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Gwardinen

Mr. Robutt

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By the by, Mr. Robot seems much better than I had expected it to be. I'm not 100% sold just yet, I'll try to remember to come back and make a full post if I become so, but so far it's actually genuinely well acted and the dialogue is all pretty natural. Neither of which I associate with shows from the USA network, or really anything about hackers.

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I remember seeing a trailer for Mr Robot and thinking it looked like parody of hacker movie trailers. It also featured some of the worst acting I've seen in a trailer. But now I keep hearing that the show itself is actually good and I don't know what to think.

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I hear that too. Also, for what it's worth, I heard the entire plot has already been planned and mapped out. I know nothing about the show, but that has got to be good, right?

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It's a tiny element, but I love the filmic treatment they use for the title cards.

Agreed. Not least because it means I don't have to watch the same couple of minutes of titles with the same theme every episode as with most shows.

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Mr. Robot lost me in episode 2 when they made some principled argument for the Gold Standard. I know it's super petty, but it's true, and some Ron Paul libertarian bullshit that people my age have said to me before.

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I started watching Mr Robot two days ago after never hearing of the show before. Just finished the latest episode (8) and I love it. My favourite show of the summer, great acting, visuals and music. I like the fact they've paid attention to small details that most shows don't bother with, like when someone is on the phone the screen just stays white because they aren't actually using the phone app, however in this show they really are.

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I started watching Mr Robot two days ago after never hearing of the show before. Just finished the latest episode (8) and I love it. My favourite show of the summer, great acting, visuals and music. I like the fact they've paid attention to small details that most shows don't bother with, like when someone is on the phone the screen just stays white because they aren't actually using the phone app, however in this show they really are.

Mr. Robot is amazing.  They are doing the 'unreliable narrator' to the extreme and the writing is top notch.  I've been thinking of writing in to suggest this as a new TV show to discuss on a podcast now that True Detective is over.

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Superb twists in the latest episode, I really like how they hint at the worst clichés only to subvert them. Good podcast material, but I'd still love to see a The Americans cast. Americast?

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Superb twists in the latest episode, I really like how they hint at the worst clichés only to subvert them. Good podcast material, but I'd still love to see a The Americans cast. Americast?

 

For the record, if you're looking for some Americans podcast action you could do worse than the Americans Slate TV Insider podcast. It's obviously not as critical as the Thumbs' stuff because it's mostly made by people who work on the show, but hearing the behind the scenes stories and perspectives of the cast and crew is neat.

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So my partner and I love Mr.Robot. At a time when we weren't watching much together because neither of us could motivate ourselves to watch the shows the other liked more (I was worse at this) Mr.Robot comes along and sweeps us off our feet with some super great TV. I don't think I've seen a show that felt this consistently great since In The Flesh.

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I just gave up on Mr Robot. The first two or three episodes were fantastic, but (massive spoilers):

 

I started to get very distracted by the fact that it seemed to be pulling a Fight Club - that is, Christian Slater's character being imaginary and all the exact same tricks being used to hide it. By episode 5 I had to google it and it turns out they don't reveal it until episode 9 (along with the fact that he's Eliot's father, which I had also guessed). But apparently everyone thinks it's really clever because the show knows that it's an obvious twist, so it gives him the exact same plan as Durden (blowing up debt data buildings), plays a cover of Where Is My Mind, and has Eliot say to the viewer "you knew already, didn't you?" That doesn't feel clever at all to me, more like trying to eat their cake and have it. Plus it's moot if the effect is just distracting, and the show had really started to lose momentum around episodes 4 and 5 anyway.

 

A real disappointment.

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Over the weekend I watched the first couple of episodes of Mr. Robot. I found it quite compelling, particularly the main character. However, I can't really tell if the conspiratorial, le wrong generation, wake-up-sheeple angle is meant to be taken seriously or not. Because I'm not sure I can stomach that for 10+ hours if it is. 

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Over the weekend I watched the first couple of episodes of Mr. Robot. I found it quite compelling, particularly the main character. However, I can't really tell if the conspiratorial, le wrong generation, wake-up-sheeple angle is meant to be taken seriously or not. Because I'm not sure I can stomach that for 10+ hours if it is. 

 

I'm watching the series right now too and I don't think it is? It kind of feels like they're being ironic/sarcastic to me but maybe that's wishful thinking.

 

Still really liking it though. I think it's nice to see a lead character that has social anxiety and depression and doesn't feel gimmicky to me.

