Awake (TV Series 2012) Poster

(2012)

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9/10
Highlight of the year (so far)
Arn_Thor8 April 2012
This review is written after episode 6.

Awake captured my interest with a highly promising premise. Detective Michael Britten experiences two realities after a car crash, one in which his wife died in the accident and one in which his son died. Every time he goes to sleep in one reality he wakes up in the other. Queue crime mysteries, excellent dialogue in Britten's therapy sessions and endless pondering about what is real and what isn't.

From episode to episode the writers find new ways of teasing the viewers, reminding us that we are as clueless as Britten about which world is real. With every crime Britten solves, we are given new insight into the exact nature of - and relation between - his realities. I will not spoil anything here, just say that I have been grinning at the screen at the end of many an episode, applauding the show for upping the stakes. However, although the viewer is left asking some major questions, the show is not confusing. The realities are color-coded - one in orange hues and another in blue - and not at a single time was I too confused, which is impressive given the premise.

Jason Isaacs (Britten) carries the show with an impeccable performance; without it the show would have failed. Laura Allen and Dylan Minnette are convincing as the wife and son; Steve Harris and Wilmer Valderrama play Britten's partners in the different realities. The really enjoyable performances are delivered by BD Wong and Cherry Jones as Britten's therapists. It is in these scenes the show shines. The dialogue is excellent and serves as a counterweight to the (only somewhat) more traditional crime and family story lines.

The show is refreshing in its originality, the story lines and most of the dialogue is, as far as I can tell, excellent craftsmanship, and great acting brings every episode home. In fact, the show has thus far shone brighter with every episode. I have long awaited a show like this, and it is by far the most interesting _new_ TV-series this year.
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10/10
I'm craving for more!
Watchakaboom17 February 2012
First of all, I'm happy to see Jason Isaacs in this new TV drama. Though I've seen him in many successful movies like The Patriot, Black Hawk Down, Peter Pan, and the Harry Potter series, I didn't know how versatile an actor he is until I saw the pilot episode of Awake. He deserves the role.

For Kyle Killen, I hope he continues to write better material for Awake because it has so much potential. Awake made me feel like I was watching The Twilight Zone and Inception all packed in one story. I can't wait to see what's going to happen next.

To all the members of Awake production, thank you and keep it up!
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10/10
Awake Pilot = Magnificent!
jusup19 February 2012
This is my first review, did not consider reviewing any shows since almost everyone disagrees, but let's agree to disagree :)

My eyes were glued to the screen while i was watching the pilot and every single second of it, i did love.

Why? Because it's something new and believe me i have watched too many TV shows to be easily impressed by a new one, since its almost always the same "stuff" BUT..

Awake - did it, it impressed me. I'm highly grateful to those producers that gave this show it's awesomeness...

I see that many people do like this show and rated 10, in my opinion: that's exactly what this show deserves!

So if you are searching for a TV show where there is drama, mysteriousness, crime, awesomeness and at last but not the vary least NEW? This is a show you've got to see, don't take my word for it and see for your self ;)

Best regards Jusup
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10/10
Imaginative TV
Mbtm20076 March 2012
This was one of the quickest and most engrossing hours of TV I have viewed in awhile. Jason Isaacs, B.D. Wong, and Cherry Jones are amazing in this series. It is just a tad strange not to hear Mr. Isaac's natural English accent, but I can adjust as I did for Hugh Laurie as House. I am worried that this show might not find an audience and it will end up with the same fate as many other brilliant, intelligent series - canceled with hardly a chance. The juxtaposition between the two worlds in which the character finds himself is clearly written and intriguing. Which reality is the correct one for Britten? It is hard to decide but makes for good storytelling.
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9/10
I really hope this show is picked up!
getupday2 March 2012
I must say, the premise is admittedly frustrating: A man in a terrible car crash with his wife and son finds that each time he goes to sleep, he wakes up with a completely different reality. In one, his wife survived the crash, while his son died and in the other, his son survived, but his wife did not. Though neither outcome seems dreamlike. He lives and works in each, accepting both as absolute fact. Add to this already complex premise his duties as police detective having to solve not one, but two crimes per episode and...whew...I'm exhausted. But also, highly entertained and captivated! Jason Issacs, who plays the lead in this dual reality is superb, as always and surrounded by an exceptional supporting cast. I hope NBC renews this show, I have a feeling it will be must see television.
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9/10
Brilliant!
larry-anspach8 March 2012
Ahhhhh...I finally found an oasis in the middle of mediocre television! The premise behind this series is novel and provocative. After surviving a tragic car accident involving both his wife and his son, a detective finds himself living in alternating, parallel existences with two distinct (and contradictory) realities. I had to resist the temptation to think up different ways he could "validate" one reality versus the other...but then realized that you could distort either or both enough to make the storyline plausible. Using two different psychiatrists in the framework that debate the existence of the other is brilliant. The intersection of these two realities (where it appears the events in one reality are "co-incidentally" related to the events in another, in some enigmatic way, adds to the mystery. This show is an intriguing mind-bender that I suspect will become quite addictive!
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Have Been Waiting for This One
Finally we get to see the long awaited pilot of Awake. I loved Jason Isaacs in "The State Within" so I was looking forward to this show. As the tortured main character, Detective Michael Britten, Isaacs is up to the task to show the pain and joy that he experience when going between both worlds, one where his wife survived a crash and his son died and the other where the son survived and his wife died. I enjoyed the back and forth between the two therapists in both worlds, each seemingly trying to convince him that their world was the real one, and the way the criminal cases he investigated unfolded. I'm looking very forward to more of this show!
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9/10
One of the best shows for 2012, so far.
DarkVulcan2928 March 2012
Detective Michael Britten(Jason Issacs) while out with his wife and son, is involved in a car accident. But then things take a turn for the confusing, because he starts enduing two parallel worlds, one where is wife(Laura Allen) lived and there coping with the loss of there son. And the other is his son(Dylan Minnette) lived, and is a widower, trying to be a good father. Britten tries to keep his sanity in both worlds, And his Therapists from both worlds (Cherry Jones and BD Wong) try to convince him that both worlds are a dream, but the question IS IT?

