Debuting on May 28, NBC’s Aquarius really is a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite its entire 13-episode season going up on the network’s website for four weeks, Netflix-style, and despite the 1960s-set John McNamara-created show’s storyline of the real-life rise of the murderous Charles Manson, Aquarius, as my video review above says, is at its heart a damn good network cop drama. It takes awhile to achieve liftoff but is on a solid trajectory once it does.
The series is set in the year 1967, when America to many seemed ready to come apart at the seams with the Vietnam War overseas and dissent, protest and revolution at home. Coming off his seven-season stint on Showtime’s Californication and set for The X-Files relaunch next year on Fox, David Duchovny fronts Aquarius as LAPD Detective Sam Hodiak. A World War II vet and father to a soldier who’s in Southeast Asia, Hodiak is struggling with the changing times but rolls with them when he needs to. The character is pure Duchovny with a charm and dialogue that easily could have come from Fox Mulder or Hank Moody — sometimes for worse, sometimes for better.
Aquarius kicks off with an old lover asking Hodiak to help find her disappeared daughter, who has fallen into the clutches of aspiring rock star Manson. Ex-Game Of Thrones actor Gethin Anthony plays Manson, who oversaw the murders of Sharon Tate, the LaBiancas and four others in 1969. Former Friday Night Lights actor Grey Damon plays hippie undercover cop Brian Shafe, who becomes Hodiak’s unofficial partner at the LAPD. Emma Dumont and Claire Holt also star in the show as the disappearing daughter in question and a female officer trying to break though the boys club of the LAPD.
Take a look at my review of Aquarius and tell us what you think. Are you going to watch the show? Would that be on TV or online?