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Manhattan - S01E01

War & Politics . Drama

Frank Winter and his team have been recruited to work on a project even they could know nothing about until their arrival. Once inside “The Hill,” a middle class bubble on a dusty foothill in the New Mexico desert, they begin to sense that this is no ordinary assignment. In fact, they are living in a town with the world’s highest concentration of geniuses, yet it can’t be found on any map, a place where men and women are torn between duty and their moral values, husbands and wives conceal the truth from each other and their families, the military keeps secrets from the scientists they chaperone, and the scientists keep secrets from each other.

Episode Title: You Always Hurt the Ones You Love
Airs: 2014-07-27 at 10:00 pm
  • Hank Stuever

    From the writing to the performances to some overly artistic visuals and camera cuts, the first episode could not be more crammed with self-seriousness if it tried.... Some strong performances peek through anyhow, especially from Manhattan’s star, John Benjamin Hickey.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Manhattan certainly isn’t a bomb creatively speaking, nor is it yet the bomb, in latter-day vernacular. And perhaps appropriately, as admirable as some of its elements are, what’s missing in the opening hours is the elusive spark necessary to make them genuinely pop.

    Variety Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    The script can seem both a little precious and a little obvious at times, dropping references to Pandora's box, the golem, Einstein's definition of insanity and Schrödinger's cat. But all in all, it works.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Margaret Lyons

    hat's tough on Manhattan is that things really are substantial, which means the show can find itself at a moment of dramatic excess very quickly.... And yet that's what Manhattan is going for, and it often succeeds, particularly in the second episode, as the emotional, personal side of things starts taking hold.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    As a thriller, Manhattan mostly works.

    Slate Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    Overall, Manhattan makes its intentions fairly plain, including its desire to evoke other historical dramas about brilliant but prickly men.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    Manhattan brings legitimate class to WGN's nascent original content project.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    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.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Sara Smith

    Every time the 1943 of Manhattan begins to feel like 2014, it returns to the nostalgia of movies like “The Right Stuff,” where brains and grit make the peace, back to a time when America trusted its fate to the smartest guys we could find.

    Kansas City Star Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    The first hour is a little slow, somewhat pacey at times--it clocks in at 56 minutes, not the usual 42 minutes, and will run one hour and 10 minutes with commercials--but it does a fine job of setting up the story and introducing the characters.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    Manh(a)ttan provides a cleverly imagined portrait of the men and women who were at the epicenter of that peculiar sovereignty.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    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.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    Created and written by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex), and directed superbly by veteran Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing), Manhattan kicks off with two gripping episodes that highlight a strong cast.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz

    Just two episodes of this 13-part series have been made available—enough to indicate the enormous care devoted to the look of the '40s, to the primitive living quarters. We get an immediate sense, as well, of the characters likely to command attention.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Sonia Saraiya

    Ultimately it’s that frisson of complication that makes Manhattan worth watching--the performances are good, the writing is good, and the premise is good, but the complication of our own history is involving and fantastic.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Curt Wagner

    History tells us what the Manhattan Project unleashed on the world, but Manhattan conjures a compelling (fictional) journey for the men and women who made it happen.

    RedEye Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    A beautifully executed 1940s period drama about the men and women involved in the top-secret Manhattan Project is at once transporting and provocative.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Kevin Fallon

    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.

    The Daily Beast Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    A megawatt start to a show crackling with megaton ambition.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    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.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Jeff Korbelik

    This is the best new show of the summer.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    Manhattan is in other class entirely, the kind of series that is so good, it lifts a network into a whole new tier. What “Mad Men” did for AMC, Manhattan could do for WGN.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    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.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review