Aquarius (TV Series 2015–2016) Poster

(2015–2016)

User Reviews

Review this title
90 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
A slow burn but worth the wait
d-speaksone4 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I was on the fence until about the 5th episode. But as the multiple cases and crimes start interconnecting, the plot thickens to a nice soup. David Duchovny pulled some acting chops I've never seen before actually. Everyone else seems to hold their weight as well. A lot of people complain that Manson wasn't that "pretty" or tall but if you look at the earlier interviews with the real Manson, you'll see for yourself that he wasn't a bad looking guy. And this is taking place before those interviews.

I think the show does a good job of not trying to make Manson super scary, and I'm sure it'd be tempting too, knowing how much of a boogeyman his name is in American culture. Despite his psychological charms, he was also just a tripped out mess too.

If you're looking for a Manson story that's going to hurry along and give you the film depiction of the Tate murders, etc.. it's going to disappoint. I was half-way disappointed but I stuck in there, and I'm glad I did. If there's future seasons, by the time they show the progression of Manson's character into what he's known for today, I think it's going to really pay off for the audience.
24 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
who cares if its fictional!!! Its a TV show!!!
jtsteele-992576 June 2015
I would like to know the shows the rest of the reviewers are watching that are so entertaining. I was impressed with how well Aquarius held my attention. Its not a documentary or biopic. If it was it wouldn't last beyond an hour long episode. Instead, Aquarius adds creative twists that make the show worth watching. I've never been interested in crime shows and I have a very short attention span. I had no problem making it through the first season of Aquarius and enjoyed every episode. I can't trust the snob reviews people post on here. This isn't the best show ever but it's certainly not bad. Duchovny does a great job as well as the rest of the cast. Gethin Anthony plays a great bad guy. His face makes me mad now. Sorry Gethin, but great job buddy!
52 out of 67 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Excellent
troydg842 June 2015
I'm halfway through the first season of Aquarius and am thoroughly enjoying it. The acting is superb and the sets from the 60's are remarkable. Duchovny, Grey Damon and Gethin Anthony all hit home runs with their characters. NBC took a gigantic gamble by making the entire season available online once the premier episode aired. I respect and appreciate that decision because this show is a great one to binge on. Making such a bold move seems to have pushed expectations to unattainable heights based on some of the reviews I've seen. This is a good series. Anyone rating it or any of the episodes 1/10 should be ignored. I just hope the opinions of "haters" don't cause a show as entertaining as this to be canceled.
52 out of 68 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Truth is Stranger Than Fiction
apache6717 June 2017
Anyone that has done some research on Manson, the family and all circumstances that surrounded them before during and after the horrific countless murders that climaxed with the Tate La Bianca ones and the three ring circus that was the trial, knows that there was no need for writers and producers to embellish or go off book. Fact is stranger than fiction, especially in this story, you can't make this stuff up. The cast of characters, hippies, ranchers, runaways, satanic cultists, vindictive hells angels, black militants they re all there along with riff raff of all kind. Just read Ed Sanders The Family and Helter Skelter. There was no need to embellish, and the kids are way to contemporary. Some of the girls sound like jappy valley girls.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Finally a different cop show! People give it a chance.
alyon-780131 June 2015
I'm hearing a lot of negative comments in reference to this show and its realism especially as to the actor portraying Manson, I don't think that they got the info that the year this show is portraying is 1967, not 1969 when Mansons family did the killings and Manson was clearly then a madman.. I think the show is probably building up to it if the show last that long I personally think that the madness the actor is building up in his Manson character is exceptional, though this is my opinion and we all have one.

