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Anyone watching Manhattan?

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by mwhip, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Jul 30, 2014 #41 of 181
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    Since when is WGN a semi-premium cable channel? As long as I can remember, going back to the Superstation days, WGN was one of the mainstay channels of a basic cable subscription, along with TBS, CNN, MTV, etc.
     
  2. Jul 30, 2014 #42 of 181
    mwhip

    mwhip All better

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    When they changed their name to WGN America. LOL
     
  3. Jul 30, 2014 #43 of 181
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I don't even think I've ever watched anything on this channel. At least not in the seven yeras I've had FiOS. But I will now be watching it for Manhattan.
     
  4. Jul 30, 2014 #44 of 181
    RickyL

    RickyL valar morghulis

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    They really need the characters to start using each others names.
     
  5. Jul 30, 2014 #45 of 181
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    I find it interesting how many of you are saying that it was hard to distinguish the characters. I didn't find that to be a problem at all. So far, the characters we're supposed to be familiar with are:

    Frank Winter (John Benjamin Hickey): He's the main character and is the scientist in charge of the team seeking an alternate/more efficient way to make the bomb. We know he used to be a professor at Princeton. Tortured, having nightmares about the bomb, having trouble sleeping.

    Liza Winter (Olivia Williams): Frank's wife, PhD in botany, very smart, not much of a traditional housewife. She's the one that threw the July 4th party.

    Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zukerman): Hotshot recent college graduate. Submitted paper to Frank Winter to be published while Frank was at Princeton, but the paper was rejected. Paper was published elsewhere and is what earned Charlie this new job offer. He and his wife arrive at Los Alamos as the episode begins. He's conflicted about his job because he likes the fact that he'll be working on the cutting edge of science, but he's bothered by the fact that he's helping to build such a powerful weapon, which is why he had to run outside and puke in the garbage can.

    Abby Isaacs (Rachel Brosnahan): Charlie's wife. Daughter of a successful businessman in the Boston area. She wants Charlie to quit this job and go work for her dad, because so far she hates New Mexico and misses the East Coast.

    Glen Babbit (Daniel Stern): He was Frank's mentor and is now working on Frank's team as some sort of advisor.

    Reed Akley (David Harbour): He is the scientist in charge of the primary team developing the bomb. He's got 600 people on his team. He's the one who hired Charlie because he thought Charlie's paper was brilliant.

    Robert Oppenheimer: The real life scientist who defected from Nazi Germany and was in charge of the Manhattan Project. He's Winter's and Akley's boss. We saw him briefly when Winter rode with him in the car to the airport and Oppenheimer told Winter that his team was being disbanded and that Winter would now be under Akley. (I found it strange that they didn't portray him with a German accent.)

    Winter's Team: I didn't catch any names of these characters, but they're the ones trying to do the calculations to prove their method of making the bomb would be faster. They're the ones who offered nylons to the secretarial pool to help with the calculations. There's the Asian guy who took the classified X-Ray documents to sell the patents after the war. At the party, we hear a couple of them mention that they've already been reassigned to other locations.

    Was that helpful to those who had trouble following? What did I miss? Any questions?
     
  6. Jul 30, 2014 #46 of 181
    Hoffer

    Hoffer Captain Chaos

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    Yeah, I remember the channel from when I was a kid. I feel like I watched some shows on it. I probably hadn't thought of the channel in decades until I heard about this Manhatten show.
     
  7. Jul 30, 2014 #47 of 181
    pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    Good character summary but Oppenheimer was born in the US. His parents (father, anyway) emigrated from Germany in the late 1800s.

    They weren't secretaries, they were calculators (literally).
     
  8. Jul 30, 2014 #48 of 181
    Hoffer

    Hoffer Captain Chaos

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    Yeah, I think they were referred to as their computer early in the episode. They were getting some actual IBM computers to replace them I think?
     
  9. Jul 30, 2014 #49 of 181
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    I was going to say this. I've seen interviews with Oppenheimer and he didn't have a German accent, since he was born in NYC.
     
