What do fans think about Manifest?
The premiere episode of Manifest drew historic network television ratings for a show of its genre. Virtually everyone loved the concept. And why not? A commercial airliner with 191 passengers returning after mysteriously disappearing for 5 ½ years is something that would automatically excite any sci-fi fan.
Critics sometimes criticize the opinions of other critics
Of course, there are the critics. Especially the ones who get paid to criticize new television series. I usually dismiss their opinions. They have the luxury of getting paid to criticize, while not attentively sitting and watching each episode without prejudgment.
The good thing is that fans have the freedom to independently think and decide for themselves what they like or dislike about Manifest. Then too, paid writers aren’t the only ones who will blindly criticize.
How do I know? I read hundreds of comments about the show. From comments on TVLine to Youtube and other venues, I’m interested in what others have to say. Why? I’m an addicted fan and I want to know what others think about the show.
Some of the comments I read are rational and make sense. Other comments have left me scratching my head. Without explanation, one commenter wrote that he had never watched the show and stated it should be immediately cancelled.
Criticism is not based on scientific research
There’s also a forum where commenters take pleasure in criticizing anything and everything about Manifest. They mindlessly consider it to be a failed rip-off because, in their opinions, it will never be as good as any of the network sci-fi shows of the past.
These critics always point to the sci-fi shows that were cancelled. It’s always easier for naysayers to stand on the sidelines and blindly throw bricks. It’s in their nature to keep their minds closed. This is the difference between those naysayers and real sci-fi fans who usually keep their minds open when it comes to thinking outside the (television) box.
Full disclosure. I don’t get paid one cent to write about, or advocate for or against, Manifest or anyone associated with the show. I’m simply a fan. Nothing more, nothing less.
Please do not misunderstand. I’m not against anyone criticizing the show. Criticism is healthy. Without it, there would never be disagreement. And without disagreement, there would never be progress. And without progress, networks would not have enough courage to broadcast shows like Manifest.
There’s enough space in the room for supporters and hardcore critics of the show. If there’s not enough space, then the room’s too small. No one likes being crowded into small spaces, aka., echo chambers. Critics and supporters alike.
Perfection and dealing cards are in the eyes of the beholder
When it comes to Manifest, I always try to keep an open mind. This is why I read the articles of brilliant writers like Cathy Munson-Klein. She is excellence when it comes to analyzing and dissecting the show’s characters and storylines from an intellectual and rational viewpoint.
I also enjoy reading Don Kincaid. No one does it better when it comes to meticulously explaining the overlooked clues, hidden secrets, and the esoteric symbols contained within the show’s mythology than Don. I’m not sure if the show’s executives have done or could do a better job.
And I always enjoy reading the comments and opinions of the forum members of manifest828.com. Comments which I find thought-provoking and informative. When it comes to posting quality comments, the members here do it best.
Manifest is not a perfect television series. It has flaws. But nothing is perfect. In fact, there is no such thing as perfect. Not in the world of reality or in any fictitious sci-fi show. For better or worse, everyone must play the cards they’ve been dealt. This includes the cast as well as the viewing audience.
Fans and critics alike think that some of the cards in the show are missing. Others think a few of the cards are losers. While others think there’s only one trump card. One thing is certain … the hold cards have yet to be dealt.
What do you think? Are any cards missing? Has the dealer dealt enough cards to keep the game interesting? Is it time to discard a few losing cards? Or is it time to reveal one or more of the hold cards?
I stand with those fans advocating for giving Manifest a second
chance season. Like many, I still find the show very intriguing. Who wouldn't find a mystery about a commercial airliner with 191 passengers disappearing and returning after 5 and 1/2-plus years intriguing.
Unfortunately, some fans get angry at fans like me for expressing an evidence-based opinion. They argue the show is too complicated for fans who are critical of the show because only simple answers matter to critics. Obviously, everyone has an opinion. But all opinions aren't equal.
