That’s one of my favorite quotes after having finished a recent episode of Mr. Robot. I’m all about this show, and I never, ever thought I would be.
Months ago, I first heard about it after a bunch of friends started watching it. The way they described it – as a psychological thriller – made me think it would be a bit dark for me. Then, earlier this summer, Kimmie W. and I were looking for a new show to begin watching together (I’ve been consuming a ton of media with all of this downtime that I’ve had). After a few recommendations she, too, mentions the show too.
And then, in a real kicker, I log into my Amazon Prime account and it recommends the show to me through their Amazon Video feature. When my algorithms figure me out, I feel like that’s the truest sign that I need to listen.
Now that I’ve finished all of the first season and the first 3 episodes of the second season in about two weeks, I have to say: this is 1 of the best shows of the summer.
The show stars Rami Malek (he was actually in a few episodes of 24 – and you know how much I loved 24!) as Elliot, a young computer hacker. He works for a cyber-security firm by day but is a vigilante underground computer hacker and coder by night. There’s the conflict.
It’s set in present-day New York and the storylines are very, VERY present-day. That’s definitely a part of the draw of the show. It seems like the things that are happening could be pulled right out of the headlines. Especially given the fact that I work around a lot of IT folks, the premise of the show is especially intriguing – hacking, finding people out for who they really are through hacking, and then being the person that doesn’t want to be hacked and cautiously protecting their information as much as possible…
Sidebar: Am I the only one who recruits friends to watch shows that I’m watching or read books that I’m reading or listen to music that I’m listening to? Whenever I consume media (or food), I always want to make it a social thing. I mean we all know I’m a pretty social creature, but I’ve noticed this especially lately that with every great show that I’ve watched (Veep, Superstore, Cops, Alaska State Troopers, I Am Jazz, Fuller House, Criminal Minds, Chopped, Chelsea Does…) I always try to get others on board too. Hmm. Just a thought.
Anyways, the storylines of Mr. Robot do get somewhat dark as I thought they might. Think anarchy, trying to change the world, and having the power to do that from behind a keyboard and a computer screen. Imagine trying to balance your day job with your morals and figuring out what is right and wrong and, more importantly, what may be real or fake. Without spoiling anything, that is one of the most serious conflicts that you’ll find in the first season of Mr. Robot.
Another reason I love watching this show are the “Easter eggs” which is a term you can use to describe the hidden, underlying things found in media. You can tell the passion that is behind creating the show because the producers and directors are so damn detail oriented that it’s almost scary. Easter eggs, therefore, are abound. If you already watch the show, search for some. You can find some on Twitter by searching the hashtag #RobotEggs.
And, too, after taking Intro to Film with Professor Prince in undergrad, I look at all video I consume (particularly film and television) in a different way. Mr. Robot is filmed beauuuuuuuutifully, and when something is a joy to watch that makes it even better to binge.
Smalllllll spoiler alert: I’ve never watched any episode only once. After you get the gist of what just happened in the hour that you’ve spent following Elliot around, you should go back and watch again – and see what underlying things might exist. And, again: what’s real? What’s not? What is represented by Elliot’s dissociative identity disorder and what is actually legitimate? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention – I think Elliot might be crazy…
Finally, the casting and the folks that work on the show are two elements that really caught my eye, too. As I watched the first season and would read episode recaps to make sure I didn’t miss anything, I came across articles like this, which demonstrated the show-runner’s sensitivity particularly to a tragic shooting that happened in Roanoke around the time a particular episode was supposed to air.
The episode featured a storyline that might have hit a little too close to home for many of those involved – and having known 1 of the victims from that shooting, I thought they made the right decision. I was impressed, even though I didn’t watch that episode until nearly a year after its originally airing. You go, Mr. Robot show runners!
So, if you’re looking for a new show to watch…definitely check out Mr. Robot. New episodes come on USA on Wednesday’s at 10:00 p.m. EST, but we all know I ain’t got cable. S1 is on Amazon Prime and S2, which is airing now, is on USA’s on-demand service, USA Now (I’ve watched mostly on my phone, would watch on my Apple TV if I was home). Enjoy!