Comments on & Answers from Sam Esmail's Twitter AMA (From 1/31)

Twitter AMA?

indie-music-and-television-blog-mr-robot-elliot-at coney

After the POTUS declaration of his SCOTUS nominee Sam Esmail (creator, writer, and director of Mr. Robot) took to twitter and invited anyone to ask him questions as long as they included the hashtag #ftrump.

He answered a ton of questions and hung around for a pretty long time. I figured I would comment on a reasonable sample of his answers. I am going to do this in a quick question, answer, comment fashion.

The Rundown

I am doing these somewhat out of order mostly because I have to start with my favorite for personal reasons that will soon become apparent.


JBH Comment: "Mystery Train" is also my favorite Jim Jarmusch movie, not least because it features a certain Joe Strummer (from some band called The Clash although Mystery Train was filmed after The Clash broke up).


JBH Comment: This was the "Word Up Wednesday" episode where Sam Esmail used 90's sitcoms, in some ways, as brutally as Oliver Stone used 50's sitcoms (although I suspect Sam Esmail authentically loved Alf). HERE is my recap of that episode. 


JBH Comment: This is a really tough choice. The Wire would not have been as great as it was without either of these titanic performances. Marlo clearly understood the game better but Stringer was so critical to the first three seasons. In a sense, the entire series is set up when Jimmy walked by Stringer in the courthouse during the very first episode. I just don't know.

BTW Omar was one of the best characters ever on television. The Wire was undeniably the best show in television history. It was a towering achievement that really proved that television does have the potential to really matter (not just entertain). Sam Esmail later mentions that he feels Season 4 was the best season of The Wire and I mostly agree although I have a lot of love for Season 3 as well.

Q4: Kind of Had To Post This One

JBH Comment: Seriously? I mean obviously Fight Club...Holy cow, the biggest debate I have had for the last two years has been over if S1 of Mr. Robot was "biting" Fight Club or more of an homage (and criticism of the ending).


JBH Comment: This one disappointed me a bit because it was so "Field of Dreams." Don't get me wrong (who doesn't love Holden Caufield) but it is kind of like when a kid say their favorite band is the Beatles. The Beatles are great but a bit "on the nose."

I was hoping that SE would be a Borges guy like me or a Kafka lover. Then again, I am being more than a bit unfair because when answering another question SE mentions loving Seymore Glass and says earlier that "9 stories" was his favorite Salinger (consistent) so his love of Salinger goes deep.


JBH Comment: I take back all of my nice comments about his amazing use of music throughout Mr. Robot (sigh).

Okay, I am kidding (kind of), I already talked about the Beatles above (I love them too but that's like saying you love chocolate or enjoy blue jeans) I have written about my love for Sgt. Pepper's which is undoubtedly one of the most important albums of all time. But my real beef here is with including Stone Temple Pilots, who were a "good" band, but maybe the 28th best band of the "Grunge era" IMHO.  

I know that the question was "best concert" and I have no idea who Sam has seen in his life, but if STP was the best..sigh. Meant with love, but Sam needs to listen to my playlists (or Mac Quayle's) more often.


Not going to lie, I do have that Barton Fink feeling. My theory has always been that Barton Fink was really about writer's block and the insecurity of writers. The character Barton Fink, in other words, is an amalgamation of all of the insecurities and inadequacies that the Cohen Brothers sometimes feel. Just a theory. Regardless, John Goodman's performance in BF as Charlie Meadows/Mad Man Munt is amazing.

My favorite Cohen's is probably still Millers Crossing (because the dialog is so rich) (plus Albert Finney, Turturro, Polito, Byrne, J. E. Freeman, and Marcia Gay Harden are all outstanding). But Barton Fink is amazing.

Okay, you get the feeling, SE said his favorite Boyle movie is Trainspotting, that his favorite Daniel Day-Lewis movie is "There Will Be Blood." and favorite Tarantino was Pulp Fiction. Maybe his most important answer was there were no bad Kubrick movies (TRUTH! - and if anyone says they think Eyes Wide Shut is bad they are off the island).

He does bring up Mulholland Drive which is the subject of the first Twitter conversation that I ever had with him (seems like years ago now). I have written a great deal about the Lynch influence on Mr. Robot and am myself a huge David Lynch fan.

Okay, yes, I know I need to finish the next Red Wheelbarrow post (and the recap of last night's Flash episode) but I will get it done soon.

A bonus, Sam Esmail said that his favorite Mr. Robot Season was Season 2 and that is the Double Truth Ruth! If you want to check out the rest of his answers, they are on the front page of his Twitter page.

Nine Stories
By J. D. Salinger