In the last two weeks, “Mr. Robot” aired three episodes and picked up six Emmy nominations, so Gold Derby senior editor Daniel Montgomery, contributor Tony Ruiz and I had much to discuss in our first of nine weekly Gold Derby slugfests all about “Mr. Robot” (watch the video above).
00:00 — Welcome
00:30 — Emmys
09:55 — Season 2
28:15 — Theories
37:10 — Preview
42:20 — Wishes
“I’m still trying to figure out where it’s going, which has its pluses and its minuses,” Ruiz says about the new season of the Best Drama Series nominee. “Insular is the right word … The ends need to come together faster for me because right now it seems so fragmented.”
I am similarly mixed about creator/showrunner Sam Esmail taking the reins as the second season’s sole director, while continuing to serve as head writer and executive producer; perhaps more collaboration would have resulted in episodes with more forward momentum. “The [premiere] was supposed to be one episode and then they aired it as two, but they ended up being the two shortest episodes of the series,” I explain, quipping that it seemed like Esmail and his team opted to “not cut out anything” and pointing to “that twenty-three-minute stretch in the middle” of the premiere in which lead Rami Malek does not appear.
Montgomery is optimistic. “The directing of these first episodes was just outstanding — the atmosphere, the visual style,” he commented. “The visual tension of the whole show is fantastic.”
Looking ahead to the next Emmys, Montgomery thinks that Malek already has a single-episode performance that would make a solid submission in Best Drama Actor should he receive another nomination next year. “He gets everything! He gets high on ADHD medication; he has this big rant against God,” Montgomery recounts about the episode aptly titled “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd.” “You get this showy performance from him and he’s just fantastic.”
Ruiz recapped, “It seems like what we’re all saying is there are still some very, very good things happening on this show — acting-wise, direction-wise — and maybe there are just some things they need to tidy up as far as story goes.”
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