Before I get started with my little review of MR. ROBOT (which will be CHOCK full of spoilers)…can we just take a moment to drool over Rami Malek’s face? I mean, just look at that structure. Those eyes. That mouth. That stubble.
I don’t mean just any ole iteration of Rami Malek. I specifically mean the Rami Malek of MR. ROBOT. Okay. I really really mean Elliot Alderson. Because who really gives a shit about Rami Malek. Let’s be real, here. I’m here for the Elliot.
That Elliot. Oh he’s different alright. Different. Wide-eyed, rarely blinking, hoodie-wearing, superbrilliant, superparanoid hackerboy. I’m gonna need another moment.
Oh, hello. I wasn’t staring and totally losing the plot again. Pinky swear. (That’s not the same as a promise, right? Cuz I don’t break promises. But I do break pinkies.) (Hang on, I don’t break actual fingerpinkies.) (Yet.)
Yeah. Kidding. Mostly. In all seriousness, what the fuck am I supposed to be writing about? Oh yeah. MR. ROBOT.
MR. ROBOT was the shit! And one more time for those of you who were distracted by the Elliot, I’m gonna write spoilers. I’m gonna throw that shit around like they’re going out of style. I’m telling you, warning you, because I fucking hate spoilers. But what I hate more than spoilers is posts full of spoilers that are like, “Hey cutie. Yeah you. Come look at this flower.” *BLAMMO* “This isn’t a flower at all! This is a certain evil character in Game of Thrones having his guts exploded! Got ya, bitch!” Yeah. That shit pisses me off. So consider yourself warned.
Second point I want to make is this – I have zero confidence in my reviews. This isn’t going to be some award-winning Amazon Prime 5,000 upvoted review kinda posts. Not only that, but this isn’t even gonna be a coherent, episode by episode break down. Wanna know why?
I BINGEWATCHED THE FUCK OUTTA THIS FUCKER. THAT’S WHY. BOOYAH. Seriously, it was that damned good. If you’re into hackery stuff, conspiracies (government, corporate, dark web hackers), down with the man, fuck society, geekboys with social anxiety and drug problems in hoodies because fuck yeah hoodies, fuck the popo ho and the one percent? Yeah, this show is your jam, man. IT’S YOUR JAM.
Oh and if your thing isn’t those things, but is instead suit-wearing assdouches, then this is your jam, too. No it’s not. Get the fuck outta here.
I watch the best shows. Seriously. Cuz I have the best informant on the best shows. So I don’t even have to do any work. Just say, “Oh yeah? Good one?” And he’s like, “Oh yeah, man. This is your jam.” And bam. BEST FUCKING SHOW.
So. Elliot is fucked in the head. Seriously fucked. He’s suffering from very real mental illness(es), which is significantly exacerbated by his drug abuse. You know right away that he’s aware that he’s ill. He’s talking to his imaginary friend (or is he talking to you). And he can’t stop. Probably shouldn’t stop. It keeps him sane. Crazysane. Sanecrazy. Crane. No. That’s a fucking bird. Something. He needs that outlet to work his thoughts out. To try to make sense of the storms in his head and in his life.
I love that a major cable network created a show with a mentally unstable main character. Not only is Elliot suffering from mental illness and something else. Gah, I REALLY don’t wanna spoil this part. So I won’t. Yet. Maybe. We’ll see. I’ve decided: I’m totally gonna spoil it. Elliot has..what? Split personality? Dissociative Disorder is a definite, but I’m not sure the actual term for the next part. Is it split personality? Dissociative Identity Disorder? Because there’s a whole character in the show that isn’t actually a separate character. This character is only visible to Elliot. Only Elliot doesn’t know that. Not at all. Not only that, but Elliot actually is both characters. What I mean to say is that Elliot actually acts as both characters. He just doesn’t know it and neither do we, until the end of the season. I saw it coming a mile off, but actually WHO that second personality is to Elliot and why he created him? Now that, I did not see coming. Pretty sure I’ve made it clear at this point that Elliot has more than one issue going on in his head.
