Oftentimes when you think of summer television and watch summer tv, you’re not expecting to come across groundbreaking shows. There are a couple that may be fun to watch and reality tv will always be a summertime favorite for most, but generally they’re not as captivating and brilliant as the shows we get in the fall and winter. However, this year we were introduced to a show whose title may in itself not appeal to some viewers and that is “Mr. Robot”. A show created by Sam Esmail that has truly made quite the impact on me.
When the show premiered I thought to myself within the first 10 minutes of the pilot, “wow this is gonna be good, this is gonna be really good”. After that first episode I was bummed out because I knew I had to wait one week until the next one and that’s one of the worst feelings when you can’t just binge your way through a great show but instead must wait like the rest of humanity until the next one. I won’t get into much of what happened throughout the course of the season because it’s too good of a show to just read about, you have to watch it and enjoy the extremely fascinating and brilliant story Esmail has crafted. I’ll just leave you with a general rundown of what the show is about.
“Mr. Robot” follows Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) who works for a cybersecurity company by day and a hacker vigilante by night. The highly intelligent Elliot also suffers from a social anxiety disorder and the only way he can connect with people is by hacking them and digging into their personal lives. When he was young Elliot and his childhood friend Angela (Portia Doubleday) both lost a parent (his father and her mother respectively) from what they believe was caused by the company they both worked for (E Corp or “Evil Corp” as everyone in the show associates it with). Elliot is then recruited by the mysterious anarchist, Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) to come work for him and other hackers like himself so that they can take down Evil Corp and create a society not controlled by these companies filled with wealthy men that don’t care about the people they’re entrusted to protect.
Throughout the season, I found myself comparing Mr. Robot with the brilliance of Breaking Bad. Not only does that show once again that Breaking Bad is one of the greatest shows in television history, it’s really a testament to how amazing Mr. Robot is let alone in its first season. The opening scenes of each episode are unlike anything I’ve seen from a show and each episode plays out as if it were a film. Each aspect of the show is perfect or near perfect from the acting to the writing, the music, and the absolutely gorgeous cinematography. Rami Malek is sensational as Elliot. There are those shows that contain characters who you can’t see anyone else being able to portray and that’s the case with Malek, he’s astonishing. The supporting cast is also pretty great and embody these roles with such enthusiasm and persona that’s such a delight to see on any show.
There have been many debates as to the parallels between the show and David Fincher’s “Fight Club”. I can say that yes, you can see that Esmail was influenced by the film in a way and it shows within the season, but Esmail does so much more with it and doesn’t make it predictable whatsoever. You’re gonna see a lot of twists that you didn’t see coming and moments where you think “Oh my god! That makes so much sense!” Every thing that happens in the show is important to pay attention to and happens for a reason. Another great aspect of the show is really being inside the head of Elliot. He talks with us, he questions us, and sometimes we’ll know more than he does and trying to see him make sense of what’s happening is electrifying and captivating.
Do yourself a favor, start “Mr. Robot”, enjoy it, savor it, and talk with me about it! I’ll most likely rewatch the season again. USA Network, you’ve got a gem here, this is definitely the best show of the summer and dare I say it, the year? I for one am already counting down the days until the summer of 2016.