I find this series quite fascinating, it was a bit slow in the beginning but most new shows are. I found this show is different than all of the current cop shows on TV and I find it very entertaining. I was always a David Duchovny fan and I just discovered this show on demand over a weekend and spent the whole day watching all 12 episodes. The characters, to me, are mesmerizing, especially the guy who plays Manson (Genthon Anthony plays freaky amazingly well). I was never really into the whole Charlie Manson thing but my friend forced me to watch and I was hooked, in the beginning I thought that the plot would be the whole story line on Charlie Manson but there are other issues inter-weaved with the Charles Manson story not too mention the whole 60's era including the fashion, music, the attitude of the era between the hippy community and the so-called, overdrinking, straight laced adults which I really am enjoying. I'm hoping the show last a while.
30 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Pretty good, but with problems. Still stinks of network TV.
tonybertocchi1 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I really wanted to like Aquarius. What I mean is that the set-up, featuring society on the cusp of the counter culture in Los Angeles, with all its hippie utopia colliding with the darkness of Vietnam, the Watts riots, and of course the Manson family, is wonderfully colourful fodder for a contemporary miniseries/costume opera. What better material could you ask for in terms of good narrative threads, a wide variety of personalities, and great imagery? The So-Cal dream with its late sixties style, permissiveness, and lotus-land consciousness is rife with narrative potential as it meets the urban grit of your typical hard-boiled Los Angeles police department. Throw in some accomplished faces and the thing should write itself. And it succeeds to a degree. It's wonderful to look at, and well, feel. The series' construction works masterfully to affect a quiet unease amongst sun-drenched suburbs. The art direction has captured the Los Angeles of its day to a tee. You can practically smell the sweat and patchouli in the scenes of the hippie retreat of Topanga Canyon. Furthermore, there are interesting narrative arcs and sub-arcs that weave in and out of the two main characters' (David Duchovny as Sam Hodiak, the jaded, button-down detective, and Grey Damon as the undercover age-of-Aquarius narc) caseload. Items such as block-busting, the Black Panthers, and the anti-war movement all intrigue as we are reminded about just how fast a massive amount of social change was occurring at the time. A good eighty percent of this is really good, solid storytelling. Except it's also really troubled. There's that other twenty percent. And the biggest fault here is what they've given Duchovny to say. And how they told him how to say it. We know that Duchovny can make a good geekish, details-oriented detective, and against the setting of a transitioning world it's an apt, loner-ish choice. However, there's far too little of Mulder here, and unfortunately far, far too much of Californication's Hank Moody instead. It's as if he's being directed to be all his previous roles at the same time. While he comes off with intelligent observations about whatever nefarious crime he's looking into, he apparently cannot help but offer smug little one liners, in which the sense of irony is so completely before its time it's like he's in a completely different TV show. So badly do these dialogical frogs emerge, that one wonders if they let him write his own lines. But this isn't the whole of it. There are some relationships that just reek of falseness. The wealthy couple Grace and Ken, whose daughter has been adopted into the Manson clan, have conflicting and ridiculous reactions to the motivations in their lives. One asks if they themselves are on the acid their daughter takes with Charlie Manson, by accident perhaps? Furthermore, Hodiak's affair with Grace, and indeed his entire personal life, appears to have no emotional, nor rational foundation. For example, he's in recovery for the first five episodes, and then he's not – but without any really big reasons to be, or apparent consequences for not being. This is add-on screen writing at its worst and stinks of having been scribed 'by committee'. Worse than this however, is Ken's supposed evilness. Here, all the cards are pulled out. Greed, lust, duplicity, abandonment of one's child, being a lawyer, and belonging to the Republican party are all paraded and conflated as a consequence of Ken's – horror of horrors – homosexuality. Furthermore, they add onto this overloaded gay signifier the ultimate repulsion, a salacious gay romp with – you guessed it – Charlie Manson himself (played marvellously by Gethin Anthony – Game of Thrones' Renly Baratheon). This kind of demonizing of queerness is cheap, manipulative, and agonizingly tired. It's so bad in fact that it reminds one of bad network television of the era it's set in. These worn-thin tropes are one of the main reasons that the public is turning away from such twaddle, and moving towards much superior cable programming. Such programming is clearly what this show is attempting to catch up to – they've even gone so far to release the entire show at once - a la Netflicks. Yet come to think of it, looking at this as a piece of network television, one wonders if they'll ever really learn.
16 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Good after a rocky start
SheDolphin30 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER ALERT!!!

Having now binge watched all episodes as a Duchovny fan, I've got to be honest and say I was not taken in by the first two episodes that premiered this week on NBC. But I'm glad that I stuck with it and continued through the entire first season. It took some time for the series to catch its stride.

Set in Los Angeles 2 years before the Tate/La Bianca murders, Duchovny and Grey Damon (Friday Night Lights) play detectives with a generation gap who tangle with an early Charlie Manson. Some Justified players are also along for the ride. David Meunier plays a character I think is loosely based on Manson associate Tex Watson. Abbey Miller plays Manson's first follower, 'Mother Mary,' who comes into the family fold about half way through. Gaius Charles (also from FNLs) plays a Black Panther's leader.