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I want to make a thread for the show Mr. Robot, because ever since I started watching it last year, it has become one of my favorite shows ever. My wife and I love this show and are eagerly waiting until whenever season 3 is done. I know the show was originally written as a movie and a season is considered an act but it's possible it may go on to a fourth season? Whatever the case, the creator Sam Esmail is insane because he took it upon himself to write and direct every episode in season 2. How on earth does one manage that?

 

This show is incredibly difficult to talk about without spoilers at every second so I don't know where to begin. I like rewatching the seasons closely and seeing all the little touches in each season and how intricate it can get. I was sort of lost at the end of season 2 until I rewatched that recently after buying the blu-ray and having time to pause and read subtitles just in case I didn't catch something. There were a few twists and plot points I completely missed first time through but now I have a pretty clear idea of what has been answered and what the questions are that remain. Season 2 is definitely harder to figure out.

 

I also bought the accompanying journal/book and I am about halfway through but it's not really that great compared to the show. There's some stuff apart of the big ARG thing they have going on but I don't really understand how to solve any of the puzzles and the ones I see that are solved online don't really enlighten much.

 

I guess in many ways this show is seriously cathartic and reflects the angry untrusting teenager (I suppose) that will always be a part of med. I find all of the characters except Tyrell and Joanna enjoyable. I don't really like Alf though, never have. One caveat though, I am a bit worried that this show might end in an unsatisfying way.

Will it be

 

a fantastical world where the devious E Corp is destroyed and the world is better off? Will the Dark Army be overthrown as well? Even though they are constantly pulling strings as well they are obviously up to no good. I guess even Darlene has now committed murder but I don't actually fault her for it. Catharsis again. I want Elliott and company to succeed and Mr. Robot to take over Elliott but not necessarily where innocent people die. But realistically, since this show has some basis in reality because of the delicate accuracy given to the computer hacking stuff and incorporating current eventsand  people in the story, then probably all odds are stacked against F Society and they will fail.


Another thing about the Dark Army is I feel somewhat annoyed that they are actually the big power in this whole hack. They have government funds, government insiders, and an endless supply of thugs. White Rose is more powerful than any character in the show. I guess again this sort of thing with a devious international government would be more realistic but it feels like the main characters are so powerless. Maybe that's season 2 only though? Maybe that's the whole set up?

 

 

Funny though, it does seem like our political climate in the US gets more fucked up in between every season, so the show is almost a little bit more tame than the real world.

 

EDIT: Fun fact, in the second to last episode in Season 2 there is a Commodore 64 with Maniac Mansion installed on it. I noticed this on the rewatch and posted it on the Thimbleweed Park Facebook. Whoever runs the Facebook got a kick out of it. I don't think it was Ron Gilbert since they used a smiley face.

 

 

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Did you play the mobile game by Night School? I only watched half of season one but think the game is really clever. 

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I'm glad you started this thread because I've been dying to discuss this show somewhere. My partner and I have been working through it at a glacial pace - we still need to finish the final two episodes. 

 

I've extremely mixed feelings about it. I think the performances, music, cinematography and production design are outstanding, but (and I don't know how else to describe this) it's also one of the silliest serious dramas I've ever seen. I don't mean 'silly' in the sense of 'not serious' - although there is a fair bit of that in season 1, with the omnipresent men in black, the heavy-handed references to 'Evil Corp', etc. I found a lot of that stuff too heavy-handed, and I'm glad they reined it in for season 2. 

 

I mean 'silly' more in the sense that in trying to constantly accelerate the tension the plotting ends up wildly overreaching. The second season in particular is super ambitious, and suffers from the worst tendency of modern big-budget TV shows - it's the mid-season Breaking Bad/Game of Thrones thing of long, ponderous sequences in which a lot seems to happen but almost nothing actually happens, except for another brutal/inconsequential cliffhanger two minutes from the end credits.


And yet I don't really care? In many ways it's beautifully made. I like shows where mysteries are piled upon mysteries, in the vein of early Twin Peaks. I'll always be happy to watch more of something where the reach exceeds the grasp on a regular basis than something where I know exactly what to expect every week. Thus far, a fascination with that oppressive, paranoid, languorous atmosphere has been sufficient to keep me coming back, even though at times I feel like I'm just submitting my patience to more punishment.

 

I read somewhere that Esmail said he wanted to use this season to tie up all the loose ends from season 1, which seems like a particularly cruel joke. It's almost like a totally different show. Season 1 was relatively conventional. Everything was pointing in the same direction towards the Scooby Gang of hackers and their big heist. The audience is kind of hoping they succeed, even though they're doing some dubious things. Season 2, on the other hand, is a mess of difficult and contradictory fragments. It's suddenly about everything and about nothing at the same time - hyper-referential in that superficial way so common to so many TV shows.


