Friday, July 10, 2015

Vacation Day 8 - Mr. Robot Again

I have decamped from Seattle and returned to my hovel in Vantucky.  Because I hopped on the road fairly early this morning I haven't really gone through the news yet; the one thing I did read this morning is Chris's review of Mr. Robot.

In general I have many of the same objections as Chris in regards to this show: Slow pacing, characters who appear rather uninteresting, and a lack of forward movement in the story arc. I disagree with his final conclusion though, I believe that this show is worth watching.

First off, the actual premise is interesting.  Anonymous writ large.  An actual non-nation state cyber attack on the institutions of the United States. It's been done before in Live Free or Die Hard, but that was just an excuse for John McClain to kick ass.  This is a far more deliberate examination of such an attack.

Second,  it appears obvious to me that the producer creator of the show, Sam Esmail, is a bigger supporter of the Occupy movement (and probably Wikileaks and Anonymous / Lulzsec also).  As a conservative it is interesting to watch the show and try and pick out his viewpoints.

Third, while the pacing is slow I think I am picking up hints that it may explode in another couple episodes.

Fourth, while the characters initially appear uninteresting we have to remember these are people as viewed by Elliot who is obviously troubled, possibly autistic, and completely out of touch with the real world.  I think as the show progresses we are going to see more depth in most if not all of them.  We are already seeing some of that with Tyrell (beating up the homeless guy) and Gideon (having Elliot investigated).  Give it another couple episodes and we are going to start seeing some real conflict.

The major thing I don't like is the "Fight  Club" conceit.  While I no longer believe that Tyrell is a manifestation of Elliot's personality, I do still believe that Mr. Robot is.  I think that is kind of a cheap ploy, but I am willing to give it a chance to play out.

Overall it's not my favorite show, but compared to most it's far superior and compared to shows like Scorpion and CSI: Cyber it's god-like in it's execution.

Note:  My original predictions after the pilot are here.  Some have already been overtaken by events in the show, but I think the basic premises behind them can still stand if not the actual nitty gritty detail.

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