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Insanity in the Time of Loneliness

November 6, 2018

This Netflix original presents viewers with a dose of heartbreaking reality…literally. The show focuses on two troubled individuals (Jonah Hill and Emma Stone) who, for reasons of their own, take part in an experimental drug trial that claims to render traditional therapy obsolete. Under the management of an empathetic artificially intelligent supercomputer, we are brought into the undisguised mind’s eye of people who have clung to their afflictions and have desperately sought escape from their own personal hells to no avail.

With a genuinely original and admittingly dramatized take on mental illness, director Cary Joji Fukunaga conjures powerful and emotional stories that are recognizable yet nothing like anything we have previously encountered consciously. There is familiarity in the isolation among souls but it is countered by our character’s hope to heal and reconnect. Not to mention, it has an amazing soundtrack. Thank you, Dan Romer.

Maniac has managed to strike a fundamental chord that resonates deeply within our increasingly lonesome society and does so not only with intriguing visuals but with subtle nuances that may take a second viewing to fully appreciate. We are given ten episodes of intricately woven connections that may leave viewers with a noticeable ache in their hearts and a definite craving for more. Though told through a fantastical lens, this unique mini-series delivers a beautiful real-life narrative of loss and acceptance that draws perfect parallels to our all-too-human need for companionship and desire to belong.

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