I haven’t done this in AGES but I just finished season 1 of Manifest which I reallly felt the need to talk about so here we areeeee. I am sure you were as fascinated by the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 as I was so when I found out this show was about a plane disappearing and the people returning 5 years later not having aged a day, I WAS CURIOUS. CURIOUS indeed. Also curious about how I could make that run on sentence not a run on sentence but thats for another day.
My friend Nick watched the pilot but was unimpressed so I decided to not dive in right away. I was bored one day late in October though and suddenly found myself in the midst of a mini-binge where I caught up with the first couple episodes. This show promised some of the fringe-science vibes I’d been craving for ages and a LOT of drama I couldn’t help but be entertained by.
While Manifest seems to be a promising new show, I am definitely hooked, it is also ALL over the place. We spend this entire first season kind of jumping from theory to theory and never really landing on anything concrete. If this is something that works for you, that’s awesome, but I felt like it was a sure sign that even the writers aren’t sure where this show is going quite yet. Sometimes it seemed that the show was leaning more on paranormal explanations and other times we got government conspiracy vibes and yet other times we were given some scientific explanations. All of this is cool but it made it hard for me as a viewer to find my footing??? Does that make sense?
I did get really excited about the government conspiracy angle because I love both Fringe and The X-Files (both of which have psuedo-science/government conspiracy vibes) but I mostly kept coming back to this show because I found myself invested in the dynamics of the Stone family.
The show centers siblings Michaela and Ben which is a nice change from many other shows that tend to center romantic couples. I might not love many things about both Michaela and Ben as individuals because they FUCK UP A LOT but I LOVE their bond and how supportive they are of one another. IT WAS GREAT. I assume that part of their closeness and supportiveness of one another is because they have both survived such an ordeal and help ground each other in a new, foreign world (quite literally given that they missed 5.5 years of it) but it really helped the show stick with me.
I loved that the show has some realistic romantic drama with both Michaela and Ben’s partners moving on over the 5.5 year period and I love that show really allowed us to see Grace’s (Ben’s wife) side of things. I love the confrontations, the drama, everything. Some of the romantic drama that arises out of the tragedy though? Not as much. Or I should say that it wasn’t so much the drama that bothered me as how it was handled throughout the season? With no communication, building angst and character seemingly acting out of character. It was A LOT. Especially when new tensions arise randomly in the last couple episodes and come to a climax in the Season Finale.
Speaking of the finale, I am sure no one still reading this will be surprised that the season ends with a major cliffhanger that will leave us all begging for more. BUT, as one watcher to potentially another? I’d very much advise waiting for the new season before diving in if you haven’t already. While season 1 is great, it still leaves much to be desired and I hope with season 2, the show will finally find its footing and be all the more stronger. TILL THEN, I shall wait.