Set in a retro futuristic version of New York City, the limited series Maniac on Netflix stars Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. The story centers around two lonely New Yorkers who sign up for a pharmaceutical trial to test an experimental drug that was developed to rewire troubled minds and destroy feelings of pain.
Owen (played by Jonah Hill) is the socially disassociated, “black sheep” of the wealthy, dysfunctional Milgrim family with a history of schizophrenia. Annie, played by Emma Stone, is addicted to a drug from the trial, which she illicitly got from the son of the pharmaceutical company owner. In the drug trial, each takes a pill to bring up the most traumatic moment in their lives, with Justin Theroux playing drug developer Dr. James K. Mantleray who returns to the helm following the unexpected death of Dr. Muramoto.
Many locations throughout New York City and Long Island appear in the show, which uses the city in its current form and adds in elements from the past, and a possible future into the mix.
1. Roosevelt Island
Owen lives in an apartment on Roosevelt Island along Main Street, which has a collection of Brutalist ’70s architecture. Specifically he lives in an apartment complex known as Eastwood, designed by Sert, Jackson & Associates. It was developed as a Mitchell-Lama housing development aimed at lower and middle income families. The Queensboro Bridge and the Roosevelt Island apartment buildings are plastered with large neon advertisements.
Also used as a filming location on Roosevelt Island is the James Renwick-designed stone lighthouse at the northern tip of Roosevelt Island. It is here that Owen is approached by a brother that nobody else in his family is aware of, a copy of his brother Jed, who gives him instructions about missions to save the world. James Renwick also designed the smallpox hospital on the southern end that is New York City’s only landmarked ruin.