I typically steer away from a television show when I find out that it has been cancelled or that the story lines have been left dangling. I wasn't sure I could get into Manhattan. I gave the first episode a go and I honestly dragged my feet to watch it and was indifferent at first. At first. Then when I heard that the season wouldn't be renewed after season two I really had to decide if I was still going to go for it and I am so glad I did.
Like I said, I usually don't want to invest my time into a show that is going to never have its proper ending but honestly this show is worth your time. Set in the 1940's in a desert in New Mexico where the U.S. Army and the country's most intelligent scientist gathered together to build the Atomic Bomb.
The writing and the characters are memorizing. Based in truth but over dramatized for television you watch the characters sway from good to not good to really bad and then back to good. It doesn't get you dizzy watching but it makes you think about the idea of being a good person and doing the right thing and how easily your focus can change. I found that underlining idea in this show to be fascinating.
I sometimes struggle with that idea too. If a person does one bad thing, does that make them a bad person? If a seemingly kind person who thinks what they are doing will save the world but willingly involves themselves in the death of innocent people, does that make that person a bad person? Even if its for the greater good.
There are so many great characters from the scientist to their wives and lovers. The show did bring in a modern topic into its story line that I am noticing quiet a few era themed shows are doing. I'm not saying its good or bad or that those things didn't happen but I do think its the networks attempt to attract younger viewers into a show that was set in the time of the grandparents or better still, their great-grandparents.
The show is basically about those involved in the making of the atomic bomb, all the people around them, and all the secrets everyone has to keep for the sake of winning the war.
I say go and get your hands on this show and then dive straight into it. The stories are powerful and shame on the network for not giving us a third season or at least a tv movie so some loose ends could be tied. But it is one of the most thought provoking era themed shows I have watched in a long while. It really did continuously make me take a look at human nature in a refreshing and daring way. I'm so glad I gave it a go.
A Vintage Nerd Supplementary Reading: