June 23, 2024

Manhunt 2024 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online

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Manhunt 2024 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online

On paper, Manhunt on Apple TV+ was tailor-made for me. It’s an up-close and personal look at one of the most delicate times in American history: the days following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (Hamish Linklater). It’s a show that stars one of my favorites, Tobias Menzies, as an impassioned cabinet member juggling a murder investigation with the survival of Reconstruction. The Plot Against America and Masters of the Air standout Anthony Boyle gets to chew scenery as real life actor-turned-assassin John Wilkes Booth. There’s a Laura Marling needle drop, for frigging sake! This was made for me!!

However, Manhunt winds up being a mixed bag of thrilling revelation and tortuous tedium. The Apple TV+ show often loses its all its juice by trying to squeeze in as much historical embellishment as possible. Instead of being a propulsive two-hander for Menzies and Boyle, Manhunt dawdles in the footnotes of history, shoving in characters, events, and moments that distract from the game of cat and mouse promised in the first episode. The best parts of Manhunt are undoubtedly when Tobias Menzies’s Edwin Stanton or Anthony Boyle’s John Wilkes Booth take over the screen; Manhunt‘s biggest problem, though, is it cuts away from both dynamic performers and their compelling characters way too much.

Manhunt was created by Monica Beletsky (Fargo, The Leftovers, Friday Night Lights) and is based on James L. Swanson’s Edgar-winning nonfiction book Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer. Both the show and the book follow Secretary of War Edwin Stanton’s dogged pursuit of President Abraham Lincoln’s killers. Stanton’s search ripples out far further than just the hunt for John Wilkes Booth. As Manhunt Episode 1 reveals, Lincoln’s death was just one assassination planned that night. Secretary of State William H. Seward (Larry Pine) only narrowly survived stabbing thanks to a medical brace around his neck and then Vice President Andrew Johnson (Glenn Morshower) was spared because his killer chickened out. What Stanton has to figure out is how deep the conspiracy goes. Did the Union win the Civil War only to be infiltrated by the Confederacy?

If that sounds like a great premise for a television show — weaving together the best of true crime and eerily prescient historic circumstances — you’re right. The early episodes of Manhunt are absolute treats, thanks in huge part to the show’s aforementioned leading men.

Tobias Menzies’s Edwin Stanton is an asthmatic true believer of Lincoln’s vision for a “more equal” union, but he’s by no means a perfect man. He easily rankles those around him, including his wife (Anne Dudek), who just wants him to slow down and take a moment to grieve the numerous losses in their life. (Normally I would be on board with Mrs. Stanton, but because she’s only got like three scenes and her husband is busy trying to find Lincoln’s killers, save emancipation for Black Americans, and uncover a vast international conspiracy…I don’t know! Maybe his priorities are straight?) His earnest commitment to the cause and platonic love for pal Lincoln make him a truly heroic historic character.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have John Wilkes Booth. Irish actor Anthony Boyle plays the notorious presidential assassin with a devilish wink and unbridled ego. You believe that he has women fawning over his “action roles” in theater and that he can bully the beta males around him into being his lackey. What that infectious charisma masks, however, is the putrid heart of an insecure loser drawn to the ideology of the Confederacy because of his own sense of grievance. We learn that while Booth is known as a handsome supporting player, his older brother — a Union loyalist — is the nation’s most popular leading man. He sees his brother’s success, the Union’s victory, and the liberation of slaves as an insult. Booth wants to be worshipped as an idol and believes the Confederate capitol of Richmond will fete him like a hero; he has no clue the city is just rubble and he will go down in history as a villain.

Stanton and Booth are the most vibrantly intoxicating characters in the show, thanks in part to how they are written as perfect foils who best represent how the moral and political battles of today are the same as they were in the past. Edwin Stanton is not only a ferocious abolitionist, but a man whose great tactic as War Secretary was technology. He set up a telegraph office to keep tabs on the whole country in an analogue era. He represents, to paraphrase, “the future the liberals want.” Booth, on the other hand, is all chauvinism and racism, wrapped in a veneer of old school charisma. At times, it sounds like he’s quoting modern alt-right personalities.

Most importantly, you want the show to focus on Stanton and Booth because Tobias Menzies and Anthony Boyle are just so good. Unfortunately, Beletsky keeps cutting away from Stanton and Booth to follow a convoluted rabbit chase in Montreal, flashbacks to Abe Lincoln fretting over his dying son, and a historically inaccurate subplot placing key trial witness Mary Simms (Lovie Simone) in Dr. Samuel Mudd’s (Matt Walsh) clutches during the titular manhunt. (Simms had been Mudd’s slave, but was already long gone by time John Wilkes Booth came around.)

Manhunt is fine, but its scattershot focus turn it into a slog at times. However, I’m confident that Manhunt will eventually be remembered fondly. It’s the show that firmly prove Anthony Boyle is a supernova star about to explode. The range he displays is matched only by the power of his movie star swagger. John Wilkes Booth would be so jealous.

Manhunt 2024 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online