As I said, the first two episodes, I didn't care for them. The loosely based Manson story was distracting, chaotic, even corny. At first, there is too much going on with that and Duchovny's character, Sam Hodiak, with a former love, her daughter, and his son. I was much more interested in getting to know the core cast in the Detective Squad. And the series finally goes there, moves through time, and takes on other cases and stories. Those law enforcement relationships are rich and honest, and I really enjoyed those stories a lot. Well cast and well acted. Hope to see a lot more of that in Season 2 because that is where the gold is.

Duchovny does a good job developing his character. As do he and Damon in slowly developing an unlikely partnership. Love the female officer. All of them. Even the racist officers and the Neanderthols of the 1960'd LAPD. As I said, it's honest.

I lived in So Cal during this time. I remember the hippies, the racial strife, the music, counter culture, and the political Revolution and unrest of the turbulent 60's. The Vietnam War. I was a kid, but I vividly remember the times. Manson should have been a minor backdrop in this series as a time marker . . . . and maybe in Season 2, he will be.
28 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Great show
baddley-5722929 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I absolutely loved every second of the show. It took me back in time to the 60's.The music was awesome. There were so many twists and turns that I never saw coming.I can't say enough about the acting. The whole cast were so believable. The plot kept me hanging on wishing for more. I can't wait to see what next week brings. The mind controlling antics of Charles Manson is well portrayed. DD is excellent in his part, such a no-nonsense guy and I love his partner. I never saw his partner's secret coming, that was a big surprise. I have already grown to hate the girl's lawyer father. What a piece of crap. I see a love story coming between DD and his past girlfriend.
39 out of 58 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Aquarius is great fun! Haters must chill!
MovieMinx671 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I'm truly shocked at the haters who have jumped up here and shot down this program. I love it. I was born in 1967, the Summer of Love. The music is great. The acting is above par. Duchovny is Duchovny, not Fox Mulder. Get past that. Grey Damon is excellent. (Yeah, I see "The Following" comparison. Another great show.) Gethin Anthony totally channels Manson's body language. Look at Jason Ralph as Mike Vickery -- he steals the scenes he's in. And Gaius Charles as Bunchy Carter. There is brilliance in these supporting roles. The writers have written some incredibly witty dialogue. I've always been fascinated with Manson stories. This one is fresh. It's like the reverse side of the "Mad Men" coin. Don't miss it.
22 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Duchovny makes this whole show...
a0003086430 May 2015
After about 4 or 5 episodes I find myself waiting for Duchovny to come back into a scene, he makes this whole show go forward; otherwise, a bit plodding in terms of story and script. The Manson actor good but in a scene with Duchovny, no contest who makes the scene memorable. Without Duchovny, a plodding script with pretty boy, pretty girl actors whom you want to be forgiving towards as it is obvious they are trying their best and good at it, but the script will not let you do it.

The show does a pretty good job of showing the times for what they were in terms of dress, cars, music and the like but at times, it gets in the way of the show. For example, the Duchovny characters son shows up having fled the war as an enlisted soldier appalled that he was in Cambodia fighting what he believed was an illegal war. Accurate but really off topic and this character is a diversion to the plot and unnecessary to illustrate the times. It is unlikely Manson did what he did because of this, so why throw this in the script (including the Black Panther movement angle)?

If the writers had stuck to the crime drama, dress, music, cars of the period it would have been a great series. Too many plot diversions that are unnecessary and make the script plodding.

BTW, David looks great for his age and his acting accomplished. He makes the pretty boy actors in the show look just that, boys and not men. Why I gave the show an 8/10. Without him in this show, try 6/10 at best.
33 out of 49 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
couldn't get into it
cherold29 May 2015
There are some shows that don't really click with you. They can be well filmed, they can be well acted, but you just can't get enthusiastic about them. For me, Aquarius is one of those series.

There were things that started putting me off right away. The cinematography was slick but uninteresting. And I love 60s music, but I'm a little tired of this idea that you have to have people constantly listening to all the coolest songs from the 60s.

I didn't find most of the characters interesting, including Manson. I admit, Manson is tough, in that it's possible he really was kind of uninteresting but good at talking to particularly dumb girls, but to me he seems transparent and that makes his success puzzling.

For me, the only real bright spot was Grey Damon as an undercover cop. His scenes were all good, and I enjoyed the banter between Damon and Duchovny (although the rest of the time I found Duchovny flat).

