Hot take: Mr. Robot creator/writer Sam Esmail is damn good at his job, and even better when he takes the helm as director. He's directed a slew of episodes of Mr. Robot for its third season and I've noticed every show he touches is gold.
Don't worry, no spoilers here, but let me just say a few general things about Esmail's technique: tracking shots are beautifully executed, he lingers poignantly on details that other directors would quickly pan over, and he depicts Eliot's mania so powerfully through cinematography.
If there's any season 3 episode that best shows off Esmail's talent it's episode 5. For a show that loves long takes, this ep was a masterpiece in the form, since it was practically all one long take. For 40 minutes. But it wasn't truly one long take, just made to look like that, but still...it was a stunning piece of art that you have to watch right now.
Esmail also gives us some gorgeous shots when two characters engage in a scene together, using colour effectively. Such as this shot from last week's episode:
Many shows have talented directors, even writer/directors, and David Fincher in the Mindhunter pilot episode comes to mind as a recent example. Esmail might not be at Fincher's level yet, but his consistency episode after episode shows a focus yet also a restraint that I find admirable; he doesn't try to do too much, but just enough.
Again, I'm tempted to explain more about certain scenes and their significance, but I know some of you still haven't given Mr. Robot a chance, and I implore you to try out the show at some point. You'll thank me later.
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I write about journalism, freelancing, the arts, Toronto, technology, sports and why egg nog is under-rated.