“Maniac,” a new miniseries on Netflix, comes from an impressive creative team — it stars Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, while director Cary Joji Fukunaga also helmed the first season of “True Detective,” and creator Patrick Somerville used to write for “The Leftovers.”
And yet the series left us a bit cold. On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we try to figure out why.
“Maniac” seems to take place in an alternate present (or maybe it’s the past, or the future) inspired by ’80s science fiction — a world with robots and sentient AIs, where computers have an old-fashioned bulkiness and tactility, and where advertising comes in the form of an “ad buddy” who sits next to you and delivers targeted marketing spiels.
Against this backdrop, Annie Landsberg (Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Hill) sign up to test a new pharmaceutical drug, which eventually leads to extensive, shared hallucinations.
So there’s a lot going on here. For Jordan, there was a bit too much happening, seemingly at random, and often pulled from other, more immediately engaging science fiction. And while Anthony was more intrigued, he’s still not fully on-board yet either.
Also included: An extended comparison to “The Leftovers,” a show we both love. And we discuss the launch of Dropout, a new subscription service from CollegeHumor.
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