I think this series is well enough made that there are people who will really like it, but I felt restless within the first 10 minutes and nothing in the rest of the first episode pulled me in after that. So I'll skip it.
89 out of 146 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Disappointed only 2 season's
tammyreeves-2581826 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I'm only giving a 9 out of 10 because of the canceling after season 2. The ending of season 2 left too many unopened questions!!! They should at least do a season finale disc so they can wrap all the unanswered questions!!! Highly dissatisfied only with this one issue-I loved this series...
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A Truly Superb Series of Epic Proportions
jlthornb5129 May 2015
An original, sprawling, epic television event and as riveting a mini- series ever produced for television. The story is engrossing and the period atmosphere precise and overwhelming. The writing is absolutely superb, sometimes even brilliant. Among the many elements that make this such a special event is the cinematography. It recalls film noir and still captures the color and off kilter tones of the 60's. The acting is uniformly excellent, with David Duchovny giving a stunning performance as the detective, Hodiak. It is stellar work and deserving of an Emmy nomination at least. In fact, there is little that isn't award worthy in Aquarius. Intense, fascinating, and utterly enthralling, this is television at its very finest.
55 out of 98 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
If you weren't there, don't make movies about the Sixties
mary-461162 September 2016
I lived through the Sixties as a young woman. The dialogue in Aquarius is ridiculous. None of us talked that way - especially not with Valley Girl accents. The writers have used contemporary teen talk, made-up cop insults and the worst of Jim Morrison's yowling poetry. The costumes are absurd - the writers seem to think that all you have to do to create a hippie character is give them dirty and ragged clothes. The clash with the cops is ludicrous - nobody used the insults the mob shouts. Not only weren't the hippies all white, many of us were older. Many of us believed in and worked at building a viable counter-culture. As for Manson - who seems to have become an object of juvenile fascination - he was singular. There were serious communes all over the States. All in all, miss this shoddy piece of exploitation. If you want to know what it was like being a hippie, find an old hippie and ask them.
35 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
The retro vibe and bizarrely charismatic antagonist only amount to average thriller.
quincytheodore30 May 2015
Aquarius has good foundations for a drama thriller with its time period and decent cast. That being said, it doesn't really excite. The atmosphere is drab, not in intentionally classic manner, and the plot isn't audience friendly due to the vague script. The most it can offer is buddy cop mystery or the chase of an enigmatic villain, which is actually decent. However, as audiences have known better mystery show like True Detective or even The Following which has remarkably similar concept, Aquarius might not reach the iconic stature of its original source.

The show opens with a missing girl. Sam (David Duchovny) is called by his associates to look for the girl, who unfortunately has record of misbehavior. Then he embarks on the investigation, meeting potential suspect and hardheaded colleagues as the show frequently switches to the antagonist's point of view. It tries to give perspective of both sides in parallel.

It's properly made with sandy visual flair and hefty influence of the era like the baggy costume or old-fashioned tune. However, the introductions of the characters are bland. They are not memorable, even the role of Charles Manson is overly cryptic. It gets the story going, but doubtfully captives the audience. The songs and gimmick feel cosmetic, they don't emphasis much on the time except occasional reminders of trivial hippie style.

David Duchovny also isn't that engaging as the lead. He seems flat and is an uninteresting reminiscence of cop stereotype. Gethin Anthony as Charles Manson does a decent role of creepy yet alluring mysterious man, although he might not be that psychologically menacing. The script could've done a better job on setting the era or the character, but as much of the dialogues feel forced in hope to be edgy but ends up unrelatable.

Aquarius doesn't have glaring flaws, it doesn't possess clever hook or identifiable characters either. It's an average mystery drama with all of its aspects intact, but it is not as exalted as the real life source.
28 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
"The Following" set in the 1960s...
m_imdb-905-69121329 May 2015
...and that's okay! There's a serial-killer cult-leader who has dirt on various officials, a follower who has reservations, a down-and-dirty ethically-challenged cop teamed with an idealistic partner with a scandalous (for the time period) secret, all mixed with classic music and drenched in sepia.

The acting is reasonable (not great, but not horrible... especially for network television) with some good portrayals by serial-killer Manson (Gethin Anthony) and good-cop Damon (Brian Shafe), and the sub-plots give a good sense of place (civil rights issues, drugs, sexuality).

The beginning is a bit slow, but you would expect that (it's not the type of show where you'd jump straight into a manhunt or anything). It's probably a bit more on the character drama- side than the action-side, so keep that in mind.

In the continuum of shows out there I'd rather watch this than The Americans, but I'd throw Aquarius under the bus for Hell on Wheels.
24 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Absolute Fiction
staceymorris2 June 2015
Charlie Manson was one of the most bizarre characters of the 60's and the murders he and the "family" committed were enough to keep people on the edge of their seats for years. Why does NBC need to fictionalize almost every detail except Charlie's name? There was no Emma, nor her republican stereotyped parents. Sam Hodiak and Shafe are fiction. The other girls aren't named so who knows if they are actual Manson girls. What is the point of totally rewriting the story?

