Mr. Robot Season 1 Blu-ray Review
With all due respect to ‘Suits’ and ‘White Collar’, I don’t think of the USA Network as the place to find compelling, original dramas. But after ‘Mr. Robot’ received so much critical acclaim, I knew I had to check it out on Blu-ray and see what all the fuss was about. I’ll admit I’m impressed with the show, but the overall results are mixed and given how it ended, I don’t see how they’re going to be able to keep up the momentum from the first season.
‘Mr. Robot’ follows Elliot (Malek), a young vigilante hacker by night and a computer tech by day. He almost seems like he suffers from Aspergers Syndrome as he secludes himself from society and really only talks to a few people, including his childhood best friend Angela (Doubleday) and his neighbor Shayla (Frankie Shaw). But his world is turned upside down when he’s confronted by a mysterious man he refers to as “Mr. Robot” (Slater). Mr. Robot is the leader of a hacker group known as fsociety and he recruits Elliot to lead a revolution by bringing down the world’s largest conglomerate, E-corp, or as Elliot calls them, Evil Corp.
The pilot and the first few episodes feature Elliot in his vigilante hacker mode. He hacks everyone he comes into contact with and when he finds something horrible about them, he makes an anonymous tip to the police and they go to prison. Think ‘Dexter’ but instead of killing his victims, he just hacks them and exposes their secrets. In fact, the comparisons to ‘Dexter’ don’t stop there. Rami Malek narrates every episode the way Michael C. Hall narrated ‘Dexter’ and the characters themselves share many similarities; reclusive, day job that resembles their vigilante work, few friends, and an inability to function in regular society. Given my love for ‘Dexter’, it’s no surprise I was immediately fascinated with ‘Mr. Robot’.
And for the most part, ‘Mr. Robot’ did not disappoint. Elliot is a great character and the show did a good job of establishing other complex characters like Tyrell (Martin Wallstrom) and Darlene (Carly Chaikin). But my problem with the show comes with the direction they took and that’s an unfair complaint until we see what happens with the second season. Mysteries that weren’t really mysteries started to unravel and Elliot took a strange turn in the last few episodes. That’s what raises concerns about the second season in that there’s probably no way they can get Elliot back to his vigilante hacker persona, which is what I liked best about the show.
Minor complaints aside, ‘Mr. Robot’ is a breath of fresh air for dramas starring twenty-somethings. Series creator Sam Esmail seems to have done his homework and the technical details with the hacking made the show feel more real and involved. The cast does a great job as well and Christian Slater and Gloria Reuben add some credibility to the show. But this is a show that will have to be judged when the series finale airs and until then, we’ll have to trust Esmail knows what he’s doing.
Video: Each episode looked fantastic.
Audio: The audio was also very strong.
Deleted Scenes (13:22): Four of the nine episodes have some deleted scenes, the bulk of which come in the sixth episode. There’s nothing that would have changed the overall story, but some of these added to the character development.
M4K1NG_OF_MR._ROBOT.MOV (12:12): A lot of this is focused on Sam Esmail and looks at his involvement in the show and what he hoped to accomplish with the first season.