I didn't follow this very well, and yet I feel like I'm super into it.
Watching Jonah Hill and Emma Stone together again, 11 years after Superbad, is both nostalgic and weird (because this show is a bit weird). Attention definitely triggered, I'm looking forward to watch the rest of the season!
The intro really set the tone for the show. That narrator. Mmm. So good.
Weird and quirky. In other words: tailor-made for me.
Looking forward to seeing more.
I have absolutely no freaking idea what just happened in that episode. However something in the back of my mind tells me I should watch the next episode.
Tbh, I felt like this was mostly exposition and I don't have much to say on it but I'm looking forward to seeing what's to come!
Selecting a television show to watch can be a bewildering process these days: nestled within each streaming service are thousands of options, often with high production values but varying wildly in quality. With the rate Netflix produce shows, it can be difficult to even keep up with what's there let alone how good it is. Pressed for time, we can't sit and read the synopses for everything in front of us and so are forced to rely on word-of-mouth or existing knowledge of actors, writers or directors we like. Maniac comes with a high pedigree: two big name stars, Cary Fukunaga directing, written in part by Patrick Somerville. It boasts an immediately arresting aesthetic, a melding of eighties analogue with the impersonal, ad-obsessed online culture we're gradually sinking into as a society. The show is gorgeous, from its opening to the title design, and it's tempting to try to unpick everything in this world; this first episode proceeds at a breakneck pace and doesn't bother to explain many of the aspects of the society our characters live in. Personally I prefer to let it wash over me rather than try to understand every tiny detail—it feels more authentic that way.
The episode focuses largely on Jonah Hill's Owen, a melancholic and depressed young man who also happens to be the fifth child of the wealthy Milgram family. Owen has chosen to tread his own path in life, not accepting a job at his father's company and appearing ill-at-ease with his siblings. Hill brings a wonderful, downtrodden quality to Owen and it's easy to sympathise with him; this does get slightly more difficult towards the end of the episode, when his behaviour towards Annie, Emma Stone's character, borders on harassment. We have context, though—Owen appears to suffer from schizophrenia and often sees a man who looks identical to his brother Jed who tells him that he has been selected to save the world. Owen plans on providing a false alibi to the real Jed to save his reputation in an upcoming criminal trial, prompting his father to try to bring him back into the family fold. Rejecting this, he instead chooses to take up a pharmaceutical trial, prompted in part by repeatedly seeing Annie in adverts and billboards around the city.
We don't see as much of Annie in this episode other than getting the sense that she's something of a loose cannon, angry and just rattling through life. She enrols in the trial for her own reasons that I'm expecting will be elucidated in the next episode, and it'll be interesting seeing how her dynamic with Owen grows, especially given the baffling reaction to his delusion towards the end of the episode. I should mention the score, too, which is excellent—supporting and complementing the on-screen action perfectly. It's a solid if not spectacular start to what will hopefully be, if nothing else, an interesting miniseries.