One Of The Oddest Netflix Shows
Start writing a post

'Maniac' Is One Of The Oddest Netflix Shows So Far

Even though this series is off-beat and centers around some tough themes, the message is worth it by the end.


This article is originally published with The Vindicator.

"Maniac"is one of the weirdest Netflix shows to date — excluding the most obscure and ridiculous series, "Big Mouth," which is a whole other conversation. It stars Emma Stone and Jonah Hill as Annie and Owen.

Maniac Gif

The series focuses on the lives of their characters, who are living in some kind of twisted future or reality that's never clarified. By shoving them together in the same scientific drug study, the show emphasizes fate, mental illness, and the importance of friendship.

Maniac gif

I was hooked as soon as I saw the first teaser trailer. There hasn't been much attention as far as I've seen so far — which is surprising.

Emma Stone and Jonah Hill are big names for something like a Netflix show. It feels out of their realm, so why is "Maniac" so irrelevant in pop culture? Even though this series is off-beat and centers around some tough themes, the message is worth it by the end.

In this odd series about friendship, mental illness, and weird science fiction, the message is hard to find in the warped reality where the characters live. The setting is never completely clear, but it's obvious that we're supposed to be watching the lives of Owen and Annie somewhere in the future — in a country that is also unclear.

From the very beginning of the show, the viewers are shown that Owen is schizophrenic and Annie is a drug addict. Most of the plot consists of Owen struggling to break apart from his mental illness and Annie trying to numb, and potentially cure, herself with an experimental drug.

Although "Maniac" highlights major topics such as mental illness, drug addiction, loss, and relationships with friends and family, these themes are hard to focus on with so much distraction. However, it's worth the wait by the conclusion of the story.

The majority of the series is spent with Annie and Owen as they endure a volunteer scientific experiment hosted by a drug company that claims it's drugs will "cure" the volunteers — if they survive that long. Instead of using "cure" as a physical term, however, the company's drug heals volunteers mentally; they go through multiple stages, with pills labeled "A," "B," and "C."

Each episode is spent in the fantasy or dream that each character is going through after taking the given pill. The pills, along with an intelligent computer, force each volunteer to confront their major issues. "Maniac"is wisely subtle in this way.

It doesn't hand the audience the "answer" to such big issues. Instead, the conclusion is simple, meaningful, and ultimately surprising.

Of course, there is also much praise that needs to be given to Hill and Stone. Their portrayal of their characters, the diversity of roles in every fantasy, and the depth of each interaction drive the story forward in a way that is hard to resist.

While "Maniac" may not seem like an interesting series, the themes, acting, plot diversity, and overall message are a huge win artistically. Like many of its predecessors, "Maniac" is a dark, gritty science-fiction show that reminds the audience that TV is not just for mere entertainment.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments