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Maniac on Netflix

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Mark Suszko
Maniac on Netflix
on Nov 1, 2018 at 2:07:40 pm

Starts slowly but picks up after the second episode.

Fun and twisty adult sci fi comedy-drama about two psychologically damaged people with broken lives who join a hybrid VR/ prescription drug therapy trial for a program that will make therapists and therapy obsolete. Something goes wrong, they get trapped inside the VR therapy and have to work thru the various escape-room-ish VR scenarios the computer throws at them, as a team, to get out of the system before it fries their minds.

On the outside, the people running the trial and simulations are frantically trying to wrest control of the system back from an AI "therapist" who's holding the patients hostage and threatening to turn them into mental vegetables. Reminds me a little bit of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", but the multi-episode format enables the story to fill-out more. Sally Field has a small role but she's terrific in it. Emma Stone does some of her best work here. Jonah Hill shows some range I didn't know he had, as well.

It's not perfect, and it may be a tad long getting to it's conclusion, but it was overall a fun ride.

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