Why Mr. Robot is the best show you can watch today
I’ve been waiting for a show like this. Luckily for me the awesome people behind Mr. Robot made it happen, otherwise I myself might have tried (and probably failed miserably) in creating a narrative and a context similar to the one the show has.
Mr. Robot is amazing TV, but that’s not my point. There’s other brilliant entertainment out there. Game of Thrones is a great show, and now that it’s finally cool to talk about magic and dragons in public without the fear of being mocked, it’s a show that makes people connect and realise their hidden drive and curiosity for nerdier worlds. Kevin Spacey is Frank Underwood in House of Cards. Kevin Spacey used to make one or two movies a year, and now you get to see him for a whole season. That’s right, you get to see him, he’s one of the most brilliant actors ever, and now you can binge watch his performances. There’s lots more of these, and they’re all great. But Mr. Robot has one thing that they all lack.
Mr. Robot is relevant.
Look around you.
People staring mindlessly into their phones, without appreciating or fully understanding how they work, not being aware of how their personal lives can be affected in the process.
Data, both personal and commercial, is being stolen or locked for ransom every day. People and companies struggle with that every day, but they’re not willing to invest any time learning how to protect themselves until it happens to them.
Corporations own people, even countries. Governments and agencies probably have total access to everything we do. That’s not news for most people. The surprising thing is that a lot more people decide to not care anymore. The more we hear about whistleblowers and scandals and abuses of power, the more jaded we become.
While other shows are fun to watch, only Mr. Robot addresses real issues while being fun to watch, which are the critical issues our generation faces by the way. I doubt there’s another show that’s more in touch with reality, even though Elliot is tripping most of the time. In one of the last episodes, they even mocked Trump (good job), and Price said “politics is for puppets”, which to be honest sounds pretty accurate to me. One of the background narratives in Season 2 is cryptocurrency, which is entering our lives more and more every day, and we can’t afford to not be educated about it. There was a scene where a news anchor tried to justify mass spying and wiretapping by assuming that you don’t deserve privacy if you’ve got nothing to hide. These are things happening today, all of them deserve important, relevant discussions, and we don’t have enough of them (at least not at a rational level, comment wars on reddit don’t count).
I bet people googled stuff like “how to prevent my phone from being hacked” after watching a few episodes. You see some actual code being used in the attacks, even if they’re some simple commands it ignites curiosity in people. Some of them not already in coding might start learning a thing or two because of it, and that way they’d be doing themselves a solid one. One simply can’t afford to not have at least some knowledge about these things today. That’s when TV stops being just fun and makes you wonder and ask questions you should be asking. Haven’t seen many examples like that in the past, when a TV show adds actual value to your life.
The world is changing right under our feet, and we’re not adequately prepared for the pace of the change. Attention is the new currency, and when I make a choice to trade my attention for entertainment, I’d love if that entertainment is packed with relevant dialog and context. Today is Season 2 finale, can’t wait for it! After Season 2 ends, remember, knowledge is power, keep educating yourself while waiting for Season 3.