I finished up watching the Netflix series Maniac the other week. It’s a weird show — my fiancée described it as “Stranger Things + Wet Hot American Summer + Eternal Sunshine,” which I thought was weirdly accurate.
That odd, messy combination works as often as it doesn’t, but it’s great even just watching the show try to keep it all together. The thing that I feel like they could have learned with some reflection is how much stronger the show is when it makes sense.
There are rules to Eternal Sunshine’s mind trips; in Maniac, there are none whatsoever during similar sequences, and that weakens a lot of the interplay between different groups of characters. The early episodes also seem to enjoy being unnecessarily opaque, but the show feels…
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