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  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 27, 2014
  • Season #: 1
Manhattan Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

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  • Summary: A group of scientists including Frank Winter (John Benjamin Hickey), Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zukerman), Col. Alden Cox (Mark Moses), and Glen Babbit (Daniel Stern), along with their wives, settle in the New Mexico desert to begin work on the Manhattan project in this drama created and written by Sam Shaw. Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Creator: Sam Shaw
  • Show Type: In Season
  • Season 1 premiere date: Jul 27, 2014
  • Episode Length: 60
  • Air Time: 10:00 PM
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Aug 11, 2014
    This is the best new show of the summer.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jul 29, 2014
    John Benjamin Hickey’s point man performance leads the way, with his character’s demons and dilemmas already etched like fissures in his face. Carrying the weight of the world can be heavy lifting. Manhattan so far shows every sign of being able to shoulder the load.
  3. Reviewed by: Kevin Fallon
    Jul 27, 2014
    In a summer that’s offered new programs that pretty much all sit on the spectrum from “silly, but still curious” (Extant, The Strain) on one end to “just plain silly” (Dating Naked) on the other, Manhattan is the most grown up, worth-watching new series we have.
  4. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jul 27, 2014
    Manhattan dramatizes with a little extra dab of soap, but generally quite engagingly life in the secret World War II compound where the country's most brilliant scientists were tasked with creating a superbomb before the bad guy could.
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jul 27, 2014
    WGN America's bold new period drama Manhattan goes even further [than AMC's Mad Men], eschewing the romantic veneer altogether in a gritty story of scientific mavericks operating in extreme circumstances.
  6. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jul 27, 2014
    Manhattan brings legitimate class to WGN's nascent original content project.
  7. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jul 27, 2014
    Manhattan is awfully overwrought, stocked with personalities as volatile as the radioactive isotopes they're trying to tame. Its melodramatic tone makes it resemble Lifetime's Army Wives more than it does A Beautiful Mind.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 21
  2. Negative: 6 out of 21
  1. Sep 23, 2014
    This best new drama I've seen this season. Excellent character development and acting. Love the music. Kudos to creator Sam Shaw! Love the isolation and tension that must have existed during that secret intense time of the war. Expand
  2. Aug 21, 2014
    I forced my anonymity loving self to register for this site to encourage those responsible for this production to produce more TV drama like it. The driven no rules (other than the laws of physics)intensity of a Dr. Winter, contrasted with the politically savvy, business-like approach of his competition foiled against with the fluffanutter nonsense of what's going on outside of the scientists' experience is riveting for some of us living in the world we live in today where we sit idly by as all hell breaks loose somewhere else. It is another world, albeit a wonderfully ripe fictionalized account of it. Expand
  3. Jul 28, 2014
    This is def an 'explosive' beginning! You can get the high levels of radioactivity affecting every single character and resident of the 'town' in such a busy, warm and claustrophobic environment. All is about consequences, as one of the characters say, and now they are paying them...On the production values side, I love the fact that it doesn't try to be like or look like Mad Men. If you were into LOST and The Dharma initiative, you are going to love this TV show. The cast is very good as well as their characters, they have lots to tell and hide, and we, lots to discover and see. Expand
  4. Aug 21, 2014
    "Manhattan" is a wonderful summer surprise. The acting, dialogue, and cinematography are first rate. What helps make this so good is the lack of "star power" . These are mainly character actors who give this a sense of realism. Sometimes when it gets too scientific I do have trouble keeping focused on the story but the intrigue is what gets me right back to the show. Not perfect but Manhattan is excellent thought provoking viewing. Expand
  5. Jul 28, 2014
    Though it is obvious that we all know how this story works out in the end, that in no way reduces the suspense and tension in this show. In fact, I feel I must comment that the tension level is so high throughout most of the pilot episode that it cannot be described as a very "enjoyable" experience. Claustrophobic, dark, a constant air of anxiety all help to describe how I viewed this show. Production values are high. Acting is entirely competent to excellent. WGN has certainly turned in a different direction away from its initial schlocky offering of "Salem".

    Did I like "Manhattan"? YES. Did I enjoy it. Not really.
  6. Oct 13, 2014
    This show started out pretty strong and has a great premise that's rich with story possibilities: science drama, a race against time to win WW2 and beat the Nazis, spies, secrecy, politics, isolated living, etc. All of those themes have appeared, but there is just as much or more emphasis on adultery, secret lesbianism, angst, and career sabotage.
    I understand that these can be dramatic and interesting subjects, too, but the writers have taken these stories way beyond believable to the point of eye-roll inducing silliness.
  7. Sep 15, 2014
    I was really looking forward to this show. I thought it was going to be about the Manhattan project and how the scientific community worked together to create the first atomic weapons. WRONG! It's a soap opera about their wives and their feelings. There are lesbians and alcoholics and prostitutes, but almost nothing of the Manhattan project. The project is just the background for all of the weak and boring characters they invented for this soap opera. If you name a show Manhattan then it should be about that, not about lesbians and cheaters. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews

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