The protagonist is a mentally unstable young man who hates his corporate job, is instructed by an imaginary character to start an underground society, and organizes a nonviolent terrorist attack in order to wipe out credit card debt. No, this isn’t Fight Club, but fans of the 1999 film will notice many resemblances between it and USA Network’s Mr. Robot, which debuted its confident second season over the summer. (The film and show even share an affection for the Pixies anthem “Where Is My Mind?”)
Mr. Robot stars the captivating Rami Malek as 28-year-old hacker genius Elliot Alderson, a cross between Tyler Durden and Edward Snowden. It grapples with familiar themes like the erosion of privacy and the perils of Too Big to Fail banking. Such a stale premise has no right to be so enthralling, but modern touches—WikiLeaks and Silk Road are obvious inspirations—certify this as a must-watch show. Audiences never tire of schizophrenic cyber-revolutionaries.