Monday, October 8, 2018

Project October: Day Eight: Now Streaming on Netflix~ Maniac

In an effort to give expression to my thoughts on the show Maniac, now streaming on Netflix, I have decided to describe the pros and cons of this show (Without giving spoilers!).


Unlike many other shows, this series starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone does NOT include the typical typecast actors/ actresses with a penchant for the funny but obnoxiously vacant (read: not funny/ over-the-top narcissism).  This type of person and actor is nowhere to be found in either character study or actor/actress vibe.  Refreshing!  Jonah Hill is the almost unrecognizably skinny former star of SNL, and you see a depth of character in him rarely found in young(ish) male actors.  His depth of humor is also fantastic, and the nuanced portrayal of a man suffering schizophrenia is compelling and ultimately heartwarming.  It's also a bit creepy without being over the top.  Emma Stone is no man-eater: at first blush she appears the femme fatale, but proves the charm-your-socks off in this show that you have hoped to expect from her Oscar-winning performance in La-La Land.


At times funny, at times intriguing, the downfall of this show is two-fold.  Pacing is slow, and ultimately, I believe it feels imitative.  While shows like  Stranger Things and innovative movies with excellent screenplays (Think: Almost Famous or classic vibes of Planet of the Apes) ooze originality, at times this feels like a positive mirror-image of scenes from Stranger Things. What if the children who were tested in a lab and abused by their superiors were actually willing grown-ups?  Let's throw some high tech and throw-back tech in there for nostalgia's sake.

In consummation, this show is redeemed by the fascinating premise.  Ultimately, I liked this show.  I looked forward to watching an episode every night with Stephen, and I was very grateful for a recommendation to give this a shot. I'm glad I did.  It warmed the cockles of my heart. 

B for being slightly unoriginal


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