Hello everyone! How are we this lovely Monday? I hope well! I am exhausted, but not too exhausted to not bring you a good ol’ blog post! I just hope you forgive that my reviews are smaller and more concise for the time being! I’ve been settling into working, so haven’t been watching or reading much – however, I had this to finish off, which means you’re getting a review of one of the greatest things I’ve seen on Netflix this year – Maniac.
Maniac follows Annie and Owen, two random people who put themselves up to participate in a pharmaceutical trial. Annie is pretty done with life, taking drugs, living in a hovel and stealing most of her father’s money. She’s more fixated on her broken relationship with everyone than trying to actually fix them. Owen, a younger son of a rich family (and probably the most normal, which is saying something) has struggled his whole life with schizophrenia. Neither is happy – they want to get better. So when Dr. James K. Mantleray claims, via his trail, that he can repair anything about the mind it draws them and ten other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial. Let’s just say it goes a bit crazy, and nothing goes as anyone would like. But what else were we expecting when it’s being run by an AI with emotional issues.
If you can’t already tell, I loved Maniac. I found it really realistic to the real 80’s (not that I was alive then). The use of the AI in the old style computers was amazing, and I loved the high colour palettes used. Even the stark whiteness of the lab contrasted so well to the dream sequences.
The writing was superb. I found myself falling in love with all of the characters, each of them were unique – the lab techs and the test subjects. Their conversations were candid, and sometimes funny, but the actors really got behind their characters. From what I’ve read, they did a lot of method acting. For instance – Justin Theroux only managed to get into the character of James by playing his awful wig as just that – an awful wig that James puts on every morning to cover his bad bald spot. They all played into their character’s small madnesses and insecurities – Owen worried about his mental stability, James worried about his mother etc.
I know this is a limited series which is what I’m both happy and sad about. Owen and Annie’s story is over, they have an ending. But not all the characters do; and I want to know what happens to them. What happens to the AI? What happens to the company? What happens to everything. Maybe even what happens to Annie and Owen, if they make it where they want to go.
You should see Maniac. It’s a good sci-fi show. It’s deep and alluring. I loved it. Go and watch!
[Header: Maniac, Netflix, 2018]