*If you haven’t seen Mr. Robot this may contain spoilers.* You have been warned.
Mr. Robot is breaking the glass ceiling for people who struggle with mental illness. Sure others may tread on the mental illness trail like You’re The Worst taking a comedic approach to depression in a raw, honest performance and UnReal having Shiri Appleby’s character Rachel play the victim and spiral down into the darkest depths without seeking help. These are acceptable because everyone deals with their mental illness in different ways. I just think Mr. Robot delivers a little better in the representation department. This show was special from the beginning. In the first five minutes, I got an overwhelming amount of pride when Elliot muttered one sentence…
At that moment I knew this show was going to open the minds of many people. There was something so real and genuine about the way he said that line. But the reason why this was more special than anything was because mental illness was not being treated as a joke. I couldn’t believe that television was diving into something so taboo. Blowing all expectations out the door. Elliot was so powerful in his journey with social anxiety and clinical depression. You could see the way that his fear was paralyzing him.
The way this show is filmed makes you feel like you are the one experiencing the characters emotions. The way certain scenes are framed and angled to perceive a certain emotion is just breathtaking. (I’m a huge cinematography nerd bare with me.) It wasn’t a predictable and stereotypical show either. Everything delivered was something that mattered and made a difference in the way mental illness was perceived. You see the emptiness that Elliot feels during his time home alone, you see the coping mechanisms in the drugs he takes. The farther down the rabbit hole, I got into the story it kept impressing. The diabolical plan to take down Evil corp and the twist and turns that came with it. Who the heck was Mr. Robot? Every moment is one to savor. It was only when this show started to get more attention my excitement became uncontainable.
It became the show that people would talk about the next day. I went to work the day after each episode and the first thing I would do is boot up my computer the second thing I would do would be peer over my computer to my co-worker and ask, “Did you watch Mr. Robot last night?” When the Golden Globes came around I nervously held my breath until the nominations were released and then I saw it. Nominated for Best Television Drama Series.
This show was going to get more popular. Which meant that more people were going to tune in and watch a show where the main character suffers from mental illness. This was a serious representation and it was only getting bigger. This is what some people actually go through. Self-medication, breakdowns and just losing your sense of security in the light of fear. I love this show for what it has done. Shining light on a serious topic that needs to be talked about. Even if people are too shy to talk about their sufferings they could see this show like a beacon of hope and know they are not alone.
Rami Malek recently won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Television Series. His speech is something that all of us can be proud of. Just a few sentences brought hope and achievement for me. “I play a young man who is like so many of us profoundly alienated,” Malek said, “and the unfortunate thing is, I’m not sure how many of us would want to hang out with a guy like Elliot. I want to honor the Elliots because there’s a little bit of Elliot in all of us, isn’t there?”
Yes, there is. Rami Malek thank you for making mental illness ok to go through. I commend the creator, Sam Esmail and this entire cast. Thank you all for making it ok to be an introvert. Thank you for making mental illness a serious topic and opening up conversation. Thank you for making an incredible main character to shine a light on the struggles of battling mental illness. Last but certainly not least thank you for making wearing a hoodie so mysteriously cool.
This show is our game changer because this show will pave the way in breaking the stigma of mental illness. Together we will find a way to keep battling and pushing our boundaries to get better like Elliot. We are Mr. Robot and Mr. Robot is us.
The show is in its second season airing on USA network. DON’T MISS IT!