Right up front in the new Netflix’s show Maniac, someone says, “The only question that matters is, do you know what’s real?” And that’s when things get weird. Streaming now, the 10-episode series stars Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, last seen on screen together in the raucous teen comedy Superbad. Maniac is certainly very funny. Mostly Stone carries things with her charming modulations, while Hill saves his best for episode 9. Maniac also calls to mind the original 1970s Westworld movie with its retro-futuristic aesthetic: All chunky computer terminals and chattering dot matrix printers and flashing walls of LEDs, it revels in the weirdly dated look of old sci-fi. While filled with patterns and coincidences and visual panache, Maniac isn’t as dizzying dense as Legion – Legion Lite, perhaps. Ultimately, Maniac doesn’t delve as deep into its weirdness as it initially promises, drawing back from the hallucinatory brink for a fairly conventional resolution. Assured, amusing and genuinely heartfelt, Maniac is weirdly wonderful and wonderfully weird.
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