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'Manhattan:' National secrecy interwoven with family

John Benjamin Hickey plays Frank Winters on Manhattan
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The highly anticipated premiere of “Manhattan” ran on Sunday night, and it was even more extraordinary than expected. A town in the middle of nowhere, where scientists work on a project surrounded by secrecy demanded from the U.S. Government, and the families of these extremely intelligent individuals kept in the dark of a situation and living conditions that are harsh and just about untenable for wives and children that are kept in the dark.

There’s Frank Winter –John Benjamin Hickey- driven by his work and incapable of given his family their due, with a wife Liza Winter –Olivia Williams- who is just as intelligent as he and is the foundation of the family and who keeps him from falling victim to his own brilliance. Charlie Isaacs –Ashley Zuckerman- new arrival in the city, or camp who is driven by his great mind and believes that his work is far more important than leading a life of normalcy as his wife Abby Isaacs –Rachel Brosnahan- would like them to live.

The scientists and physicists, just about all with Ph. D’s work tirelessly on what is referred to as “The Gadget”, but what in reality they are rushing to produce is an Atomic Bomb before any other nation does. The dialogue is intelligent, the storyline unlike anything, and the knowledge that “Manhattan” is somewhat based on reality moves viewers in various ways, at times moved by the intensity these men have, at others speechless that such minds are put to use to build something that will kill thousands of people and leave massive destruction, and of course there is a soft spot for those children who are not made aware of anything, and yet must abide by their elders’ demands.

Some wives feel neglected, others just curious about their husbands’ jobs and all trying as hard as possible to not think about the mystery and peculiarity there lives are shrouded in with no rhyme or reason. Recaps and episode can be watched online at

“Manhattan” runs on Sunday at 10 p.m. EDT on WGNAmerica.

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