Still drooling over those last few Game of Thrones: Season 6 episodes? Feeling like you have nothing to see or do until Season 7 comes out, now that GoT has single-handedly conquered your life and raised your TV show standards intangibly high? If so, know there’s a cure: Mr. Robot.
IMDb’s Plot Summary of Mr. Robot:
Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) is a young cyber-security engineer living in New York, who assumes the role of a vigilante hacker by night. Elliot meets a mysterious anarchist known as “Mr. Robot” (Christian Slater) who recruits Elliot to join his team of hackers, “fsociety.” Elliot, who has a social anxiety disorder and connects to people by hacking them, is intrigued but uncertain if he wants to be part of the group. The show follows Mr. Robot’s attempts to engage Elliot in his mission to destroy the corporation Elliot is paid to protect. Compelled by his personal beliefs, Elliot struggles to resist the chance to take down the multinational CEOs that are running (and ruining) the world.
It’s a jittery and dark and clever and twisted and unpredictable and hypnotic experience that crawls—like a computer virus—into your consciousness. Rami Malek’s breathtaking performance as a bundle of hurt in a hoodie is what truly mesmerized me, though.
Malek drags us into Elliot Alderson’s wide-eyed psychosis and crushing loneliness, but he also quickly unveils a hero in Elliot—an unexpectedly sympathetic morphine addict with a history of mental delusions and psychotic snaps. I’ve never seen a role anything like this one, and it is played perfectly.
Elliot ends up lost in an absurd, surreal battle of entrenched interests vs. a crazy insurgency. And, despite his best efforts, he can’t expel this mysterious Mr. Robot from his head. Christian Slater kills it at as a compelling psychopath, while the other characters, each loaded with unique traits and interests, serve well in complimenting the main duo.
The technicalities of the show are fascinating, but they don’t swallow the casual viewer in clouded sophistication. A lot of the show revolves around high-level hacking, for example, and it’s easy to appreciate it if you’re into computer science, but hacking knowledge isn’t compulsory in keeping up with the story (or else I’d be wholly lost).
The cinematography is dreamlike. The directing is clever. The screenplay is enticing. The story’s progression is well-paced, and its many cliffhangers and twists will freeze you on the edge of your seat.
But if Game of Thrones is too much for you—in terms of gore and sex—then I can’t consciously recommend Mr. Robot (another reason I recommend it specifically to GoT fans). To clarify, the gore and sex aren’t nearly as pervasive in Mr. Robot, but its twisted, drug-immersed, psychologically-skewed nature facilitates some very disturbing scenes. Had to address that eventually, considering my diverse blog viewership.
Don’t take my title claim to heart, as I don’t watch enough TV to know the “best new show,” but please dare to check this show out. It’s not as realistic or cohesive as others but it’s wildly original and stimulating—and one of the most relevant commentaries of our modern society. If that’s not convincing enough, it beat GoT for “best drama” show at both the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Television Awards this year, while Rami Malek has collected a host of awards for his acting.
The Season 2 Premiere episode comes out tonight at 9 (Central Time), so you’ll need to squeeze the first season’s ten 45 minute episodes under your belt before next Wednesday if you want to be caught up for episode 2. The cast for Season 2 is insane (even featuring rapper “Joey Bada$$” in a prominent role), and I fully expect the coming episodes to match their hype. Amazon purchased the show’s exclusive streaming rights from USA Network, and you might have to trace my steps in flying through the first season on an Amazon Prime free trial. Regardless, you’ll be satisfied with the sedated, enthralled feeling that Mr. Robot meticulously provides.
Want a sneak peek ? Here’s a famous scene from the very first episode. (Beware, it’s a low-quality Youtube link.)
BONUS: If you’d like a brand new HBO show to watch, check out “The Night Of.” At 90 minutes, its first episode alone (which debuted three days ago) could stand as one of the best movies of the year. In summary, it’s a crime thriller about an innocent, harmless Pakistani student (Naz) who, while driving to a must-attend party in Manhattan, finds his plans quickly change as a mysterious pretty girl hops aboard his cab. After a night of psychedelic drugs and passion, the woman is dead—and Naz has no idea what happened. Panicked and shaken, he eventually finds himself at the center of a gruesome murder investigation—as prejudice, “evidence,” and a corrupt legal process burden his situation. But he’s also not completely sure of his innocence. As intense, complicated, and layered as life itself, The Night Of is a fascinating watch. (Also, aside from a mutilated body and some harsh language, it’s a relatively clean show that wider audiences can enjoy.)
Expect to see these two shows around when award season comes! Thanks for reading and please squeeze those precious seconds of your day to like, comment, share, and follow if possible.