Thursday, 4 June 2015
Why does every uncle I know try to screw me?
Mr Robot is similar to its fellow season debut Stitchers, only Mr Robot remembers to take itself seriously while Stitchers collapses under the weight of its own stupidity roughly 13 minutes in, and yes, I did actually check the time to see where I would think most people would call it a day. They both begin with a similar premise of a socially-dysfunctional and unlikeable technological savant being dragged into the world of major crime, but Mr Robot sticks to its initial threads and weaves them into the narrative set in what is supposedly reality, while Stitchers instead plops for mild sci-fi and just keeps stacking tropes on top of each other like a Jenga tower, and I hardly need to tell you what the end result of even a well-played Jenga game ultimately is. In the case of Stitchers, it crashes down around its own ears when it becomes The Cell - yes, The Cell, the movie where a writer person was paid to sit down and come up with a scene where a man drowns a woman in a Batman-style watery death trap and then hangs himself from meat hooks over her bleached corpse pleasuring himself. That is what I took away from The Cell, and it is all that any sensible person should ever take away from The Cell, and certainly not any of the technological guff it uses to play out dying people's dreams onscreen or whatever that was going on in the rest of that film - I don't remember, really, and can you blame me what with the meat hooks thing? The problem with Stitchers is really just that if you won't indulge its stupidity, it's embarrassing to watch. Mr Robot fares a lot better, and while it's still slightly embarrassing that the show's idea of a social misfit is someone who says the things that can be read in any Twitter feed (the rich are jerks and people are stupid), it does at least have the charming new approach to this kind of material where its protagonist doesn't retreat into writing-crutch support structures and social interaction-enablers like higher education or "an elite strike team" (Stitchers manages to do both) but instead enters the world of employment and grinding drudgery, and the furrow it plows through this environment and the impact it has upon the protagonist and the narrative has turned up some interesting notions I won't mind seeing more of.