Everyone has a television show that they’ve put off watching for numerous reasons. Whether it’s The Wire’s slow unfolding plot and sometimes indecipherable dialogue, The Soprano’s hype and violence, or maybe you just don’t want to read the subtitles in The Bridge, there are tonnes of reasons why we put off watching acclaimed programmes.
For a long time i put off watching Arrested Development. Firstly, due to the name, it’s a strange name. It didn’t conjure up any images or give me any clues, as to what to expect from the show. A few people told me it’s funny, that was about the level of insight i got, until i watched it for myself.
However, even greater than the shows that are eulogized and raved about, are the television shows you’ve never heard of. Over the past few years, i’ve made an effort to actively avoid watching trailers and reading articles about new shows. I watched The Jinx knowing nothing other than it was a murder story and the fact that it was made by HBO, which is never a bad thing. Then a friend recommended The Staircase, basically a Jinx type story filmed a decade earlier. Sometimes going in to a show with complete ignorance can be beneficial.
A new drama has been running on the USA network called MR. ROBOT, it’s the highest rated TV show that i’ve never heard of. On IMBD’s top 250 television shows that have over 5,000 votes, Mr. Robot made the top 5. How is that possible? Especially if you look at the programmes in the top 5, Breaking Bad at number 1, with a rating of 9.5 out of 10, Game Of Thrones at number 2, with a rating of 9.5 out of 10, The Wire at number 4, with a rating of 9.4 out of 10. How does a brand new show, get to the number 3 spot so quickly?
MR. ROBOT’s premise is simple, it’s about a hacker. The show follows Rami Malek (The Pacific), a young programmer who works as a cyber-security engineer by day and as a vigilante hacker by night.
The series is influenced by the turmoil of the 2008 economic crash, the occupy movement, the Wikileaks revelations, and the hacker group Anonymous. The main character Eliot, draws on different elements of Lisbeth Salander’s character from the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and the John Anderson character from The Matrix.
The Eliot character narrates the drama, slowly revealing more secrets about himself each week. He may be schizophrenic or possibly disillusion. He’s a functioning drug addict, morphine pills being his drug of choice. He’s suffers from social anxiety, finding it very hard to communicate with people.
The opening scene lays out perfectly what the show is about (don’t worry no spoiler details). Initially you think, is he blackmailing this person? Only to discover that, maybe this hacker has higher principles.
Christian Slater stars in the show, which may make some people winch, although i felt he revived credibility with his role in ‘He Was A Quiet Man’. MR. ROBOT also stars, Portia Doubleday (Youth In Revolt, Her), Carly Chaikin (Maron, In A World), and Michael Drayer (Louie, The Sopranos)
It’s difficult to say what real hackers think about MR. ROBOT. If it’s anything like how they responded to the 1995 film ‘Hackers’, when they hacked the movie’s website, altered the words, “this is going to be an entertaining fun promotional site for a movie,” and replaced them with “this is going to be a lame, cheesy promotional site for a movie”, they’ll probably dislike like it.
Episode 1 and 2 were very enjoyable, both had clever scripts and included very interesting ending scenes. MR. ROBOT is only being shown in the States at the moment. Episode 3 premieres in America tonight, so if you’re interested in catching up with it, just ask the internet to send it to you.
Watch the trailer for MR. ROBOT below.