Ideally, us dedicated show blogs shouldn’t be steering you away from our show unless it’s a Sam Esmail project. But seeing as it’s the offseason, we believe it’ll be a disservice to you guys if we try to keep you locked in – as Elliot has taught us, that usually doesn’t end up too well, particularly for the viewers. Besides, we’ve posted articles showing you guys what the alumni are up to and to support them, some of the shows that possibly have influenced Mr. Robot, and from time to time posted articles dedicated to a show that we feel the Mr. Robot fan would like.
This time, we have a few more stuff we’d love to share in hopes that it would help tide you over as we continue the long arduous wait for Season Three.
Play Watch Dogs 2
When it comes to video games, nothing comes close to resembling Mr. Robot the most than Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs series. It doesn’t work vice versa though, because Watch Dogs’ TV series counterpart is probably Person of Interest (more on this later). Be that as it may, both medium share technically stylized titles, overt hacktivism themes, and hacking sequences that were supervised by legitimate hackers.
The first installment, while great, was plagued by numerous gripes from shoddy multiplayer to a protagonist that’s about as charismatic and relatable as a strip of Velcro. Watch Dogs 2 takes some of the best parts of the first and transports it to the bay area with improvements across the board that earned it rave reviews. Also, like the first one, it’s a multiplatform title – except for Kali Linux, obviously.
Watch Westworld (If you haven’t already)
Okay, we seriously doubt any Mr. Robot fan hasn’t seen this yet, but in case you haven’t – what are you waiting for? Much like Mr. Robot, Westworld is a transgressive, existentialist mindfuck brought to us by Jonathan Nolan (of Person of Interest fame) who’s now free from the trappings brought about by network TV. Throughout the season, viewers are kept on the edges of their seat guessing hard where the show is headed, what is happening, and what future awaits our ensemble cast of characters and their converging story arcs. Much like Elliot’s not-so obvious secret, there’s someone whose identity is probably readily apparent but is not really the point. There appears to be a plan being orchestrated to overthrow the people in power and create chaos too. But really, it’s the Mr. Robot feels that makes this show a prime recommendation for those having withdrawal symptoms.
It’s not about hacking and it’s a little harder to track down being available only in the UK side of Netflix, but the Channel 4 series Utopia is certainly one that deserves a spot at the bucket list of those who appreciate the things that make Mr. Robot brilliant. It makes fantastic use of dissonant scores – the iconic opening theme that’s wacky and upbeat often precede scenes of chaos (most notably a controversial off-screen massacre of an elementary school). The comedy is deliciously dark. There’s a government conspiracy with well-intentions albeit gruesome. Outstanding cinematography. There’s copious amounts of social commentary. It has a weird 70s filter that gives it a unique flavor, similar to Mr. Robot’s greyish tinge. It’s ultra-violent though, which may or may not be a trait they share. Unfortunately, it lasted only two 6-episode seasons – and its American remake with David Fincher and collaborators’ Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and Rooney Mara have fizzled out.
Track down World on a Wire
Quick, name a movie about humans living in a world of simulated reality. If your first answer was The Matrix, then I don’t really blame you. It made the hacker aesthetic cool and badass (and realistic in some ways) and made us think back then if maybe, just maybe, we really are living in a world as batteries. Hell, they even named a legal defense tactic after it – and it was used a couple of times, working once!
But decades before the souped-up Nokia’s and the truckload of catch phrases, there was a German film, World On A Wire, that explored the same concept of a simulated reality and deals entirely with that, as oppose to serving just as mere flavor to what would otherwise be just action set pieces. It has a very Mr. Robot feel to it that just has to be seen to believe, from the imagery to the twists. The Criterion Collection cover also deserves mention here, and it’s arguably one of the best covers ever released by that group.
Special mention: Halt and Catch Fire
I’m not going to say much except that I dropped the ball by neglecting to mention this show when we first compiled a list of television programs that are Mr. Robot-y – because it is, and very much so. Throwback feel (it’s deliberate and not an inexplicable homage since it’s a period piece), technology and computers, a generally minimalistic soundtrack, and antiheroes.