Let’s see what the television networks and the wannabe networks are offering us as new programing for this summer:
Boom—teams have to defuse fake bombs before they go off (and a wedding cake blows up in their faces).
The Briefcase—a poor family is offered a briefcase with $101,000 in it and then has to listen to another destitute family tell them how much they need the money. Then the first family can show just how greedy or compassionate they are.
Bullseye—game where people are used as human darts who are shot at bullseyes (in dozens of different ways) to see who come closest to the center (or dies).
The Island—a group of men is dumped on a deserted island with nothing other than cameramen and told to suck it up (or die).
Zoo—Animals decide to annihilate the human race (many die).
Hannibal—A bunch of psychotics trying to one up each other (lots of dying).
American Ninja Warrior—Incredibly strong people fling themselves over obstacles and hope not to fall (or die).
And then there are the old standbys of Big Brother, Bachelorette, and Extreme Weight Loss.
Oh, and finally BattleBots, where people build menacing robots that try to destroy one another (robots die) [I have to admit, I love this show].
I have not actually seen many of these shows, but have certainly seen a few thousand advertisements about them. If the ads are boring, there is little hope for the show. The shows I did see, I watched until my brain seized up.
So when a good show does turn up, it really stands out. It looks like this summer that show is Mr. Robot on USA.
This show stars Rami Malek (The Pacific, Night at the Museum) and Christian Slater who I have always liked although he always seems to be in less than stellar movies and TV shows.
In the opening of this show, we see a computer hacker who works for a cyber-security firm during the day and hunts for evil people for sport at night. Once he finds them, he invades their computer and collects evidence of their wrongdoing (the first example is a child pornographer). He then anonymously hands the bad guy over to the authorities.
While he works for a big corporation to protect even bigger corporations from hackers like himself, he begins to develop a social consciousness that makes him question his work. When approached by other hackers who want to take down these mega corporations, he struggles to decide how to use his incredible talent and knowledge.
Well written—a few quick quotes from the show:
“Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give him a bank and he can rob the world.”
“People are being enslaved by debt.”
“This is war. People will die.”
This show targets the 1% of the people who now control most of the world’s wealth. Today, every time a wealthy person gets richer it is because the rest of us get poorer. I think this subject will become one of the biggest issues in America in the near future. To me, this show deals with an issue that is just now surfacing and it is exciting to see their slant on it.