That said, David Duchovny is great and I like Grey's character. Gethin Anthony's portrayal of Manson comes off like a parody. The story is silly and simplistic. Are the writers trying to romanticize a lunatic? I sincerely suggest the writers do their homework? I really wanted to like this, but sadly can't give more than one star.
27 out of 49 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Started Well, Then Quickly Began to Lose Stars
bababear4 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I soldiered my way through the pilot, and by the time it was finished knew it was time to say goodbye to this show.

At the beginning I would have rated it a 10. The music is fantastic. But that may have an underside: the licensing fees on these songs are high. Maybe that's why there was no money left for a good script or decent actors.

Worse yet, like so many shows it's very dark. Not dark in tone: that's perfectly fine. But other than the outdoor scenes, too often there's so little light on the scenes that it's more like radio than television. Here's another cinematographer who never met a 15 watt bulb he didn't like.

The story is set in the summer of 1967, the year I turned 21. When I saw a billboard for Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign in the scenes on the Sunset Strip I thought, hmmmm, wonder if this is going to turn up in later episodes.

The worst part is the presumption that the LAPD is going to spend two years investigating Charles Manson and despite David Duchovny's best efforts Manson (played with no charisma by a young man named Gethin Anthony) is going to do terrible things over the coming episodes.

Unless, of course, the show decides to completely abandon history and let Sharon Tate and her friends, and maybe even Bobby Kennedy, go forward into the 1970's unharmed. After all, the coveted viewers between the ages of 18 and 35 have only slight awareness of modern history.

Skip this. Watch the DVD of HELTER SKELTER instead.
12 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Empty and casual
kofila6 June 2015
I was looking forward to this so much... I like Duchovny, I am pulled by the "mad killer" theme, I love the sixties music.... Putting it together needs more care though.

I knew after first 5 minutes, this just won't work for me. First of all: playing old songs in the background all the time (and I do mean ALL the time) doesn't make anything look old. And apart from that they didn't really put much effort in convincing you it's the 60s... Then there is the camera and the whole look of the show which is just flat and dull and creates no atmosphere whatsoever. The characters are boring as well as the acting and you'll have very hard time believing the bull*hit Manson pulls could actually work on anybody.

All and all it's just empty and unsuspenseful. What a shame.
13 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
This series is just propaganda.
regkeane12 August 2016
I am at episode 9 in season 1 and I am not watching any more. The story has not moved on from episode one. It reminds me of the Jack Bauer series 24. In every season of 24 Jack Bauer's daughter is kidnapped and Bauer looks for her and then gets her back. Really tedious after the second time. In Aquarius the first episode is just repeated again and again. Also, every episode has something about white people being racist to blacks. Usually there is no rhyme nor reason to it, we are just expected to accept that white people are racist and hateful to non-whites because that is how white people are. Like I mentioned, just leftist propaganda from the usual suspects in Hollywood. Who watches these things and doesn't notice this? It is actually getting hard to find a movie or TV series that doesn't have this type of subversive muck.
26 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Like a bad movie of the week or after school special. Targeted to millennials?
CrenshawPete1 January 2016
This show fails to capture the era on so many levels. Mad Men, although not perfect in this regards, does a much, much better job with the styles, culture, etc. of the period. With Aquarius, they barely even made an effort to get the clothes, hair, furniture, etc. to look like the 60s. In fact, it looks more like 1997 than 1967.

Completely sloppy and uninspiring. It's like no one bothered to grow their hair out from the current 21st century styles because they never expected the series to get picked up. "Ah, just throw in a bunch of overused, cliché 60s hits. The millennials will never know the difference!"

I loved Californication, except for the seventh season, which I'd like to forget ever existed. Don't even get me started on that stinker! But Californication was unique... a bit of low-brow adult fun.

Aquarius has no raison d'être. I mean why rewrite history when the real events are sensational enough? Last summer I read "Mason: The life and times of Charles Manson." That was a page-turner! There's more than enough interesting material to make a TV series out of. The actor they chose to play Charles Manson just doesn't fit. He needs to conjure up less Ashton Kutcher and more Brad Pitt in Twelve Monkeys.

