Manifest Pilot Reviews

Manifest – Series Premiere

"I think we've taken impossible off the table."

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There’s absolutely nothing in Manifest you haven’t seen before.

A little bit of Lost, a dash of Resurrection, and a sprinkle of every high-concept network show that flopped hard in the past few years (hello Flashforward, The Event, Revolution and a zillion more). To be fair, Manifest‘s premise has promise: a plane mysteriously lands at its destination FIVE YEARS LATER with no apparent explanation as the survivors try to come to terms with all the time that they’ve lost. The teaser is terrific and reels you in from the start. However…

All that potential is promptly flushed down the drain as the show shifts its focus to a random kidnapping while laying the foundations for some tedious procedural storytelling. Also not helping the show is a recurring number that appears everywhere (I told you this was a Lost ripoff) and some truly atrocious CGI in the hour’s final moments.

It doesn’t help that the show’s cast is a complete bore. With regards to the brother/sister duo at the center of the story, Melissa Roxburgh fares a bit better than Once Upon A Time‘s Josh Dallas but there are really no standouts here. Instead of focusing on the emotional center of the big mystery, the show gets sidetracked with unnecessary distractions that derail all the momentum.

Finally, nothing will prepare you for the show’s insanely cheap title card. Nothing!

Conclusion

Painful acting and uninspired plotting make for a mediocre pilot. Perhaps the show can pull off a miracle in its second outing?

Nad Rating
C

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