Maniac review: An amazing series that everyone must watch

Head and the heart: Maniac has a heart, and it is obvious with how artful and resonant the series turned out (Jonah Hill and Emma Stone pictured as their characters Owen and Annie).

 “Maniac” is without a doubt Netflix’s best series yet.

Recently, Netflix’s original programming has been lacking. While there are the critically acclaimed series like “Stranger Things” and the “Daredevils,” they are outnumbered by series like “13 Reasons Why” and “Insatiable,” so I approached “Maniac” cautiously.

Long story short, “Maniac” by far sticks out as the best piece of programming Netflix has put out in a very long time, and by far some of the best television in general. Starring juggernauts Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, not to mention a phenomenal cast including Sally Field and Justin Theroux and directed by “True Detective” season 1’s Cary Fukunaga, “Maniac” is a 10-episode, hopefully one off, limited series that focuses on Annie Landsberg (Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Hill) as two individuals who volunteer to be in an experimental drug trial. The less known about this series is actually the better. I went in blind not knowing anything, and I absolutely loved it.

The first strength “Maniac” has is the cast and the characters. Stone and Hill both have mesmerizing performances. Stone and Hill both play flawed characters that you get attached to from the start. I loved both of them, and I have a feeling many viewers will share my feelings. Hill’s performance is utter perfection. Owen is a character struggling with mental illness, and is sort of a Sam Lowry type from Gilliam’s Brazil (1985). Mental illness is an incredibly touchy subject, especially considering Netflix’s other material regarding it, but Hill gives a performance that is so authentic it hits close to home. Stone is as compelling too, and she, just like Hill, gives a perfect, compelling performance that pulls no punches.

It isn’t only those two though, the supporting cast is perfection. Justin Theroux does a phenomenal job at being oddball and authentic. While it is a disservice not to mention the entirety of the cast, Billy Magnussen, who portrays Owen’s brother, Jed, is absolutely perfect as well. He gives a transcendent performance, playing a real evil within society today that is now being exposed, and it really has an impact. I cannot praise him enough.

The biggest thing that I was nervous about was the way the series would end. It lived up to my expectations. It just ends. No cliffhanger, no nothing. Overall, I loved “Maniac.” It is authentic, emotional, memorable and funny. I really can’t think of anything bad to say about it, it is that great. Everyone must do themselves a favor and watch it.