Mr Robot – S1E1 – eps1.0_hellofriend.mov

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It’s been an incredible year for on demand shows. Just in the last month, Master of None, Jessica Jones, The Man in the high castle and Transparent have all set out their stalls, and all drawn in the crowds. It’s no wonder that Mr Robot, a show about hacking and technology, is a popular addition to the world of streaming.

A mix between Fight Club and The Social Network, with a splash of Blade Runner and Taxi Driver for good measure, Mr Robot is another striking and brave show for the new generation of online shows that have taken the world by storm.

Rami Malek stars as Elliot Alderson, computer programmer by day, hacker by night, recruited by an anarchist called Mr Robot, to help bring down the democracy and the people who control the world from the top.

It’s an exciting and engaging pilot that uses a central voice over, a vibrant techno aesthetic similar to The Social Network and a sharp central performance from Malek to make this a highly memorable show

If I hadn’t checked IMDB, I would’ve sworn this was a show with David Fincher involved. Mr Robot has the style and substance of some of his works, from the narration of Fight Club to the style of The Social Network, it’s a show that feels very much like something he was involved in.

Elsewhere its influences are felt in the lead character’s story, he’s like Travis Bickle, wanting to take down the scum, but this time the scum are the rich men who live in their tall ‘ivory’ towers. Then you have the anarchy element, which is reminiscent of V for Vendetta, if perhaps the world of the show was dystopian.

There are Blade Runner elements too, the city vistas, the music, even the main character’s story. It all ties into together, its influences evident in the way the show plays out before your eyes.

We are painted a large picture, of corrupt governments, humanities slavery to consumerism and technology. It nimbly reflects our society, whilst making a case for its own existence. It’s not kind, it can pull a punch if it needs to. In the end, it’s a slick first episode, with a lot of promise.

Rating: B+  8/10

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