The upcoming Netflix limited series Maniac, which I only recently learned is not the same thing as the recent HBO limited series Mosaic, is an adaptation of a recent Norwegian show that finds Emma Stone reunited with Jonah Hill for the first time since 2007’s Superbad. In the intervening decade, they have both been nominated for Academy Awards—with Stone winning, in 2017, for best actress for La La Land—and Hill has become both a men’s wear icon and a tabloid fixture. But that was just about all anyone knew about the show, whose promotional tactics have been obscure, to say the least.
Until now. On Monday, the latest, and most comprehensive, trailer for the Cary Fukunaga–directed series was unveiled, offering a bit more context for the plot, but also, more importantly, the midcentury mental-hospital chic that seems to be the dominant aesthetic as far as the costumes go.
The trailer opens with Justin Theroux interviewing Stone and Hill, separately, about their involvement in the trial. “I’m sick,” Hill says. “My head doesn’t work right.” Theroux plays the slightly deranged doctor conducting a medical trial to type, with side-parted ’70s hair and wire-framed glasses, and he’s not the only one—after all, didn’t you know smart doctor-type people wear glasses? There’s Sally Field, in a red suit with wide black frames perched on her nose as she asks Theroux, “How many of your subjects have ended up catatonic?”
“Zero,” Theroux says. “Roughly.” Convincing, no?
There’s also Sonoya Mizuno, Stone’s La La Land costar, as Dr. Fujita, in (if possible) even wider lenses, also wire-rimmed, framed by a blunt-cut bob and bangs. She has an English accent, another mark of smart people onscreen.
Meanwhile, while those doctors remain firmly anchored in their own present by their very ’70s eyewear, Stone, Hill, and fellow cast members like Julia Garner venture across time and space (but apparently only in their own heads). They show up with Lord of the Rings–esque cloaks and archery equipment, in early-20th-century noir suits and dresses, and in various other possible alternate realities.
“This is some multi-reality brain-magic s--t,” Stone says. This, it seems, is also a fittingly meta tagline for the show. But the eyewear is on point.