Reverie was added to the NBC summer lineup and quickly gained a sci-fi following who are hoping to see the series return. With a new TV season here, viewers have questions about a possible Season 2 of Reverie and what continuing the series might mean as far as casting, plot and when the show might return.
Reverie is centered on the former hostage negotiator and behavioral expert, turned college professor, Mara Kint (Sarah Shahi). Kint is hired by Onira-Tech to rescue people who have lost their minds to the dream worlds of the company’s revolutionary virtual reality technology, Reverie.
But Kint is struggling with demons of her own too. She is yet to recover from the traumatic experience of a hostage situation that turned disastrous when her sister Jamie and her daughter (Mara’s niece) Brynn, were killed by Jamie’s mentally unstable husband Ray.
Kint blames herself for having failed to save the lives of Jamie and Brynn. She wants to use the opportunity of her work with Onira-Tech to deal with her chronic feelings of guilt. This eventually leads her to confront the demons from her own past and she has to figure out how to save herself also.
— Hidden Remote (@HiddenRemote) July 26, 2018
Reverie, the virtual reality technology developed by the tech company Onira-Tech, is implemented as a brain implant that is able to produce virtual world experiences called reveries. Reverie is able to tap into users’ memory banks and construct from their lives and experiences virtual realities that match their private idea of an ideal dream world. This allows users to become immersed in digital dream worlds of their own, and to withdraw from reality.
However, the danger of using Reverie is that some people become so deeply immersed in the imaginary world created by Reverie that they never want to come out.
The series reveals Reverie users trapped in dream worlds with idyllic landscapes which have become their prisons.
Onira-Tech hires Kint to enter the world of Reverie users’ entrapment and to persuade them to return to reality. She uses her expertise as a hostage negotiator to save people whose minds are lost in reveries and restore them back to reality.
Reverie: Audience response
Reverie is a science fiction drama series which premiered on NBC for a 10-episode first season on May 30, 2018.
The NBC series gained an enthusiastic following of sci-fi nerds. Reverie fans express their enthusiasm for the show on social media. Multiple discussion boards have also sprung up online where Reverie fans gather to share their takes on the latest episodes and discuss the series’ plot and storyline.
However, Reverie’s overall viewership level remains low. The series scored an unimpressive 62 percent rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, although the audience rating was more favorable at 78 percent.
— mindy johnson (@mindyjohnson16) September 15, 2018
According to TV Series Finale, Reverie Season 1 opened with about 2.88 million views and a rating of 0.6 in the 18-49 demo, but the rating dropped in the following weeks. The series eventually averaged 0.44 in the 18-49 demo, with about 2.1 million viewers, indicating that the series had difficulty retaining its audience.
Reverie received mixed reviews
The series’ cautionary note about technology has caused it to be compared with Netflix’s popular R-rated dystopian anthology series, Black Mirror (TV series 2011-). But some critics were unimpressed with Reverie’s take on the controversial subject of human interaction with advanced technology.
Shahi, who portrays Mara Kint, expressed her views on mankind and technology in an interview with Collider.
“As a civilization, we were built on compassion and empathy and good. When we spend the majority of our time with our heads buried in a computer or in our phones, then I feel like we aren’t exercising those things, and that’s dangerous territory to be in,” she said.
Shahi told Collider that part of what drew her to the role was her personal interest in exploring the complex ramifications of humans interacting with advanced technology. Shahi’s character Mara Kint, a college professor, also expressed concern that her students were hostages to their smartphones.
“They get the whole world in their pocket. Is that such a bad thing?” Mara’s former boss Charlie Ventana asks when Mara complains about students who have their heads permanently buried in their smartphones.
“It is if they’re not developing the most important tool of all — empathy,” Mara responds. “We learn empathy by observing, and we’ve stopped doing that.”
IndieWire described Reverie as creative and intriguing and compared it favorably with the British series Black Mirror. Others have compared Reverie with The Matrix (1999) and Inception (2010).
“The virtual reality setting is a blank canvas that invites play, and the procedural element of Mara regularly retrieving lost souls gives the series an optimistic and hopeful bent,” IndieWire comments. “There’s plenty of fun here, but with enough pathos to add weight.”
Forbes cautiously described Reverie as a “high-concept thriller with potential,” while Entertainment Weekly published a chat session during which its TV critics expressed confusion about the plot of Reverie.
The Verge also compared Reverie with Black Mirror but disparaged the series pilot as turning “toward optimism and earnest schmaltz—with extremely dull results.”
The Verge concluded that the series pilot was “completely forgettable.”
“Reverie doesn’t come off as cheap or alarmist, but it’s completely forgettable,” The Verge said.
Film argued that the premise, story, and acting were strong and impressive, but the lack of hard science to back up the premise was a major problem.
“The ideas are certainly there, along with the creepy science tech (the actual Reverie connection module squicked me out),” the website said, “but good science fiction needs truth to anchor it.”
Reverie Season 2: Will the series be renewed or canceled?
NBC has not confirmed that fans will see Reverie Season 2, and following mixed reviews and low ratings, it is unclear that the network plans to renew the series. Low ratings are among the more compelling reasons why networks cancel TV shows, and Reverie may not have met NBC’s minimum requirement in that department.