Some more detailed, spoiler-heavy thoughts on season 2: 

 


It's got to the point now where I'm not entirely sure how they can possibly resolve the situation without either E Corp or the Dark Army being entirely destroyed. I'm also not sure I have the confidence that the people running the show know how to 'fix' this either - normally that's not something I like, but in this case it seems oddly fitting for a show that's about entropy. 

I think Eliot will ultimately pull something out of the bag that ends up wrecking Whiterose and propelling E Corp towards global dominance. Or would that be too heroic? Something horrible and shaming is probably going to happen to Whiterose. It feels like the Dark Army have been too omnipotent for too long in this series - they now seem to be approaching the status of cartoon villains. I don't think they can sustain that for another season. 

Something horrible and shaming is probably going to happen to Dom, too. That'd be a shame because she is my favourite character. Oh, and through some absurd contrivance, Angela will probably end up in charge of E Corp. I can't get enough of her glassy stare.

I have a private theory. I don't seriously think it's possible, though other viewers seem to have come to similar conclusions, but here it is anyway:

Tyrell is actually the main character in the show. Eliot is one aspect of the persona that lives within Tyrell, with Mr Robot himself being a persona that lives within Eliot. It's a sort of Russian Doll situation, with Tyrell as the biggest and most real doll. 

There are probably too many incidental details we've seen that would render this impossible, but the main reason I find it compelling is because in Tyrell we see a whole other aspect to 'the hacker persona' that isn't captured in either Malek or Slater's performance. Tyrell is Eliot's violent, deviant, sexual side - the really unpleasant, Patrick Bateman-esque side - the side that he has to keep repressed even more than the Mr Robot side. And it strikes me as really noteworthy that Eliot's sexuality basically disappears entirely in season 2 - along, of course, with Tyrell. 

Sorry if this ended up being a bit of a ramble. Clearly in spite of my mixed feelings I have a lot to say about this show! I too have heard good things about that mobile game but I have not played it yet!

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3 hours ago, marginalgloss said:

I've extremely mixed feelings about it. I think the performances, music, cinematography and production design are outstanding, but (and I don't know how else to describe this) it's also one of the silliest serious dramas I've ever seen. I don't mean 'silly' in the sense of 'not serious' - although there is a fair bit of that in season 1, with the omnipresent men in black, the heavy-handed references to 'Evil Corp', etc. I found a lot of that stuff too heavy-handed, and I'm glad they reined it in for season 2.

 

Funny you should say that. A few of the people who watched this show after my recommendation dropped off on season 2 for being too out there. While the first season was pretty easy to latch on with only two of my friends quitting after

they found out the Fight Club split personality thing. I guess some people really don't like that, but I get it. I think it's a plot device that can be used again as long as it's handled well and it really isn't an exact clone of Fight Club since Mr. Robot is a manifestation of Elliott's father and has basis in reality of his unresolved feelings and anger towards his father and E Corp both. Tyler Durden is just a character of extreme machoism for the sake of living out a fantasy. So while Mr. Robot is there guiding, he's not exactly Elliot living out some superhero fantasy. It was he who wanted to go along with the plan in the first season the whole time. He said he wanted to save the world without Mr. Robot speaking for him.


 

Plus it's also differentiated because the show follows Darlene and Angela. Neither are unreliable narrators, so that set of mental dysfunctions is only left to Elliot's segments so the show becomes much more than that.

 

And I also still just want more things to touch on the anticorporate mindset of Fight Club. Not afraid to say it. I know since it's premiere it has been written off as juvenile and that makes sense but at the same time I feel like its heart was in the right place. Perhaps picking on Starbucks (especially after the CEO's spiritual journey) or motononous office work isn't really getting to the root of the problem. So I like that Mr. Robot can pick on a corporation who is maybe too much of a catch all but represents the mess Enron's and the overly wealthy create in people's real lives. It also dabbles in the problem with government deals and along with the Washington Township, Flint's water issue is thrown out there.

 

On the men in black,

they are only ever shown to be a product of Elliot's paranoia, not real. They show up again in the concrete eating dream sequence in Season 2 but otherwise die out in lieu of members of the Dark Army showing up in the background. There's one played as a fake out in jail in season 2 but I think that is it. I am actually not sure what the reason is for introducing shadowy black suits early in season 1 other than to show Elliot knows there are people watching and pulling strings but are replaced with who he actually learns is doing so.



