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Mr. Robot is My New Mad Men

Mr. Robot S1E2

Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) and Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) ~ sourced from official website

If you’re not watching Mr. Robot, I humbly suggest that you start. It’s a TV series (currently airing on Showcase) about an introverted computer programmer who moonlights as a vigilante hacker. It’s riveting, edgy and thought-provoking. There isn’t a character appearing on screen who doesn’t interest or intrigue me.

I was originally drawn to the TV show because I’ve been a Christian Slater fan ever since Heathers (what can I say; I’m kind of partial to the name). Since he was the only actor I recognized, I didn’t expect to like it so much. But I immediately felt a bond to the main character, Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek). Regardless of the age difference, the disparity in IQ and gender, I see a lot of myself in this socially awkward computer programmer. He has mental health issues; he often doesn’t know what to say; people in general are a mystery to him. Oh yeah, I can relate.

It realistically portrays computer hackers. They can’t hack a person unless they know personal things about them. And if they are not personally acquainted, then the hacker must obtain the information needed through illegal methods, like breaking and entering or stalking. I’m a sucker for voice over, so I really appreciate Elliot’s running commentary – it also works perfectly as a device that allows the viewer inside his head. In my opinion, the two elements that absolutely make this television show so edgy are the setting (New York City) and the music score (Mac Quayle).

I watch it when it airs in its regular time slot on Friday; then I watch the Friday encore presentation; and then I watch a repeat airing on Sunday afternoon – something I haven’t done since the first five seasons of Mad Men. It might seem excessive to watch each episode three times, but the program is spellbinding. I want to know what happens to these people, especially Elliot and Mr. Robot and I want to make sure I don’t miss anything.

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3 comments on “Mr. Robot is My New Mad Men

  1. I love both shows. I’m glad to see that I am not the only one. They are so different though.
    Mad Men seems to effortlessly under dramatize everything, kind of like The Sorpanos.
    Mr Robot on the other hand has much of the story told with just camera angles, soundtrack and other mise en scene tricks. It’s very clever story telling.

    • That’s what first attracted me to Mad Men. I felt like each episode was a miniature movie. I never did become a big fan of The Spopranos for some reason. I’d watch it off and on, but not on a consistent basis.

      As you mentioned, Mr. Robot has even more of the movie crafted appearance. My favourite trick is you hear other people refer to E Corp. as Evil Corp., but only when Elliot is in the room.

      Here’s my plan – I will get over my technophobia; be computer savvy; become a hacker-extraordinaire; and join fsociety. Will you join me?

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