  10. Jul 30, 2014 #50 of 181
    stellie93

    stellie93 Active Member

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    Thanks--very helpful.

    I liked the part where Abby told the other wives what her husband had told her about the project. I expected them to drag her out any minute. :)
     
  11. Jul 30, 2014 #51 of 181
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    Thanks. I stand corrected. I was getting Oppenheimer confused with Werner von Braun. So it was correct that Oppenheimer was not portrayed with an accent.

    Yes, they were referred to as their "computer" early in the episode when Charlie was being shown around. I was typing on my iPhone when I typed up the summary and didn't really feel like getting into that detail. I figured anyone who watched would know what I meant with "secretarial pool."
     
  12. Jul 30, 2014 #52 of 181
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    I wondered about that scene. Had Charlie told her the fake cover story and Abby believed it? And all the wives hadn't ever been told anything so they thought they now had some neat info? Or was it that Abby believed the fake cover story, passed it on to the other wives, and they all exchanged knowing smiles because they've heard that fake cover before and they know it's not true? Or was it that Charlie told Abby the truth, but then also told her the fake cover so that if she ever got in that situation, she would have something to cover with.
     
  13. Jul 30, 2014 #53 of 181
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    And just to be a picky SOB, Von Braun didn't escape Nazi Germany, he was a card carrying member of the Nazis (and arguably an honorary member of the SS). Because he was a rocket scientist this was pretty much overlooked as the US wanted him to help develop our rocket program (and obviously, he was one of the key people in launching our Space program).
     
  14. Jul 30, 2014 #54 of 181
    andrewket

    andrewket New Member

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    Watched it last night and so far I like it.
     
  15. Jul 30, 2014 #55 of 181
    andrewket

    andrewket New Member

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    My guess is #2. They had all heard the cover story before and felt bad that Abby believed it.
     
  16. Jul 30, 2014 #56 of 181
    Howie

    Howie Out of Pocket TCF Club

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    That was my thought, too.
     
  17. Jul 30, 2014 #57 of 181
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    #2 seems the most plausible, given the circumstances. But at the same time, when Abby slipped that she might know something, the other wives seemed very eager to hear what she had been told, leading me to think their husbands had been more tight-lipped and they really had no idea.

    I think a more modern show would have the wives acting like Abby's friend and pumping her for info in an effort to find out how committed her husband is to the security of the project. But I think this show takes place in a simpler time, when many women were perfectly content to be housewives and accepted the fact that their husbands couldn't tell them anything about what they did at work. So the fact that Abby actually found out something (even though we know it's fake), is actually a big deal to them.
     
  18. Jul 31, 2014 #58 of 181
    Jim_TV

    Jim_TV Member

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    I have never watched anything on WGN America but I do have this channel in HD on DirecTV so I gave the pilot a shot. I thought it was pretty entertaining.
     
  19. Jul 31, 2014 #59 of 181
    Bob Coxner

    Bob Coxner Active Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_computer

    The term "computer", in use from the early 17th century (the first known written reference dates from 1613),[1] meant "one who computes": a person performing mathematical calculations, before electronic computers became commercially available. "The human computer is supposed to be following fixed rules; he has no authority to deviate from them in any detail." (Turing, 1950) Teams of people were frequently used to undertake long and often tedious calculations; the work was divided so that this could be done in parallel.
     
  20. Jul 31, 2014 #60 of 181
    Bob Coxner

    Bob Coxner Active Member

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    Stern only appears in the first episode, so that's as familiar as we'll get with him. :)

    What I find interesting is that there are 6 fairly major characters who appear in at least 11 episodes but are not identified by name in the show.

    Steve Larese ... Scientist (13 episodes, 2014)
    Jaron White ... Military Policeman (13 episodes, 2014)
    Rodney Nagel ... Scientist (theoretical physicist) (12 episodes, 2014)
    Rafael Torrez ... Scientist (12 episodes, 2014)
    Chadwick Johnson ... Scientist (11 episodes, 2014)
    Barry R. White ... Military Policeman (11 episodes, 2014)
     

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