Mr. Robot makes you re-think everything you have ever learned. First of all it makes you wonder about the conspiracy of money and debt, on mainstream companies who no doubt cheat money from the poor to benefit themselves. From that point of view you can see that what the hackers on the Mr. Robot team are doing is right. But there’s a layer of a paranoia where you can’t figure out where it ends and where it begins.
“In that moment, it's just you and absolute power. Nothing else. That moment stayed with me. I thought I'd feel guilty for being a murderer but... I don't. I feel wonder.”
But let’s start from the very beginning.
The pilot episode of season one showed great promise. Then the season followed in this greatness. However, I was skeptical at first, it had the risk of falling to appeal of the modern television viewer who had become accustomed to shows lacking true substance. But it will certainly captivate those who feel alienated by the typical programming of today, which seems uninteresting and a daunting topic, people like me. The narrative touches on topics like social and digital revolution through the thoughts of the protagonist as he narrates the story to his imaginary friend. This is an important aspect, the protagonist is a depressed individual and who takes morphine to combat that, therefore it can seem hard to trust his point of view.
One would think that the programming jargon would go over the heads of viewers, such as what happened with other successful programs like “House” and “The Big Bang Theory”. Mr. Robot does follow suit in a way but fact-checks it’s more technical content and preserves its validity. It did so in a way that actually made me want to program again, even despite my vast frustration during GCSE Computer Science (seriously one misplaced semicolon and the whole thing doesn’t work).
Most films or programs with a hacker or computer science theme can overplay the coolness of what is shown when it comes to something as dry as computer code, by representing the digital world as though it was out of fantasy, in lieu of more accurate yet bland, plain text coding. I was surprised by how reflective the code was of the real thing, even down to the frustrations of it.
“Damn, she infected me with her time paranoia. We're all living in each other's paranoia. You definitely can't argue that. Is that why everyone tries to avoid each other?”
The protagonist of Mr. Robot is similar in many ways to individuals from those from recent events in the hacking and cyber security world such Anonymous and Edward Snowden. Therefore the plausibility of his disposition is validated and realistic. The audience will root for this character whether he fails or wins, which by the end of season one isn’t very clear at all.
I hope that with season two, it continues with the same pace and brilliance.
On the other hand, some may disagree the use of drugs in order to help with a mental illness and that it could wrongly influence audience members. In addition, the constant ponderings on whether the happenings of the show is actually the thing that happened, can be confusing and you are always asking – what the hell, when did this happen, how did this happen?
I love binge watching this show and it brought the end of the summer to a glorious and well spent close. I’ll be binge watching season two when I get a chance. That’ll probably be Christmas or Halloween since college isn’t much of a time giver. It’ll be a nice gift to myself though and that is the best part of it – shows that feel like a gift to watch are a rare thing to find.
“Is any of it real? I mean, look at this. Look at it! A world built on fantasy. Synthetic emotions in the form of pills. Psychological warfare in the form of advertising. Mind-altering chemicals in the form of... food! Brainwashing seminars in the form of media. Controlled isolated bubbles in the form of social networks. Real? You want to talk about reality? We haven't lived in anything remotely close to it since the turn of the century. We turned it off, took out the batteries, snacked on a bag of GMOs while we tossed the remnants in the ever-expanding Dumpster of the human condition. We live in branded houses trademarked by corporations built on bipolar numbers jumping up and down on digital displays, hypnotizing us into the biggest slumber mankind has ever seen. You have to dig pretty deep, kiddo, before you can find anything real. We live in a kingdom of bullshit. A kingdom you've lived in for far too long. So don't tell me about not being real. I'm no less real than the fucking beef patty in your Big Mac.”