The term ‘game changer’ has been used with many different films and TV shows throughout the years but it would seem that Maniac, now available on Netflix, could be one of those that lives up to the moniker since the applications are eerily attractive to many a person in the real world no matter that it is in fact just a show. With the prevalence of mental disorders throughout the world at this point it’s become a lightning rod, one of many, that highlights the desire that many people have to either eradicate or ‘help’ said disorders and improve the lives of many at one time. The only problem is that healing the mind and helping a disorder can be classified as two very different things, and the difference is the level of harm that can be invited in the process. Thus far the show has been receiving increasingly positive reviews and has even manage to score quite high with critics. That’s not entirely unusual but it isn’t so common that one might shrug it off as just another day at the office.
It does take a lot to impress the critic after all.
The story is very human in its telling.
In many ways the plight of those that are being treated are very real and not so blown out of proportion that people can’t relate at all to the main characters. After all obsessing over failed relationships and suffering from schizophrenia are far too common in the world today and tend to become debilitating to many that don’t know how to handle such issues in their lives. Through the use of very real conditions the show manages to convey a sense of urgency as well as utter hopelessness that a lot of people have probably felt at least once or twice in their lives as they’ve tried to sort through their feelings, emotions, and day to day interactions with others while attempting to sort out their own inner desires and urges. This can typically become a giant mess of thought vs. emotion that becomes a tangled web that many of us find ourselves entangled in from time to time and need help to get out of. In this way the show has managed to depict characters that are all too real and very easy to relate to in terms of how uniquely difficult their lives are and yet how drawn they are to one another by on similarity or another.
The mind is a very tricky thing.
Keep in mind, no pun intended, that throughout film history and throughout human history many people have been trying to find out what makes our species tick. Biologically there’s not much to it, we’re walking meat machines according to some with a mind that operates on a different level than any other species and seems capable of wondrous things that are equally as terrible when the applications for discovery are twisted and warped. It takes only one misstep to turn a triumph into a terror and a breakthrough into a breakdown in the natural order. In many ways the human mind, as it’s discovered in this show, is a unique and rather tricky organ that possesses enough space within its many folds to send us on a pleasurable trip throughout our own fantasy or to drop us in an uncertain hell that we have no knowledge of and thereby can’t escape without help. If there’s anything that this show seems to depict it’s that ‘helping’ the human mind recover or heal or soothe itself is akin to combing your hair with a razor blade. It can work, but the chances of a misstep are enormous, and the price to pay is something most people wouldn’t want to consider.
So far the show looks worth it.
Despite whatever misconceptions or pseudo-science might be used to make the show popular there’s undoubtedly a lot of interest since it does happen to look like a very appealing program that will in fact raise the bar yet again when it comes to how we think and deal with the many mental disorders that exist in our society. Thankfully many doctors, therapists, and scientists in the real world take their job far too seriously to go traipsing around in a persons head without being as certain as they can what will happen when testing on human beings begins in relation to mental disorders, but the fact that the show has brought up yet another idea to help individuals seems to indicate that one of these days scientists could very well start pushing in a direction that might seem similar to this, albeit with a great deal more caution than we’re used to seeing on TV.
Kudos to Netflix for keeping their roster full and their shows engaging.