Manifest

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
Manifest TV Poster Image
Popular with kids
Solid supernatural mystery explores family dynamics, loss.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Moving forward may be difficult but you can't live in the past. Characters face challenges with varying levels of success.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Michaela is a strong yet flawed character; Saanvi stands up to her greedy boss in order to help others.

 

Violence

Police pursue a man who abducted children; a character swings a lead pipe at someone's head; intense turbulence causes severe panic among passengers and can be scary. Murders occur, some of which are gory and bloody.

Sex

A husband admits agreeing to do something because his wife bribed him with sex.

Language

"Hell," "goddamn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Passengers on a plane drink cocktails.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Manifest is a supernatural drama about a group of passengers onboard a mysterious airline flight. It was thought to have crashed five years ago, but the plane suddenly appears in the present, with the crew not having aged a day and thinking they've only been on a three-hour flight. Family drama ensues as loved ones have gone on with their lives. There's a little violence; a character swings a lead pipe at a someone's head; intense turbulence causes severe panic among passengers and could be potentially scary. Fans of Lost may see similarities, but Manifest, while familiar, still manages to compel. Parents looking for a new show to share with teens of any age will find intrigue and  drama here.

 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjennyraynock March 20, 2019

Amazing!

I love this show so much! I really hope they make more seasons! They gave us a really good cliff hanger to keep us talking/guessing! The whole entire cast is br... Continue reading
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byParentingbravely March 1, 2019

First episode really good BUT.....

Thought this was going to be a winner . Romans 8:28 ...had hopes for this show was going to be brave and stand ground - nope. Foul language soon after to follow... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMolly12345678 September 29, 2019

Great show

This is a great show about people trying to build their lives back together after a life altering event happens. Flight 828 is flown into New York 5 years afte... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 5, 2019

Intriguing sci-go mystery with cliff-hangers constantly flowing

Manifest is a mystery drama on NBC about a plane that goes missing, only to show up 5 years later, with the passengers thinking they’ve only been gone for a few... Continue reading

What's the story?

MANIFEST begins in 2013 as we meet the Stone family: Mom, Dad, their adult kids Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) and Ben (Once Upon a Time's Josh Dallas), his wife Grace (Athena Karkanis), and their 10-year-old twins Olive (Luna Blaise) and Cal (Jack Messina), who has terminal leukemia. While waiting to board their oversold flight from Montego Bay back to New York, Michaela, Ben, and Cal swap their tickets and take a later flight. That flight hits intense turbulence and then gets rerouted to a different airport to land. Once on the ground the plane is met by a group of federal agents who tell the passengers and crew that they haven't just completed a three-hour flight: It's now five and half years later, and Flight 828 was declared missing and everyone onboard presumed dead. Soon the passengers start to realize that while they haven't aged a day, time has indeed marched on. Michaela learns her fiancé has married her best friend. Cal's twin sister is now a teenager who has grown up without a dad. And when Ben and Michaela discover that they're both hearing voices telling them the same thing, they start to realize that maybe the passengers of Flight 828 didn't just lose five years, but gained something they don't yet understand.

Is it any good?

A compelling mystery is a great way to start a show, but what differentiates this series from its many similar predecessors is its heart. In a trend that can most easily be traced back to the success of Lost, the airwaves have been littered with the corpses of shows that kicked off with a cool supernatural mystery -- The Event, Flash Forward, The Nine, Invasion, The Crossing, Surface, The Whispers, Threshold -- but couldn't maintain the promise of their premise. Now we have Manifest and its mystery is a doozy: An airliner missing for more than five years suddenly reappears and no one onboard has aged a day or even realized half a decade has passed. It's a fantastic hook, even though it contains some elements audiences may find familiar.

At its core, this show is a family drama exploring the lives of the Stone family. Focusing on adult siblings Michaela and Ben, two imperfect people trying to integrate themselves back into a world that has moved on without them, the makers of Manifest show that they've learned from the mistakes of their forebears. The key to a compelling mystery show isn't necessarily the complexities of the mystery itself, but in carving out sympathetic characters viewers want to follow. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about regret. What does Manifest say about living in the past and second-guessing decisions?

  • Many shows explore the ideas of destiny and fate. Do you believe in them? How do the characters use these concepts to make sense of the mysterious incident?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

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