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Matt Cherniss joined Apple TV five years ago as head of domestic programming after leaving WGN America and Tribune Studios where he had a good stint. Since then, except for some few missteps here and there, the guy has continually been unleashing creative wizardry. Good news is on the horizon as well. For instance, Cherniss will revive Apple TV+ hits such as Loot, Acapulco, and The Reluctant Traveler with Eugene Levy. Additionally, upcoming series have potential: Sugar is a noir drama featuring Colin Farrell; Presumed Innocent stars Jake Gyllenhaal in a David E. Kelley/J.J Abrams project; and Michael Douglas plays Franklin who was renowned for his outspokenness.

This is another historical drama on the streaming platform following its recent WWII aerial drama Masters of the Air. On the other hand, this also happens to be another historical drama that will not only feature powerful performances but also well-rendered by two leads: Tobias Menzies (You Hurt My Feelings) and Anthony Boyle (Masters of Air, Tetris), who gave career-defining performances playing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and John Wilkes Booth respectively.

That famous assassin killed President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater during April 1865; what makes creator/showrunner Monica Beletsky’s (Fargo, Friday Night Lights) version truly remarkable though is that every episode actually becomes more or less like a heist movie in which heroes must beat the clock before they get caught red-handed.Stanton orders an intense manhunt to capture Booth thereby giving an ending point to the series which remains hugely thrilling till it finally reaches that climax.

At one time this detractor said about Lincoln: “Do you have any idea how many others like me there are? I could walk straight into Wall Street with this gun right now,” This sounds familiar. In fact , in real life . Just recently . This scene captures a country in transition, filled with gritty uncertainty and it is a small part of what makes Manhunt alluring throughout. Mind you: You will have to get used to the series’ frequent time jumps that feel sometimes dissonant. Everything else makes this unmissable.

Manhunt is based on The New York Times bestselling non-fiction novel by James L. Swanson, Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer which won Edgar Award, and as it progresses, it turns into a thrilling speculative fiction about the conspiracy between John Wilkes Booth killing Lincoln and those who assumed responsibility for tracking him down. Beletsky wants to shed light on one of history’s least-known crimes , the stakes faced by both parties involved , and America’s perilous future after the Civil War . Finally, she accomplishes just that while gathering an ensemble of stars such as Patton Oswalt (as Det. Lafayette Baker), Matt Walsh (as Dr. Samuel Mudd), Damian O’Hare (as Thomas Eckert), Patton Oswalt (as Det. Lafayette Baker), Lovie Simone (as Mary Simms) and a brilliant portrayal of Mary Todd Lincoln by Lili Taylor .

The showrunner does not lix waste time getting to the inevitable. In the first episode of the series, Lincoln played by Hamish Linklater (Midnight Mass, Legion, The New Adventures of Old Christine) died. Although the civil war ended, there was great restiveness in America which Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton considered seriously. With raw men such as Booth around, however, that did not mean America’s issues would cease.

Boyle is brilliant as the assassin and he makes it believable enough for us to buy into his character completely. Booth was from an acting dynasty. He is a well-known actor; nevertheless other family members are more respected than him which no doubt made him a hungry monster inside seeking attention. It was glaringly apparent in Ford’s Theatre scenes: they were involving indeed, frightening and pitchy at the same time while at that particular moment capturing what Booth had become – one of history’s most famous criminals. Soon after people helped him‘’ go on” , Stanton took over with a powerful search making it look like this show’s plot just gotly smooth- two men who want different thingsa – Booth with popularity and escape while Stanton craves justice.

Expect Tobias Menzies to be nominated for an Emmy in 2024 alongside Anthony Boyle. He plays a disturbed man who is also sad about losing a good friend but will do anything to give up his life for this cause-President Andrew Johnson (Glenn Morshower) never agreed with Lincoln’s vision so Stanton always fought fiercely within an unsupportive system.[3] Besides this guy also has asthma too meaning he needs medication now.

Lovie Simone gives one of the best performances on the show when she plays Mary Simms (The Craft: Legacy), ex-slave outgrowing her status quo yet whose account of events after assassination creates even more opportunities for bravery than ever before. This human side is shown by Hamish Linklater through Lincoln’s personality as an individual, a father and a husband.

With numerous portrayals of Lincoln, the most famous being Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln (2012). It is also one of the best interpretations by Linklater. And yet Lily Taylor brings Mary Todd Lincoln to life with her wonderful range of emotions and intensity. Det. Lafayette Baker played by Patton Oswalt feels miscast here, maybe coming off as too modern for this period drama. Meanwhile, Dr. Samuel Mudd as played by Matt Walsh is truly memorable and creepy.

The use of time jumps in Manhunt by Monica Beletsky take some getting used to because they force the viewer to pivot too often. There are all kinds of flashbacking that can be done but these time jumps really do jump around all over: five days before the assassination; several hours before it; several years ago; two days before it etc… Luckily today’s viewers quickly get up to speed on such things making few mistakes possible for this show’s overall enjoyment not to be spoiled.

Also, one should note the kind of production value Manhunt has. In fact, Belletsky’s love for color is striking throughout the series and used in unexpected places. Different from other historical dramas that seem to exist in a hazy sepia world; Manhunt feels more real. For this reason much of it was shot in Savannah, Georgia. A parking lot in Savannah was actually transformed into a backlot with around 30 facades depicting Ford’s Theatre area in Washington DC. Katie Irish, who is the costumes designer, does an amazing work with hats, suits and everything else that lies between them thereby making this story line even more believable.

However, the performances and intense focus of Beletsky’s exhilarating pursuit are what truly set it apart and deliver another win for Apple TV. Manhunt is powerful and often heartrending indeed but Menzies plus Boyle magical performances have kept it alive; particularly, Boyle himself coming out as one of the best actors of his generation.

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