A well made series, it is very clever in it's writing. I hope the writing will keep more interesting, and not give anything too quickly. Jason Issacs is really good here, has a struggling man trying to keep himself sane, you really get drawn in with his character. And everybody else in supporting roles is good too. I hope this show will go on for a while.
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10/10
Pilot Shows Promising Premise
jorge_december16 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Having watched the Pilot episode of the long-awaited show "Awake" I've got to admit that I felt surprised and proud of waiting patiently for this series to come.

Jason Isaacs stars in this melancholic show as Detective Michael Britten, a man who suffers a car crash with his wife and son. Soon, every time that he wakes up, either his wife or son appear, with the other having died in the previous accident. As Britten attempts to make progress in his own life, he realizes that having both of them in his dreams are better than having only one left in his life. At the same time, Britten tries to solve crimes as he starts finding connections between them and therefore possible clues.

The show has powerful family values, as well as the theme of faith. Jason Isaacs never lets go as the desperate father and husband who tries to deal with his dreams with the help of two psychiatrists, each one in one of his realities.

I have high hopes that this show has the will and power to go on, but most of it depends on the viewers. Let's hope they channel into this show every week and attempt to reflect on such a complex but original plot.
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7/10
Sleeper Hit
James Clarke3 March 2012
Awake is the story of Michael Britten, a police detective who is in a terrible car crash which has claimed at least one of his family. The premise of the show is that Michael does not know which one, his wife or his son, died in the crash. His mind has split into two realities, one in which his wife survived, and other in which his son did.

The pilot episode was very well made and engrossing. The two realities make for tricky and complicated television viewing: each has different police cases. and different character dynamics for Michael to navigate. There also seem to be links between the two worlds, as if Michael's mind is using one world to solve the problems of the other, but which is real and which the illusion is not known. I really enjoyed the different twists and turns, especially in the psychiatry scenes where Michael discusses his dilemma with two different psychiatrists, each with similar yet opposed theories about each other.

The show has an excellent cast. Jason Isaacs (probably best known to American audiences as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series) is brilliant as the tortured lead. Laura Allen (The 4400) is likewise very sympathetic as his wife. Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show) gets a chance to flex his dramatic muscles as Michael's partner in one world, while Steve Harris (The Practice) is a very different partner in the other. Lastly, Cherry Jones and BD Wong both excel as Michael's dueling psychiatrists.

One thing the show needs is an injection of a bit of action, or something to lighten the tragedy a bit. Dealing as it does with loss and grief and fractured psyches, it's a bit heavy, and will need something to keep an audience entertained along with the intrigue. It also has the unfortunate problem of hanging its hat on something extremely unlikely: that a cop who has admitted to no longer having a grip on reality would be allowed to keep doing his job. (This problem, however, hasn't stopped House from having a successful run, so...)