His social anxiety is significant, as is his depression and anxiety in general. He sucks at relationships. He really only has one long-lasting relationship in his life, and he fucks it up on the regular by not being…”normal.” Oh and I’m by no means bashing “abnormal.” I say fuck normal. Normal is boring. Normal is vanilla. Vanilla is boring. You get the idea. Elliot is nowhere close to being boring vanilla. He’s complex and withdrawn and completely inward and introverted and devious and conniving and at-times diabolical and sad and lonely and hates being touched. Major. Major props to USA Network for doing a show with an Elliot as the main character.
I don’t know what it says about me that I totally wanna do Elliot. And I don’t really give a fuck. Oh. Shit. How’d we get back here? Y’all set me up.
MR. ROBOT is intense. Emotional. Dramatic. Edgy. Fast-paced. Climactic. It’s a fucking rollercoaster, and you will not be able to stop watching. It’s got the aforementioned and aforedrooledupon Elliot. It’s got criminals and drug dealers, soft sweet weary ones and murderous crazyeyemotherfucker ones. It’s got besties and coworkers. It’s got douchebag executives. It’s got The Man. And The Man is keeping everyone down. It has dead parents and arcade games. It has crazy girls in combat boots and a hijabi hacker. It’s got an arcade and sweaty withdrawal. It’s got V for Vendetta callouts and sedated masses. It’s got everything for someone like me. Probably for someone like some of you, too.
Hm, what else? Maybe I should mention other characters, yes? Elliot is your guide through most of the show. But he is the quintessential unreliable narrator. I love the Unreliable Narrator, and Elliot is an epic one. But that also means we need other characters to help us create a better frame of reference for reality. While we see them almost exclusively through Elliot’s eyes, and I dig that you have to willfully think outside of his box. Hints are dropped along the way of truths that many will miss. Hints that are at times subtle and other times in your face. Let’s take Darlene for instance.
Darlene. Darlene is crazy. Darlene is wild and eccentric, wears combat boots and hoodies with short skirts and big socks. Her eyes are rimmed in thick black makeup, and her unkempt hair is nearly its own character. Nothing wrong with any of that. Darlene – on the surface – is the kind of person I would get along with. On first glance, I would think our characters would mesh. But no. No. Let’s be plain, here. I hated Darlene. From the moment I met her, I hated this crazy bitch. She was loud and mouthy and obnoxious and bossy and flighty and bitchy and selfish. She was annoying and pushy. And she reminded me, somewhat, of a person (that used to be) in my life. That was not helping her case with me. I loved her style. Her eccentricity. But the rest of it was ew. Despite all of the things going against her, there was something nagging about Darlene. Something nagging at the back of my mind. All through the season, I wondered, “Just who is Darlene? I mean, who is she really?”
You can just feel that there’s more to Darlene than is presented. And if you pick up on any of the subtle little hints, you’ll know – long before they tell you – that Darlene is (somehow) more than just some random hackergirl. Will it make you like her in the end? Will it endear her to you? Perhaps. Before the reveal of just who she really is, her character began to soften somewhat. You could see chinks in her carefully crafted armor. And through those chinks, vulnerability was revealed. And it made her more whole, more beautiful. So, for me, by the time of the (surprising) reveal, I began to soften toward her. And it made the reveal all the more poignant.
