With possibly one of the best pilots in TV history, Mr.Robot immediately draws you in. It’s intelligent, it’s dark, at times it feels a little “Fight Club”-esque in all the right ways.
Foremost, I have to say that I’ve held my judgement and my review until the plot developed itself. All of the “genius” reviewers who raved at the pilot and cried at episodes 2 & 3 for not meeting their expectations, just need to take a deep breath and widen their vision. Yes, there were things that didn’t make sense and pieces that seemed implausible at first viewing, but those moments develop into supporting pieces of the evolving story line.
The story mainly revolves around Elliot Anderson (Rami Malek), who is a hacking genius, is extremely shy and anti-social and is unable to connect to people in the ordinary sense. Instead, he hacks everyone he meets in an attempt to connect with them and in the process, helps a lot of people. He lives a life of solitude and hates his job, but then one day he’s approached by a very mysterious man who goes by the name of Mr.Robot (Christian Slater), who seeks to recruit him for a top secret mission. Despite the long shot percentage chance of certain conditions taking place and the simplicity in the description of events that would certainly be much more difficult and more complicated, the plot is fantastic, the writing is excellent and Rami Malek kills it as Elliot.
There are some really deep ideas presented in this show. The writing is perfect. For example Elliott’s first session with his therapist. The social commentary is spot on. What we have here is writing that reflects what most of us feel and communicate usually through various outlets. This commentary would fuel most of talk radio and political TV for years and is the underbelly of so many religious and political debate.
Now that I am writing this after the end of the first season, it makes me think more about the plot, about the characters and about the themes. Initially the story seemed to me, plain and simple, right vs. wrong. But most often, 100 out 100 times, right and wrong isn’t so binary. There are right people doing the right things in all the wrong ways. So are wrong people using the right ways to do the wrong things. In reality, there isn’t a clear demarcation between black and white. And the creators have deeply considered it while making the show. It shows clearly in their characters. All fighting their ways through strength and weakness, amidst clouds of dilemma and flashes of clarity.
The protagonist Elliot is a deeply complex but REAL character. Just like any other human being. He feels lonely, is sad by the sad things of the world. He is just in nature and expresses his sympathy for the blindness in the world. He tries to set things right on his level but, just like the rest of us, has his own demons to fight against. He is on drugs, he hacks deep into the privacy of others, but still in his core is the ‘best person I know’ as pointed out by a fellow character. Maybe I’m biased because I felt a deep connection with him (minus the drugs). I share the same view of society as him. Some people may find this view childish and exaggerated, but I like the way the writer sharply pointed out the hypocrisy of our modern day life and the seemingly freedom in capitalism.
This show has a great concept and is brilliantly executed. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and is massively entertaining. Its likely that most viewers will relate to at least one of the characters, seeing that they cover such a broad spectrum of personalities, each with their own set of troubles. Its presented in a very unique way that feels fresh and innovative.
The acting is brilliant and very convincing. Cinematography was amazing throughout the season, with the palette and framing reflecting the lead’s mental state, surreal camera work during the final sequence, and tons of background details adding to the immersion and fleshing out of the world in which the main character exists. Production design is fantastically done with a lot of clues hidden in every scene of the whole season. The beautiful and amazing soundtrack by Mac Quayle adds to the tension and mystery this show delivers. It sounds perfect and can’t wait for it to be released. In the final episode there is one track that sounds very similar to the ‘Under The Skin’ soundtrack by Mica Levi from last year and I say that as a very positive thing. Incredible score.
I am very optimistic about this show and hope that it continues at the same pace it is currently going in Season 2.
Mr. Robot (Season 1) gets a 9.1/10!