June 18, 2024

Manifest: The TV series

This may contain minor spoilers

Manifest is a 2018 drama series streaming on Netflix with around four seasons, 15 episodes per season. I have not finished this series to be completely honest, but yet felt compelled to share my thoughts. Sharing a quick thought from when I had only seen the first two episodes, it was a complete let down.

The story of the series is great. For those who do not know what Manifest is about, it is complicated. Basically, a flight full of regular civilians going from one destination to another disappears for about five years. Not only does it disappear for five years, but when it randomly lands at the destination it was meant to years ago, those on the plane had no idea any time had passed. They thought it was the normal length of the plane, until they were stopped on the runway, the pilot was taken into custody, and they were swarmed with police and medical personnel.

Not a single passenger on the flight aged even a day. One of the main characters has a child that suffers from cancer, and was not given long to live. But because of this flight, five years had passed and he did not age more than a day, nor did his cancer progress. They return, and we see the child’s twin, who is now a teen, and who does not know the brother or the dad on the flight. The mother of the twins – the wife of the father – has a new relationship that she hides for a large amount of time from the father. The main character’s fiance had married her best friend, and her mother died. 

So basically, their whole lives fell apart while they were gone, and they returned not even knowing that they had left longer than maybe five hours. So amongst all this chaos, they realize that they also have a sort of power now. They hear a voice that tells them to do things which end up benefiting someone. It is literally a superpower. In one episode the main character finds two children that were kidnapped because she listened to this voice.

The story is great and everything, but it just is not right. Maybe it is the actors. If you switched them out for more well known actors, maybe it would be more special. Maybe if we had more of a backstory of witnessing how things unfolded while they were gone, we would feel more of an attachment to the situations created. Or even better, a mix of both, and we get to see the relationship between the main characters and these important people in their lives.

I think we just need more, more of everything. It could have been so successful had they made it easier to become invested in. I struggled to make it through the first two episodes, but I forced myself further for the storyline.

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