TV - Mr. Robot: Revelation - or something more?

Mr. Robot

Nate McKenzie has finished Mr. Robot and has some thoughts which may contain spoilers...

"I'm only supposed to be your prophet. You're supposed to be my God."

Even before that line, the word 'revelation' had bandied about in my head during the finale of Mr. Robot. That word didn't feel precise enough though. But as the final scene ended and the credits rolled, 'revelation', persisted.

Then came a scene after the credits. Something that we now take for granted as filmgoers - the after credits bonus scene - suddenly lent credence to the idea that I was witnessing a true revelation on my television screen. However, 'revelation' still didn't quite give detail to the formless words in my head.

There is no hyperbole in what you're about to read next:

Mr. Robot is one of the best tv shows. Ever.

It may easily be one of the five best of the last ten years. In my estimation, it absolutely is.

As I watched the final scene, something struck me. The entire premise of the show is predicated upon hacker group fsociety's obsession with toppling the systematic enslavement of humanity by the power-hungry one-percenters. They attempt this economic levelling of the playing field by setting to wipe out all debt incurred by the general public; they want to reset the game console as everyone is down to their last life. Or, more accurately, as everyone has had to borrow hundreds of extra lives. As the mysterious figure in the final scene winds his way through a grand mansion the camera makes us privy to a highly secretive party involving what appear to be very wealthy individuals. Business men cavorting, sheikh' laughing, pretty women in little black dresses serving champagne to representatives of societies power elite. Then the reveal. The mystery man. As he sits with the embodiment of evil, the head of fictional Evil Corp. The social commentary practically screams, "We are their pawns!'

Revelation became a paltry descriptor.

What Mr. Robot is, what the first season tried and succeeded in becoming, was not a revelation, but rather, a revolution.

"Real? You wanna talk about reality? We haven't lived in anything remotely close to it since the turn of the century. We turned it off, took out the batteries, snacked on a bag of GMOs while we tossed the remnants in the ever expanding dumpster of the human condition."

The monologues throughout the first season have all been cryptic but indicative. We knew revolution was the endgame for fsociety. But it only hit me in those final moments that the show-runners were also aiming for a similar sort of movement. You can find bits and pieces of delicious morsels in the "dumpster" of televisions meagre offerings (True Detective Season One, Fear The Walking Dead, The Following to name a few) but something real? Something that didn't feel rehashed and uninspired? Rare.

"We live in a kingdom of bullshit."

Mr. Robot has successively dictated a new standard for network television. Honestly, if The USA Network (of all networks) can produce a show of this calibre there is no reason that others can't follow suit. Yes, we've had The Wire. Yes, Breaking Bad had devotees across all demographics. The Walking Dead is an epidemic. The Leftovers is supremely under-appreciated. But, none of them were/are revolutionary. In fact, Lost might be the last show to be as enigmatic as Mr. Robot. Even then, Lost was charismatic, with broad appeal. Mr. Robot is anarchistic. It mocks the society that it simultaneously shuns and plays to. It is unbranded, unintimidated, and sentient.

If you're not watching Mr. Robot, it doesn't care; because it is too busy trying to set the world on fire to notice your existence.

But I care. Because this level of quality in entertainment is the reason I fell in love with television and movies in the first place.

Image - IMDb.