'Manifest' Season 1: 5 reasons viewers remain totally hooked to NBC's mystery thriller
Execution always makes a difference, but there are other factors that work in the favor of the show. We reached out to fans in our quest to find out what made the show so appealing
A lot of factors need to work together in order to make a mystery unique and appealing to its audience. NBC's 'Manifest' is not particularly unique when it comes to shows about a missing plane, time-travel, and estranged families. The Jeff Rake creation has been following the mystery of Montego Air Flight 828, which went missing for almost five and a half years.
What was strange was the passengers on the plane didn't even realize they were missing out on almost half a decade as none of them had aged a day when they finally returned. Starring Josh Dallas as Ben Stone, Melissa Roxburgh as Michaela Stone, Athena Karkanis as Grace, Parveen Kaur as Saanvi Bahl and Matt Long as Zeke, one of the most unique factors of the show is its execution.
Execution always makes a difference, but there are also other factors that work in the favor of the show. We reached out to fans in our quest to find out what made the show so appealing, here are a few reasons that justify the fandom:
1. A drama shrouded in mystery
We all love to hear stories about strange occurrences that lead to unpredictable situations, and how characters try to make sense of these situations. That is exactly what fans thought of in the first place when they spoke about 'Manifest'.
One fan on Reddit mentioned, "I personally like the aspect of drama mixed with mystery. I like the twist and turns and surprises. I know it’s not a new premise but it’s so mysterious and just interesting to think how people would react if this did happen." 'Manifest' revolves around a strange premise, which is not easy to fathom, and due to its unfathomable nature, it has managed to keep fans hooked.
2. Audience-character dynamic
One of the best things about 'Manifest' is the characters are just as clueless as the audience. In an interview with Collider, Rake suggested, "The audience is on a parallel journey with our protagonists, as they attempt to decipher the ultimate answer."
Fans have been trying to decipher the answers since the beginning of the show, and this is exactly where 'Manifest' has succeeded in pulling in attention. One fan told us on Twitter, "What appeals most to me about the show is how different it is from other shows and I love trying to come up with theories each week and listening to other people’s ideas as well!"
3. The ongoing drama
Although the show has been criticized by fans every now and then for its initial inclination to center the storyline around couple dynamics, fans really enjoyed watching two of the main couples - Ben and Grace and Michaela and Jared - go in and out of their relationships as the whole mystery begins to take a toll upon them.
In fact, these couples are not facing a crisis on their own but are a part of a bigger picture with family members who were left behind when the plane went missing. One fan on Twitter said, "The premise interested me, especially the family drama side tied in with a big event mystery. I wanted a show with a family focus that made me think. The procedural component was a bonus."
4. A Lost reminder
Let's just say, whoever has watched 'Lost' will at least take a look at 'Manifest'. Ever since the first episode established the basic premise of the show about a plane, lost passengers, and strange visions and voices, fans have been comparing the show to 2004 hit ABC series, 'Lost'.
A fan on Twitter said, "We started watching it because it reminded us of Lost. Kept watching because it’s an interesting storyline (returning to life after several years) with an added conspiracy theory twist." Another fan on Reddit mentioned a similar point, "I’m fully engaged and on board, and I love any show that has an undercurrent of mythology and bigger meaning/mystery. (My all-time fav show is 'Lost'.)"
5. Drum-rolls, it's Josh Dallas!
Nothing can be more charming than watching Prince Charming himself trying to save the day. Dallas won millions of hearts when he played the role of David Nolan (or Prince Charming) in ABC's 2011 series, 'Once Upon a Time'. As the show came to a close in 2018, Dallas was once again seen as the charming main guy in 'Manifest'.
A fan on Twitter said, "I started to watch Manifest because of Josh Dallas, but immediately got sucked in. It’s the best of all genres, it’s sci-fi, it’s a family drama, and it’s police procedural. It’s a very unique combination that we don’t see on television often. Plus, @jeff_rake is a genius!"
'Manifest' returns with its finale, 'Estimated Time of Departure', February 18 on NBC, and let's hope we do get a second season.