Overall I thought Awake was well-made and well-acted, with a strong story and very interesting twist that made it even more enjoyable. It's a welcome addition to my list of shows to watch. Rating: 3.5/5 Recommendation: Watch it!
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8/10
No dreams or no reality?
MrAlfa22 February 2012
Only wakefulness and sleep. No dream. Or perhaps no reality? And who decides what is reality? An exciting new TV series, which began with an outstanding pilot. Crime, drama, mystery... wisely mixed ingredients that promise a splendid series. It will be hard to wait each week to see the sequel. And even more until mid-March, now. Unfortunately, as with many TV series with complicated plots, there is the risk of a sudden interruption. Let's hope not because it seems very promising. Amusing character played by B. D. Wong, as the counterpart played by Cherry Jones. Probably, "marble face" of Steve Harris fits for this part, or at least it seems appropriate to me. So far, however, only a good introduction: let's hope for a worthy continuation!
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8/10
it's gone.... :(
mywildimagination25 May 2012
Well there goes another great, interesting, watchable, well acted, well written, thought provoking show.

That was one of my weekly highlights on TV and now it has gone after only one season.

I really can't understand what the bean counters are thinking when they pull every good piece of TV in favor of so much rubbish.

Please all you brainless vampire loving kids, reality TV addicted house wives and sports addicted red necks please let Darwin prevail and remove yourselves from the gene pool.

I never thought the film Idiocracy would end up turning into a documentary in my lifetime.

The only thing now even slightly taxing my brain cells now is Touch but I'm expecting that to be canceled any time.
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10/10
Looking Forward to More!
Dax Carlisle29 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This definitely has promise. It's hard to tell from just one episode, despite how some of the other reviews are already judging the series, before it's begun. In fact, of late I prefer to start watching a series after several episodes are aired and watch them back to back on Hulu, Netflix, etc. You get a much better idea of the story-line and continuity watching that way, but there were two new shows, "Touch" and "Awake", that I wanted to see from the beginning ...both of which have my interest.

One reviewer says there are only three possibilities: 1) One of the realities is false. 2) Both are false as he lies in a hospital bed. 3) 'Purgatory' (sorry couldn't resist).

Actually the three possibilities are: 1) One of the realities is false 2) Both realities are false (though not likely, I'll explain) 3) Both realities are REAL

Cherry Jones' psychologist character gives us a convincing argument that possibility #2 couldn't be correct. She runs off a copy of the Constitution and has Michael Britten's character read a section of a random page. Unless he's memorized the entire Constitution, it seems unlikely he would be able to do this, if that reality was false.

I kept waiting for the scene where our detective tells the psychologist in the "other" reality about this, but that never happens. Also, couldn't the detective have BD Wong's character duplicate this same experiment in the other reality? That doesn't happen either, which seems like the most logical approach.

But story-wise, it would be WAY too early to do that. Would it show too early in fact that BOTH realities exist? I think this is more likely, as many other clues in the episode, dealing with the two cases the detective is working on, one in each reality, seem to point towards both being real - just alternate realities.

This is going to be fun! And please folks, try to have fun. Who cares if similar stories have been done before, as other reviewers point out. Nothing is new under the sun. But that was then and this is NOW ...with new characters, locations, crew, directing, production, not to mention very good actors ....so sit back, make some popcorn, and have Fun! ;o)
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9/10
Another great TV show that didn't get a chance
bilbo-382 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
My wife and I recently found this TV series on Netflix. We were completely caught up in the story and had to restrain ourselves from watching the entire season all at once.

It's definitely a must see for anyone liking shows that have a plot for your brain to puzzle on. It didn't rely on, in fact it didn't really use at all any special effect or big time action scenes.

I felt Jason Isaacs portrayed the character Michael Britton perfectly. Wilmer Valderrama and Steve Harris also played their characters very well and in a believable manner. In fact I think all the cast was great in the portrayal of their characters.

A thumbs down to NBC for not being able to get this show the audience and ratings it deserved. A thumbs up to Netflix for making it available for me to watch.

++++++++++++++++++spoiler below+++++++++++++++++++++++ The last episode is only a cliff-hangar for the next expected season, so unfortunately nothing is completely resolved. A new twist is added just so your brain can spin some more.
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10/10
Awake...Apparently NOT in the Programming Dept.
flyingtree-184-59823015 December 2013
This was a fantastic show. The premise should be rated a TEN in the difficulty area were TV script writing judged like Diving or Gymnastics. When they say a show "makes you think" this is the type of show they mean. Would be writers wonder "How could I keep these two scripts moving ahead in parallel week after week without stepping all over one another." Imagine how a TEAM of writers must struggle to coordinate with each other and nobody writes TV scripts alone in a garret like a lonely novelist in the 1800's. Read a good explication of all the shots and sound tracks needed to make a simple walk along conversation between two characters work fluidly without either the conversational thread getting lost or the viewer getting sea sick from all the viewpoints. Then consider this. This main character goes into his job and his house and everything about it must fit into a time line where EVERYTHING might be different, from the pictures on his desk to the dishes in the kitchen. Yet this show does all that while working well as a procedural crime detection show. He must solve murders in an environment where half the time the victim isn't dead.

Maybe it's not that tricky why the decision makers say "How about a bunch of zombies running around eating people?" Makes my decision easy. Turn it off.
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10/10
What's wrong with TV viewers?
ecarl6530 September 2013
I would say the regular season is an 8 or 9. But the last 2-3 episodes were just expertly done, had the finish and acting and twists more like a top notch movie than a TV series. The only thing that's awful about this show is that it only lasted a season. I get SO tired of the formulaic tripe on TV and film. Unfortunately I'm left to lament the lack of imagination from most TV viewers, which is the only explanation I can think of for this show being canceled. Such an incredible waste.

This is one show with great acting in multiple roles, not just the lead. The two psychiatrists in particular are excellent. I imagine some people thought the lead actor was a little to stolid but I think it was acted perfectly. He really became the character. Plus given the nature of his "issue" that really was the most fitting way to approach the problem.
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10/10
Awake
Elsa Alves10 July 2013
I am amazed by this series. Probably one of the best that I had ever seen.

Amazed by Jason Isaacs' performance. I must admit that I didn't recognized him from his previous works (knew all the other, though), but I became a fan.

Each episode is very good surprise. Got me confused, just as I expect from this category. It is easy to question where everything goes. Also loved the way the two realities are distinguished by that simple touch of color.

I would like to thank all the crew for every single hour spent following the leads. Loved the closure.

Great script, great actors!!!
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3/10
Could have been great and original
watchville10 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Man, this started out as a great and original concept with a twist that could have been sustained with any effort from the writing staff. Instead it turned into a rehash of Dark Half, Secret Window and dozens of other Sci-fi movies and TV shows. They wrapped this up like a cheap copy of Dallas.

In the first few shows the concept was incredible and original. There were just enough hints bleeding over from one world to the other to make it exciting trying to solve the crimes. Then the stupid subplot, we have seen a million times; dirty cops, crooked partners, conspiracies, and dozens of other clichés popped up like a B movie marathon. The show went straight to the bottom in the blink of an eye.

When the stupid plot reveal finally came it was so anti climatic it was unreal. The last 30 minutes were just those please get it over moments that remind you of the dentist office.

Do yourself a favor. Watch the first two or three episodes, then just delete it. Use your imagination for the things that could have been.

On a brighter note, the cast was for the most part excellent. The whole Britton family was cast perfect, the two partners were great and most of the peripheral players were well cast too. The Captain and the evil Sargent were weak. Other than that, great casting and bad writing sum it up.
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4/10
Snoozefest.
sagei22 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Aims at mind-bending but only manages mind-numbing. Common failing with shows like this.

Two realities. Two lame cases. Two therapists. One wife. One son.

Which is real ? Who is alive ? Who is dead ?

Who cares ?

And for how long ?

Outcomes are limited.

1) One of the realities is false.

2) Both are false as he lies in a hospital bed.

3) 'Purgatory' (sorry couldn't resist).

Either way, how many episodes of weak cop/family drama can you stomach while they artificially delay the big 'reveal'. The wife, son and partners are all pedestrian. Same old conflicts and issues.

Case Histories wasn't too long ago so even isaacs as brooding/mopey detective isn't new.

Battle of the therapists was interesting, just not enough.

There simply isn't a series in this story.

Wish them well.

Thank you.

