Romy Shiller

Archive for January, 2016|Monthly archive page

Mr. Robot Season 1

In review, Television on January 26, 2016 at 11:26 am

mr-robot

Mr. Robot: is an American drama–thriller television series created by Sam Esmail. It stars Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a cybrersecurity engineer and hacker who suffers from social anxiety disorder social and clinical depression. Alderson is recruited by an insurrectionary anarchist known as “Mr. Robot”, played by Christian Slater, to join a group of hacktivists. The group aims to cancel all debts by attacking the large corporation E Corp. The pilot premiered on multiple online and video on demand services on May 27, 2015, and was renewed for a second season before the first season premiered on USA Network on June 24, 2015. Mr. Robot has received critical acclaim and has been nominated for multiple awards, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama. [from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

The series follows Elliot Alderson, a young man living in New York City, who works at the cybersecurity company Allsafe as a security engineer. Constantly struggling with social anxiety disorder and clinical depression, Elliot’s thought process seems heavily influenced by paranoia and delusion. He connects to people by hacking them, which often leads him to act as a cyber-vigilante. He is recruited by a mysterious insurrectionary anarchist known as Mr. Robot, and joins his team of hacktivists known as fsociety. One of their missions is to cancel all debts by taking down one of the largest corporations in the world, E Corp (which Elliot perceives as Evil Corp), which also happens to be Allsafe’s biggest client. [from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

Wowwowwowwowwowwow etc. Mr. Robot won all these awards at the Golden Globes so I decided to download it. It’s about computer hacking and is so dark, twisty, and smart I’m surprised anyone watches it let alone gives it awards. Wow. CINEMABLEND.COM says; ‘It’s damn near perfect!’ I agree. It is unlike any TV show I’ve ever seen and trust me, I’ve seen many. Because it is so critical of mainstream society, I really am surprised that the mainstream award-shows give this show acclaim.

Our lead character [Rami Malek as Elliot] is delusional and because the world we see is filtered through his sensibility we are left wondering what’s real. One’s expectations for accurate representation have to be left at the door. You just have to go with it and if you want any conventional explanation, that isn’t going to happen. Interview confirms, ‘Elliot Alderson is an unreliable narrator—a paranoid, loner hacker who suffers from hallucinations and is addicted to morphine—but he is our only option when it comes to Mr. Robot. Everything we see, everything we are told comes from Elliot, and conspiracy theories about what is and isn’t real are abundant.img-rami-malek_095652453621


The acting is phenomenal. Rami Malek is the perfect choice for Elliot. Physically he looks frail and emotionally he plays fragility with brilliance. He has a very complex character: brilliant, tortured, addicted to morphine, angry at the world… Interview says, ‘Malek’s performance gives Elliot depth; he isn’t just a series of quirks and tics, an amalgamation of traits that sit somewhere on the autism spectrum. Elliot is aware that he is hovering somewhere near the edge, and wants desperately to be normal. ‘slater


Christian Slater plays Mr. Robot and already has weird undertones. As a leader of a fringe, anarchist hacking group he is more than believable. Slater tells Rolling Stone “I just want to keep taking chances, I want to do things that scare the hell out of me.”Portia+Doubleday+Long+Hairstyles+Long+Wavy+2pmt_3eeaCOx


Portia Doubleday plays Angela and is way more than Elliot’s love-interest. She is smart, balsy and loyal. I imagine that playing a complex female character is quite rewarding and is very rare. She tells The Hollywood Reporter, “There’s so much that goes on, especially with Angela, because I think she that she’s consistently transitioning. Even from the pilot until the fifth episode, so much changes.” Majorly.

The aesthetic is gritty, grimy, grungy, dirty and most colours are muted. The word ‘consistency’ keeps coming to my mind. There is a seamless quality between the aesthetic and story. The disorder of Elliot’s mind is reflected in the world of the story. I did some research and found this: Vox says, Its visual aesthetic is almost deliberately confrontational and in your face… But that aesthetic also gives the show an overriding feeling of coherence and thematic unity that exists in few brand new shows.’ I was right!

On Metacritic, Neverminding says; it’s hard to believe this is a USA show. The cinematography and production quality are top notch. The subject matter might not be accessible to everyone, but for those of us who have been waiting for a show centered around modern technology without it falling into laughable “for dummies” level dialogue, it’s pretty much perfect.

It’s one thing to give society the middle finger and another to do it in such an intelligent way. The anarchy in this film uses technology against itself and never dumbs down. It doesn’t take its audience as morons – it does not pander or explain anything. Corporate greed is taken to task. Buying into popular belief structures is also criticized and while Elliot may be crazy, the world we live in seems crazier.

Hacking people is Elliot’s way to get to know them. Hacking in this case is like the show Twin Peaks in that we see what’s underneath the surface stuff. Often Elliot discovers that which is ugly and disturbing but it is real and honest, you know? Wired says; There are many types of hackers, and many motivations for hacking. But one of the things Mr. Robot really nails is the portrayal of a certain type of hacker who hacks to make sense of the world and connect to it.

Hacking is his primary mechanism for controlling a world that he feels powerless to control and for making connections in a world in which he feels disconnected. “What do normal people do when they get sad? They reach out to friends or family,” he says as he huddles in his apartment crying. “That’s not an option [for me].”

Mental anguish and drug addiction is linked to childhood trauma here. Again it may be harsh and ugly but it is real. Needless to say this is not a happy, shiny or veiled world. It is painful – the complete opposite of escapism. If TV is your drug or your escape from the world you will not like this show – guaranteed.

Thefix.com says; While the show has definite Fight Club undertones (which is one of the reasons I love it), it does manage to depict a more realistic version of a paranoid schizophrenic than the 1999 cult classic. In Fight Club, the character with schizophrenia is depicted as an aggressor, when in real life, schizophrenia can have an almost dulling effect on the individual.

Rollingstone notes that Sam Esmail, who wrote and directed the 2014 sci-fi romance Comet, created Mr. Robot and no one in the cast knows exactly where they are going to take this story.

Esmail warns that the upcoming installment of the show will be darker. He tells Entertainment Weekly that the upcoming season will focus on Elliot’s backstory and give an insight into why he formed fsociety.

I cannot stress enough to you, how phenomenal this television show is. If you have not seen Mr. Robot – do.

You can see the whole of the first season on Amazon Prime Video.

Mr. Robot – Some Awards

 

Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama

 

Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television

2016 – Christian Slater

 

Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Drama Series 2016

Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series

2016 – Rami Malek

Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

2016 – Christian Slatermr_robot_fuck_society

 

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