Mr. Robot

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Mr. Robot TV Poster Image
Computer-hacking antihero navigates anarchy, social anxiety.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 20 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The overall tone is dark and unsettling, and major themes include cynicism, anxiety, corporate greed, and anarchy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The protagonist is a complicated character who is both heroic and deeply flawed, making him an iffy role model at best. And though the terms "villain" and "evil" apply to several characters, those labels come in shades of gray.

Violence

Some characters carry weapons, people are beaten. A woman is discovered after a rape.

Sex

Sex is strongly suggested in some scenes, where others show bare bottoms and thrusting. A character goes home to his pregnant wife who insists on being strapped to the bed in full S&M gear, then gagged before sex.

Language

Words like "s--t" and "f--k" are audible, along with "dickhead," "piss," etc.

Consumerism

Name brands are mentioned, and some logos are visible (McDonald's, Twinkies, Facebook, etc.).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character smokes pot and snorts crushed morphine to cope with depression; cigarette smoking; social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mr. Robot centers on a socially anxious tech genius who moonlights as a vigilante, using his skills to squash everyday evil in a darkly disappointing world. Strong, unbleeped language includes "f--k" and "s--t," and the main character uses illegal drugs to manage his mental health (albeit in a highly measured way, not as an addict). Sex is strongly suggested but not actually shown, although naked bodies are visible from the side, and brand names and logos (such as McDonald's and Forever 21) are part of the landscape.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bygjfx July 11, 2015

This could be such a cool show

The short version is that this is way too inappropriate for any kids (even teens). This should be an R rated, TV-MA show. There are many uncomfortable phrases,... Continue reading
Adult Written bynealj85 September 30, 2015

Journey into arm pit of society

This show takes the viewer places that are the darkest parts of the internet. If you've seen Fight Club, it feels a lot like it. There is a really graphic... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTechBug2012 December 24, 2015

Amazing but wildly inappropriate

Finally, a show that shows hacking with real code instead of hackertyper.com! Unfortunately, when making this show, the writers didn't realize that this is... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old July 3, 2015

Mature, brillaint, entertaining drug filled hacker show has racy content, violence, and drugs.

This show fallows Elliot a young man who is a young hacker and has drugs to deal with his grief. At his work he is a engineer but there is another hacker compan... Continue reading

What's the story?

By day, hyperintelligent introvert Elliot (Rami Malek) is "just a tech" at a New York-based cybersecurity company, where he works as a programmer alongside his longtime friend, Angela (Portia Doubleday). But after hours, he doubles as a black-hooded vigilante who pries his way into people's lives to expose the evil lurking within. It's a carefully crafted system that, along with measured doses of morphine, helps keep his crippling anxieties at bay -- until a mysterious stranger named MR. ROBOT (Christian Slater) extends Elliot an invitation to anarchy.

Is it any good?

In spite of its borderline-terrible title, Mr. Robot is darkly intriguing, and lead actor Malek is a big part of the draw. From his scathing inner monologues to his socially awkward silences -- not to mention his abnormally large eyes that project a near-constant state of alarm -- his character is both oddly endearing and a little bit frightening, the sort of fellow who spends his nights bringing bad guys to justice but could just as easily be a serial killer.

Yet as withering as Elliot's analysis of the world can be, it also raises important questions about the choices we make and the lives we lead. Trouble is, Mr. Robot's unbleeped language, illegal drug use, and murky messages result in a drama that's too mature for most teens and much better suited to adults. So let older kids watch with caution -- or better yet, try watching with them to compare notes on the show's social commentary and how close it comes to the truth.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Mr. Robot's central character and how he functions as an "antihero" or a deeply flawed protagonist we still want to root for. Are antiheroes meant to be role models? How can we learn from them -- and even like them -- in spite of their flaws?

  • How does Elliot's view of the world compare with your own? Is society as consistently disappointing as Mr. Robot would have you believe? If so, how would you change it?

  • How have television standards for strong language changed over time? Does hearing (or not hearing) words such as "f--k" and "s--t" on a show such as Mr. Robot make you more or less likely to use them in real life?

TV details

For kids who love futuristic drama

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