Tonight (June 24) at 10PM, USA Network premieres Mr. Robot, a very daring new drama that also happens to be one of the most intriguing new shows of the summer.
Rami Malek plays Elliot, described by USA as “as a cyber-security engineer by day and as a vigilante hacker by night.” Very smart but also very peculiar, Elliot has his own ways with dealing with the frustrations of the world. As played by Malek, Elliot is a character that isn’t particularly likable or accessible, yet at the same time, that is exactly why you want to like him. It’s a big risk for USA to go with a lead character like this. Very rarely have shows had a protagonist quite like Elliot; the closest I can think of was Profit, and that was twenty years ago.
Then there’s Christian Slater as the man calling himself “Mr. Robot.” Here’s a guy who acts and behaves like you’d want your good guy to, that you can get behind, with charisma. Yet as a counterpoint to Elliot, there’s something that makes you not like or trust him. I love that.There are aspects of this pilot that made me uncomfortable – I’m not the biggest fan of seeing characters I’m supposed to root for doing drugs, for example – but again, I think it builds that world and that character. Elliot isn’t the hero you’d expect from what might be an anti-establishment show like this one – which again, makes him and the show very unique.By the pilot’s end, you’re still left unclear as to who is manipulating who; who the bad guys are; and what the show is leading toward. I love that. Mr. Robot is a must-watch for the summer, and I can’t wait to see more. Highly recommended.