Third-episode verdict: Falling Water (US: USA)

The BarrometerA Barrometer rating of 3

In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, USA

The problem with Falling Water, USA’s new sci-fi thriller about three people who find they’re sharing dreams that give them insights into the real-world, is that the dreams are almost indistinguishable from reality. You might think this a good thing, as one of the better things about the otherwise soporific pilot episode was its Francis Bacon-inspired and often surreal dream sequences. And indeed some of the dreams featured in the show have been engrossing, disturbing, fascinating and mind-bending. Certainly, you’d be excused for watching Falling Water simply for the dreams.

And if Falling Water‘s principal plan is to make us doubt reality or question what is real and what is dreamt, it might be on to something. The trouble is that the show seems to want to have its cake and eat it, by making us want to doubt reality yet still arguing there is a reality – but one that’s so stupid, it might as well be a dream.

The essence of the show is a bonkers conspiracy theory involving shady international commodities dealings, 70s folk singers, a creepy child and a suicide cult that wears green trainers. It’s hard to watch all of that without thinking that unless it’s all revealed to be absolute nonsense in some Inception-like third layer of dreaming, Falling Water is YA serial TV show with a ridiculous McGuffin that will disappoint anyone who stays to the end of the season and/or series.

Which is a shame, because the show does have some great imagery, some fine performances and those dream sequences. Okay, it moves at glacial speeds and it’s only at the end of the third episode that the three dreamers (Lizzie Brocheré, David Ajala, Will Yun Lee) whose individual stories we are following come together for the first time, but it’s still fascinatingly odd, without exhibiting the worst laws of Netflix’s similar Sense8

I’m probably going to keep watching this, because of the visuals, its oddness, Ajala and Yun Lee, but it’s not a show I’d recommend starting if you’re not already watching yourself.

Barrometer rating: 3
Would it be better with a female lead? If it was a different lead to Brocheré then yes
TMINE’s prediction: Cancelled by the end of the season


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.