There are a few must-see shows going around these days. I’ve posted extensively on Orphan Black. Black Mirror is another. Humans. The Strain will be the subject of an upcoming review. Mr. Robot should join their ranks.
This is an odd take on technology, revolution, and mental illness. Elliot is a freak, an oddball who seems to be on medication in every scene. He turns unreliable by the end of Season One, but not before taking down the financial system and inflicting quite a bit of damage on “Evil Corp.”
I love the revolutionary spirit, the cult like hacker collectives, the skullduggery. It’s a paranoid thriller with twists you cannot see coming.
One thing that sets it apart–for good or bad–is the unconventional framing of the shots. This show takes lots of cognitive work to follow. It may give you a headache, particularly if you attempt to watch multiple episodes back to back. The characters are framed in a deliberately skeweed, offbeat manner. I imagined it might be a “golden ratio” type framing, but that didn’t seem to pan out when I imported images into Photoshop. A blogger shares his own analysis of the cinematogrpahy issue:
And here’s another:
By second season, the narrative has taken massive leaps from reality. One episode is an entire fake sitcom, where Elliot avoids being beaten nearly to death by the “Dark Army” and their darkweb henchmen.
The treatment of technology is at a significanly higher level than you might expect from earlier, crude hacker films. There is much intelligence behind the mayhem, and so it is a genuine cyberpunk take set in the modern world.