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Herc Says NBC’s Shitty New Sci-Fi Hour MANIFEST Is A LOST Cause!!

I am – Hercules!!

NBC’s mediocre “Manifest” may remind some viewers a bit of “The 4400,” another series in which people disappear then reappear years later, all un-aged, often with superpowers. But while The 4400 returned from a bunch of different time periods, all of the “Manifest” returned are refugees from unlucky 2013.

The new series may remind some viewers also of a few “Twilight Zone” episodes in which airplanes arrive in eras not their own. (It seemed to do one of these every year.  Give a gander to "The Odyssey of Flight 33,” “King Nine Will Not Return,” “The Arrival” and “The Last Flight.”)

Also also “Manifest” may (and is intended to?) remind some viewers of “Lost,” which depicted a planeload of passengers collectively coming to grips with sci-fi strangeness.

The “Manifest” superpowers, meanwhile, will remind viewers of the plane-free and infinitely more entertaining “Wonderfalls,” which featured a lead character who found herself compelled to heed cryptic instructions from her brain, maybe. Or from God, maybe. Or from Satan, maybe.

What “Manifest” lacks is longtime “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” showrunner Ira Steven Behr, who developed for “The 4400” loads of compelling characters. The new series has none.

“Manifest” creator Jeff Rake, who also created NBC’s horrible “Mysteries of Laura,” is no Rod Serling, Richard Matheson, Bryan Fuller or J.J. Abrams either. In fact, “Manifest” is precisely the kind of shitty hourlong you’d expect if NBC hired the mastermind behind “Mysteries of Laura” to create a new “Lost” ripoff. What you end up with is something much more akin to ABC’s half-baked timelost-refugee failure “The Crossing” than ABC’s long-running blockbuster “Lost.”


The New York Times says:

... decidedly unoriginal. But worse than that, it’s just so boring. …

New York Magazine says:

... generic and forgettable …

The Washington Post says:

... a textbook failure of predictability, a misconceived drama …

The Boston Globe says:

...  There’s an awful lot of big emotion on this show, which is my polite way of saying that it’s pretty soapy. …

The Boston Herald says:

... might just have the greatest hook of any new fall series. And then it loses its grip. … “Manifest” moves fast, but it plays like a ticket to nowhere.

Variety says:

... adds up to a “Lost” look-alike that, while it lacks the vision evident in ABC’s classic from its earliest moments, is better than it could be. …

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... All I can speculate based on the pilot is that either none of the characters on that airplane are interesting or else the pilot made a huge mistake in terms of which characters to lead with. …

10 p.m. Monday. NBC.

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