‘Aquarius’ Review: ’60s Charles Mason Drama Hits Impressive High Note

Thu, May 28, 2015 11:54am EDT by Add first Comment

‘Aquarius’ isn’t something you’re used to seeing on your TV — but you won’t be able to look away. The show, based on the insane case of Charles Manson, has everything a thrilling drama should: an easy-to-watch cast, a terrifying plot line, and an intelligent backstory.

Is it a summer filler? Yes. Will you be addicted? Probably. That’s at least my take of Aquarius, the story of David Duchovny as an LAPD officer in the ’60s, searching for his ex’s daughter who was taken by Charles Manson. I’ve got to say, the creepiness that Gethin Anthony portrays is spot on of what my nightmare of Manson would be.

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The best part about the 13-episode series, which is available in full online on May 29, is the incredibly realistic look it gives of the 60s — the racism, the clothing, the references are all there. It’s always a breath of fresh air to see the show runners did their research.

While we know the horrific ending the Charles Manson story has, this show gives us the beginning of it all and delves more into the relationship between Duchovny’s character, Sam, and a young cop Brian (Grey Damon), who he takes under his wing to go undercover and help him on the case.

Of course, it begins with the disappearance of a young girl (an impressive Emma Dumont) who’s mother is ironically, Sam’s ex (One Tree Hill‘s Michaela McManus). When Sam and Brian begin digging into the case, they are led to Charles. There, we’re given an inside look at the drug, sex and music-filled life that he led with a cult of young women.

Why It Works

In an odd way, Aquarius successfully shows the charm and sex appeal that Charles had as a young man and used to draw in women. I think that is what makes it so creepy. Oh, and the disturbing sex scenes that you’ll get an uncomfortable eye-full of in the premiere.

Aquarius airs on May 28 at 9pm. Every Thursday it will still air, even though the entire season will head online immediately after the premiere, for those who want to binge. Will it continue? Well, it’s not exactly a mini series — the season finale will confirm that, so we’ll see what happens.

— Emily Longeretta