Saturday, February 6, 2016

**** #MANHATTAN: #MadMen meets the Manhattan Project (my review)

Though cancelled by WGN after two seasons, the series MANH(A)TTAN has received exceptional critical response. I can see why.

Set around the remote campus of Los Alamos during the WW2 project of the same name, MANH(A)TTAN doesn't aim to retell that story with literal historical accuracy. Instead, it is a form of historical fiction that focuses on the very real isolation, the smothering secrecy, and the surreal circumstances of families sequestered for years. Imagine the dysfunction that ensues when you put a lot of brilliant people in a box and tell them to work together on something that might end life as they know it; that is what MANH(A)TTAN is all about.

The acting and cinematography in MANH(A)TTAN are top-notch, and you can expect the same attention to historical detail that many of us enjoyed throughout Mad Men. The writers put an engaging cast to the test, and the result is really superb dramatic television. I truly don't know how I missed it until now.

Don't let the series graphic mislead you: there is nothing remotely comedic or strangelovish about MANH(A)TTAN. This is a seriously disturbing story- perhaps too much so for WGN.