"F" Plot, My Interview With Sam Esmail Creator of Mr. Robot (USA Network)

Interviewing Sam Esmail?


If you are not familiar with my writing on Mr. Robot check out my Complete Guide to Season 2 HERE. Or start reading my deep dive into the companion book Red Wheelbarrow HERE.

So, it all started with Andy Greenwald. Way before I ever started watching Mr. Robot, I used to love a website he worked for called Grantland and in particular, their coverage of Game of Thrones.

The weekly Game of Thrones podcast was hosted by that same Andy Greenwald who is now at The Ringer (and who does the HBO "After the Thrones" aftershow which I like and the aftershow for Mr. Robot - "Hacking Robot" - which is pandering and I kind of hate).

Anyway, at the Ringer, Andy Greenwald does a television podcast called "The Watch" with his co-host for HBO's "After the Thrones" Chris Ryan. Recently, on that podcast they covered what they considered to be the best shows of 2016 only this time riding sidecar was Sam Esmail aka writer, director, and creator of Mr. Robot (my favorite show of 2016). Here is that podcast:

The show was great but one moment REALLY caught my ear. At exactly the 11:00 point during a really interesting discussion of the show Atlanta (that starts at about 5:23) Esmail is asked if people getting hung up on plot annoys him and he responds, "Fuck Plot."

My jaw dropped...And, I was authentically astounded...

Why So Astounded, and Where is the Interview?


I was astounded because Sam Esmail is maybe the most meticulous writer of plots I have ever come across in the Television medium.

At the time I first heard the comment, I compared it to baseball great Greg Maddux giving an interview talking about how much he hates "control pitching" or Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talking about how much he hates finesse basketball from the Center position.

There are elements of Season 2 of Mr. Robot that only make sense if you have seen every second of Season 1. There are Easter Eggs everywhere and all of those Easter Eggs have a purpose and most of them are interactive.

It would take a month to map out all of the tiny but important plot elements in Mr. Robot.

Fuck Plot?

So, I had to ask him what he meant. 

Mr. Esmail has been nice enough to respond to my Tweets several times before, so, I figured what the heck, why not ask?

I wrote him on Twitter and said that I had some questions about his "F" Plot comment (assuming that I would never hear back). 

All of a sudden, I got a Tweet back from Mr. Esmail inviting me to "shoot."

The Interview

Sorry about some of the clunky Twitter issues (like that he answered the first question twice but it looks like I asked the same question twice). There was also some interplay between questions that is not represented here.

My main takeaway is that what he is complaining about is the overemphasis on unimportant elements of plot (like spending so much time in the first half of Rogue One establishing and jumping from planet to planet) and not enough time on the stuff that matters (providing the backstory for Chirrut Imwe, for example).

Okay, well that was the interview, I apologize for my use of the medium of Twitter, but I really was just astounded that he said yes and figured I had better roll with it before he came to his senses and remembered that I was just some random blogger. 

I thanked him for his time (of course). Despite my relative obscurity, he has always been very kind in providing helpful answers whenever possible (despite his knowing that I am busy working hard trying to solve his many Mr. Robot puzzles).

Chris Ryan, Your Top 10 List Is Not Credible

If you listened to the rest of the podcast, they make reference to Top 10 lists that are not actually spelled out during the program. Here are those lists:

Sorry buddy, I love your stuff (I do actually respect his POV), but IMHO it is not credible to have a top-10 list which includes neither "Mr. Robot" or "Black Mirror." I am kind of kidding and kind of serious (he has every right to his opinion but I would LOVE to hear his reasoning on how "Preacher" and "Last Panthers" were better (and I liked both of those shows).

Okay, that is it.

What were your top 10 shows of 2016?

What did you think of Sam's answer to the plot questions?

What is your favorite aftershow, and why?

Let me know what you think, leave a comment!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
By Alexander Freed