Of all my millennial idiosyncrasies, the most think piece worthy is undoubtedly my penchant for watching TV alone, but not really alone.
From the childhood friend who traded play-by-play TextEdits with me for at least two seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005-present) to my now-housemate, who put up with strings of incoherent iMessages the summer I binged “Orange is the New Black” (2013-present), my TV friends are an integral part of my social life. They alternately protect me from and ply me with spoilers. They indulge my overwrought analyses, and they accept my sporadic Tumblr finds with good humor.
But my current TV friendship is my most rewarding to date, spanning multiple genres and several hundred miles. Maybe someday, we’ll be writing joint reviews for our beloved A.V. Club — but for now, my brother and I have a weekly excuse to check in, goof around and peek inside each other’s brains.
This week, seeing me still mired in the Lexa doldrums, he stepped in with a new recommendation. One episode into “Mr. Robot” (2015-present), I feel very technologically inept — but ready for the conversations the two of us have in store: capitalism, the right to privacy, race in STEM and Rami Malek’s face. Here’s a bit of what he had to say this week:
VS [that’s me!]: How does all of the hacker-speak hold up?
GS [that’s him]: Very well. I didn’t understand everything — because I’m not as experienced as Elliot (Malek) — but what I did understand was completely legit. I’m actually extremely impressed with how true-to-life the hacking sequences were … The greatest weaknesses in digital security are often people themselves.
VS: I should probably change all of my passwords now. I did like that despite the computer stuff front-and-center, the pilot made clear that (some of) Elliot’s relationships matter — hopefully including his friendship with Angela (Portia Doubleday)?
GS: We get backstory that explains why Angela is willing to put up with Elliot’s shit. She makes a huge, related decision at the end of season one, and I’m excited to see how it changes her.
VS: Ooh, cryptic. What makes you willing to put up with Elliot’s shit, though? Besides all the tech, I mean.
GS: Elliot isn’t just a tech guy who exists solely to be smart and amaze us with his exploits in front of a terminal. Since the viewer is treated as a figment of his imagination, we watch his life through his eyes and his own filter — with a voiceover further exposing his vulnerabilities. I think it really fleshes him out, makes him human.
VS: I see that. Think I’m running out of inches, though. Would you do the honors?
Hidden Gem: Krista’s (Gloria Reuben) dating site bio. It only stays onscreen for a second or two, but it’s darkly hilarious.
#RelationshipGoals: Elliot & Shayla (Frankie Shaw). Though largely unrelated to the main plot and somewhat contrived, it’s still nice to watch develop.
Selectively Forget: That Elliot straight-up steals Michael’s (Armand Schultz) dog. It’s just unnecessary — and it has a significant negative effect on Elliot by the finale.