When I saw the Word of the Day Challenge — alliance I immediately thought of a series I just started watching on netflix, “Maniac”. I’m 4 episodes into the 10 of the season. Reading the synopsis before choosing to watch, the plot sounded intriguing but not necessarily compelling; however, coupling it with a shot of Emma Stone and a skinny Jonah Hill in a futuristic style was enough to push me to begin.
Part of the reason I resisted was that I’ve gotten to a saturation point with seeing Emma Stone in every and anything. Part of what neutralized the resistance was the curiosity of wanting to see a skinny Jonah Hill.
Jonah deserves a paragraph here. I haven’t seen him in too many things, and most of the things he wasn’t very memorable. One film where he was, for me, was the one with Brad Pitt in it, where Jonah played the statistician who picked teams scientifically. Memorable, but not anyone to put a twinkle in my eye while watching. No offense to bigger folks as I’m a bigger person myself, but I never thought I would be saying I think Jonah Hill is hot — but JONAH HILL IS HOT NOW! The first couple of episodes, he is bordering on scary/freaky/pathetic, but as things are moving along, so is his hot-ness factor. I predict you will be seeing Jonah in more movies where he can put his acting skills and hotness skills to good use.
Now a few words about Emma. Saturation aside, she fits this role extremely well. She reminds me of Michael Keaton’s daughter in Birdman. There’s a compelling plot line that drives her character and she runs with it.
Maniac is the best kind of futuristic earthbound sci fi, as it is so close to the now that it may even be the now that is still not out there for public consumption. This show is one social scientists will look back on 100 years from now — if the cosmos still has humans inhabiting it — and say they sure called it right didn’t they.
Everybody in this plot has issues, whether or not they are wearing a lab coat. Or, everybody in this plot is normal and trying to adjust to an insane society that bombards them with craziness in various forms on an ongoing basis. Which, or some variation of it, is up to you to decide. Without giving away much of the plot, the scariest character seen so far is someone most people are looking at with unmitigated adoration.
Very very limitingly telling you about the plot, Emma & Jonah find themselves at a research center where they are in a trial for pharmaceutical testing for drugs to treat individuals with mental illness. It doesn’t take long for the two of them to pull their heads out of their nether regions and make a human connection with each other, i.e. an alliance.
The actors in this, every single one, create a world. I refuse to go to imdb.com to get all of their names because when you go there they tell how many episodes each character lasts, and all it took was for one spoiler to stop doing it. First class acting by all of them! There are a few familiar faces but many are unknown to me. At this point, it is unknown who the maniac is.
Hill & Stone co-produce Maniac. Cary Fukunaga directs. What’s weird is that I watched the first episode on Monday night and saw the name. Tuesday I read that Cary Fukunaga is going to direct the next James Bond movie and thought the name looked familiar. Tuesday night, it hit me as to why the name looked familiar.