Looking For Quality
It may be the Christmas Season – Ho! Ho!, Ho! And all that. There may be mistletoe and holly, and oh, by gosh by golly, it’s time for something better than Hallmark Channel movies. Last night was such a time.
At my urging and only a year or more in the waiting, the TV was tuned to something different. Instead of sweetness and light the remote brought up the first of three seasons of “Mr. Robot.”
For those of you have never watched “Mr. Robot,” it is the story of a young Morphine addicted, delusional, and socially inept Computer Security wizard who lives in New York City and works for an IT Security company whose main client is, in his eyes, an International Monster.
How’s that for a setup?
I had already seen the first season, but it has been so long ago that the details and story line have faded from memory – and in this show the details are important. I know that we watched Season One and Dawn insists that we watched part of Season Two, but I don’t think so. Season Three is almost finished being aired and I am determined to Binge Watch this until we are caught up. This show is a commitment. I may have to download a lot of the more recent episodes to get current.
Last night we got through the first four episodes. With “Mr. Robot” I can’t sit through ten episodes of something like the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” or some other bit of fluff. Four hours of “Mr. Robot” and you want to take a shower and install every piece of computer security software you can find.
Whether or not you want my opinion I am about to drop it on you.
“Mr. Robot” is one of the best things on television, after baseball, in some time. It is tightly written and performed. The writers and actors have created a very good team. The directors are keeping the cast on a short leash – and if you have Christian Slater in your cast you need a
short leash, preferably one with an electric shock device built in. Unless the director keeps control of him Slater tends to fall into doing a lame Jack Nicholson impression. In “Mr. Robot” Slater is kept toeing the line.
The cast, aside from Slater, is largely a crew of unknowns (to me at least) who populate a world of dark and mangled personae.
The story is set in today’s world and the corporate giant villain has a logo that is the same as the now gone but not forgotten “Enron.”
“Mr. Robot” is not a lot of laughs. It is not “My Mother the Mainframe.”
The plotline gets hard to follow at times as the main characters battle personal demons and struggle to fit into a corrupt and under attack industrial landscape.
If I can work my way through all three seasons back to back and avoid going stark raving bonkers or check myself into Nurse Ratched’s ward I will, no doubt, be seriously exhausted. After the first season the show and the actors received a number of awards and critical kudos – all of which were well earned.
Like I said at the beginning, “Mr. Robot” is one of the best things on television, but it is not the best.
In my opinion, which is infallible, if I do say so myself, the best show on TV is “Better Call Saul” I’ve fallen a whole season behind on that one too.
“Saul” is a spinoff from the widely honored series “Breaking Bad,” and is a “Prequel” with everything taking place before Saul’s appearance on the now finished series. I may have to end up buying the DVDs to get to all of the episodes I’ve missed, but it would be worth it.
After “Better Call Saul” I think that “Mozart in the Jungle” is up there with the very best. It is also set in New York City and is about the life of a Symphony Orchestra and its Conductor and Musicians. It is a peek into an often overlooked and obscure world. Season Three is coming up very soon.
That’s it. After these three series there is a serious drop-off in quality and watchability. It is like going through a Gallery filled with Rembrandts, Vermeers, and Van Goghs and then being led into another room filled with “Paint by Number” pictures.
There is quality out there. You just have to look for it and ignore the slag heap.