Let me provide and highlight an example as to why one-track minded fans should not use ad hominen attacks against fans like me:
- Michaela found out about UDS's role in kidnapping the hostages. (106.19)
- Ben talked with Vance. (106.18)
- Michaela and Jared paid a visit the farm where the hostages were being held. (106.14)
- Ben interviewed for and was given a job at J.P. Williamson, UDS's accounting firm, before Cal was discharged from the hospital two days later. (107.2)
So, all of this happened in a two day time-period? Ben was hired for a job at J.P. Williamson because he discovered this firm was important to UDS. He then applied for the job and got an interview, did the interview, and was hired for the job. This all happened while Cal was in the hospital for two days? And only after Michaela had investigated and told Ben about UDS?
Understanding this two-day time-line isn't complicated, it's simple. So please Manifest fans, use logic and sound reasoning in arguments, not personal attacks. Fans like me absolutely love the show ... just like those who close their eyes to all of the unbelievable SNAFU storylines.
Fans like me absolutely love the show and will never stop expressing our opinions. Whether anyone likes it or not.
I read comments about the show from approximately a dozen different websites. The consensus is that Manifest deserves a second season. Even some of the show's most vocal critics believe Manifest should have an opportunity to continue its story.
A way in which season two could improve upon the failings of the first season is by increasing the number of flashbacks to life before 828, in lieu of continuing to tell such over the top stories in the present timeline.
I agree to the nth degree with the author, Katerina Daley (excerpt from her SCREENRANT article 10 Things We Want to See in Manifest in Season 2). I agree 100% with each and everything Katerina highlighted in her article. For example, here's another one of her insightful and relevant points:
One of the biggest mistakes the series has made so far came in its last batch of episodes. Before answering any questions the audience and the characters themselves have had about the exact nature of the disappearance and its time traveling reality, Manifest instead decided to introduce a few characters who had experienced similar, albeit much shorter disappearances totally unrelated to Flight 828.
I absolutely love the comments posted on this forum, manifest828.com. I also have an affinity for those who post comments about Manifest on TVLine. I find the comments about the series and its episodes on Reddit and FANDOM to be raw and honest. But with all due respect to every Manifest fan everywhere, I must admit. I've discovered the comments posted on PRIMETIMER to be straight out of no-holds barred city.
Here's an example:
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that this is the season finale -- so all the mysteries will be revealed.
I'm kidding, we're just going to get more nonsense tossed into the mix to make things even more confusing.
Cal sees and knows everything that's going on, but doesn't use his knowledge to help anyone around him overcome their personal shortcomings ... including members of his own family.
The first episodes of Manifest excited sci-fi fans everywhere. At least that's my opinion ... based on the initial high audience ratings and all of the social media buzz. Then something happened. I'm not sure what happened. But obviously something happened.
One of the sources I used to explain the mysteries behind the show's hidden secrets for me was Think Story on Youtube. Listed below are the only five Exploring Manifest videos Think Story provided.
I don't know why Think Story stopped exploring the mysteries of Manifest. But for me, as a fan, it's something that I really miss. As I stated above, "something obviously happened."
Many fans are better at analyzing ratings numbers than me. But here's what I've observed:
The demo ratings declined after episode 1 until showing a 8.42% increase at episode 12. Overall viewer ratings declined every week ... except for episodes 4, 9, 13, and 15. Both the demo and overall viewer ratings increased double-digits for episode 15.
Non-live viewer ratings reveal that a significant number of fans don't watch the series when its initially broadcast. But they either watch it later on HULU or through some other type of "on-demand" service. As a fan, I must be honest. I become concerned when reviewers like Think Story discontinue their reviews. I also get concerned when the weekly ratings drastically drop.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that season 2 will be highly successful. While the success on the series depends on fan interest, it's solely up to the showrunner, writers, and cast to do what's necessary to ensure fan interest is maintained. When fans are no longer interested in the storylines or excited by the plots they will simply stop watching. I know. I'm a fan.
As a fan who has watched Manifest from the very beginning, the series was addictively intriguing and had the potential to be one of the best ever in the history of television. I still think so. But this doesn't mean that I can't complain about what I've seen up to now.
I realize Manifest wasn't created to please me. Or to satisfy my personal desires and wants. I'm only one of millions of fans. Some of the show's fans are more invested than me. Some can even be described as cult followers. Anyway, here is what I really think.
There have been too many dropped storylines:
The plane's explosion on the tarmac. Some of the 828 passengers were compelled to drop whatever they were doing, travel to the airport, and watch the plane explode. What happened here? I don't expect all of the answers to be given. But a few clues or hints wouldn't hurt. For me, as a fan, it feels as if I'm left helplessly hanging ... without any answers to ever be expected.
Nine of the 828 passengers remain in a catatonic state. When Fiona Clarke disappeared, so did the storyline. Why? Obviously, what is happening to the helpless passengers is more important to the plane's 5 and 1/2 years disappearance than Jared's love life. At least that's the way I see it.
Powell the prisoner? NSA Special Agent Powell was Robert Vance's deputy and was last seen in the custody of the Major's henchmen. After the shoot-out at the Red Hook facility, and the lame cover story about terrorists, what happened to all of the no-nonsense professional investigative reporters? After all, if Grace knew that Ben, Cal, and Michaela (all 828'ers) were at the shoot-out, then someone else ... other than whoever was involved in the cover up ... also knew. Someone who has the power to make inquiries about the Red Hook shoot-out. Someone with the power to make inquiries directly to Powell ... who is now missing
in action (from the story).
Thomas in hiding. Thomas is someone who wasn't on MA 828's manifest. He was a stowaway. I know that it's beyond my ability as a fan to understand any creative decision that's made by the show's executives. But when it comes to the effects of the "callings" and the mysteries surrounding the plane's disappearance, why is Thomas' storyline less important than Zeke Landon's storyline? Yes, Zeke wasn't on MA 828. But Thomas was ... and he wasn't supposed to be on the flight. Thomas remains a missing piece of the puzzle.
Kelly Taylor's missing body. Where is her body? Who has it? And even more puzzling, why is Kelly's missing body being kept a secret? Unless the entity or those directly responsible for 828's disappearance has custody, there is no reason to keep this a secret. Even then, there is no reason to just forget that Kelly ever existed. There's something significant about Kelly being on the plane. Saanvi thinks so. She's the one who wanted a sample of Kelly's brain tissue. A sample that she obviously never received.
Above are only a few examples of dropped storylines. What I mean by dropped is that these storylines didn't end as cliffhangers ... they simply disappeared ... vanished into thin air without any related or viable continuity. When S2 premieres in January 2020, will the show's executives remember the
nonexistence existence of these storylines. But more importantly, will the show's loyal fans, especially those like me, be willing to overlook the fact that these storylines actually happened?
Whether others agree or not, fans have their own opinions. For me, reading the opinions of other fans is enlightening. Why? Because it helps to keep me from being close-minded and uninformed. Here are some fan comments from around the inside of the hyperspace universe:
Is it too much to ask for Grace to just apologize and get on with it? Just saying I need you back doesn't wipe the slate clean.
The family drama is the LEAST appealing aspect of the show. I hope they toned it down as well.
Manifest has only just come onto Sky, so only seen 2 episodes so far. Immediately thought it's just a not so good rehash of The 4400. I kind of like it, but can see why people lost interest quite quickly!
You’re so right about the vicious cycle. If you want to write the next Lost, you damn well better be as talented as JJ, Damon and Carlton were at writing characters, because that’s what makes a show great. The problem with The Event, Flashforward AND Manifest is that characterisation is a little too cliche and cardboard. But I still really hope for Manifest to live out it’s full six years – I can dream.
michael gilby, YouTube:
I have seen all of season one now. The show does have it’s moments but it fails to rise above being just mediocre entertainment. In the next season we certainly need more answers. I think it requires a higher budget, more visual effects, more tension. We learn in the last episode that all the passengers on that plane will die in five years. If this comes to pass then we have to wait for season 5 assuming the series lasts that long ...
Manifest's attempts to balance supernatural mystery and melodrama largely work thanks to its well-chosen cast -- though it could use a few more distinguishing characteristics.