’t be to everyone’s taste.

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New Twitter Account

Twitter: Something I used to love to hate.

I’m not one to use Twitter, but I figure it would be useful to communicate with followers and advertise my blog a bit. It seems to be pretty handy for communicating what’s going on with the blog and stuff that’s too short for a blog post.

I’ve never been a fan of it, but to be honest I have never really used it. As much as I criticize it and Facebook, I only use Facebook a lot. Nevertheless, I figured I’d give it a spin before I call it too many names behind its back. Anyway, here’s the link:

https://twitter.com/#!/scifienthusiast

Chronicsplendor @ scifienthusiast

First Post

The first post on a blog is accompanied with that awkwardness of starting out, excitement and the desire to get started and the sheer intimidation of it all.

Nothing like Calvin & Hobbes to portray the struggle of writers block so effectively.

I knew I wanted to write a blog, but until I did the exercises on the WordPress site I wasn’t sure what I should focus on. Of course, I wanted to write on a plethora of topics. But I decided to focus on just one thing that I find myself being drawn to, and am pretty passionate about. And that, of course, is Science Fiction.

Science Fiction has always excited me. The endless possibilities of the genre excite me, like space, technological accomplishments, worlds not barred by obstacles in real life and the supernatural. And through many mediums I always find myself drawn to Sci-Fi, so why not blog about it?

As I try and establish an audience, I will be focusing on TV, Movies, Books and Games for now, branching out into other mediums like Graphic Novels as I get farther into blogging. I am pretty bad at sticking with things, but I will use this blog to motivate myself to write, by sticking with something I am comfortable with and passionate about.

Thank you for reading my blog. Soon, it will be filled with posts and interesting content, but bare with me as I begin this journey. Although it may be rocky at first, it’ll stabilize soon. And I hope it excites you as much as it excites me.