If you thought the continuing adventures of Elliot Alderson and his imaginary friend/sometimes alter ego Mr. Robot were destined to be part of a short run, well, you could be forgiven for thinking such things. Although Mr. Robot came out of the gate to run circles around the television viewing public like few shows in recent memory have, the first season had all the makings of a complete story, leaving many to wonder just where, exactly, creator Sam Esmail planned to take his tale of cyber revolution told through the lens of a fractured mind.
Thankfully, Esmail has a plan; it’s one that, in previous conversations, he’s said could push the series through several seasons beyond the currently airing season 2. While that’s a far cry from having a road map for the series, nor does it necessarily illuminate its creator’s intent, we the viewing public are not privy to the goings-on behind the scenes at massive television networks like USA and NBCUniversal, so whatever it is that Esmail has up his sleeve for fsociety, the Dark Army, and Dominique DiPierro’s Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo, is apparently enough to order season 3 of Mr. Robot well ahead of its second season coming to a close.
According to The Wrap, the renewal was made public earlier today, and included a statement from Chris McCumber, president, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. In it, McCumber praised the series for its edginess and for its innovative storytelling techniques, calling it “one of the best dramas on television.” He ended his statement by alluding to the impact the series has had on USA Network, effectively transforming the perception around the channel in one 10-week run last summer.
McCumber’s statement is as follows:
“We couldn’t be more proud of ‘Mr. Robot,’ a series that has pushed boundaries, captured the cultural zeitgeist, and been honored as one of the best dramas on television. Midway through its second season, ‘Mr. Robot‘ continues to break new ground and open up new opportunities for the network. We can’t wait to see where Sam Esmail and the entire brilliant ‘Robot’ team take us next.”
Jeff Wachtel, chief content officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and president, Universal Cable Productions followed McCumber’s comments by adding how excited the company is to have a product like Mr. Robot in its library, one that will likely keep audiences coming back for quite some time, while potentially being a new discovery for new viewers many years down the line. Wachtel said:
“Being the home studio for this wonderful, completely original show is an exhilarating experience. Sam and company just keep taking it to another level. We can’t wait to get going on Season 3 … as soon as we finish Season 2!”
While there may be some debate as to how effective Mr. Robot season 2 has been in terms of “taking it to another level,” there’s no question that the series has managed to stay a part of the overall television conversation this summer. With new zeitgeisty shows like Netflix’s Stranger Things taking much of the air out of the room, it is nonetheless impressive to see a slower, more serialized Mr. Robot still have a seat at the table when it comes to audience engagement. And it doesn’t even matter that the show made use of a wacky ’80s sitcom motif and cameo by Alf in order to do so.
Along with handing him the responsibility of directing every episode in season 2, USA and NBCUniversal have essentially given Esmail carte blanche in terms of what he wants to do with his creation moving forward. That would certainly explain some of the idiosyncratic narrative choices, as well as the exorbitant runtimes that have marked the season so far. But such is the cost of having a series that’s as distinctive and compelling as Mr. Robot is week in and week out. As such, it’s no surprise that the network would order season 3. Even when the show seems to be as unstable as its protagonist, it’s hard to argue that Mr. Robot isn’t deserving of the time it needs to tell whatever story Sam Esmail has in mind.
Mr. Robot continues Wednesday with ‘eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12’ @10pm on USA.
Source: The Wrap