Mr Robot, the first season, was brilliant. But how is the second?
I love Mr Robot’s dark tones, and its exploration of humanity’s supposed flaws – affairs, desires, emotions, pains – through hacking.
Revolving around the adventures of cybersecurity engineer and hacker Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), the show gives such an insight into humans, just by looking at what they search for on the web.
I wonder what would happen if we were actually transparent about that stuff; if we didn’t need hackers to reveal our true selves.
There would be a lot of judgement for sure. It reflects a lot about our society that we seek out the rationale behind these flaws online, in secret, probably in incognito. But while we perhaps lack the courage to address certain character flaws in real life – and perhaps because of it – Mr Robot makes for incredible TV viewing.
The hobby that Elliot has of exploring everyone around him through his skill set is a unique television experience.
It’s one that I haven’t seen before in this detail. I think it’s great that Mr Robot sums someone up in seconds from his hacking of their digital lives, and the way this flows through the story is something that seems meticulously planned.
The reason for this is that the first series of Mr Robot was initially set to be a film by director Sam Esmail, but he decided that due to the breadth of the script it would work on television. You can really see this from the way the first series was put together. It was gripping stuff and flowed well.
But if that first series was gripping and a great story on its own, the second season isn’t quite as good for me.
Suddenly, rather than focussing on the hacking and the human condition, Mr Robot gone a little too far into the realms of Fight Club, making it less relatable. But, it’s still very good and retains a lot of its power plays from the original series.
One of these power plays is Rami Malek.
He is just perfect for the part, and bless him, pulls off the junkie, anxious, unwell, emotionally unbalanced character so well that he might never get away from that characterisation again. He masters this in season two. There aren’t too many actors out there who could get away with the level of focus that’s on his character in the series, and he really drags you into his torrid life so that you can’t help but continue your Presto binge watch.
There is way too much emphasis on the mental games going on inside Elliot/Mr Robot’s head though.
And whilst I could research everything that happened because I didn’t pick it all up the first time, and then succinctly explain it, I shouldn’t have to. Truth is that it became hard to follow in areas, and was a lot more fun when it was about the perception of humanity, the condition of Elliot, and the efforts to restart society as a mix. Rather than the extra focus on Elliot’s Tyler Durden issue.
The second half of the season picked up though, and the ending is a real ripper. If season one was a 9, and I think it should be, I would give this one an 8.
Oh, and interestingly we are likely to see Mr Robot on another streaming service following Presto’s latest announcement, which you can read more about here, in an article by our very own JBM.