Maniac – 2018 Netflix Original TV Show Review


Gigi LeBerger

Maniac, a 10 part series starring Jonah Hill (Owen Milgrim) and Emma Stone (Annie Landsberg) who both struggle with repressed trauma and other mental conditions. Fukunaga and head writer, Patrick Somerville spun Maniac into a rich, purposeful broad TV series that shows the different experiences that the drug changes on the mind and gives a raw representation of the deep trauma that drains the individual and slowly takes them away from reality. Maniac is strangely filmed and shows multiple fictional universes that tend to be the ones in which Emma stone is emerging from in the drug process. While she was being interrogated, we see that in her face, staring down a nest if cameras positioned invasive close that she is drained of color and is dwarfed by a wall of video feeds of her own face. The drugs lull Annie and the other participants into deep commas where they revisit issues from their past to help them move forward in life. The show shuffles through many different genres from gangster drama to 1960’s sci-fi and Owen often finds his deep commas to be linked with Annie’s as they are communicating in their dreams from his disorder, Schizophrenia.

The show’s most concerning issue is a unique one for a Netflix tv series, it left me wanting for more. I do believe that more seasons should be released in the future, but in the ending, it felt rushed and had me ruing the time we were forced to spend with dream state versions of the characters over their, more interesting real-world selves. Fukunaga and Somerville escape with this, in any case, as the general vibe of the show is so clear and vivid, and its emotional crescendos so thunderous. Furthermore, there is something profoundly comforting in the possibility that these two lost birds move toward becoming interlaced, even in this inauspicious, not very inaccessible oppressed world.