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Aquarius US

Crime . Drama . Thriller

It's 1967 and the era of free love, drug experimentation and Vietnam is in full effect. When the teenage daughter of a respected lawyer goes missing, LA Police Sergeant Sam Hodiak starts asking around. He soon discovers that the hippie kids he's questioning don't take kindly to cops, especially one with hair as short as his. Needing the help of someone they trust, he partners with rebellious undercover cop Brian Shafe, a man who's more comfortable rolling a joint than patrolling a beat. It's not long before they stumble upon a small-time cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his cause. From there, they follow this man's trail down a rabbit hole of drugs, sex, murder and cultural revolution.

Status: Ended
TV Channel: NBC
  • Glenn Garvin

    The epic battles over race, gender, drugs, and the Vietnam war are all on display here, without any phony Let It Be soundtrack muffling the shrieks of the wounded. Full Review
  • Ben Travers

    Some of the language and structuring is too labored, but the unique blend of serialized and procedural writing makes the cop drama feel fresh.

    Indiewire Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Aquarius is a cleverly imagined and handsomely realized tale of an old-school, inherently corrupt police force feeling the rumblings of several social tremors at once.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    Unusual choices can be found throughout Aquarius, and they are part of what makes this drama so good.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Bruce Miller

    This isn’t connect-the-dots storytelling. It’s a blast from the past that reminds us when cop shows succeeded because they were built on great writing.

    Sioux City Journal Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    A superbly subtle yet exciting new series, gives us Charlie-in-the-making.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Tirdad Derakhshani

    We'll leave it for the experts to decide how much Aquarius fudges the truth. As drama, it's gripping, disturbing, and rewarding.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Robert Rorke

    Even if we know how Manson’s story eventually ends, this is one cop show that will chart a tantalizing path to that grim conclusion.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Chuck Barney

    Duchovny, as usual, is a kick to watch. He brings just the right touch of casual charm and swagger to the role. Meanwhile, Anthony's Manson is appropriately chilling, even as he utters kooky lines like "I pulled you out of the womb of ignorance and into the light of now." And a sound track full of evocative tunes from the era keeps things humming. All in all, Aquarius makes for a cool summer diversion.

    San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    Aquarius is its best when infiltrating Mason's "family" of stones sycophants.... When the show weaves in social commentary about sexism and racism, the storytelling can feel obvious and trite. [1 Jun 2015, p.18]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Cynthia Fuchs

    Aquarius isn’t quite history, but it also isn’t precisely now, or even accurate.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    Aquarius sets up several subplots that are nicely turned, and as ’60s pieces go, it’s hardly the worst. It just doesn’t quite make you feel you’re there.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Jeff Korbelik

    While Duchovny is the draw--he plays Sam Hodiak, a no-nonsense World War II veteran who, because of his age, has trouble infiltrating the 1960s hippie culture--the actor to watch is Grey Damon, who portrays Hodiak’s partner, Brian Shafe.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    Duchovny is eminently watchable.... At times the music is more involving than the acting, and appears a useful cover for some lame dialogue. But creator John McNamara ("In Plain Sight") successfully layers sociology, crime story and period music in an involving semi-historical drama.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Kristi Turnquist

    Though the '60s music is sometimes laid on with a heavy hand, Aquarius benefits from its stylish look, and a moody atmosphere that doesn't become oppressive, thanks to Duchovny's mordant wit. It's an unusual summer season offering, sometimes unsettling, but worth checking out.

    The Oregonian Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Despite its letdown ending, oft-jumpy storytelling and extreme liberties with Manson in particular, Aquarius also leaves a mark as a chancy and difficult undertaking by a mainstream broadcast network. Duchovny is up to this task with a sturdy and watchable center-ring performance.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Aquarius’ problem is that it doesn’t want to tell a single story from the Summer of Love, it wants to tell every story from that summer, so you get heavy-­handed displays of institutional sexism and racism, drug use, the rise of black activism, the generation gap, the Vietnam War and some marriage melodrama to boot.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    While some attempts to recall the tenor of the times feel strained, there are intriguing moments in the generational, racial and sexual clashes swirling around the central story. Unfortunately, whenever the show meanders its way back to that central story of Manson and Emma and their newly formed family, momentum stalls and interest drains.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    Beyond the rockin’ soundtrack, the flat storytelling has no pop.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    Sheerly as a crime story, Aquarius goes down easy enough, but it lacks particularly fresh ideas either on its setting or its genre.

