Critical Condition: Mr. Robot

Mr Robot (Lightbox, from today)


“The much anticipated second season picks up about 30 days after the cyberattack on E Corp/Evil Corp by hacktivist group fsociety has erased everyone’s debt and, not surprisingly, thrown the world financial markets into chaos. The fallout has begun and it’s safe to say that season two will delve heavily into how that plays out. But Mr. Robot isn’t really a series about hacking — it’s primarily a character study touching on mental illness, loneliness, tech alienation and dubious parenting, not necessarily in that order … Don’t bother guessing where the USA Network show  is heading in season two — just go along for the fascinating, disorienting ride.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

“The show, which has already won a Peabody Award among a passel of other official recognitions, makes for unusual and exciting television – I welcome it back … Many series are ‘stylish,’ often to their detriment, but there is something particularly intentional and impudent and even exhilarating about the formal choices here.” — Los Angeles Times.

“With emboldened performances from Carly Chaikin, Grace Gummer, Matin Wallstrom, and Portia Doubleday, the addition of Craig Robinson and a main vein into this year of election, Brexit, Clinton campaign and DNC hacks and populist anger on all sides of the spectrum, Mr. Robot feels far more plugged in now and not just playing games with its influences.” — Deadline Hollywood.

“It’s difficult to say yet whether or not Mr. Robot will be able to produce a second season as wild and seductive as the first. But the show remains an artfully constructed receptacle for our cyber-paranoia, whether directed at the government, or capitalism, or technology, or most pressingly, one’s ability to betray oneself, with hallucinations or selective memory or — worst of all — a self-serving notion of the right thing to do.” — Variety.

“The 90-minute season premiere (the only episode made available to critics) … [is] kind of a drag. The ambiguity that made the first season intriguing is largely gone, replaced by straightforward psychological drama that reinforces your suspicion that the show’s strengths lay in the puzzle, not the psychology.” — New York Times.

“I was carried along with the first season’s belief in its own mastery as much as any other fan, but I admit to feeling, in the early going of season 2, a bit of fatigue. The show is vastly more interesting when it shows the dystopian consequences of Elliot’s actions than when it tries to litigate what, precisely, is happening between his ears.” — Time.

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