Yes I am aware that this show came out almost a year ago now but I never got into it at the time and I think it flew under the radar for a lot people. That probably had a lot to do with the fact that the show runs on USA Network, which isn’t exactly known for cutting edge television. But I am here to say that Mr. Robot needs to be planted squarely in your TV rotation from this point forward. I finally got around to watching the first episode last weekend and immediately went full binge mode on season one, pounding out 10 hours of TV in four nights. The second season isn’t set to begin until June or July of this summer so you still have plenty of time to start the first. Believe me when I tell you once you turn it on, you won’t be able to stop. If you’re still not convinced here is my review of the first season. I’m not going to do spoilers so you can read on without fear.
Mr. Robot was created by up and coming writer/director Sam Esmail and stars Rami Malek, who you will probably recognize once you see him, along with Christian Slater in a supporting role. Malek’s character, Elliot Anderson, is a genius computer hacker who deals with extreme psychological distress. Malek’s portrayal of this character absolutely could not be anymore perfect. Watching him in the role it feels like it was written specifically for him. The majority of the show is brought to us from Elliot’s point of view so his mental issues create a very unreliable narrator that leaves you wondering if what you are seeing is true or even real. Aside from the character’s flaws the cinematography is done is such a way that makes the entire show feel off slightly center and works to keep the viewer off balance. This lack of clarity and balance ends of setting the tone of the show and leaves you craving answers throughout.
While Mr. Robot centers around Elliot’s quest to bring down the mega conglomerate “E Corp”, or Evil Corp as he refers to it, we actually end up seeing that plot unfold from a ton of different angles. Whether it be other hackers, executives at Evil Corp, or employees at the cyber security firm where Elliot works, the show has a lot of characters but none of them feel like cardboard cutouts. Esmail has written this story in a way that gives depth to almost every relevant character and it always seems like everyone has more going on then what they are showing up front.
Overall the best comparison I can make for Mr. Robot is to say that it’s like Donnie Darko and Fight Club but quicker and smarter. I literally have no complaints other than that I wish the first season had been more episodes. I’m actually glad I only watched it now because it would have sucked to have had to wait an entire year for season two. Rami Malek is going to make himself into a star based on this role, Christian Slater kills it, and Martin Wallstrom (plays the Evil Corp exec Tyrell Wellick) makes his character feel like the Norman Bates of this generation. Trust me, you need to watch this show.