Manifest: Pilot
September 24, 2018 8:09 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Returning to New York from a vacation in Jamaica, the Stone family is separated when adult siblings Michaela and Ben, along with Ben's gravely ill son Cal, are bumped to a later flight, while Ben's wife, daughter, and parents fly ahead. When that later flight lands, the passengers are bewildered to discover that five and a half years have gone by.
posted by oh yeah! (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I agree with the TV Line review. I would have given it a B for the first half and been hopeful that it could go higher after the premiere as many shows have a clunky first hour, given they often have to cram in so much. But these two bits from the review sum it up for me:
That last revelation has me thinking that Manifest will end up becoming a supernatural-tinged procedural, but that’d be a letdown, given the vast potential of the premise. [...] Plus, the premiere ends on a truly bewildering coda that’s meant to intrigue us, but actually just left me annoyed.
Emphasis on the super-annoying ending. Everything from the moment Michaela stepped into the church had my jimmies super rustled, and the plane exploding... well the less said the better. I'll give it another week to see if these are false warning signs but the second half certainly didn't live up to the premise in my opinion.

So many high-concept shows take an intriguing premise and tell the most pedestrian stories with them. (She's an ex-b-movie-sexploitation actress who became a cop in Los Angeles! He's the immortal Prince of Darkness! TOGETHER THEY FIGHT CRIME! Really?!?)
posted by Justinian at 12:16 AM on September 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

I can't not say it. So possibly the most important event in history and the powers that be leave the only forensic evidence sitting out unprotected on an open runway with nothing but a chain link fence around it? No guards? Nothing? Not even a "NO TRESPASSING" sign for crissake? NO. NO. JUST NO.
posted by Justinian at 12:18 AM on September 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

I was amused by the bit in the interview about the show runner having a 6-year plan for the series, since most of these high-concept shows never make it past season 1. Though it being just a procedural in high-concept disguise may actually keep it on the air longer than the other Lost-wanna-be's

As clunky as some of the writing was (those voiceovers, oof), I was entertained enough to want to keep watching. Plus I miss Josh Dallas since I quit 'Once Upon a Time' seasons ago.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:20 AM on September 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

Without having watched this yet, the given premise feels like the slew of shows that came out a few years back where people who have been missing/dead for several years suddenly reappear. (Seriously, there were 2-3 of them that all came out within a year of each other.)

The fact that it may turn into a supernatural procedural would definitely keep me away. Enough of those already out there!
posted by 2ht at 5:49 AM on September 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

I admit: supernatural procedures and psychic voices in the head saying to free the kids hook me. I was having a rush of "It's like Wonderfalls met Lost!" So I'm the one person who's sold and will probably keep on watching this until cancellation.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:55 PM on September 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

I was excited about this one but the pilot left me underwhelmed.

- Obviously it's an emotional thing and there was lots of emoting but I didn't know enough about the characters to really care about them yet, so the emoting felt pretty forced and unearned.
- There's no way that the medical director of the pediatric program would turn down Cal based on his birthday. And it looks like he's in the program anyway, so why create that weird conflict anyway? We already know that Saanvi is committed to her work. What might have been more interesting is them together treating Cal secretly and then finding weirdness in his reactions to the treatment.
- Michaela and Jared are going to have an awful torrid forbidden/lost love arc that will be awful. This will create conflict at work. They will take turns making declarations at bad times only for them to fall apart. I will yawn and yawn and yawn.

I guess I'm not sure what this is about -- is it a paranormal crime drama? Is it about people readjusting to an unfamiliar world, and if so, are these particular people interesting enough to follow? Is it about figuring out why this happened? Is there some larger government coverup?
posted by mochapickle at 2:06 PM on September 26, 2018

I'm a sucker for a premise like this, and I'm predisposed to supernatural procedurals, but I too was underwhelmed. The writing and acting were clunky, and I felt more than one pang of "The 4400 did this so much better." That said, I'm obligated to see where it goes, for reasons stated above.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 9:34 AM on September 28, 2018

Yeah, I know I’ll be watching episode two, but there are a lot of holes. I too am irritated already with the love triangles in the show. And Michaela’s inner voice is really creepy to me.

Between this and God Friended Me (which I haven’t seen) I’m getting a real Early Edition vibe from this season of tv.
posted by Night_owl at 7:15 AM on September 30, 2018

My spouse and I are strictly MST3K-watching this, but it's a relief to have something so stupid.

Representative sample that will end up coloring the entire series for us:
(just after Michaela releases the dogs)
Me: "And WHAM a bus goes through the junkyard, narrowly missing the dogs!"
Spouse: "The plane did this to save would-be victims of buses! Oh god, this is the Cars origin story, isn't it?"
posted by Etrigan at 7:46 AM on October 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Spent episode one half expecting to see Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell in the background somewhere. Also, how did they manage to leap from 2013 to 2018 and nobody mentioned the president??
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 2:46 PM on June 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Hahahahahah, look at this from years ago:

So I'm the one person who's sold and will probably keep on watching this until cancellation.

Hah, I never watched it again, I don't think!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:16 PM on June 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

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