Few shows nowadays are appointment television, but USA Network’s Mr. Robot earned that distinction during its first season. The type of show that makes you stay off social media if you aren’t watching live. The type of show that makes you want to hear theories and opinions from random people on the elevator.
Rami Malek, best known for his supporting roles in the Twilight movies and Short Term 12, gives a breakout performance as Elliot a cybersecurity engineer who battles with anxiety and depression. He’s a complex character to say the least.
Malek gives Elliot an emotional depth that doesn’t make the audience pity him, but cheer for him to get control of his life and figure out literally what’s real and what’s not. It’s fun to watch Malek embrace all the quirks that make Elliot who he is. It’s all on display form his facial ticks to his paranoia.
Mr. Robot’s season takes an amazing turn when it introduces Edward Alderson aka Mr. Robot played by Christian Slater. The character is everything you want from a sci-fi thriller. Misdirection, intrigue, and a million questions. I yelled, “WTF?” at my television more than I’d like to admit.
No show has made me more paranoid about cybersecurity than Mr. Robot. Every time my computer takes to long to turn on, I think I’m getting hacked. Also, no show has made me more hopeful for the future of television than Mr. Robot. I would’ve never thought a show like this would be on television and be as popular as it is.
One thing the show does that I love is show things through Elliot’s eyes just a little different than the other characters. It’s a slight difference but one that works really well. Because of Elliot’s anxiety and paranoia, it’s almost impossible to trust what you’re seeing through his eyes. Maybe what Elliot is seeing is exactly what’s happening and maybe it’s not.
I loved fsociety’s anti-consumerist rants occurring right before the commercial breaks. I don’t know if this was done purposefully, but it made for an amazing contrast – a show bashing consumerism that’s funded by consumerism.
With the rising popularity of shows like Black Mirror, maybe we’ll see more of these mind-bending thrillers on TV. I don’t know if Mr. Robot can keep the momentum for Season 2, but I’ll be tuning in to find out.