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MR. ROBOT’S Sam Esmail On His Dark and Timely Creation

BY Abbey White

Published 7 years ago

MR. ROBOT'S Sam Esmail On His Dark and Timely Creation

Mr. Robot’s overnight success was surprising to most, but perhaps less so to the series creator Sam Esmail.

Esmail had been working on the pilot for the hacker drama for several years before it managed to get picked up -- on the day the Sony hack was announced no less.

From that point on, his breakout hit climbed to the top of viewers' and critics' must-watch charts and continued to be timely in a way no other series on television has been to date. This type of success is in large part  due to Esmail's uncanny ability to double down on what it means to write a stylish, smart and relatable story.

His appearance this past weekend at New York Comic Con, along with the entire Mr. Robot cast, revealed even more so that recognizing what a good story is and having a little bit of timing can make for the most perfect of television storms.

Before Esmail sat with his cast on the Friday panel at Hammerstein Ballroom, ScreenSpy had the chance to chat with the show creator, writer and director about how he constructed the dark and sharp world of Mr. Robot. 

Here are five things we learned from that discussion.

On Being A Modern Period Piece

Throughout the first season, the show has had the uncanny ability to keep up with the news in near perfect real time. If it happens once, it’s considered a coincidence. Twice? Luck. Three times or more? A deliberate and clever attempt by the writing to keep the story timely, relevant and grounded in the real world. Esmail confessed to his efforts at trying to make sure even the smallest details of Mr. Robot‘s world match up to the one we live in. For Esmail those small moments are all “totally intentional.”

“Going into writing the show, I said that I really wanted it to be of our time. I really wanted to make a show of today. I want to embrace it in every detail. In one of the scenes actually with you and Joanna, you actually see the decision of the Boston bomber coming out in a news program in the background. There was a reviewer that said our show can’t help but be dated in a year or two cause of the technology and I don’t mind that. One of the things I actually say is that we’re making a period piece about today, and we’re just gonna embrace it fully,” Esmail shared. 

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