Tuesday, November 6, 2018

What I’m Watching: Maniac

Maniac: Season 1, Episode 4 “Furs by Sebastian” (B-)

I don’t really know what to make of this episode. I’m aware that both Jonah Hill and Emma Stone are credited as playing three different people on this show, but I don’t think I expected an installment fully devoted to their joint dream of being Bruce and Linda Marino. I don’t see what the point of this was, portraying Bruce as a loyal but less than intelligent spouse without too many ambitions, and Linda as a self-centered woman with her own strange aims. Linda was living out a different fantasy than Bruce, and I guess, in the end, it was Bruce who paid for it by sacrificing himself to the police and Linda who was left lying on the couch without having to bear any responsibility for her actions. Bruce is certainly more talkative and self-assured than Owen, while Linda looks much more similar to Annie, who is more than happy to lie and manipulate others if she feels it will be to her advantage. I appreciated seeing guest actor Glenn Fleshler, a ubiquitous TV player who has also appeared in “Billions,” “Barry,” and “Waco” this year, as Sebastian, who initially played a throwaway part as the owner of the fur store but then went out with a literal bang when the Fish and Wildlife officers showed up. This episode felt even more eccentric than the three that came before it, but it also felt pointless in a way that doesn’t make me feel great about investing in it. Seeing them both asleep and dreaming at the end of the episode gives me some confidence that the next episode will course-correct.

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