Manifest Character Review: Ben Stone

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series ManifestRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

It is amazing how a single moment can forever change the course of our lives. At the point, who we are is divided in half: before that moment and after that moment.

On Manifest, Ben Stone’s (Josh Dallas) journey starts with an ordinary event. Coming home from vacation to his home in New York City with his family, they are greeted with the announcement that their flight is overbooked. Due to the financial concerns with his son Cal’s (Jack Messina) cancer treatment, Ben, Cal, and Ben sister’s Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) agree to take a later flight.

While in the air, the plane hits turbulence. When it finally lands, the passengers are informed that they have been missing for over five years. But while the time has not passed for those on the plane, it has passed for everyone else.

Needless too say, getting back to their pre-flight normal is far from his easy. Ben’s wife, Grace (Athena Karkanis) is torn between her husband and a relationship that has developed in the years since they were separated. Their daughter, Olive (Luna Blaise) is still resentful that her father’s attention was on her brother and has gotten used to being father-less.

On top of that, Ben starts hearing voices (known as the callings), directing him to do things which he is not quite sure about. Pulled into the mystery of what happened on that plane and getting his son back to health, he is not the same man as he was before. He can also be very single minded at certain times, making it difficult to see the rest of the world around him.

To sum it up: Our lives are never static, as much as we would like them to be. Change is happening around us, whether we recognize it or not. It is how we react to that change that shapes us. Ben is one of those characters who is smart enough to recognize that his life is not the same. He knows that it would be foolish to deny what has happened to him, he can only play the cards that he has been dealt.

Which is why he is a memorable character.


The West Coast Fires are Undeniable Proof of Climate Change

For decades, scientists have been talking and warning about climate change.

Some have poo poo-ed it as either a hoax or the natural ebb and flow of nature throughout the year.

The fires on the west coast have damaged millions of acres. Homes, businesses, and livelihoods are destroyed. In short, they are undeniable proof that climate change is real and happening in front of our eyes.

Humanity is an impasse. The message is clear. We can either respect and protect our planet. Or we can destroy it. The choice is ours.

Throwback Thursday: The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966)

There are television shows and there are television shows. The first is watchable and entertaining, but ultimately, fades from memory. The second lives on and continues to reach audiences across the generations.

The Dick Van Dyke Show originally ran for five years, from 1961-1966. Created by the late Carl Reiner, the show starred Dick Van Dyke and the late Mary Tyler Moore. Van Dyke played Rob Petrie, a TV writer who lived in the suburbs and worked in the city. Tyler Moore played Laura Petrie, Rob’s wife who was a homemaker.

There is a reason why sixty years on, this program is as revered and beloved as it was during its original run. Though it has the flavor of the family sitcoms of the era (e.g. Father Knows Best), it is a bridge to the modern family sitcoms that we watch today. Unlike their predecessors, the characters are imperfect humans who like the rest of us, are trying to get by.

The program was also revolutionary because Laura wore pants. Up to that point, the mothers in this genre all wore dresses or skirts. Though it is not a huge moment in the march for equality, it was a step that looked upon today is ground breaking.

I recommend it.

%d bloggers like this: