Over the next three days, Mr Robot Hacks is gonna bring you the best new TV shows to help get you through those long, dark winter nights. Some shows you may have heard of, some you hopefully haven’t, so here’s the first – USA Network’s Falling Water.
This going cold turkey is hard, man! If you’re anything like us then you’re experiencing Mr Robot withdrawal symptoms – the cold sweats, the shakes, that feeling of emptiness in the pit of your stomach and the paranoia – oh man the paranoia!
If I could only remember where I stashed those Adderall…
Trying to fill the void left by Mr Robot with another show is like trying to replace masturbation with Justin Bieber songs – almost near impossible but hey! Desperate times call for desperate measures, so let’s get into it.
Produced by Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) Falling Water tells the story of three unrelated people, who slowly realize that they are dreaming separate parts of a single common dream. Each is on a quest for something that can only be found in their subconscious.
Tess (Lizzie Brocheré) already uses her strong connection to her dreams to predict what next season’s big fashion apparel will be but when millionaire Icelandic businessman, Bill Boerg (Zak Orth) offers her the chance to take part in his shared dream experiments, she seizes her opportunity to search for the little boy she swears she gave birth to.
Corporate compliance / security liaison and Englishman in New York, Burton (David Ajala) searches for his missing girlfriend while caught up in some kind of corporate cover up.
And seemingly posited much more in the real world, Take (Will Yun Lee) is the New York detective tasked with piecing all this together while investigating a suicide cult.
Here’s a sneak peak… the first ten minutes of the show:
How is Falling Water like Mr Robot?
Well, first off, it’s confusing as shit! Often dipping in and out of dream sequences, you never quite know whats real and what’s not real and that lends itself well to unpicking the fabric of reality, just like Mr Robot often does… albeit in a totes different way.
The New York setting is familiar too, from Burton’s Allsafe and E Corp-esque glass-fronted, high-rise skyscrapers to Tess and her pill-popping friend’s much more grimy New York attic apartment spaces…
Just like Elliot, Tess is a maverick genius who excels in her job, but not just through application, she is special and like Elliot, she may (or may not be) mentally ill.
Burton’s world is the more up-market side of Mr Robot – the corner offices, expensive restaurants and cocktail parties inhabited by Angela, Tyrell, Joanna, Phillip Price. Detective Take takes the good old-fashioned police work Dom DiPierro role. He even has ties to the FBI.
With the three main leads played by a woman, an Asian man and a black man, Falling Water is just as diverse, if not more so than our favorite cyber-thriller, which Mr Robot Hacks always applauds, especially as (in our own form of the Bechdel test, neither race nor gender are even mentioned in the first two episodes.
How is Falling Water unlike Mr Robot?
While the storyline of Mr Robot is a mighty brainfuck, Falling Water is much more of a traditional mystery, all the main characters are searching for something that they believe will lead to them to answer questions and provide them with the fulfilment that they now lack.
There’s no technology on offer so no hacking. If that’s the reason you love Elliot, F_Society et al, this might not be the show for you.
Mr Robot is dark, but the themes of Falling Water; shared dreams and oneirism lend themselves much more closely to horror meaning there is much more of a spooky, slight Jacob’s Ladder vibe to this show…
USA Network’s newest show also has a distinct visual style, it’s nowhere near the clusterfuck that is Mr Robot’s quadrant framing but it’s style is unique enough that you’ll never confuse this show with any other.
Of course, not knowing what’s real and what’s not is a huge part of both shows, and just like in Elliot’s world, I believe that some people know much more than they are letting on.
It may not fill your heart with enough Adderall-infused joy to make you a Belieber, but the first two episodes of Falling Water are intriguing, beguiling and exciting enough to go some way to filling the Grand Canyon-sized void.
Any show which asks “Do you ever get the feeling your dreams are trying to tell you something” is enough to hook me in… what about you?
Falling Water airs Thursdays on USA Network at 10/9c