Maniac : A Beautiful, Introspective Experience


Brady Bush, Maniac

Recently, a new Netflix feature series has been released, called Maniac, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. Essentially, it’s a dark comedy/drama miniseries. With 10 episodes in total, the show follows the stories of two strangers in a dystopian society ruled by drug companies. Both characters have psychological issues of their own, but end up meeting and going through a series of challenges together in order to find out more about themselves and solve their own internal issues.

In my opinion, this show is superior in many ways, but one of which is the plot itself. The series starts off very confusingly, without much direct information, causing the viewers to analyze the sensory overload of the show in order to solidify the entire premise of the show. While I was confused and uninterested at first, I think this worked well and helped to put the viewers in the perspective of the characters, which I think it vital to the show’s individuality and unique story.

Furthermore, the visual design, including the set, costumes, and lighting, was just absolutely beautiful. The producers used the plot to include a very diverse and beautiful set of scenes, which I think worked well and helped to portray the characters’ perception of the world and dreamscapes.

Lastly, Stone and Hill work perfectly together, the character of each contrasting and highlighting the others’. The acting was convincing, which is hard to do when playing people with mental health issues. In my mind, I saw them as their characters, not simply as Emma Stone playing her character. I don’t think anyone else could’ve played the part like specifically Stone did.

Overall, I give this show an 8/10. It’s definitely not an easy-watching show. You have to pay attention to little minute details and ponder about what’s really happening to understand the underlying themes and even the basic plot. That being said, I would recommend this show to viewers who enjoy very complex shows and dissecting them but also anyone looking for an aesthetically beautiful production.