In a bid to lure hip and tech-savvy TV viewers to its subscription video-on-demand platform, Presto has secured exclusive Australian rights to air the NBC Universal drama-thriller, Mr. Robot.
A bleak exploration of the invisible world of cyber espionage, the series follows daytime cyber-security engineer (Whitehat) and night-time elite hacker (Blackhat), Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), as he is drawn down the rabbit hole of a corporate hacking conspiracy that reaches across the globe.
Medicated, distant and vastly intelligent, our protagonist is more borderline sociopath than hero, traversing human relations with as much aplomb as the titular namesake, but continually skirting redemption with the aid of his slightly skewed moral compass.
But don’t think you’re in for an easily traversed story or a little light entertainment. The subject matter veers darkly into the lawless underworld of computer hacking, where lines are drawn by dubious alliances and right and wrong are debatable concepts.
Like many great drama-thrillers of late – and similar to the recent Michael Mann film on the same subject matter, Blackhat – the viewer must learn swiftly to navigate an incomprehensible flow of technical jargon (you’ll no doubt Google terminology a few times) and grow to expect triple-cross after double-cross.
Thanks to sharp writing and superb acting, Mr. Robot manages all this without getting boring.
Produced by Universal Cable Productions (Warehouse 13, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Suits and more recently, Killjoys), the dark tech-thriller was created and written by newcomer Sam Esmail and debuted so strongly in the US that a second season is already locked in.
Attempting to attract viewers to the bleak and densely layered new series, Foxtel took a punt when it aired the debut episode straight after the footy on Friday 21 August, on Channel 7.
While it’s debatable that the timeslot and flanking material provided any payoff for the company, compared to the cost of purchasing individual episodes via services like Apple TV or Google Play, $9.99 per month for Presto to binge on Mr. Robot is a very good deal.
Even better, new viewers to Presto can take advantage of the 30-day free trial to access Mr. Robot along with the service’s entire range of content.
If you’re a fan of shows like Breaking Bad, House of Cards or Homeland, put this show at the top of your list.
Watch Mr. Robot here.