Although Reverie has attracted dedicated fans who express their love for the series on social media, the numbers aren’t sufficient to give confidence about the series’ future. Reverie Season 1 premiered on NBC on May 30, 2018, to a lukewarm response, and although fans would like the show to continue, most admit that the overall low viewership makes it less likely to be renewed for Season 2.
TV Series Finale reported that Reverie Season 1 was able to secure only an average rating of 0.44 in the 18-49 demo, compared with Timeless which NBC canceled although it was able to secure a 0.61 rating.
Reverie’s ratings performance in comparison with Timeless suggests that NBC will likely cancel it. The show might have improved upon its chances of being renewed if had maintained its initial 0.6 rating.
TV Series Finale also noted that Reverie was the lowest-rated NBC summer show, averaging only about 2 million viewers per episode, compared with hit NBC shows such as America’s Got Talent which received an average of more than 11 million views per episode.
The fact that NBC has still not yet confirmed whether they will pick up Reverie for Season 2 should concern fans because it could mean the series will never be greenlit for another season.
However, fans are convinced that Reverie has potential and believe it could succeed as a niche program and, like Timeless, attract a limited but highly dedicated fan base. And although there is yet no official word from NBC, fans are clinging to the hope that Reverie Season 2 will happen, especially after Season 1 ended on a cliffhanger.
Fans are eager to find out in Reverie Season 2 whether Mara has really become stuck in Reverie or not.
Reverie fans began lobbying for the series’ return for Season 2 on social media as the August 8 Season 1 finale approached.
— 👼 SHAW👼 (@KDL0888) August 7, 2018
YES!!! I want a season Two of @NBCReverie Too. Best show of the summer. Tired of reboots, reality, & game shows. I will be watching & Tweeting tonite. Please give us a 2nd season & @MickeyFisher73 I hope you didn't leave us with a cliffhanger. https://t.co/h8p6PDKSpm
— OverniteJoe (@OverniteJoe) August 8, 2018
I just want to tell you that Reverie is awesome! And NBC will drop a great show, that has a lot of ways for the show to go. Incredible cast too! It's gotta come back!
— Rich Sykes (@DragonsWizdom) August 8, 2018
— Michael Doster (@MikeDosterBass) August 2, 2018
Reverie was created by Mickey Fisher, best known for Extant (TV series 2014-2015) and his work on Mars (TV series 2016- ). Reverie is also executive produced by Mickey Fisher with Brooklyn Weaver, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Steven Spielberg, and Ronald Bass. The cinematography is by Joseph Gallagher.
Reverie Season 2 cast
If NBC approves Reveries for Season 2, fans can expect the entire main cast to return.
Reverie stars Sarah Shahi in the leading role of the former police detective Mara Kint. Kint is expert in human behavior who is hired to help rescue people trapped in Reverie, a virtual reality technology created by Onira-Tech.
Shahi is known for her role as Sameen Shaw in Person of Interest (TV series 2011-2016).
Other members of the original cast of Reverie likely to return in Season 2 include Dennis Haysbert as Onira-Tech security consultant Charlie Ventana. Ventana is Kint’s former boss who now works as a senior consultant and operations manager for Onira-Tech. He hires Kint to work for Onira-Tech.
Jessica Lu plays Reverie programmer and Onira-Tech founder Alexis Barrette. Sendhil Ramamurthy plays Reverie chief scientist and Reverie 2.0 developer Paul Hammond, while Kathryn Morris plays Defense Department official Monica Shaw.
Dennis Haysbert previously appeared in 24 (TV series 2001-2010) as David Palmer, while Jessica Lu appeared in Awkward (TV series 2011-2016) as Ming Huang. Kathryn Morris played Lilly Rush in Cold Case (TV series 2003-2010).
Madeleine McGraw plays Brynn, Mara’s niece who was killed by her mentally unstable father. Brynn manifests to Mara as a hallucination in Reverie.
Sam Jaeger plays Dr. Chris Condera, a therapist and Mara’s former fiancé.
Reverie Season 2 plot
The plot of reverie centers on Mara Kint, a former hostage negotiator and expert in human behavior who retires from her work as a hostage negotiator after experiencing personal tragedy when a hostage situation turns awry and her sister and niece were killed.
Mara’s former cop boss, Charlie Ventala, played by Dennis Haysbert, recruits her to work for Onira-Tech, the company behind a revolutionary virtual reality technology, Reverie. Reverie allows people to create and experience dream realities constructed from their memories and past experience. Through Reverie, users may become immersed in an alternate reality that matches their notion of an idyllic world.
However, some users become trapped permanently in their dream worlds and are unable to return to reality.
Onira-Tech hires Mara to rescue people trapped permanently in their reveries. She approaches them in their dream worlds and persuades them to return to reality. But while helping others, Mara is also battling demons of her own and she might be able to save herself also through her new job.
Season 1 of the series ended on a cliffhanger. If NBC greenlights Reverie Season 2, it will likely pick up from where the first left off and try to answer the myriad of questions left unresolved.
Reverie Season 2 will reveal what really happened to Mara. Is she actually stuck in Reverie or not?
It seems that due to a glitch in Reverie, Mara was actually still inside although it appeared that her mind and body were in the real world.
What about the others? Are they also trapped in Reverie while appearing to be outside it?
UPDATE: On November 6, NBC announced that Reverie is canceled after just one season. After receiving rather low ratings during its freshman season, a decision was made to not bring it back, leaving Reverie viewers to wonder indefinitely if Mara ever made it back.