Angela. Elliot tells you about Angela right from the start. She’s important to him, and she’s really his only friend and ongoing relationship. I don’t mean love-affair relationship, FYI. Angela is solid and good in Elliot’s eyes. And that’s true in mine, too…for most of the season. She’s definitely plain vanilla. She’s the good girl who doesn’t want to make waves. With anyone. Not even with her cheatingass boyfriend. Not with her employer who allows clients to demean her. Not with Elliot who is never there for her. She shows up to work on time, good little worker bee that she is. She jogs on the regular, iPod earbuds firmly in place. Starbucks Vanilla Latte kinda girl. But, due to myriad circumstances and events, she begins to change. Slowly at first and then more quickly. She’s practically unrecognizable (to me) by the end of the season, compared with the cloying, skittish, unsure Angela we meet in the beginning. Let’s not even get into the fact that the actress develops duck-face by the end of the season. I mean what the fuck. She’s in her twenties, for crying out loud. Did she (they) really have to botox her lips to hell and back? Gross. Anyway. I’m worried about Angela, about who she may be turning into. About what has happened to her now that she’s finally accepted that she can’t rely on Elliot to be her protector. Blank slate Angela has finally been written upon. But we don’t know yet, if she’s writing her own story now instead of waiting for someone else to keep writing it for her…or if she’s found a new author for her story. If the latter is the case, Angela as we knew her is in trouble.
Tyrell. Ooooo Tyrell is one big crazy douchebag mess of a tyrant. He’s pouty and whiny and needy and demanding and scary and posturing and fucking nuts. I said I’m fine with Elliot’s brand of crazy. Tyrell’s brand of crazy is another matter altogether. I said Elliot has moments of behaving diabolically. Tyrell is diabolical. Diabolical and egomaniacal and and ohmyfuck how does one describe him? He is an excellent villain to watch. He will stop at nothing to succeed. And if he can’t achieve his aims, he will stop at nothing to stomp the everlovingshit out of those that thwart him. He will use any means necessary. He and his equally diabolical wife have Tyrell screwing other people to get ahead. And while that may sound bad enough, it gets worse. It gets much worse. Tyrell is the kind of guy that pays homeless people to let him vent his rage upon them. Tyrell is the kind of guy that buttfucks a male assistant to get access to his phone. Tyrell is the kind of guy that murders someone who damages his pride. Tyrell. Tyrell is awesomely wicked.
Shayla. I don’t really want to talk about Shayla. I loved Shayla’s character so so much. Shayla’s character and storylines broke my heart, from the start. She was beautiful and broken. She was lost and hopeful. She was so many dichotomous things wrapped into one vulnerable but strong girl. I don’t want to talk about Shayla anymore.
There are other characters that deserve mention. Hell that deserve more than mention. Like Krista. Krista is Elliot’s therapist. Elliot is obligated to see her because of something unknown in his past. Elliot hacks the shit out of Krista and totally invades her privacy, her life. Elliot hacks everyone. Krista is sweet and kind and broken and really does care about Elliot. And and oh god, Bill. I will never forgive Elliot for what he did to Bill. Team Bill. But I’ve given so many shittons of spoilers that I kinda want to stop myself and let this post fly.
Geez, I haven’t even talked about the acting in this show. Stellar! Or the Christian Slater. Still the same guy with the never-aging face and that cool, distinct way of speaking. It’s Christian Slater! My old pre-teen crush! “Pump Up The Volume,” anyone? I mean, hello! Or the soundtrack. Ambient and found-sounds kinda things. Subways and computer sounds and soft music and manic music and you usually forget there is a soundtrack. It’s just back there, doing it’s job, modifying pace and tempo and heart rhythms. I’m still rambling. I can’t seem to stop.
I probably cried more while watching this show than is normal. Some of it hit a bit close to home for me. Some of it I related to to a freakish amount. Some of it broke my heart. Some of it scared me. Some of it weirded me right the fuck out. Some of it was exhilarating and funny, and sometimes I cry at those things, too. Yeah. I don’t think you’ll cry as much as I did during this show. Pretty sure those weren’t normal reactions I was having. But it also made me laugh out loud and snort and guffaw and clap my hands together with delight and grin like a fool. More than any of that, though, it made me nod my head and think FUCK YEAH DAMN THE MAN!
I anxiously await season two. Until then, I’ll be pondering the fsociety’s next move(s). In the meantime, you should catch up. Watch season one and tell me: Are you in on the conspiracy? Are you even aware there is one? Is there really one? Is any of it even real?
I wonder if he’s found my bug. Is this my bug? Are you my bug?