Monday, November 19, 2018

What I’m Watching: Maniac

Maniac: Season 1, Episode 5 “Exactly Like You” (B)

This episode got to a better place of negotiating its imagined realities with what’s actually happening as Owen and Annie are hooked up to the machines and experiencing the latest lucid dreams caused by the pills. I’d argue that this was the best performance yet that we’ve seen from Jonah Hill, while it might have been the most disappointing one from Emma Stone, who impressed so much with an authentic British accent in “The Favourite,” coming out this week, and could have made Arlie into a much more compelling character. What proved most interesting to me is that Dr. Fujita was working hard to stop Annie from continuing to appear unauthorized appearances in Owen’s dreams, though something just kept allowing her to show up again and again after Dr. Fujita pulled the plug each time. Almost as mesmerizing was the fact that Gertie, played by Sally Field, managed to materialize as the central element of Ollie and Arlie’s latest mission, which turned out just to be a security check on Ollie’s part of exactly how susceptible that chapter was to being stolen. Owen was so confident and self-assured as Ollie, so different from how he was as we’ve seen him thus far. I recognized Josh Pais from “Touchy Feely” as Andy the butler, and I knew that I had seen the perpetually-shot driver somewhere before. While he does bear a passing resemblance to Glenn Fleshler, who appeared in last week’s episode, he was actually David Fierro, who played the AdBuddy on the subway accompanying Owen in the first episode.

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