The most prominent event in the world of TV series this summer was not anything to do with “True detective”, and even not “Blackhat”, but a dark horse—a new paranoid show about hackers, wild grin of capitalism and evil corporations—“Mr. Robot”. It was brought to us by a magic wand of the TV channel USA Network that could previously boast only a single successful show, “Suits”.
If you ask what is the difference between “Mr. Robot” and other domineering TV trash, the answer would be very simple: it has a visual aesthetic component. In fact, there are everything we love so much: a character with sociophobia, left-wing ideas, a struggle for the freedom of speech, sex and a flirt with many films we have grown up with.
The creator and show-runner of the best American hackers drama Sam Esmail shares with us his thoughts about the first summer season.
After Snowden the world was overflown by ideas of surveillance and hacking, and the whole plot of “Mr. Robot” is about it. Elliot encounters a group of hackers who want to turn the world economy upside down and to release all people from the debt by hacking.
Elliot’s perspectives are so naive, he is so young, Sam says. At the same time he has mental dysfunction. But is it an illness he must fight with? Is he flawed? In some senses, yes, thinks Sam. This nonconformism and anti-social sentiment sometimes can bring anger, and this anger sometimes leads to negative consequences. Throughout your life your worldview could change: you are 20, and many things annoy you; but when you are 30 or 40 years old, your attitude is likely to be different. You can channel your anger in the right way by doing something big, and vice versa.
In Sam’s opinion, Elliot makes people empathize with him. The audience feels that his emotions are authentic and serious.
Mr. Robot’s revelation was not about a shock of the fact, but about Elliot’s feelings at that moment. According to Sam, he did not try to shock the audience, that is why he left tips in every episode. And he says next season he want to let Darlene know about that reveal, because people feel the weird sibling dynamic between her and the hero.
“Mr. Robot” started as feature film screenplay, and it was always going to be about Elliot’s alter-ego discovering. The story is about him discovering his mental disorder, identity disorder, and about his life and actions after that point. The characters are trying to find who they are and how they fit in the world. Just remember what was “Matrix” about: we would say it is about the secret of Matrix. But this secret is revealed in the first half-hour of the movie, and then the story was about other things.
Sam has repeatedly said that Mr. Robot is supposed to have four or five seasons. The creator has never taken the audience for idiots: during the first minutes, the movie was narrating about onion routing and DDOS-attacks without any explanations. Generally, the whole first season was setting the show’s world into chaos. So, the next ones, Sam says, are going to be about how Elliot will deal with this disorder and with the demons inside him.