Show Discussion: Awake

By | June 26, 2019


Better late than never, today I’ve re-subbed to Netflix after a few months of there not seeming much point because I was at work all the time.

Anyway I’m hoping to watch this at the weekend – you may well have watched this and have an opinion on it already. Six contestants try and count as much money (in quarters) as they can in twenty-four hours. Why not just fall asleep? Because the person who counts the least is immediately eliminated. Also the person who was the least accurate. The others play games of skill in a tired state, eliminating themselves through either being the worst or bailing out and taking a small prize until one person remains who must gamble on how accurate he thinks he was in a bid to win the entire million.

Let us know what you thought in the comments.

8 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Awake

  1. Little Timmy

    Reposting from the older thread:

    It’s like someone drew Shattered, Minute to Win It, Poker Face and Power of 10 out of the Format Tombola but kinda sorta forgot about the first one after a few minutes.

    Physical Poker Face has a lot more potential than Quiz Poker Face in so much as the competitors have a lot more info to go on, but sadly no improvement on the 10 second countdown mechanic, which I remember we brought up on Twitter only a few weeks ago (as being not much more than a test of who can hit the buzzer on 9.999s).

    The Power of 10 bit was genuinely quite gripping, but it does lead me to wonder why you wouldn’t just painstakingly try to accumulate the second-fewest number of coins at the start, minimising your margin of error and simultaneously reducing your mental workload in the run-up to the show proper. It obviously explains why they BOAWJed the smallest total at the start of the show, but that doesn’t really shut that particular loophole.

    I thought for sure they’d play for the jackpot with the try-not-to-fall-asleep-with-the-lights-off challenge.

    1. Jon

      I really like this show, the format is well thought out, the games are good and the buyout is much better than poker face version for me (defo suits physical more than quiz).

      The extra science info adds a nice touch and the talking heads during the challenges work.

      The lighting is a bit one note, they like blue!
      It could have looked much better, Reckon the lighting guy switches it on and left.

      It’s a bit slow at the start, but after EP 1 this feels ok.

      It seems to have gone down well on twitter.


  2. John J

    I thought it was rather boring, sadly.

    In the first episode they didn’t really explain why they were counting at the start of the show – it wasn’t brought up till much later which made it rather confusing as to why they had done it.

    The games were pretty much run of the mill – I was hoping they’d be something a bit more interesting to be honest.

    I liked the buyout and would have preferred them to focus more on that.

    The end game and the reveal of whether they would win just wasn’t exciting to watch. It didn’t help the presenter was just annoying.

    Rather forgettable for me sadly.

  3. John R

    It was weird watching an American game show without any adverts, and did I see FOTB Stuart Shawcross in the credits?!

    I wonder if the studio part was recorded as live or if they had to take breaks for setting up new games and retakes, the clock that kept popping up reminding us how long they had been awake didn’t reckon so!

    It seemed like they could have a nap during the counting anyway if they really wanted to, if I were to appear I think the adrenaline of a million quid (OK realistically $150-$200K) and the studio boost would keep me awake without too much trouble, but I suppose that is easy for me to say as a viewer

    Meanwhile in the UK it takes Dale Winton 81 hours to give away a car to someone that hated cars so at least it is an improvement on that I suppose

  4. Tom F

    An unusual one for sure.

    There are too many ingredients here. The buyout, the counting during 24 hours, the early eliminations, the “final 2” round, the gamble and the second gamble – you could remove 1 or 2 of these, and get a more streamlined, purposeful show.

    And yet… I find it does work. The buyout is fun, a nice friendly dilemma, that works out well surprisingly often. The counting highlights are kept tight. The early eliminations motivate genuine effort during the count. The last few minutes of the show are kept pacy and meaningful. The excessive prize fund helps with that. If I have one crisitism, it’s that the show doesn’t really make much of the “awake” thing.

    As for the games themselves, there were a few duds, and a lot of Quite Similar ones, but, plenty of imagination and a good sense of spectacle. Schlag minus. I don’t like the way they *always* obscure the result of the game to create tension for the buyout by cutting away. It’s not that important.

    James Davies is a great talent, and does a really good job of hyping up the Game without going over the top, and finding the excitement in the surreality.

    I watched every episode, and would watch more, but they started to blur into one. I often wandered out of the room without pausing.

    Overall then, this reminds me of so many Netflix shows: technically strong, lavish, watchable but lacking a bit in elegance.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Largely agree with all this, I thought it was competantly done and entertaining, but also the sort of thing that’d probably struggle on broadcast television by virtue of not being a must-watch. I’ll happily graze the series in due course though.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Also, if it gets a second run everyone’s just going to stand pat at 20k aren’t they? Big enough not to be eliminated, small enough you can be fairly accurate and win a mill.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I’m now four eps into this, for me it’s a solid 7, maybe an 8 if I’m in a good mood – the challenges are fun in the main, many of them Schlag worthy (I find myself wanting to have a go at many of them) and James Davis holds it together well.

          My main criticism is a but of a biggie though, the final two gambles aren’t working for me. For a point of high tension it’s not making me feel anything, really. The reveal of the initial gamble is rubbish, but you can’t have the spinny numbers because of the second stage after. In many ways the million dollar top line detracts rather, I’d be tempted to ditch it so it’s only one gamble, it’s not like 200k isn’t decent money anyway.

          I like the fact it’s not constrained by runtime and is exactly as long as it needs to be. 36 minutes is about right, and wouldn’t work on commercial TV. I still think this would struggle on network, it’s not must watch and feels like it’s been made for no particular reason, but as a gamer’s game I think it basically succeeds and I’ve been enjoying it.


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