Hey readers, I'm Rachael and I watch a lot of TV!
Every TV season, I follow the news, reviews, and premieres for the shows on the five major broadcasting networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and The CW). Sometimes I'll also discuss shows from cable networks, Netflix, or Hulu, but most of my favorites are on the "big five." I love all my shows, and it's hard to pick a favorite as I add new shows every year, and I even have a hard time picking a favorite just from the "new show" list!
However, this year, my favorite new show is a landslide first-place winner-- NBC's "Manifest." (Watch the trailer here.)
"Manifest" follows the passengers of Flight 828, which takes off normally and lands after a bit of turbulence. The passengers are a little annoyed that their deplaning is delayed by law enforcement meeting them on the tarmac, but soon, they're a little bit more than annoyed: turns out their plane has been missing for five years. The world, and their loved ones, assumed that the plane was lost forever and that its passengers were dead. But in case you haven't noticed, these travelers are not dead. They're very much alive. The world around them has aged five years, but they have not. Essentially, this group of people took off in 2013 and landed in 2018 to find a world that left them behind years ago.
That's certainly an interesting enough premise to grab your attention, but then you actually get to see the implications of this flight's accidental(?) time travel. One of the plane's passengers, a young boy, has a twin sister. When Flight 828 lands, he's now five and a half years younger than her. She's moved on to teenhood and even started a relationship with his childhood best friend (who has also aged), while her brother arrives back wondering what happened to his Legos. The twins, Cal and Olive, each went with a parent on their respective flights: their father, Ben, was with Cal on 828 and comes home to his wife, Grace. Grace went through a painful grieving process and then proceeded to raise Olive on her own- unless you count *SPOILER ALERT* her boyfriend, Danny, who Olive now regards as a father figure. Meanwhile, Cal and Olive's aunt Michaela and Ben must immediately process the death of their mother, and Michaela soon finds out that her fiancé has since married her best friend.
Then you've got the fact that the government is investigating the formerly "missing" flight. Nobody knows how or why the plane disappeared, so of course, the FBI has to investigate. That would've been super cool and science fiction-y already, but then the plane immediately explodes, the passengers begin hearing voices that lead them to important clues in police investigations, and an outspoken passenger starts spreading the word that she thinks there's a conspiracy in here somewhere. So in other words:
1. The passengers return to their lives that...don't...actually exist in the same way anymore, because their jobs, friends, and family have moved on with the assumption that they died. Here's the drama.
2. Nobody knows why the plane disappeared, or how. It definitely didn't land anywhere, and as far as the passengers are concerned, it was a normal, albeit turbulent, flight. Here's the sci-fi/mystery.
3. The FBI is NOT a fan of our main characters, given that they keep accidentally solving crimes and also happened to be there when the plane exploded. Here's the sense of danger.
"Manifest" has the creepy, mysterious unexplained stuff that I loved in ABC's Lost (2004) along with the awkward, difficult-to-fix drama you'd expect from your standard TV drama. You can catch up on NBC's website, Hulu, or if you have Xfinity On Campus, you'll be able to watch it there too!
Sound off in the comments below once you've watched--let's get a good discussion going!