I wouldn't say I hate this series, but I could barely get through the pilot. It's too bad, because the concept (i.e. real events) have a lot of potential. A perfect example is the movie "Zodiac". If the writers/producers had created a series like that, it would have been quite captivating. I'll give Aquarius another watch at some point to see if I can get past its flaws, but at the moment I can't rate it more than 3-5/10.
22 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
intriguing idea but let down by tired rehashed sub-plots
roryrozza2 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Let me begin by saying this series isn't based around actual events, rather the characters are, and the writers have weaved them into a series of stories involving Charles Manson and the Manson family (the main plot). I did wonder when I initially heard about Aquarius last year, how the writers would stretch the Manson story out over 12 or episodes (and now another season I hear). The answer is off course; plenty of sub-plots to stretch out the story and keep us watching. Except the problem with Aquarius is the sub-plots are on the whole pretty lame, tired and nothing you haven't seen before in at least 150 other cop shows from the last 30 years.

I did find myself starting to skip through such exciting sub plots as 'hot female rookie cop gets hard time from older male cops for being hot and female' - cos, seriously we've never seen that plot device done before.

I've given the series a 6 because the storyline that does involve the Manson family and the lead character Sam Hodiak is watchable enough. I can but hope the writing is a bit more adventurous in season 2; given the fact the acting on the whole is pretty good, and the show actually captures the feeling of the era very effectively. Just don't expect much in the way of originality in season 1 and you won't be too disappointed.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Addicting, well written, love the way it handles themes of human prejudice!
klkanne5 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I have been totally addicted to this show for the past week! It is obviously, openly, and unabashedly a fictional take on the early years of the Manson Family, a storyline that is meant to be an avenue for a fast paced, well written crime drama about a 50s detective trying to navigate 60s counterculture. David Duchovny rocks it out once again as his go-to lovable but flawed character, and though I would agree with many of the IMDb reviewers that the Manson Family is heavily glamorized, I think enough time has passed now for that to be appropriate… you don't see anyone on here weeping about the glamorization 1920s gangsters murdering people in all those HBO shows, so I say glamorize away! One of my favorite aspects of the show is the way it uses Vietnam protesters and the civil rights movement to explore human prejudice and the idea that everyone has a line that they draw somewhere-- I think when you read about this period in a textbook you see people in the 60s as stereotypes who all think the same way as their societal tribe, but Aquarius uses a diverse cast to show the more accurate fluctuation of these mindsets- for example Brian, who is in an interracial marriage but has major hangups about going undercover in a gay bar, or Bunchie, a Black Panther who ends up having to work with the police, or Sam's struggle as an old school cop coming to terms with his soldier son's decision to protest Vietnam. Of course it is a little larger than life, but why not? The writing is entertaining, the pacing is perfect, and it brings up a ton of issues that are just as relevant today as they were then. I've been on the edge of my seat for 13 hours, thanks to NBC's solid decision to make it available for immediate streaming. Let's go Season 2!
9 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
A Michael Moore "docu-comedy" hidden inside an Oliver Stone movie all wrapped up in an X-files wannabe.
SpaceComics10 June 2015
I found Aquarius watchable, but not absorbing, not commanding my attention enough to easily follow the story. The 60's are reasonably well simulated but with an occasional anachronistic phrase spoiling the effect. Acting is fine. I like David Duchovny and if it starred someone I didn't know, I wouldn't have been able to keep watching past two episodes. But the writing distracts us with too many subplots about other "'60s issues," clouding the main story aimlessly. It seems like they're trying to imply a bigger conspiracy behind what was already a horrible conspiracy. In true Hollywood fashion, trying to connect Manson via a fictional character to Nixon and any Republicans, even Reagan. A Michael Moore "docu-comedy" hidden inside an Oliver Stone movie all wrapped up in an X-files wannabe.
12 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Wasted Opportunity
robt-public30 May 2015
You don't need to go any further than YouTube to find hours of prime source material for an history-based series on Charlie Manson and his "family." Why none of this was used in developing Aquarius is beyond me. How did Manson suck aimless hippies out of orbit and into his solipsistic end-times horror fantasy? No answers here.

It would have taken way better writing, and way more dynamic direction to get that working. TV IS that good once in a great while. Not this time -- they can't even get the period close to right. Their Manson doesn't even approach the fruitbat crazy original. With just a couple of tweaks, this Manson could be the hero of the piece.. that would've at least taken some guts.

Bland, useless television hawking the Hollywood version of Charlie's Family. The only chance for improvement here is if they shut it down & bring it back as a sitcom next year.
19 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed