Review of "Maniac" on Netflix From The TV MegaSite
 

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Maniac on Netflix

Review of "Maniac" 9/25/18 by Jake
airs now on Netflix

Maniac is the new hallucinogenic Netflix series that defies any genre, but at the same time, embraces each one it utilizes.

The story begins in an alternate-reality version of New York City. Is it our present time? Is it the 1980's? Is it our present time as envisioned by people in the 1980's? Is it even real? The importance of this question dissolves immediately as the viewer is immersed in a familiar yet not-at-all familiar techno landscape.

Don't get me wrong, playing chess with a snarky robot koala in Central Park sounds like a fun time. Automatic street sweepers roaming the sidewalks are an excellent innovation for the removal of dog poop. It's all the other things that seem troublesome to me. Like how smoking cigarettes inside medical labs is deemed acceptable by all. Or how people in need of cash are forced to use an Ad Buddy- a service that sends advertisers to follow you and bother you wherever you stroll. There's something inherently dismal with the character that Jonah Hill plays and also every aspect of life itself in this world they've created. We're not even through the first episode yet. Oh boy.

All ten episodes of the series were directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. This was the first detail that enticed me, because that's who directed my favorite scenes in True Detective, season one. That fact along with my huge appreciation for Emma Stone, I somehow already knew going into this thrill ride that I was going to enjoy it.

Maniac is weird as heck and it draws you in like a drug that you weren't ever supposed to take. It's excitingly uncomfortable. Jonah Hill and Emma Stone are the protagonists that seem to be lost on this kaleidoscopic journey with you. That's what makes their performances so special here. When the viewer has no idea what's happening, neither do they. We're all together in this, figuring it all out one step at a time.

Justin Theroux does an especially fantastic job with the wildly absurd role he was given. From the very first scene he's in, you know that many laughs will be had. You could say I was, Therouxly entertained...
All in all, I highly recommend this series to any Netflix bingers out there who want to crank out a solid tenner. And if you've ever been a depressed misanthrope who volunteers for a pharmaceutical trial in a dystopian world, you'll feel right at home.

MORE INFORMATION:

Maniac

Set in a world somewhat like our world, in a time quite similar to our time, Maniac tells the stories of Annie Landsberg (Emma Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Jonah Hill), two strangers drawn to the late stages of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, each for their own reasons. Annie’s disaffected and aimless, fixated on broken relationships with her mother and her sister; Owen, the fifth son of wealthy New York industrialists, has struggled his whole life with a disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia. Neither of their lives have turned out quite right, and the promise of a new, radical kind of pharmaceutical treatment—a sequence of pills its inventor, Dr. James K. Mantleray (Justin Theroux), claims can repair anything about the mind, be it mental illness or heartbreak—draws them and ten other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial that will, they’re assured, with no complications or side-effects whatsoever, solve all of their problems, permanently.

Things do not go as planned.

Maniac is created by Patrick Somerville, and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.


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