So last night I'm watching this new show called AWAKE, which had an awesomely amazing premise, and I was super excited about it. There will be no spoilers here since I only watched the first few minutes. Any guesses as to why I stopped watching? (hint: refer to post title, please :P)
You guessed it! I couldn't connect with the main character. Let me tell you why:
From the commercials leading up to the air of the pilot, I had a few preconceived notions as to how the show's premise would be delivered, the plot being that after a car accident, a man has lost a member of his family, and his brain has made up a realistic dreamworld in which his other family member (wife or son?) is still alive. But he has no idea which reality is REAL. Sounds compelling, non?
Well, silly me, I THOUGHT that the story in the pilot would unfold in a linear manner, that we the viewer would be with the main character as he discovers that he doesn't know which reality is real, whether it's his wife or his son that's dead. Instead, we see the car accident, his son's funeral with his wife, and when he wakes up the next morning, the wife is gone, yet the son is still alive. And the main character HAS NO REACTION TO THIS CRAZINESS! We are to believe he's been through this before, that he's been living with it since the accident. Wah-WAH.
Now, I understand that this is the pilot episode and that they probably wanted to get right to the action, but I think the writers missed out on a lot of character development and intimacy by not showing the actual moment the mc realizes what's going on. That he's living two lives, but only one of them is real (Although I swear to God if the guy wakes up from a coma at the end of the series and discovers his wife and kid are BOTH alive, I'll scream!).
We weren't allowed a chance to grieve with the main character, or to see how he reacts to such a frustrating situation, we're just thrust into this dual-reality, with two therapists (both of whom assure the mc that he's awake in their sessions, of course) and two partners at work.
And then it turns into a police procedural with a slight twist.
But that "slight twist" wasn't enough to compel me to keep watching, not on its own merit. Now, if I'd sympathized more with the mc, been in his shoes when he was devastated, shocked, feeling any kind of emotion other that the numbness of grief, I probably would have kept watching even though cop shows aren't my cuppa.
What do you all think? Did anyone else watch? Can you think of a better way to introduce the premise rather than the straight up "telling" the show used?
“All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” ~George Orwell
I'm a YA writer who delves into urban fantasy, paranormal and romance, and who loves reading good books almost as much as writing them.
When not writing—or working—I enjoy daydreaming, drinking tea, and walking in cemeteries. I used to spend the rest of my time checking my inbox for manuscript requests, but am now proudly represented by Rosemary Stimola, of Stimola Literary Studio.