Trying to explain to someone who has never seen the USA network’s acclaimed show Mr Robot what it is about is not an easy thing to do.
But at a high level, it is about computer hackers. At a slightly deeper level it is about a fictional world (which feels certainly plausible at times) in which hackers wreak havoc on the world’s economy to push back against powerful political forces.
At an even deeper level, without giving away any spoilers, the reality distortion shared between the main character, Elliot (a cyber security engineer) and the viewer is something never seen before on TV at this level. Before too long you’ll be questioning everything and trusting nothing. And that’s exactly the point.
In terms of all things Retro, however, something happened in the show that nearly made my eyes shoot out of my head and fly around the room.
In season 2, episode 11, there is a very bizarre scene between one of the key characters, Angela, and a young girl, probably about eight or nine years old, who is her apparent interrogator.
Except the young girl asking the questions is reading them off a Commodore 64 monitor. We get to see her load a game off the gorgeous blue-on-blue screen before getting to business on the breadbox computer keyboard. She reads the questions from what appears to be a graphical text adventure called Land of Ecodelia (which looks pretty cool), and enters Angela's responses into the game. She even saves the game data to 5 1/4” floppies on a trusty 1541 drive, with a gorgeous close-up of the disk insertion, the Commodore logo twinkling slightly in the darkness.
According to GQ the Land of Ecodelia is “a reference to a relatively obscure scholarly argument that psychedelic drugs should be regarded as a technology that gave rise to the era of computers” which you can find here.
I won’t share any more info than that in case you are watching the show, but take a look at the spoiler-free "Commodore porn" below. When was the last time you saw shots like this devoted to the C= on TV? Quite possibly never. At least, not in this reality.