Ugh. I can’t, you guys.
See, I made a tactical error this week: I researched. I’d read a very positive review of this episode in advance over at TV Line, and it got my hopes up, and… Look, the episode was fine. Really, it was. In fact, it was pretty good. Quality-wise, this show’s got strong writers and actors, all of whom are doing a bang-up job of selling a cool, hooky premise.
Despite all that, I’m just not feeling it.
It’s not you, Awake, it’s me. You’re a perfectly decent show. I know your ratings have been shaky, but I really, truly hope you find an audience, because you’re much better than much of the stuff on network television these days. But right now, I’ve got the attention span of a hummingbird after a dangerous nectar binge, and vast stretches of this episode -- in which Rex gets kidnapped by an escaped convict in the Green reality and Britten has to cross over to the Red reality to find the key to saving his life -- bored the ever-loving snot out of me. Call it a character flaw on my part, but during that long (looooooooong) sequence where Hannah gives a heartfelt speech about Rex at the Metro Youth Center, I realized Awake and I are not a good match at this point in my life.
Here’s something I genuinely dug about this episode: The key villain turns out to be Britten’s former partner, who is played by William Russ, whom most people probably know best as the nice dad from Boy Meets World. To me, though, Russ will always, first and foremost, be Evan Freed, Sonny Crockett’s tragic, scary, chaotic, awesome mess of a former partner on the classic first-season Miami Vice episode “Evan.” On the strength of that single (amazing) guest appearance almost thirty years ago, Russ has earned a lifetime supply of bonhomie from me.
And with that, I’m going to kick back for the rest of the afternoon and watch some Miami Vice for renewal of purpose. I figure I’ll start with “Evan.” I highly recommend others follow suit.