Falling Water is, presumably, an attempt to ride the coattails of Mr. Robot on USA. While it does follow a certain amount of “reality bending” it does so in a different way from Sam Esmail’s show. “Robot” deals with mental health, such as schizophrenia and multiple personalities rather than a dream-like state of being that can be shared.
Show creators Henry Bromell and Blake Masters have taken the idea of dream sharing, which first appeared in a film via the 1984 movie Dreamscape and not Nolan’s Inception which others credited with the concept, and turned it into a group thing.
Their story deals with several unconnected people sharing segments or portions of a stranger’s dream. The concept seems to be a sort of dream pool. Somewhere that people’s minds enter that share a common space.
Once in the dream state other’s dreams can leak into someone else’s dream. It is an interesting idea and certainly makes for interesting viewing.
The sneak preview of Falling Water aired right after the Mr. Robot season finale. As pilots go it was odd, disjointed and compelling. The style of the first episode was slightly confusing and yet very interesting at the same time.
There were jarring moments that seemed to signify entering the dream state. Twice water runs uphill. Or at least it appears to. In a dream that Burton is having he and his girlfriend are standing before a window. Rain is falling but on the glass, it is running up and not down. It then changes to sliding down the glass.
Later, Will Yun Lee’s character is having a dream and he spots water flowing upward on a water fountain statue. It too changes direction shortly after. In this world the dreams are not so much shared as they are leaked.
While it is hard to keep track of what is a dream and what is reality, it appears that portions of someone else dreams can appear in another individual’s reality.
Take sees the little boy from Tess’ dream during an investigation, for example.
There are segments that have a certain “dream logic” to them. Things that can be deciphered after watching the show. Tess dreams that Boerg is driving a bus and running people down. She can feel the people bouncing under the vehicle. This can be translated to her impression that the man runs over people in real life with his forceful personality.
The premiere of Falling Water was a little hard to follow, with its fluctuating lines of reality versus the dream state. Regardless of this blurring of worlds it was a fascinating, if not slow, look at the verse.
Time was given to each protagonist. A security specialist with a girlfriend issue – Burton, an empath who can tell what people will want to be wearing – Tess, and a Special Investigations Unit detective who has a mother with either Alzheimers or dementia – Take.
In some instances these three share portions of their dreams and in another, a fourth man “intrudes” into Burton’s dream. This gentleman, played by Michale O’Keefe is doing some insider trading and the code name for it is “Topeka.”
This name appears in a multiple homicide, or suicide, that the detective discovers. In this instance it is not a dream bleeding into another but a real world connection straying into another character’s area.
Falling Water really has nothing in common with Mr. Robot apart from trying to be “outside the box” television. It is interesting and rather odd but a bit “somnambulistic” in its delivery. It may not catch on at first because of this jagged and disjointed approach to its storyline.
However for those who like the weird and wonderful this series may just be a what they have been looking for. The show airs on USA and is definitely worth a look.