I saw a commercial for Mr. Robot last week. Okay, I saw it over and over again on a loop in the background of Xfinity on demand. In it a young man darts his eyes around nervously in a subway car, expressing his feeling of paranoia in demeanor as well as voiceover. Then the tension breaks as a voice inside the car interrupts his inner monologue. The voice of a decade’s worth of Panasonic commercials and before that the voice of 90s teen misanthropy: the voice of Christian Slater.
I like Christian Slater. I love Pump Up the Volume. I even like Kuffs–which was kinda terrible. I’ve rooted for his previous attempts to jump back onto the A-list with a primetime TV vehicle but here, in this commercial, his presence dashed my hopes for something fresh from USA’s new series Mr. Robot. Here, decked out in something like a modified 90s grunge look, Slater seemed mostly like an intertextual reference to his former self, a self who would have been cast as the young, paranoid rather than the knowing stranger on the subway car.
Feeling semi-harangued by this Xfinity commercial, however, I finally gave in and streamed the series pilot.
And it was Really Good. Continue reading Mr. Robot: Domo arigato, USA Network