 

The couple that takes Angela to White Rose near the end of season 2 can be spotted a few times throughout the season though.

 

While I thought it was amusing, I wasn't that into the Commodore 64 part near the end of season 2. It felt like it was trying too hard to be David Lynch and I don't think it fit in with the overall tone of the show, not to mention it being too unlikely. Seriously the sitcom thing made way more sense to me. I guess it can have its self indulgence sometimes though.

 

On The Dark Army

I think they don't become cartoon villians for me simply because of White Rose. You want to cheer for her but at the same time I have no clue what evil she may be up to despite these violent thugs running around and doing presumably her bidding. What is being hidden at the at that plant I have no clue. It's even more confusing now because Angela seems to have gotten on board with White Rose whether through coercion or truly believing in what is happening at that plant.



As season 2 went on I am pretty sure Angela's desire to take over E Corp was just a facade. You see that the end game on everything she has been doing in the company is towards getting evidence even if it means dropping the inspections from the civil lawsuit to get closer to the proof of the wrongdoing at the plant. However my guess is that self preservation kicks in and her motives change when she sees that she may be in more trouble by turning over the files to the FBI as a whistleblower plus Dom shortly after shows she's pretty much got her.

 

I hope Tyrell is not the main character. He is too disgusting. I was actually really wanting him to be dead but I guess that's not happening now. [/spoiler]

 

About Dom

I get the feeling she will continue to mostly come out on top. I doubt something horrible will happen to her but she is sort of a villain. While she is likable, my frustration with the FBI portrayal, which often reflects my frustration with the real FBI, is that they don't give a shit about any evil E Corp may be up to. They even co-op a floor on the building. Instead they are more focused on a group of hackers and how they nearly destroyed a big conglomerate and made the US economy take a hit but don't really see why they deserved it and why they must be stopped. Never is Price or any of his lackeys shown to be questioned or pursued by the FBI. They are then worried about launching an investigation into China's involvement because of international relations, so still the pursuit of the rag tag gang of hackers takes priority, an easy target.



 

Dom just echoes my frustration. She has very little compassion for these people. She also seems to have very little compassion for the everyday people impacted by E Corp's fail. It's not clear if she sees it as solely the fault of F Society or if the real problem is E Corp had too much stake in everyone's lives. This unawareness is reflected in her awkward conversations with the convenience store owner and her shitty response to him going out of business is that he should make her another sandwich and then she laughs about it. She's just sort of another looking down on others from her cushy privileged life.

 

The most she has going for herself is that she does not give up and that she does actually want The Dark Army and their government ties pursued as well. That said I'm guessing her arc is going to lead to her understanding Darlene or Elliot more and probably do something against the protocol of her own job to help them.

 

Sorry if that's a lot of response Marginalgloss, but I do like your ramble. I want to talk more about this show with people but the only other place I have is just Reddit, which I'm not active in. The imdb boards are trash and are thankfully being killed in a week.

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There was a really great tv podcast with Sam Esmail Around the time the second season finished. But I can't remember what it was called...

 

Here it is. It's really great to hear him talk about the risks he took etc. i should have a hunt around for other podcast with him, interesting guy

 

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57 minutes ago, Ben X said:

My post from a while back in the megathread:

 

I just gave up on Mr Robot. The first two or three episodes were fantastic, but (massive spoilers):

 

A real disappointment.

Yeah I saw that, I would say to keep going until the end of season 1 just because

there's a lot more to the show than Fight Club, the reveal happens in episode 8 and the remaining two episodes deal with it as well, so you can kind of see what the show will continue to do after, unlike Fight Club where it abruptly ends. The final plan is similar but the motivation is somewhat different. Plus I typed up their earlier, the thing about Mr. Robot is he is a manifestation of Elliot's father, whose memory and death continue to play a role in his life. Also Fight Club only followed one character from his perspective, while Elliot is only the unreliable narrator in his scenes while Darlene and Angela as well as a few other side characters definitely exist outside of Elliot's perception. For instance when "Evil Corp" as opposed to "E Corp" is spoken you know that is from Elliot's perspective.



 

The Pixies song is obvious but I actually think it works really well in the scene. There are also more David Fincher film references in the whole series as well as Kubrick so I think it's just sort of little homages every once and a while.

 

Episode 4 kind of dies because it's a long dream sequence, probably my least favorite episode. But if the Fight Club reveal bugs you to the point where it ruins the show, I can see where you are coming from. I guess it depends whether you think it's okay to use the plot device or not again. It has been almost two decades.



Also thanks Mington, listening now!

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