Anyone who thinks TV isn't trying hard enough to raise the bar this midseason should check out tonight's most distinctive shows. With the official series launch of Fox's fantastical Touch (9/8c) and another fascinating episode of NBC's mystifying Awake (10/9c), I imagine some will maintain that they may be trying a little too hard.
It's probably fair to wonder if Fox is touched in the head for going forward with a show as out-there as Touch. This hasn't been an easy time for truly offbeat shows to gain traction, as risk-takers including Smash, The River and Awake have struggled in the ratings, with critics eager to point out their obvious flaws while often undervaluing the ambition it took to put ...
When a new show comes along that blows you away with its risk-taking originality, like NBC's haunting Awake (see my review of the pilot episode here), it's almost inevitable that one of the first ...
In many ways, Awake is an even riskier bet for NBC than the showtune-happy Smash. The show follows a detective whose reality has splintered following a fatal car accident: one day, he wakes up to comfort his grieving wife because their son has died; in the next, he's a widower living with his son who survived. During one of his mandated therapy sessions, he lays it out: One of these existences might not be real — but he'd rather go on living in both.
More ambitious and certainly more challenging than most network dramas, Awake is not nearly as complicated as traversing through Inception, a comparison some critics have already made. Instead, think of it as a cop drama with a twist, albeit a very ambitious twist
Awake, which premieres March 1 on NBC (10/9c), is the sort of show I would happily lose sleep over. Hauntingly, daringly original, a psychological mystery that teases the mind while tugging the heart, this brave new series is so unconventional it feels like a dream. It's the sort of bold experiment you only find on a network that has no choice but to take risks.
The show opens on a nightmare: a terrible car accident with Detective Michael Britten (Harry Potter vet Jason Isaacs) behind the wheel of the family car. In the aftermath, Michael finds himself caught between two realities: one in which his...