Tuesday, November 27, 2018

What I’m Watching: Maniac

Maniac: Season 1, Episode 6 “Larger Structural Issues” (B)

This show continues to get weirder and weirder, and as much as it seems to know what it wants to be, it’s impossible to tell where it’s headed next. Sally Field playing James’ mother, on whom the computer’s mind was based, adds a whole new dimension to the experience, since she treats her son like an adult baby and practices a far more mainstream version of “celebrity therapy” than this experiment seems to follow. She still knows exactly what to do and say to set him off, whether it’s kissing him far too passionately on the mouth or telling him that she knew exactly what he needed right before she went into sleep. Her computer personality saw Owen about to leave with his suitcase and compelled him to stay by saying that she would cure them all and he wouldn’t benefit, a conversation that I don’t think that James and Azumi are aware happened or could have happened. As Owen resisted engaging too much with Annie, she was all about the idea that they would be able to be together and protect each other the next time they went under, though it looks like she arrived without him into some kind of “Lord of the Rings” world with her sister at her side instead. Some creepy music playing over dinner and discussions about microwaving Peeps right before they all went under for the last time set a very foreboding tone that’s sure to carry over to the next episode and beyond.

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