• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 1, 2012
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Feb 28, 2012
    100
    Awake grabs you, unnerves you, breaks your heart and even makes you work a little.
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Feb 28, 2012
    91
    Yup, the story can be downbeat, the pace at times languid. But this is a show with a brain and a heart.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Feb 29, 2012
    90
    Notwithstanding a certain stylistic chilliness and my sense of it having been pitched on the back of "Inception," it promised to be one of the year's best and most interesting new series. Having seen four episodes now, I'd say the promise has been largely kept.
  4. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Mar 1, 2012
    88
    After watching four episodes, I can say that Awake has an addictive quality to it.
  5. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Feb 29, 2012
    88
    Well acted and smartly written, Awake works as an intellectual puzzler, emotional family drama and case-of-the-week procedural.
  6. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Feb 29, 2012
    83
    If Killen and Gordon don't exactly maintain the quality of the pilot each week - subsequent episodes don't look as rich nor pack as big an emotional whallop - they come close enough, particularly in dealing with Britten's work and family lives.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Feb 24, 2012
    83
    Creator Kyle Killen has set up a provocative, appealing puzzler, full of knottiness for the intellect and emotion for the heart. [2 Mar 2012, p.70]
  8. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Apr 2, 2012
    80
    Awake may be hard to categorize, but it's worth our attention.
  9. 80
    The cop stuff feels like it could be happening in any other NBC cop show; I kept expecting Prime Suspect's Maria Bello to show up in that cute hat. But given the originality on display, and the venue, those are minor complaints.
  10. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Mar 1, 2012
    80
    Awake manages something impressive: it focuses unflinchingly on the subject of loss, yet manages to be not a downer or painful to watch, but moving, absorbing and even hopeful.
  11. Reviewed by: Lesley Smith
    Mar 1, 2012
    80
    Amid this seeming disorder, Jason Isaacs breathes a wry life into Britten, as a man who slowly feels himself accessing levels of consciousness and perception he never imagined, even as his psychiatrists label them "illness" and his work partners question their relevance.
  12. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Mar 1, 2012
    80
    While the premise sounds confusing, and sometimes is when it comes to the details of the dueling crimes-of-the-week, the producers and writers do a good job of keeping the worlds distinct and vivid, including some neat visual flourishes and subtle color coding.
  13. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Feb 29, 2012
    80
    The hero of Awake has a psychiatric problem; there are no aliens or ghosts to explain away the more improbable turns, and this adventure is far more compelling.
  14. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 29, 2012
    80
    If people stay with it, what they'll find are exceptional performances, some truly fine writing and a premise, by virtue of being complicated, that could unspool some really interesting plotlines.
  15. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Feb 29, 2012
    80
    I'd be happy enough with this cast and this concept to simply wander along for a bit, ignoring the trail of bread crumbs and focusing on the lengths one man might go to hold onto those he loves.
  16. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Feb 24, 2012
    80
    It is exploring new turf in terms of a relationship drama with a bold narrative premise, and vaguely spiritual aspirations.
  17. Reviewed by: Chris Heller
    Mar 1, 2012
    75
    The pilot's strength was neither accidental nor fleeting: Each subsequent episode has evocative moments that flirt with that early greatness, even if they're not as riveting.
  18. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 28, 2012
    75
    It packs some punch, though. And Isaacs certainly doesn't sleepwalker through a decidedly distinctive role.
  19. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Feb 28, 2012
    75
    A tricky show with serious potential. [5 Mar 2012, p.45]
  20. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Mar 1, 2012
    70
    On Awake, the concept is all. Consequently, it takes a little explaining.
  21. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Feb 29, 2012
    70
    The good news is that the unusually ambitious Awake succeeds at several of the things it's attempting, and star Jason Isaacs grounds the drama with a charismatic yet subtle performance.
  22. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Feb 29, 2012
    70
    Generally they do their best to walk a fine line, attempting to execute the show in as uncomplicated a way as possible so less devoted viewers keep watching while rewarding obsessive fans with small steps forward in the exploration of Britten's condition.
  23. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Feb 24, 2012
    70
    An elaborate mystery is always compelling, and here, episode after episode, we search for clues, for some sign that will let us distinguish between reality and imagination.
  24. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Mar 1, 2012
    63
    It's mentally exhausting, at least in tonight's opener, to figure out exactly what the heck is going on here, and in which reality we're placed at any given moment.
  25. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Feb 29, 2012
    63
    No one wants to return to the color-by-numbers plotting of Diagnosis: Murder, but there is such a thing as demanding too much effort from an audience without sufficient reward. Glum, grim and increasingly confused, Awake qualifies.
  26. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Mar 1, 2012
    58
    NBC's newest drama Awake adds a drop of fantasy to its crime procedural formula and then practically buries it in musings about the mysteries of the subconscious.
  27. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Feb 29, 2012
    50
    As lovingly written and organized as it is, the viewer must divide his or her time picking up on different scenarios and moods, caught between rather ho-hum murder cases and this other, more beguiling attempt to craft a show that is about the nature of loss and grief.
  28. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Feb 27, 2012
    50
    What sounds like a daring concept is quickly undercut by attempts to wrap the show in a police-procedural format.
  29. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Feb 29, 2012
    40
    Viewers who don't regularly contemplate alternative-reality issues probably should tape the show as well as watch it, because the non-expert may have to watch it twice just to figure out what's going on, or even to understand what parts we don't understand.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 33
  3. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Mar 1, 2012
    10
    Seriously good performance from Jason Isaacs makes this an exceptional drama, beautifully shot and edited and with an exciting centralSeriously good performance from Jason Isaacs makes this an exceptional drama, beautifully shot and edited and with an exciting central premise. Even the procedural aspect seems relevant in this setting, well done NBC! Full Review »
  2. Mar 1, 2012
    10
    I loved this show. I like the uncertainty of not knowing what is or is not real. It could be everything is real or nothing is real. It hasI loved this show. I like the uncertainty of not knowing what is or is not real. It could be everything is real or nothing is real. It has definitely intrigued me enough that I want to see plenty more. Full Review »
  3. May 12, 2012
    10
    One of the best shoes I've ever seen on tv. I can't believe it was cancelled. Maybe someday someone with more courage will pick it back up.One of the best shoes I've ever seen on tv. I can't believe it was cancelled. Maybe someday someone with more courage will pick it back up. Awake will be missed Full Review »