Book-ending our vacation, I wrote for Dear Television at The LA Review of Books about the other show of the summer: USA’s Mr. Robot. Specifically, I wrote about the concept of the “cinematic” on TV and about why everyone wants to list this show’s influences.

“But, where this [SPOILER REDACTED] could be a huge, devastating problem, I think there’s a way to imagine that this particular debt and Esmail’s management of it are what make Mr. Robot genuinely great. There’s no anxiety to this influence; just preternatural chill. Thrill, even. The show luxuriates in its stolen goods, pays for hot dogs with marked bills, leaves a trail of cryptic clues for the rookie detective. Like the best serial killers, Mr. Robot wants to get caught.”

“Original Programming: On Mr. Robot


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