Sunday, October 21, 2018

Round Two: Maniac

Maniac: Season 1, Episode 2 “Windmills” (B+)

I watched the first episode of this show almost a month ago, and the time between then and now wasn’t too problematic since the pilot didn’t inform all that much about what this show was or what it was going to be. We only saw Emma Stone’s Annie for a few moments in the first hour, and now she gets to be the full focus, with Jonah Hill’s Owen appearing for just a scene or two this time around. Stone is a fantastic actress who I just saw in a role that may well win her a second Oscar, “The Favourite,” and she is absolutely the perfect person to play Annie, who is full of anger, eager to take that out on other people, and ready to do just about anything to achieve what she wants. Asking her chatty Adbuddy if she had a choice and really could take “limitless options” to travel all the way to a place like Salt Lake City helped explain how she views the world, a place that’s so unrecognizable given the things that seem normal in it, like her talking to a box in the backyard that’s apparently her father. Trying to blackmail Patricia, played by Selenis Leyva from “Orange is the New Black,” without really having anything on her, was a fascinating process, and she didn’t stop until she got exactly what she wanted. The memory she experienced after ingesting the first set of pills was truly vivid, and Julia Garner, from “Grandma” and “Ozark,” was terrific as her sister, who we could tell right away wasn’t going to be long for this world. I’m still not sure what this show is, but I’m intrigued enough to come back for a third go.

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