    Time Full Review
  • Josh Bell

    Too much about Aquarius is boilerplate cop-drama material; by the second episode, Shafe and Hodiak are investigating other cases while the Manson plot plays out over the long term.

    Las Vegas Weekly Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    There's nothing egregiously wrong with Aquarius--it's sometimes dull but also at turns surprising--but with so many options for entertainment content today, this NBC procedural-serial hybrid doesn't do much to stand out.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    Aquarius struggles with how to integrate the Manson family into the action without diminishing the evil still to come. It’s most successful when it sticks to the small details, like the squalid conditions of the Manson compound, or how touchy he could be about his rock-star dreams.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    The series works best when it stays clear of the issues and concentrates on individuals, acting as people do. (This was true of "Mad Men" too, after all.) The more strongly it indicates the era, the more it resembles an old episode of "Dragnet."

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    By starting the story so long before the deaths of Sharon Tate and Manson's other victims, though.... the next several episodes devote most of their time to the detectives investigating crimes that either tangentially involve Manson or have nothing at all to do with him, but are there to fulfill the Case of the Week structure most network procedural cop shows depend on.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Aquarius touches, not very subtly, on issues of race, gender and sexual preference while pursuing a story involving Manson that's complicated but not actually as compelling as some of the lesser subplots.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    Aquarius is watchable, but oddly bland, given its subject matter. It’s not so much “Helter Skelter” as it is “The Long and Winding Road.”

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    With feet of clay, Aquarius plods relentlessly toward a climax everyone already knows, while making just enough fictional detours to make the journey truly exasperating.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Margaret Lyons

    The show's strengths--Duchovny's smarm-tinted megacharm, a functional police procedural--don't seem like quite enough to make people desperate for another chapter.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    Anthony makes for a charismatic maniac. It’s the thinness of the filmmaking and the unfocused narrative that frustrates. Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    Sometimes it works, and we do get to see the already languorous Mr. Duchonvy act like he’s on an acid trip. Much of the time, though, this show set in the era of LSD feels more like a dose of Thorazine.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Created by John McNamara, and representing some of his most ambitious work in years, Aquarius--which wisely draws heavily on the songs of the time--is big and messy, a much more direct hit on the mores of the time than something like “Mad Men.”

    Variety Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    David Duchovny is good in all of his scenes in the two-hour Aquarius pilot (which is all I could get through), but the rest of the cast for the period drama is unimpressive.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    Led by a charmingly haggard Duchovny, Aquarius has the makings of a pulpy procedural, but the series is riddled with thin, too-familiar ideas about race, homosexuality, sexism, art, politics, and capitalism that come off as at once bloated and rushed.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • June Thomas

    The cast of characters isn’t the only graceless thing about the show. Aquarius’ dialogue often sounds like newspaper headlines strung together.

    Slate Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    A patchwork pastiche of 1960s clichés that tracks the killings of Charles Manson through a hippy-trippy Los Angeles, because all you really want is for Duchovny to be in The X-Files instead.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review

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  • year 1968

  • hippie commune

  • teenage girl

  • squadroom

  • police station

  • aspiring musician

  • lawyer

  • true crime

  • female cop

  • psychopath

  • police locker room

  • interrogation room

  • interrogation

  • drugs

  • lapd

  • detective

  • hippie

  • undercover cop

  • homicide detective

  • 1960s

  • missing person

  • charles manson

  • cop

  • based on true story

  • cult

  • cigarette smoking

  • police detective

  • woman in uniform

  • year 1969

  • los angeles california

  • year 1967

  • bisexual

  • hollywood california

  • ex con

  • episode title based on song

  • harem

  • party

  • policewoman

  • actress shares first name with character

  • police

Episode Guide For Show: Aquarius US