While it won’t fit the bill for those who are missing Mad Man, the new Aquarius is centered on the 1960’s with all the music, fashion and mayhem of the era. The show is about the rise of popularity of Charles Manson set two years before the Tate-LaBianca murders. It stars David Duchovny as Sam Hodiak, a decorated World War II veteran and homicide detective who lives in a world that has turned upside down.
The show begins with Sam receiving a phone call from an old girlfriend asking for his help in finding her 16-year-old daughter, Emma (Emma Dumont), who has disappeared within a group of hippies. The mother of course is distraught, but the father (or stepfather) seems unconcerned. He says that the return of Emma is the moist important thing, but he is really concerned how his reputation will look if this story makes it on the news.
Sam enlists the help of Brian Shafe (Grey Damon), a young undercover cop, to help find Emma. Both cops play by different when it comes to police matters, but together they make a good team. However, it becomes clear in the first couple of episodes that values in the world have become murky. Cops are allowed to do drugs in order to “fit in” the counterculture which compromises the safety of others.
The storyline is shown from various points of view including Emma’s and how she could get mixed up with Manson in the first place. Charles Manson is played by Gethin Anthony, portraying a creepy yet charismatic leader with dreams of becoming bigger than the Beatles.
I cannot comment on the accuracy of the historical fiction series, as I know very about Charles Mansion or his followers, but I can comment on the show Aquarius. It’s a little confusing, eye-opening and a good police drama. It is hard to say how graphic the show’s content will become in the coming weeks, but the first couple of episodes deal with controversial subject matters in a tasteful manner. Is there anything redeeming about watching the series other than entertainment? Only time will tell.
Fans of David Duchovny will enjoy this show as his character isn’t a far distance from his former X-Files character that is he is best known for. This show is also an experiment of sorts for NBC. After tonight’s broadcasts, all of the remaining episodes will be available to watch for free binge-viewing on NBC.com and other video-on-demand platforms. It is the first of the traditional TV networks to do so.
Aquarius airs on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.