Summer is here and that means indulging in new must-see television. TV is becoming so varied with its programming that not only can films embody an indie theme, but so can the small screen. One such series is USA network’s Mr. Robot. The title alone leads you to believe it’s about androids, however there are no robots at all. Instead Mr. Robot is a thrilling drama that comments on how technology and society are changing rapidly and dangerously.
Mr. Robot stars the fascinating Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a young tech-engineer who works for a security firm called All Safe. Elliot’s alter ego is a hacker vigilante at night. In true anti-hero form, Elliot is multi-layered. In the pilot episode, we learn that the protagonist suffers from social anxiety and depression. Also, he hacks into people’s lives (gaining access to social media accounts and tracing internet footprints) who would do harm to those few that are close to him (reminiscent of Showtime’s Dexter). The new hero with tech superpowers for the 21st century.
This pilot is filmed with this noir sensibility that includes dark lighting, emo-hipster vibe, eerie score, and a gritty New York setting that works beautifully for this series. This isn’t surprising since Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) directed the episode. Similarities are noted here, particularly down to Elliot’s wearing of a black hoodie. All that’s missing are tattoos and piercings. The rest of the cast is excellent. Christian Slater plays Elliot’s mysterious mentor while Gloria Rueben (of ER fame) plays the part of his therapist, Krista. Portia Doubleday is Angela, Elliot’s long-time friend and coworker. Malek’s Elliot and his socially anxious persona and monologuing are intriguing to watch, and this makes us root for him.
Don Draper. Walter White. Tony Soprano. Now add Eliott Alderson to this list.
Be sure to check out Mr. Robot on the USA network at 10 pm. It’s already been renewed for a second season. Yeah, it’s that good.