Hacking series ‘Mr. Robot’ could be the show of our times


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After reading this article will you Watch?

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× 5 (20.83%) Yes

× 2 (8.33%) No

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  • Added 07-16-2015 04:52 AM
  • 24 votes
I just watched the 4th episode and it has made me a fan.

here is a review of the previous episode:
It’s only three episodes in, but USA Network’s hacker series Mr. Robot has already gained widespread plaudits from critics and viewers. And for good reason; it’s eminently likable. Its paranoid vision of the cyber world; the struggle we all have in keeping things private; and not falling prey to consuming too much while living so little is a story the majority of modern men and women can relate to. Unlike many other depictions of hacking as seen on TV in the past, Mr. Robot stays true to the reality of the job; moreover, it looks at some of the bigger problems the modern individual faces in a society that seems to foster cynicism.

The show is centered on hacker Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), whose morphine-monotone describes to us in somber detail why he spends much of his life stealing people’s information and planting bugs in their machines. He often seems like a hopeless character, but nonetheless one who wields a lot of power. While he legitimizes his illegal activity with his own somewhat tired moral compass – hacking a drug dealing rapist and having him arrested – it’s not enough compensation to provide him with any kind of emotional stability or even ephemeral happiness. Alderson doesn’t smile, ever, not even when he’s lost in the Arms of Morpheus.

The perils of hacking, especially when it involves social justice, is one of the fundamental aspects of the show. Hacking is portrayed as being a very lonely, slightly demented, and never truly fulfilling vocation – the more he knows, the heavier the burden. In some respects Alderson is suffering for our sins. He’s a martyr in the age of computer technology. In one scene he admits, “I’m good at reading people; my secret, I look for the worst in them.” And he finds it, in ample measures. When he’s not involved in hacker vigilantism, he’s working at his desk, a job he doesn’t enjoy, as an engineer for a cyber-security firm called Allsafe.

When conglomerate E-Corp (“Evil Corp” to Alderson) is hit by a debilitating DDoS attack (distributed denial of service), Alderson is called in by Allsafe to investigate, only to find out that it is he who is the reason for the strike. We then meet Fsociety, a rag-tag group of geeks and misfits led by Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), whose plan is to bring down E-Corp and destroy records of debt in order to administer the “single biggest event of wealth redistribution in history.”

Getting it right

The depiction of hacking itself has been applauded; one scene in which an Android phone is bugged has even been authenticated by a researcher who after inspecting the scene concludes , “This kind of attention to details is what makes an awesome show!”

One of the reasons for this accuracy is the fact the technical consultant for Mr. Robot, Michael Bazzell, is a veteran cyber-crime investigator who for a decade was on the payroll of the FBI. In an interview with Forbes, Bazzell explained how all the code is accurate. “We want that code to be accurate so that even the most sophisticated hacker or technical person out there will not roll their eyes at a scene.”
I’m not the first to make the comparison, but within the first hour of the first episode – eps1.0_hellofriend.mov – it was Chuck Palahniuk’s highly acerbic, anti-consumerism book Fight Club that seemed the closest thing I’d read, and seen, to Mr. Robot. One of Alderson’s inner monologues should resonate with anyone who’s read Palahniuk.

The world itself is just one big hoax. Spamming each other with our commentary bullshit masquerading as insight. Our social media faking us into intimacy, or is that we voted for this? Not with our rigged elections, but with our things, our property, our money. I’m not saying anything new, we all know why we do this. Not because Hunger games books makes us happy, but because we want to be sedated. Because it’s painful not to pretend, because we’re cowards. Fuck Society.
Another testament to the show’s grip on reality is the depiction of Alderson’s drug use, the anodyne to his dark, often uncompromising existence. The show might be a dig at new capitalism and the pitfalls of zealous consumerism, but it also gives us a candid view of another quieter consumerist challenge: America in the Oxycontin era. Here’s where another comparison can be made. In Episode three Alderson decides to commit himself to the everyday quotidian sort of life: girlfriends, dinner parties, that kind of “normal” thing, which is a turnaround similar to that of Mark Renton in the book and film Trainspotting when he decides to “choose life” over heroin.

“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance …” as Renton says at the beginning of the monologue, sentiments that could easily have passed through Alderson’s lips. Except Alderson doesn’t choose life; he chooses hacking.

Perhaps it seems unfair to make such comparisons and not give the show kudos for its originality, but Mr. Robot does borrow heavily from other films/series – even the imposing retro title logo feels like something that has been taken from a number of 60/70s sci-fi films. However, this is why Mr. Robot is a story of our times; it’s a social commentary featuring some of the world’s hardest-hitting problems, problems that have been rapidly modernized of late: concentrated wealth, official lies, the engineering of consent, addiction, loneliness, etc. But at the same time it’s reinstalled those problems around another realm: the life we live online and inside our machines.
credit:james farrell for silicon angle
looks good, but I usually don't watch anything on USA....
I'm the kind of guy who stops the microwave at 1 second just to feel like a bomb defuser.

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What this is already on? My Gf daughter will not be pleased.. She's in love with the lead...lol But this sounded good before young teenage love interfered, so I'll give it a go!
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