Maniac: new Netflix show

Has anyone watched the new show Maniac on Netflix? I hadn’t planned on watching the whole series this weekend but once I started it was hard to stop. It’s a hard series to adequately describe, but roughly it’s about Emma Stone and Jonah Hill participating in a drug trial, and some of the series goes into their minds. It’s somewhat like Legion but less psychedelic and more straight forward, though also very weird and often very funny.

Also it was directed by Cary Fukunaga, and is beautifully shot. There is a long shot like the famous one from True Detective in one of the later episodes that is pretty incredible and I rewound so I could watch it again.

The series starts off a bit slow as it sets the premise and the world up, but it definitely picks up as they start the drug trial and especially when Justin Theroux comes in. I don’t know if I’d recommend the series to everyone but if it sounds interesting to you then give it a shot.

We just watched the first episode. I had to convince my wife to keep at it. I also had to convince myself to keep at it, but I’ve read some reviews and will give it a shot.

The first episode mainly follows Jonah Hill, and somewhat depressed and subdued starting off, which doesn’t make him the most interesting to follow at first. Emma Stone’s character is more fully followed the second episode, and she has more to do. I’d say that 3 or 4 episodes gives it a fair shot, if it hasn’t hooked you by then it probably won’t.

I have heard positive things and added it to my queue(“my list”). I hope it is good.

I’m just catching up on Preacher right now.

After just the first episode, all I can say is… * huh?*

I’ll try the second episode this week

We’re going to keep at. The second episode doesn’t make the characters any more like it. I understand that things pick up around the 4th episode. If it hasn’t clicked for me by then, this will become one of those shows that hubby watches on his own.

Just binged the lot. Wife and I loved it, but it is admittedly not for everyone…

The end of episode 3 hooked us into episode 4. Now it’s getting good, and, from what I’ve read in reviews, I think we’re going to like it much more going forward. Glad we powered through the set-up.

My biggest complaint was that I spent the first two and a half episodes trying to figure it all out-- figure out the premise, figure out what year it’s supposed to be, figure out this “universe,” figure out if it’s supposed to be a drama or dark comedy or horror/scifi or…? And that’s in addition to just the usual figuring out who everyone is. Most of my brain power was spent just trying to figure it all out through episodes 1, 2 and most of 3. I may have to go re-watch at some point the first three eps.

Anyone want to give us a spoiler tagged cheat sheet for the first few episodes? I started watching it the other day but stopped when I got to my 3rd or 4th “huh, wtf is going on?”. Thanks

We just watched the first episode and already love it. It reminds me of Brazil in its tone.

Here’s a rough summary:

Ep1: [spoiler]Owen Milgrim, Jonah Hill’s character is introduced. He’s the black sheep of his rich family. He’s lonely and mentally ill and loses his job and enrolls in an experimental drug trial. He repeatedly sees Emma Stone’s character Annie Landsberg in ads and other places, then sees her at the drug trial location as well.

The world of the show is also shown, it’s a retro-future alternative universe 2018, where there doesn’t seem to be the internet or cell phones, but there are ubiquitous ads, including actual humans who will read them to you on the subway if you can’t pay the fare, there are poop cleaner robots on the streets, and other things slightly different than our world. [/spoiler]

Ep2: Emma Stone’s character Annie Landsberg is more fully introduced, she’s addicted to the experimental pills that are in the drug trial, she wants to quit and go to Salt Lake City to see her sister, but ends up blackmailing her way into the study. At the end of the episode she takes the A pill and then we see her on a road trip with her sister that ends with a terrible car accident.

Ep3: [spoiler] Dr. Muramoto who is running the study notices irregulatries in the data from Annie and Owen, since Annie is already addicted to the pill and Owen didn’t take his because of his delusions he thought he needed to stay awake and ready for an assignment. Muramoto questions them both and dies while questioning Annie. This leads to Dr. Azumi Fujita going to go get Dr. James K. Mantleray back to run the study, although he had previously been pushed out of the company.

The sentient computer GRTA is sad about Muramoto’s death, and her crying leads to the wires connecting Annie and Owen’s seats to seemingly be soldered together.
[/spoiler]

Ep4: Annie and Owen have taken the B pill, and they find themselves in a caper in Long Island to retrieve a lemur. The new reality is unexplained, but they seem to be long married, but there are things from the previous episodes that bleed over, like the big truck that hit Annie’s car. They are also both participating, it’s not like it’s a dream that Owen is having and dreaming that Annie is in, it is a shared dream/hallucination/reflection.

Ep5: Now Annie and Owen are grifters at a seance in the Neberdine mansion in the 1940s. The scientists have realized that Annie and Owen are sharing dreams and keep trying to zap Annie out of Owen’s grifting adventure but she keeps popping back in.

If you have any more specific questions, I can try to answer them. There’s a lot of callbacks and things that might not be necessary to catch but I think makes things better. It’s definitely a show that you need to be paying attention to while watching.

Thank you. I only read the first three so that i don’t know too much about the later episodes. I will give the show another try.

The comparison to Brasil is a little concerning to me. That is the feeling that I got too while watching the first episode. I have never been able to get through that movie, it is a little too weird for me.

Thank you for the spoilers.

It is a trippy series. Sometimes I think someone changed the channel and I am watching something different.

More anecdotal info… just finished episode 3 and it’s definitely getting good. Will ride this one out!

We just watched Eps 5 & 6 last night, and am definitely enjoying it now.

To me, the setting feels like the early 20th century as imagined by someone in the mid-1980s. Sort of futuristic and retro all at the same time. Mantleray said he was born in 1977, and I would guess he’s in his mid-40s as this is taking place, putting this sometime between now and the early 2020s. But obviously, in this universe, technology and culture is not at all like it actually is.

That should say “early 21st century as imagined by someone in the mid-1980s.”

Right down to the Max Headroom graphics in the promotional videos.

Jonah Hill oddly makes his mullet work in ep 4.

I’m only up to episode 5, but I would totally watch a series just about Ollie and Arlie set in this episode’s universe.