There’s a lot you can learn about hacking from Mr Robot, some of which might not be as complex as you think. Alex Casey lists some life hacks from the pilot episode.
I watched the first episode of Mr Robot last night, the much-buzzed about cyber thriller that has hacked through the dark web all the way to New Zealand, exclusively available here on Lightbox. Brooding, stylish and extremely tense, the drama is jam-packed with social media paranoia and more hacks than a disastrous open mic comedy night. It’s essential viewing, an eye-opening look into our terrifying technological world – even if you aren’t a code savvy computer superhero.
Now, I’m an idiot who doesn’t even know their Skype login – let alone how to hack into any kind of ‘mainframe’ – but I once stayed up all night reading a life hack website until I started to think I wasn’t “hacking life” anymore. I don’t know how to administer any sort of worm or trojan horse, but I do know how to fix a jandal with nothing but a bread bag clip and a heart of gold. Praised as “the only TV show that actually understands the internet,” here are some of these important life hacks – one the crown jewels of the internet – that I picked up from the Mr Robot pilot episode.
1) Tie Hack
The ultimate style hack. Don’t go and make “things so complicated”, because Avril Lavigne’s signature look is back and better than ever.
2) Name Hack
Is there an evil organisation in your cool television show? Don’t beat around the bush, save time by calling it exactly that. A technique previously only used by Disney films, this alarmingly on-the-nose naming decision is not only an exquisite writing hack, but is a beacon of clarity in Elliot’s murky world, where nothing anybody says is actually what they mean.
3) Dog Hack
If you have the power to bring down greedy, ruinous companies with your fingertips, it’s also okay to use this power to lock down a good dog as a bit of a treat.
4) Scarf Hack
Christian Slater has clearly spent up large at The Silk Road for this look. The Silk Road being a scarf shop in Brown’s Bay.
5) Title Hack
Simple and powerful, the word art counterpoint to the sweeping three hour motion picture presentations that we have seen from the likes of True Detective recently. Trim the fat, hack off the crap, nobody wants to see that many motorways running across Vince Vaughan’s face. Perfect.
6) Phone hack
Ask to borrow someone’s phone to ring your Mum, and ring your own phone number. You’ve then got their number forever, and can then punk them with poop emojis until the stars turn cold. Thanks Mr Robot.
7) Fight Club Hack
The parallels are difficult to avoid. There’s a pessimistic protagonist who sits in his dreary office staring into space:
A relentless internal monologue about hating the symbols of the modern world:
And a Marla Singer type:
Mr Robot has revived many of the nihilistic, vigilante themes from the crisis-world of Fight Club for a 2015 audience. I shudder to think what Tyler Durden would be like on social media, he’d be Snapchatting you every three minutes with Minion memes reminding you that you are not a beautiful snowflake and liking and then unliking your Instagrams just to fuck with you. Hell on wheels, no thank you.
8) Crying Hack
For the folks playing along at home, a cranny is a great place to cry AND be safe in the event of an earthquake. Life = hacked. In one of the most devastating parts of the episode, Elliot sits cramped under the table of his apartment, crying hysterically. “What do normal people do when they get this sad?” his monotonous voice within asks. This is one of the most crushing scenes I have seen in a long time, an explosive spike of despair in an otherwise flat-line of purposefully dulled detachment.
9) Facebook Hack
Honestly, just don’t use it. Elliot is watching, eyes on stalks, as you click ‘like’ on Maroon Five and tell your nearest and dearest about how you haven’t shaved your legs since July. He’s lurking, smirking, and judging.
10) Lookalike Hack
Just like Rami Malek is not actually a giant gecko in a hoodie – this is not actually Amanda Seyfried
We’ve been catfished from start to finish, Mr Robot has pwned us again.
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