Maniac: The Chosen One
September 21, 2018 10:06 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Owen is the black sheep of the wealthy Milgrim clan. After losing his job, he enrolls in an experimental drug trial.
posted by k8t (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Even if this episode ran a bit long, I can't stop trying to figure out what time period this is.
posted by k8t at 10:06 PM on September 21, 2018

It's an alternate history! So our time in a different world. They explain that in the opening, that other worlds are as important as our own. Love the vibes of this.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:13 AM on September 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

The computer interfaces feel like "what if Apple never existed?"
posted by Pronoiac at 9:09 AM on September 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I watched the first 3 episodes last night (there are no spoilers here). This is the greatest show I've seen in a long ass time. I am obsessed. The subtle humor, the aesthetic, the world building. It is so finely handled, every single detail is perfect. I absolutely love that they seem to be living in an almost entirely free market (so there's a lot of very gross very ugly non regulated capitalism) but the technology is on par just about with the late 80s.

Cary Fukunaga, who also did IT (2017), True Detective (Season One), and Beasts of No Nation, is a goddamn god. I have not been this excited about a director since Noah Hawley. Alex DiGerlando is the production designer, who also worked on True Detective w Fukanaga (one of the best seasons of tv, imo). He was the production designer for Beasts of the Souther Wild, which is my favorite film of all time.

I am just over the moon about this show you guys.
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:05 AM on September 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

but the technology is on par just about with the late 80s.

It reminds me of the Max Headroom tv series - retrofuturistic?

Not sure what to make of this show based on the premiere, but I think that's its strength. It reminds me of a bunch of other shows that I've gone into pretty blind, and enjoyed getting swept up in the wtf-ery. Kinda reminds me of watching 'Legion' when it started, though I'm not particularly drawn to Owen as a character yet.
posted by oh yeah! at 11:25 AM on September 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm curious, but cautious, about this one. True Detective, I thought, was a real triumph of style that almost wholly lacked substance, anchored in Fukunaga's excellent direction and some great acting. I guess I'm just not sure if Fukunaga has anything behind the razzle dazzle...
posted by smoke at 3:55 PM on September 22, 2018

I watched the first 3 episodes last night (there are no spoilers here). This is the greatest show I've seen in a long ass time. I am obsessed.

Same. Binged the whole thing in 2 days. Am really, really happy.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:40 PM on September 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

One of the writers is a Leftovers alum, so hopefully the style will be backed up by some substance. I'm liking it so far!

Also, the AV Club review mistakenly says that Emma Stone's first screen time is when Owen accosts her in the lobby. Her first scene is immediately after the opening monologue when she buys cigarettes from the conspiracy nut shop owner.

And the tech of this alternate world makes me think of what would have happened if Minitel became the standard.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:02 AM on September 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Minitel, or maybe PLATO. I'm really digging the aesthetic ( aka Cassette Futurism), the pharmaceutical testing has a very Japan-eats-the-world vibe from the '80s, and there's bits and bobs that remind me of Akira.
I like how the AdBuddy commiserated over the 87% of income Owen is paying in rent.

And The set for the Milgram's house was PERFECT. I once got sent to a client location that had last been renovated in the early 90's to appeal to a wealthy, retired, high-end customer profile, and that's exactly what it looked like. Mirrors, dark wood, brass playing at being gold.

That family sucks.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:34 PM on September 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

The production design is off the charts.

Did anyone else notice that a lot of people in the NPB waiting room had dopplegangers?

Also the pod room reminded me of the social space on the Nostromo in the first Alien movie.

Everything feels significant and I love, love, love the out-of-time world asthetic.
posted by Faintdreams at 12:20 PM on September 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

Also the pod room reminded me of the social space on the Nostromo in the first Alien movie.

Me too!
posted by oh yeah! at 4:24 PM on September 24, 2018

I'm getting shades of Brazil from the setting.
posted by megafauna at 3:54 PM on September 28, 2018 [3 favorites]

Japan-eats-the-world is 80s, but the tech level is more 70s--those greentext monitors, and people smoke inside more, and you can still buy a pack of smokes for a handful of quarters. That weird Ad thing where someone with a little briefcase tries to hook you up with a job, though? That was like some low-tech version of an app or disruptive job-hunting thing.

And, jeez, Owen's family. Roosevelt Island wasn't far enough away from them.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:17 PM on September 28, 2018

Watched the first one last night and I don't know. I like Hill's John John Turturro impression but the whole thing seems to be trying too hard to be quirky.
posted by octothorpe at 4:34 AM on October 9, 2018

Episode one didn’t really get me onboard the fun train - I think episode 3 was where it just kinda won me over with its commitment to the quirk. Like, “ok, you weirdos, I still don’t know where the heck we’re going, but you sure are going full steam. Lead on.”
posted by oh yeah! at 7:25 AM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I decided to finally give this one a try (it’s been in my list for ages) I have to say, after one episode, I’m hooked. I’m kind of digging the dark alienation of Hill’s character.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:05 PM on October 26, 2018

How am I only discovering this show now?? This is the first serious example of the supposed peak-tv problem that I've experienced -- a truly great show that's gotten virtually no attention, at least in my sphere.

My main response after a couple episodes is that this is the most PKD show/film I think has ever been made. Not in the cliched "what is reality" way, but the way his stories actually read to modern readers today: the strange mix of retro-futurism, dystopian capitalism, messed-up gender dynamics, paranoia and psychosis, slightly artificial dialogue, and strangely affecting emotional relationships given all that. I suppose there are arguably better PKD screen interpretations out there (I say mainly to placate the Bladerunner fans), but I can't think of anything that better captures the experience of reading today a collection of his short stories or his early novels. So far, it's really quite amazing.
posted by chortly at 10:18 PM on April 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

This episode blew me away, start to finish. Holy crap.

To me it kind of felt like taking riffling through a drawer of Cyberpunk tropes, adding in some present-day surveillance capitalism, and setting it in an alt-80s instead of an 80s-future. I love it.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:07 AM on September 10, 2020

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