The revolution will (continue to) be televised, with word that USA officially renewed its hacker thriller Mr. Robot for a second season of at least 10 episodes just hours before the series premiere last night.
Stellar reviews, including my own five-star one, were certainly one reason behind the network’s show of confidence, and USA reported that 2.6 million people had viewed the pilot online since May 27, when it was made available through various outlets ahead of the TV debut.
USA Network President Chris McCumber said:
“We knew from the moment we read Sam Esmail’s provocative script, and witnessed the brilliant performances of Rami Malek and Christian Slater, that Mr. Robot is a stand-out series that is unlike anything currently on television. The overwhelmingly positive fan reactions to the pilot and the broad sampling of it, reaffirms our confidence in the series, and we’re excited to see where this timely drama will take us for season two.”
Rami Malek stars in the series as hacker Elliot, who is recruited by a shadowy group of vigilante hackers planning a devastating strike against one of the world’s leading corporations, in hopes of toppling capitalism and restoring justice to a money-governed world.
I was a huge fan of the first episode, which featured some terrific writing as well as deeply compelling performances from Malek and Slater. In my review, I wrote the following:
What’s most impressive about Mr. Robot, in the end, is how perfectly formed it feels at this early stage. Malek will garner awards attention for his portrayal of the central Internet rebel, and the unsettling tone never misses a beat. Should Esmail and company commit to the thematically intricate path they’ve set out upon, Mr. Robot is on track to become one of television’s best series, as well as the only one that’s intelligently talking about the big-picture issues of our generation.
It’s already given us what’s far and away the most promising pilot to grace the airwaves in a long, long time – but perhaps the real test of the show’s success will be whether it can get people talking. Mr. Robot is many things, but it’s far from fantasy; the most exciting thing about the show is the possibility it could push viewers into looking up from the very screens on which they’re watching it, electrifying them into actually thinking about the world we’re all living in.
Mr. Robot will continue to air its second seasons Wednesdays on USA.