BY SEAN O'BRIEN
Mr. Robot' would be tagged as an outstanding drama regardless of whatever entertainment medium it first appeared on. In this case, USA Network viewers are bombarded by fascinating characters, scintillating acting and fantastic settings that are visually inviting, yet equally repulsive, on Wednesday's at 10 pm ET. A brief glimpse at any episode transforms first-time observers into weekly junkies, or binge consumers, per their preference.
The show's piercing premise is this: Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a cyber-security engineer by day and vigilante hacker by night, is recruited by a mysterious underground group to destroy the firm he's paid to protect. Elliot must decide how far he'll go to expose the forces he believes are running (and ruining) the world.
Creator Sam Esmail wraps useful information about the modern digital world, that effectively translates computer coded messages into digestible bytes, inside a horrifically realistic storyline. Lead writer Kate Erickson's scripts explore nuances of human emotion and logic in a fashion that seems destined to resonate beyond 2015. SXSW's audience clearly agreed, as 'Mr. Robot's' award proved earlier this year.
Malek deserves an Emmy nod for his efforts as 'Elliot'. The portrayal of this repressed genius helps to make the show an instant classic on his own accord.
Christian Slater's title character 'Mr. Robot' serves as 'Elliot's' demented boss and big brother figure. Viewer visions of corrupt supervisors and unwanted siblings are surely evoked as a result of this veteran actor's double-push.
Carly Chaikin and Frankie Shaw play the intentionally single-named characters 'Darlene' and 'Shayla' respectively. Each woman is connected to stunted segments of 'Elliot's' life, which are then linked to his self-medicating personality. Portia Doubleday ('Angela Moss') plays 'Elliot's' childhood friend whose own life is nearly as dangerous as his.
Martin Wallstrom's expression of 'Tyrell Wellick' represents one of the more chilling characters seen since Christian Bale breathed sick life into 'Patrick Bateman' in the original 'American Psycho'. 'Tyrell's' assault of a homeless man was one of many unforgettable acts of depravity. 'Fernando Vera' (Elliot Villar), remixes cosmic karma with a vinyl vibrance that's sub-human, at best. Both infinite villains are two sides of a filthy coin. A representation of evil at its extreme, realistic best.
Television's modern composition allows cable channels and streaming services to serve as platforms where cinematic expressions can reign. 'Mr. Robot' further confirms that artistic efforts project well through a medium that has been falsely labeled as passe.