The inaugural season of USA Network’s ferocious hacking drama Mr. Robot hit like a revelation, with imagery and angles that came to symbolize the disjointed reality through which computer genius Elliot (Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee Rami Malek) lives, increasingly unable to distinguish the roiling war for the freedom of information and intellect from the contentious personalities inside his own head. Hacking proves to be the perfect symbol for the psychological subversion that Elliot, along with his friends, family, and even enemies, cannot help but indulge: a perfectly attuned system infiltrated by sudden, substantial reminders that power isn’t absolute or centralized, and no one has full control of illusion or reality.
Rami Malek (#1–10 of 2)
1. ”Angels in America: The Complete Oral History.” How Tony Kushner’s play became the defining work of American art of the past 25 years.
“Twenty-five years ago this summer, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America premiered in the tiny Eureka Theatre in San Francisco’s Mission District. Within two years it had won the Pulitzer Prize and begun a New York run that would dominate the Tony Awards two years in a row, revitalize the nonmusical play on Broadway, and change the way gay lives were represented in pop culture. Both parts of Angels, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, put gay men at the center of American politics, history, and mythology at a time when they were marginalized by the culture at large and dying in waves. It launched the careers of remarkable actors and directors, not to mention the fiercely ambitious firebrand from Louisiana who wrote it—and rewrote it, and rewrote it, and rewrote it again. Its 2003 HBO adaptation was itself a masterpiece that won more Emmys than Roots. But the play also financially wiped out the theater that premiered it; it endured casting and production tumult at every stage of development, from Los Angeles to London to Broadway; its ambitious, sprawling two-part structure tested the endurance of players, technicians, and audiences. Slate talked to more than 50 actors, directors, playwrights, and critics to tell the story of Angels’ turbulent ascension into the pantheon of great American storytelling—and to discuss the legacy of a play that feels, in an era in which gay Americans have the right to marry but still in many ways live under siege, as crucial as ever.”