ManiacLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 10/10/18 at 10:46PM EDT
Why TV's "director-first" trend as seen with Maniac's Cary Fukunaga is a bad thing
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"Television is a writer's medium. Always has been," says Tim Goodman. "Film is a director's medium. Always has been. Are there instances where fantastic directing is the most memorable thing about an episode or three of television? Of course. Just as there are films in which the script has been brilliant, memorable and arguably the central sustaining element of the project. But mostly the rules hold, for a simple reason. Great dramatic television is serialized; the stories are ongoing, often from season to season, weaving a vast, multiple-hour tale. It is the novel to film's short story." The problem is that TV shows where the director is king, like Fukunaga's Maniac, tend to emphasize style over substance. As Goodman notes, Maniac "uses both schizophrenia and the crippling effects of depression brought on by grief as the jumping-off point for its two main characters, but mostly lets the talented director Cary Joji Fukunaga spin out from there with a trippy, visually eclectic thrill ride...The trouble with Maniac, which became quickly evident as the episodes unrolled, was that this was always Fukunaga's vehicle, and less about the words of creator and writer Patrick Somerville ... That might explain why the series inadequately dealt with the schizophrenia of Jonah Hill's character, Owen, and barely did better showing how Emma Stone's character, Annie, learned to manage her depression and grief."
Posted Friday 10/05/18 at 10:26PM EDT
Maniac's best and bleakest joke is its take on the gig economy
Source: The A.V. Club
"Working when an app instructs you to ends up being just as dehumanizing, if not more so, than doing it when your shift supervisor texts you," says Clayton Purdom of the Netflix series. "Maniac sends this trend into hyper-drive, imagining a New York City where everybody is selling everything just to afford shoebox apartments."
Posted Monday 9/24/18 at 9:40PM EDT
Maniac creator: Not having a second season was creatively freeing
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Creator Patrick Somerville said "no" when asked if there were discussions to bring his Netflix series back for a second season. Director Cary Fukunaga previously said he wouldn't return for another season, if Maniac was renewed. "This was always planned as a limited series, and I think that's another reason why we had the freedom to have a more hopeful ending," says Somerville. "A lot of times on TV, you have to throw your characters into distress again near the end to buy the next season, and we don't have to do that. It is a tremendous amount of energy and imagination to just to make a new show, and so you do have this feeling of wanting to hold on and keep using it, because there's so much imagination in there, but I think part of why Maniac had that improvisational feeling along the way was knowing that this is it. Let's do it now, because this is what Maniac is."
Posted Friday 9/21/18 at 10:27PM EDT
Netflix's Maniac is brilliant, terrible and obsession-worthy at the same time
Source: The Daily Beast
"Maniac is the most captivating show of the fall season, in that you don’t know for one second what the hell is going on, so you’re constantly paying close attention," says Kevin Fallon. "It’s brilliant in that way. And it’s one of those shows that likes to think it’s brilliant in that way. (It’s insufferable in that way.)" He adds: "The fact that Maniac is so strange is the best thing about it. And, folks, it’s hella strange. But for once, it’s a pleasure for a show to be this narratively ambitious, at a time when production value and budget routinely seem to usurp story development. (Not that Maniac’s deranged alternate past-future—couldn’t say which it’s meant to be—lacks in scope, detail, or cost.) There is a palpable determination in the show’s loopy, provocative world-building and a heartbreaking honesty to its depiction of mental illness."
- Maniac is a surrealist masterpiece meditation on self-fulfilling prophecy and self-sabotage and self-loathing and self-doubt and… self itself
- It is more fun to describe than experience: "Maniac asks big questions about reality, and then settles for the limpest possible cinematic representations of that reality"
- Maniac becomes emptier and emptier the more you watch: It's engineered to appease the short attention spans that led to Big Moment TV
- Maniac is exhilarating to watch and a lot to process, especially with its full embrace of utter randomness
- Maniac inverts TV's format as a writer's medium, allowing Cary Fukunaga to make it an unfettered, trippy visual joy
- Maniac makes it work going from dark sci-fi story to compelling drama to black comedy within minutes
- Fukunaga has outdone his work on True Detective, making a show that's as hard to pin down as Westworld
- Maniac is a combination of The Leftovers, Archer, Inception, Legion and Mr. Robot
- Fukunaga is charming yet can be an implacable person to work with, driving his staffers insane
- Creator Patrick Somerville has always been fascinated by the mind -- his wife is a psychotherapist, his dad is a neurologist
- Emma Stone and Jonah Hill talk about reuniting after Superbad and playing multiple characters
- Billy Magnussen admits he plays a "colorful douchebag"
- Justin Theroux says the Maniac cast got through filming by binge-watching The Hills
- Inside the creation of Theroux's "Sucktube" character
Posted Friday 9/21/18 at 3:50PM EDT
If Netflix renews Maniac for Season 2, Cary Fukunaga won't return as director
Source: Business Insider
Fukunaga, who yesterday was named the first American director of a James Bond film, wants to make it clear he is one and done on Maniac, which dropped on Netflix this morning. "For me, I like to do one and move onto something else," he tells Business Insider. "I'd be very happy if another season were to happen, but I think they were just thinking about this as a limited season and if there's an appetite for another one then I think (show creator) Patrick (Somerville) would be happy to take it up and do it again. But not with me." Fukunaga also only worked on one season of HBO's True Detective.
Posted Monday 8/27/18 at 10:30PM EDT
Cary Fukunaga explains how Netflix's algorithm influenced the Maniac creative process, says "there's nothing really inventive" about True Detective
Fukunaga, who won an Emmy for directing the first season of True Detective, explained how Netflix's famous algorithm impacted his new limited series Maniac, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. "Because Netflix is a data company, they know exactly how their viewers watch things," he says in a GQ profile. "So they can look at something you're writing and say, 'We know based on our data that if you do this, we will lose this many viewers.' So it's a different kind of note-giving. It's not like, 'Let's discuss this and maybe I'm gonna win.' The algorithm's argument is gonna win at the end of the day. So the question is do we want to make a creative decision at the risk of losing people." Fukunaga also talked about True Detective, which he has nothing to do with anymore except for a producing credit, saying he wanted to break up the talking and philosophizing with his famous six-minute tracking shot from the fourth episode. But creator Nic Pizzolatto wasn't interested. "I mean, there's nothing really that inventive about" True Detective, Fukunaga says. "It's just another crime drama." Fukunaga says he wanted to "do something fun."
Posted Thursday 8/16/18 at 10:40PM EDT
Emma Stone chose to do Netflix's Maniac in part to reunite with Jonah Hill
“I love Jonah. I had worked with him on the first movie I ever so it was, like, 11 years later,” Stone said of her Superbad co-star, in an Elle interview with fellow Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence. “Obviously lots of things have happened in the past 11 years, so it was nice to just get to be around each other.” She also offered another reason: "The thing I liked about Maniac was that it’s about people who have their own internal struggles and are trying to fix them with a pill.”
Posted Monday 8/06/18 at 2:50PM EDT
Breaking down HBO's Maniac trailer
HBO has released an official trailer for the Emma Stone-Jonah Hill limited series from Cary Fukunaga.
Posted Monday 7/30/18 at 12:49AM EDT
Maniac gets premiere date: Watch the teaser for Emma Stone and Jonah Hill's Netflix limited series
Source: Rolling Stone
Netflix released a disorienting teaser for the Cary Fukunaga 10-episode limited series, debuting on Sept. 21.
Posted Friday 7/20/18 at 5:44AM EDT
92-year-old World War II vet accuses Netflix's Maniac of trashing his home
Source: New York Post
Sidney Price agreed to rent out his Long Island home to the Emma Stone-Jonah Hill TV project to Paramount TV for 10 days in September 2017. When Price returned to his home, he says hehfound that the crew had trashed his home and many valuables, including photos of family members and Holocaust survivors, were gone. The New York Post reports that Price is suing Paramount TV, the series' producer.
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 6:54AM EDT
Netflix offers the first look at Jonah Hill and Emma Stone in Maniac
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Cary Fukunaga series also stars Sally Field, Justin Theroux and Jemima Kirke in the black comedy about two strangers who find themselves caught up in a bizarre pharmaceutical trial gone awry, based on a Norwegian series.
Posted Thursday 10/05/17 at 4:16PM EDT
Sally Field is returning to TV, joining Emma Stone and Jonah Hill on Netflix’s Maniac
In her first TV role since Brothers & Sisters, the Oscar-winning actress might be playing Hill’s mother. But no details of her character have been revealed.
Posted Tuesday 9/05/17 at 11:33PM EDT
Emma Stone unveils a shorter ‘do on Netflix’s Maniac
Source: The Daily Mail
The Oscar-winning actress was spotted filming the Netflix TV series on Tuesday with a “precision-cut short bob.”
Posted Monday 8/28/17 at 12:43PM EDT
Check out a slimmer Jonah Hill with Emma Stone on the set of Maniac
The Superbad co-stars were spotted filming the Amazon series on the streets of NYC.
Posted Thursday 8/17/17 at 10:16PM EDT
Justin Theroux is joining Emma Stone and Jonah Hill on their Netflix show Maniac
Theroux will recur on the 10-episode Cary Fukunaga series, which Stone was spotted filming this week in NYC.