Why Netflix's new show is being dubbed the series of the year.

It takes a special kind of TV series to draw Oscar winners and A-list actors to the small screen, but once you watch the trailer for Maniac you’re sure to see why so many Hollywooders were lining up to star in it.

Just be warned, it will also mess with your mind just a little bit.

The Netflix limited series is a dark comedy set in a world somewhat like ours, but with a few twists.

Maniac tells the stories of Annie Landsberg (Emma Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Jonah Hill), two strangers drawn to the late stages of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, each for their own reasons.

Annie’s disaffected and aimless, fixated on broken relationships with her mother and her sister; Owen, the fifth son of wealthy New York industrialists, has struggled his whole life with a disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Can you make it through the trailer for Maniac without your eyes twitching? 

Video by Netflix

Neither of their lives have turned out quite right and so they are both drawn to the promise of a new, radical kind of pharmaceutical treatment.

The treatment involves a sequence of pills its inventor Dr. James K. Mantleray (Justin Theroux), claims can repair anything about the mind, be it mental illness or heartbreak.


It’s this promise of a forever fix that draws them and ten other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial that will, they’re assured, with no complications or side-effects whatsoever, solve all of their problems, permanently.

What follows is a dizzying spectacle of new worlds and bold characters as Annie and Owen are pulled through a series of fantasy scenarios and, even though the experiment continues to separate them, they keep finding their way back to each other.




However, just like any good psychological offering, the premise of the experiment is not what it seems.

Maniac is actually a remake of the Norwegian show of the same name, which aired in 2014. The US adaptation landed a straight-to-series order at Netflix in March 2016 with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill already attached to star in it, more than a decade after they first starred in Superbad,

For viewers, watching Maniac might feel like a slight descent into madness but if the hype is to be believed it will all be worth it in the end.

Created by Patrick Somerville and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaka (director of True Detective and Beasts of No Nation), Maniac dropped on Netflix on Friday September 21.

For more TV news and updates, you can follow writer and Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik on Facebook.