2015 was a juggernaut; an overwhelming force of entertainment that relentlessly flexed its might on us viewers for 365 days straight. As you guys know, we tried our best to view and take in as much of the movies, shows, games, etc of 2015 that we could, but it was just impossible to watch and experience everything as it came out. This is one of my major regrets from last year. There were so many great movies and show’s that I wanted to watch, but it was just not meant to be. As such, I missed out on what is arguably one of the best shows of 2015, which as some of you may remember, Uno had recommended we watch since it first premiered. That show is Mr. Robot. Just recently the USA Network had a 24 hour marathon of Mr. Robot, playing all ten episodes repeatedly for 24 hours. So, Big Lou, Jeff and I made sure to set our DVR’s and catch up and I think it’s safe to say, our only regret is not watching this sooner.
Elliot Alderson played by Rami Malek is captivating. His stoic personality is beguiling. He is a beautiful complex portrait that has been painted blank over and over again deceptively enticing us as viewers to smother, smear or spread our own approval or disapproval onto him while he simultaneously does the same to himself. To say that Elliot is weird is an understatement, but he is strange like a Basquiat painting. Like binary code, Elliot is an intricate cipher of information that tells us he is a brilliant person, a hacker, a vigilante, a depressed schizophrenic, a hero, a junky, and even, to some, a savior. Yet, much like Jean-Michel Basquiat, he takes his canvas, his masterpiece, and he paints over and crosses out words and certain names that might lead him and us the audience or as he calls us: his imaginary friend, to the answers we desire. Though, in that mystery lays his allure, his importance, there we find Mr. Robot. And Malek handles this intricacy beautifully.
Part Fight Club, part Memento, part American Psycho, part Kubrick, part Lynch, etc fans of mind-bending psychological thrillers will love this show. And even those who don’t usually subscribe to that sort of storytelling, will find themselves compelled to this show because its secrecy is enthralling and it thrusts us into the thick of the action, asking the question we all want answered: Is this even real?
The world of Mr. Robot is a lot like our own, mirroring our wifi-interconnected-disconnected-cyber-society and offers the show’s protagonist’s—a group of hackers known as “fsocitey”— goal, which is to bring down E Corp aka “Evil Corp” by erasing everyone’s debt. You might be thinking that this is a pretty easy task to accomplish, unless of course you consider that Evil Corp not only manufactures computers, phones, and tablets, but it is also one of the largest multi-national conglomerates in the world credited for owning 70% of the global consumer credit industry; it makes this less of a smash and grab job, and more of an Inception-esque “clockwork beast” turning every trivial detail into an essential piece of the towering whole.
Not to be confused with the movie Hackers, which paints a ridiculous picture of the hacker community and the act of hacking, this show seems to ground the action and infuse it with huge doses of realism and intensity making the whole experience feel very real and authentic. The information they gain, the lives they affect, the world changing decisions they make all have real weight behind them and the outcomes are brutal, intense, and moving.
This show is not only entertaining it is also extremely engaging. It seems to work that portion of your brain that makes you question what is real and what is not, what is possible and what is fantasy. We are constantly questioning, along with Elliot, if what we saw was real, if what we heard is true, and what we did actually happened. This creates an elusive sense of clarity and comprehension as we are always forced to question everything, until we come face to face with the real and often shocking consequences of his actions or the actions of the people around him.
There is so much to be said about this show. The story and its characters are so multifaceted and packed with substance. Every episode there is a new twist, a new revelation, another obstacle they need to face. Its just such a great show. If you guys have not seen this yet, please, do yourself a favor and check it out. I believe it is on Hulu, Amazon, and on the USA app.
In the future, I am hoping you guys get as geeked out about this show as we are now, and I’d like to start a bit of a forum to share our thoughts and our theories. It’ll be a bit of talk-back or BotBack or Bot Talk…you guys get the idea! Let me know in the comments sections or on our Facebook whether that’s something you guys would like to do.
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