Mr. Robot Mr. Robot Mr. Robot 👨🤖👨🤖


#1

Have people missed this somehow?

I’m surprised it hasn’t rated a mention for its relatively authentic portrayal of hacking, let alone its quality.


Whatcha Watchin'?
Whatcha Watchin'?
#2

Damn, everything in the universe really is connected in some way; I was just discussing the pros and cons of this show with a coworker yesterday.

Considering how very tech-oriented this site seems, I was surprised not to see any posts about Mr Robot, or at least a few comments mentioning it.


#3

I missed it because the adverts made it look like a misanthrop talking down at how stupid everyone is and… yea no sorry I don’t need the fiction telling me the world is shit when the news and my family prove that it is.

Edit: So please, sell me on it. Tell me why I should look past this hoodie guy being apparently a sneering down his nose asshole talking about how society and people are shit


#4

Actually the protagonist isn’t a true misanthrope; he’s a deeply damaged drug addict who’s disconnected from intimacy but hacks people to try to feel close to them.


#5

Interesting. Now to see if I can shotgun the everything that’s been on so far since it has a feel of ‘if you jump in while in the middle you will be horribly lost.’

Also thing I found on reddit:


#6

Holy cow. You must watch it. Tour de force.

Deep TV.


#7

We talked about it a bit in Questions a while ago

I was really happy to see a show involving hackers that portrayed things fairly authentically, though I wish there was more of it in the show. Major props to the director for not repeating this nauseating Hollywood 3d tripe:


#8

This has to be one of my favourite shows. in a weird way, it’s actually about trying to make a difference in the world. It’s really enjoyable, everything feels like they’re trying to make it as legit as possible to the real hacking world, and the acting is really really good. I highly recommend it. I don’t really wanna say too much more for fear of accidental spoilers…


#9

Awesomesauce. No spoilers. Go in cold. Enjoy.


#10

We watched the first three episodes just on the strength of Rami Malek (he was terrific in The Pacific and we loved his “Steve DiBiasi” character in Larry Crown), but didn’t have time to commit the full run. It didn’t disappoint. We plan to rewatch the episodes, finish off the season, and get caught up. Until then, I’ll take my leave so not to learn anything that may ruin an episode. :hushed:


#12

Great show. Came here to tell everyone to watch it.


#13

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#14

I got notification I was mentioned, and horrified/confused reaction gif, but no idea what was said.


#15

Sorry, @neonflame, @miasm, @Kimmo . . . everyone! I was trying to do a funny post and worried that I wasn’t bringing enough funny. I deleted it with a vow to do better later but . . . well, I didn’t delete fast enough. :slight_smile:

So . . . first, I agree the show is clearly better than most shows. Way better. That’s the first thing.

Second, my nutshell reservation about the show is that it almost feels like what a “corporate conspiracy” would market to people who identify as hackers. There are narrative components that arguably negate social justice concerns even though the protagonist is presented as a sort of hacktivist hero.

His politics are mostly not coherent. In fact, one might expect the character to have very little patience with politics. Score one for the corporations.

I think he can be read as a misunderstood, asocial genius tasked with saving society and regular people though they are likely too dim to understand or appreciate his sacrifice.

What more could a corporate conspiracy ask of hackers than that they identify as isolated, asocial, sexually repressed men who believe they are unique, exceptional, misunderstood geniuses? Nothing more. It’s like the corporations have hacked the hackers with that narrative.

And the story also reminds me a lot of Chuck Palahniuk and Fight Club, esp. the parts with Christian Slater though I haven’t watched long enough yet to know how far the writers go with it. So far, they seem to have left that door pretty much wide open.


#16

I agree strongly on what you wrote the spoiler bit. There’s a line between paying homage and lifting outright that seems a bit blurred. I also feel they are trying so hard to get the hacker / tech bits right that they are missing some realism in other areas like actual science. I’ll not mention specifics as I don’t want to give too much away.

On another note, I hope the mental state of the protagonist doesn’t become too much of an out for the writers in upcoming seasons. It is enjoyable TV though, and I don’t watch a lot of TV.


#17

If the character was portrayed as truly inspired to do some social justice hacking, could he hack his own corporately constructed “special genius” personality, make friends and explore tech-literate contributions to social activism?


#18

This suggests something of a false dichotomy to me, as regards real-world action. It is a criticism which has been leveraged against me quite often, that disrupting totalitarian systems without a political vision to replace them with must lead to another version of the same, or fantasies of libertarian wanquery, or both. But I see a revolution which does not put its stamp upon the new reality as being a success, rather than “the new boss - same as the old boss”. This is because I see direct democracies as being the only ethical and equitable systems. Socially, collectivism is impossible if people are not free to associate and form meaningful collectives. So I see creation of a bare-bones framework to facilitate that as a success.

As for the world of Mr. Robot, the last couple of episodes of the first season suggest to me that your reservations about Eliot’s motivations and actions related to intentional aspects of the story. That Eliot’s short focus upon family and personal issues did make for a selfishly motivated movement, and developments this season which he was unable to see the consequences of. I think that the writers knowingly subverting their revolution - even in its success - was a somewhat brave decision. It results in what I think is a carefully-constructed ambiguity, rather than ambiguity as a result of poorly staging their ideas.


#19

My earlier draft mentioned that my take on the show was closer to yours.


#20

We agree with each other on this question though we do have different readings of the show.


#21

Perhaps. I think your reading of the show is accurate, but with the difference that you make it sound as if this was due to a lack of awareness rather than being deliberate. I can’t fault them that the story or characters could/should have been anything else, since they seem to know where they were going with it. But whether or not they handle it successfully this season remains to be seen. I agree with you that somebody with more social awareness and cogent politics would be a preferable person, but there are narrative reasons, for better or worse, why we instead have an alienated, damaged, unreliable narrator. I think it has room to grow up in interesting ways.