Cancelled.
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6/10
Interesting and has potential but some bad casting
Gin-ster18 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have only seen two episodes, and find that the series has potential - it has a hint of (SPOILER ALERT) science fiction at the end of episode 2 when one of the psychologists confers with someone in a secretive way that hints at some experiment being performed on the protagonist. This thread of the possibility of a reason for the dual realities makes it more interesting than it would be if it were a simple matter of a guy losing his mind due to an unbearable tragedy. However, in an apparent concession that there needs to be a "babe" to keep public interest, the protagonist is married to someone who could be his daughter, and who shows all the emotion of someone who lost a tennis ball, instead of a son. So the scenes with them are jarring and unconvincing - I'm not asking that the wife be the same age - that would no doubt violate every rule in Hollywood - but say, within a few years instead of 20 might've helped, and also, it would've helped if she'd had something to bring to the table besides blonde cuteness. Fortunately not all scenes involve the husband and wife together so the rest is sufficient to maintain interest.
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7/10
Should You Watch Awake Explained ( no spoilers)
Stootz9729 August 2014
First review ever on here because of this show. It was a great show, left viewers on a cliff hanger every episode. i couldn't stop watching it. The only reason I started it was because of the reviews stating it had solid ending even though it was canceled. I am writing for the first time on here to tell you it does not. This show was left for a plot in hopes of being picked up again. The director/writer of the series says they intentionally left it open-ended for the viewers to decide but that is nothing but a ploy for another broadcast agency to pick it up. Those types of finales never work. Look at the Soprano's....everyone knows better after that. The possibility for a great ending was there but it never happened. I've read all of the crazy possible "meanings" of the finale but I do not buy it. Awesome TV show but due to the ending I have to tell potential viewers don't waste your time. The finale will make you think about what you could of done with your time while watching it.
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10/10
Great Writers, Great Actors, Great Storyline, Great & Clever Idea!
oldahus19 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The premise of the story is very clever. Gosh, I wish I had thought of it myself. As the events unfold, they stay true to the concepts of dreams as most people experience them. The talent of the writers is exceptional. The dialogue flows so naturally, you don't feel like you're watching a television show, but just eavesdropping on a person's life. It doesn't seem rushed, and the hook lines (before commercials) are not too forced on the viewer. The actors are very convincing.

I didn't know Jason Isaacs before this, but I will be looking for him from now on. The character who plays his son is also extremely talented.

At the end of each episode, it ends abruptly. I noticed that. The way a real dream ends abruptly when you wake up. That is a subtlety that I wonder if even the director noticed he created that effect.

I'm eager to get the series DVDs at the end of the season. I think the network should advertise this show more. It's better than most of the other shows (including all channels) in this year's line up.
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6/10
I enjoyed watching it but
billking66662 March 2012
As one reviewer correctly pointed out, the outcomes of this show are limited. The one thing I really didn't like, was that one reality had an impact on the alternate reality. This would mean that both realities are dreams and he is in a coma. Either that or the show becomes a supernatural drama. I prefer a supernatural show to reveal itself as such at the start, such as Superman, Buffy or Heroes. It seems the stage has been set to have the alternate realities co-exist and affect each other, using our protagonist as the go-between. There are several mysteries and loose ends at the end of this first show, so I will give it the benefit of the doubt and hope the writers have the means to avoid the coma or the supernatural.
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10/10
Superb in every way !
Alex Vojacek10 April 2012
I will not explain to you the premise of the series because, well, you can read IMDb for that. Now, it's pretty obvious that you could start this series with this premise in a lot of different ways and, well, when it started I wasn't so sure it would actually work.

Well, I can safely say that after watching episode 6, this series turn from great to a masterpiece.

Which reality is real? well, if you see this series from the start you will say, none! The series is handled with such a skill that you doubt of absolutely everything on screen, also, the series handles the topic of reality vs dream so well that you will start doubting of your own reality.

The series excels in the script department, the dialogs with the corresponding psychologist from each "reality" are top notch, I must admit my expectations were all meet and surpassed.

Even incredible series like lost and fringe started slow and somewhat had to stretch their legs to a whole season to be good. This one has done it on the six episode, truly a mark on it's own.

Believe me when I say this, if you love sci-fi drama well done, alternate realities and a nice script instead of action, PLEASE go see this series you won't regret it.

10 out of 10.
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8/10
Series review: Cop procedural with a mystery twist
Alex Landry5 May 2015
The series is a regular cop procedural with the twist. After a brutal car accident Micheal Britten's world is split in two with every day being spent with a different loved one being either his son or his wife. This sense of duality also extends to his police partner and his psychiatrist who are different is both realities.

While the mystery itself is great the structure of most episodes is where this show suffers. Since this is still a procedural most episodes go like this: Two police cases get opened and solved, Sub-plot with either or both his son and wife, Regular visits to either or both his psychiatrist to determine mental state with case and overall mystery of the show.

That is a lot to cover in 40 minutes. So the whodunnit of the cases is either easy or simply unimportant while the overall mystery is a constant but never the focus until later in the season.

It's a good thing the writing and acting is always on point. Everybody brings it even down to the guest actors every week for the cases. It also looks great with L.A looking good and a nice choice of color palettes with both realities having a distinct color (yellow and blue) making it easy to discern which is which.

The episodes that stray away from it's usual structure are the strongest while also showing how well they managed to balance their multiple realities, characters and plot progression in those regular episodes. I will not go into the ending as i feel this show is worth watching. I will say that it is open-ended but satisfying at the same time.

So if you like procedurals like CSI and law & order or mystery shows like Lost know that this is a marriage between the two. Which also means you're only gonna get half of both genres in most episodes.

This has been a green review
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