Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mr. Robot Finale Postponed

If you sat down to watch the 10th episode and season finale of Mr. Robot on Wednesday being broadcast at 10PM on the USA Network, this was the message that greeted you. And if you have not been watching Mr. Robot, you should be. It is a brilliantly written and produced summer TV series about a computer hacker trying to bring down Evil Corp. Since the entire show is filtered through the unreliable, subjective viewpoint of a sensitive, mentally ill genius, everyone in the show actually refers to the worldwide conglomerate as Evil Corp, with its parody of Enron's logo as the ubiquitous banner.

It's the first piece of visual narrative that succesfully taps into the Edward Snowden/Chelsea Manning/Anonymous/Arab Spring Social Media moment we are living in presently with all its accompanying paranoia. The young Egyptian actor Rami Malek plays the hero, Elliott, so sensitively that even at his most insane all you want to do is give him a hug and a sandwich, as Tom & Lorenzo once stated. Check it out.


Stephen Smoliar said...

I don't think I would call Elliott "mentally ill." He does not have the crisp and clear communicative skills we see in Laura Poitras' footage of Edward Snowden; but I think I lot of the plot hangs on the fact that, in spite of surface appearances, Elliott's grip on reality is pretty solid. Now that autism is being assessed on a spectrum of severity, I would put him down at the very mild end, which would put him in the same category as most of my fellow undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That sets him aside from some of the show's other characters who, at the very least, border on the psychotic.

Civic Center said...

Dear Stephen: Oh, good, another Mr. Robot devotee, who even recognizes the type from MIT no less. I'd call hallucinating dead family members back to life a form of mental illness, but otherwise, completely agree about Elliott's grip on reality.

mw said...

I was only vaguely aware of this show. I'd seen some promos, but - based on the title - assumed this was yet another in the well worn "Advanced Android Struggles to Establish It's (his) Humanity" trope.

Last week I heard a review on NPR and saw this post. I am now in the midst of a binge watch. After the first show I was hooked. By episode 3 I thought this was srsly twisted. Now on episode six, I think the series borders on genius (and is still twisted)

However, must admit I am continually distracted by the "separated-at-birth" similarity between Rami Malek and Marty Feldman.

Thanks for pointing me at the show.

[Also noting that I am being asked to prove that I am not a Robot by the comment form]

Civic Center said...

Dear Mike: Hurray, another Mr. Robot convert. Episode 3 WAS seriously twisted, and though it settles down some, the twists keep coming. Now we're all wondering what the Live-on-TV shooting in Virginia has to do with the finale, because there was no foreshadowing of that kind of moment. "Evil Corp" is probably going to enter the English lexicon, along with "I'm not a robot" via Google comments, which I have to check too.

We've also been binge watching Season 1 of Halt and Catch Fire from AMC about the early days of personal computing in a Texas electronics company, complete with a psychotic antihero sales executive who fled IBM. Am curious if you've checked it out.

mw said...

Have not watched "Halt and Catch Fire." Now that you've described it, I don't think I should. In the early days of Personal Computers I was a psychotic sales executive who fled Hewlett Packard to go to work for a small Personal Computer company in Kansas City. This might hit too close to home. Best not risk it.

Civic Center said...

Dear Mike: Glad I could provide a Trigger Warning, but just have to tell you, your role is played by Lee Pace, who is sort of beyond cool. Google or IMDB him.

chris enquist said...

Fortunately, the series finale is only two days away.