Thursday, September 24, 2020

What I’m Watching: Manhunt: Deadly Games (Season Premiere)

Manhunt: Deadly Games: Season 2, Episode 1 “Centborn” (B+)

I watched “Manhunt: Unabomber” back when it aired on Discovery back in August 2017 and found the entire show very impressive. I hadn’t realized that it was indeed commissioned for further seasons, and I missed it entirely when it premiered in February on Spectrum. Fortunately, in the absence of new television programming, CBS will now be airing it on Monday nights, and I have the opportunity to watch along with other broadcast viewers. The topic for this season is of particular interest to me because I was very impressed by the film “Richard Jewell,” which opened at the end of 2019 and flew mostly under the radar, earning an Oscar nomination for Kathy Bates as Bobi Jewell but little else in the way of attention. This show’s title and focus means that it may be focused more on the law enforcement aspect than on Jewell himself, though I believe that, like in the film, the FBI agents are fictional composites rather than based an actual person. I don’t think he compares to Paul Walter Hauser, but Cameron Britton, an Emmy nominee for playing serial killer Ed Kemper on “Mindhunter,” is a strong choice to play Jewell here, with Judith Light, a familiar TV face who has recently appeared on “Transparent” and “The Politician,” portraying his mother. Arliss Howard from “True Blood” seems like the standout of the supporting cast as the determined ATF agent who wants to “listen to the bomb,” while Desmond Harrington from “Dexter” appears to be humorless and far from energetic as the FBI director. Since I do find this story interesting and I appreciated the approach of the first season, I’m on board to see how this show dissects and conveys the events that played out during this very botched investigation.

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