TV Review: “Mr. Robot” – Near Perfection

Written by Michelle Young September 07, 2015

mr. robot

Nothing is perfect, but “Mr. Robot”, a new suspense thriller from the USA Network, comes pretty darn close. Every aspect of this show is on the next level, from phenomenal cinematography and direction, to one of the most compelling acting performances on television in a while. “Mr. Robot” sets a new standard for what great, quality television should be.

“Mr. Robot” is about Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a socially anxious, clinically depressed hacker vigilantly suffering through a world he can’t seem to fully grasp. During the day, he works as a cyber security engineer. Elliot is extremely guarded and keeps his true thoughts hidden from everyone, except for the audience, which is brought into the loop by Elliot’s internal narration. Elliot eventually finds himself recruited by Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), the leader of a group of activist revolutionaries that aims to erase injustices from the increasingly corporate-run world by taking down the mega-conglomerate “Evil Corp”.

“What I wouldn’t give to be normal. To live in that bubble, the reality of the naive. That’s how I justify this. To keep their optimism in tact, to protect them.”

Although there are many great aspects to “Mr. Robot”, my favourites have to be the cinematography and the music. The pallet and tone are extremely reminiscent of a David Fincher film (even the promo poster is eerily similar to that of “The Social Network”, but that could very likely be intentional) which when paired with the story, feels very “Fight Club”-esque (even at some points, virtually identical). The music is a really solid mix, ranging from classical opera to eighties power ballads. The music choices, although eclectic, mixed with the killer, ethereal synth score really sets the dramatic, suspenseful tone that the show aims for, and compliments the ambiance of the visuals perfectly.

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Another stand out component of “Mr. Robot” is the acting, with Rami Malek perfectly capturing Elliot. He really exhibits the tension of the character with his subtle, understated, performance. His narration is also spot on, giving the whispered dialogue a really cool quality that really hooks you in to his mind. Any introvert would instantly feel connected to this character. The rest of the main cast, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, and Martin Wallström are also really good, with all their characters feeling district; none of them are forgettable.

“I understand what’s it’s like to be different. I’m very different.”

The story-lines in “Mr. Robot” feel relevant, and the technology aspects are clearly very well thought out. The tech talk, as complicated and involved as it is, doesn’t bog down the story as much as I thought it would. It does certainly require your full attention in order to comprehend, but by no means does it require you to re-watch it over and over or take a break to Google a word or phrase every five minutes; the viewer’s tech know how is not paramount to the story, which focuses a lot more on human cognition and philosophy. Focusing on these aspects really grounds all that hacker-speak and computer mumbo-jumbo, which could have easily taken over the whole show.

mr. robot

It was really hard for me to find anything that I didn’t like about “Mr. Robot”, the only downside really being the show’s title, but even that’s pretty nit picky. This show is a really great showcase of what cinematic television should aspire to be. With great visuals, music, and writing anchored by grounded, intense acting performances, every aspect of “Mr. Robot” is almost perfect, creating what can best be described as must watch television.

 My Rating: 9/10

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