NBC’s “Manifest” a nearly-perfect mystery drama

April 16, 2020

This fall, NBC’s “Manifest” brought the whole family to the TV screen to find out what happened to the passengers on plane 828 that disappeared five and a half years ago. The most intriguing part is not the fact that when the plane mysteriously reappeared one day and not one person on board aged a day — it’s how the 828 passengers live life after they land.

Although this plot might seem very similar to the TV show “Lost,” it has a unique mythological twist. The Flight 828 passengers are not just struggling with accepting the fact they missed five and a half years — they are now receiving “callings,” which are little voices inside their heads that they share with another passenger that was on the plane. These callings lead them into strange but important situations where they save others’ lives. 

The “callings” advance both the characterization of the characters and the plot. One drawback: they hold a little too much of the focus of the show at times. The show is centered around a couple of passengers and their families, including the Stone Family: 12-year-old Cal Stone, Ben his father, Michaela Stone (Ben’s sister), who were all passengers, Olive Stone, Cal’s twin sister who is now 17, and Grace Stone, Ben’s wife. Also, Saanvi is a young doctor who was also a passenger, and Michaela’s ex-fiance and detective Jared.

This show does not only have the mystery component down, it also has the touching relationships aspect. More of a mix between the TV show “This Is Us” and “Lost.” The hardships the passengers go through takes tolls on their already messed up relationships, but this sets up for some really heartfelt moments as well.  

Each episode leaves you at the edge of your seat wondering what adventures the “callings” have in store next for the 828 passengers.               

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