*This article contains light spoilers for the first season of Maniac*
“All souls are on a quest to connect.”
According to the official Netflix description for Maniac, the series is “set in a world somewhat like our world, in a time quite similar to our time.”
There are some parts of this show that remind its viewer of our world and rightfully so. There’s a lot in Maniac that belongs to our world. But the true beauty of Maniac lies in how far out of this world it goes. Because however far Maniac goes, there’s still always some sort of realness present in its episodes.
Each episode may focus on a far-fetched fantasy, like stealing a lemur from a coat store that’s really serving as a front for selling exotic animals or sacrificing yourself to prevent an alien invasion or just trying to survive as an elf, but the relationships, the emotions, and the conversations that take place during those episodes are real. Somehow, the show manages to take its viewer miles away from the original story but still allow them to connect with the characters that they encounter.
The idea of the human connection comes up a lot in the show. Instead of romanticizing the idea of connection, Maniac often shows how far these connections can be stretched and abandoned before they’re allowed to be mended or even broken. Whether it be coming to terms with the loss of a loved one, seeking to understand someone’s mental illness, or accepting the flaws of your family, Maniac shows all sides of these connections. It even shows what happens to someone when these connections don’t exist: What loneliness can do to someone and how important this connection to others is.
At times, Maniac almost feels like a dream. Something that you know you’ve felt and seen before but can’t really remember where or when. There are places that I feel like I know, people that I feel like I’ve met, and relationships that I feel like I’ve shared. Maniac feels like a dream, and it’s one that I wouldn’t mind having again.
If you want to check Maniac out, the ten-episode limited series is currently available to stream on Netflix.