SDCC 2016 [Panel Reviews]: Mr. Robot / Colony.

SDCC 2016 [Panel Reviews]: Mr. Robot / Colony.

"Monsignor" Moody @TravMoody

“Monsignor” Moody

MR. ROBOT (Thursday) – So, for those curious about all of hype swirling the 6 Emmy-nominated Mr. Robot, the invisible mastermind himself, Christian Slater, shouted “oh God!” as he summed up the tagline as “a small group of hackers looking to wipe out debt from society.” While his TV son, Elliot Alderson–played by the hella funny Rami Malek–facetiously referred to the show as “two guys who cook meth in Albuquerque.” Always breaking bad, Carly Chaikin loved working on the show because of its “incredibly honest, imperfect people, that can relate to [the] human experiences dealing with a lot of emotions. [Mr. Robot] is true to human nature.” Block-shooting also made things difficult for the cast, since it was awfully hard to track what’s happening when shooting scenes from 5 different episodes in one day. Panel moderator Chris Hardwick said he expects the “cultural zeitgeist of dissatisfaction” to boom itself to Comic-Con’s grand Hall H next year.

(Cont.) Although not much of the new season was talked about or shown (besides a humorous clip for next week’s ep, due to Wednesday’s ep airing during SDCC’s Preview Night), the panel didn’t need it, with the presence of the best SDCC moderator in the business in The Nerdist and the dynamic personalities of the series. Perhaps worthy of extended lines outside, the first ever Mr. Robot panel finished off with a few more hilarious quips from the cast during the audience Q&A. What would a mother think of their daughter dating Elli? “They get two people for the price of one: Mr. Robot in the streets, and Elliot in the sheets,” clowned Hardwick. Malik responded that he would have liked to play Shayla so he’d “know what it was like to kiss.. me.” As far as the relationship between imaginary dad (Slater) and real son (Malek), it was the latter who complimented the former on their stellar chemistry on set, until he realized Mr. Robot had truly come to life. “And [here I am] talking about you like you’re not here.” The whole panel yelled out “he’s not!”. Let’s just say the crowd loved it. 4/5 Bibles.

COLONY (Thursday) – The USA Network offered a pair of heavy-hitting geek shows this year in the massive meeting room 6BCF: WWE RAW and WWE Smackdown Live! I keed. I keed. Of course, it’s none other than the alien invasion show without aliens, Colony, and, America’s new favorite #1 drama, just up above. So while there’s no doubt that many in attendance yesterday afternoon were waiting in baited breath for #FSociety, it’s likely many were turned onto Colony—especially with the promise of actual aliens. “We’re definitely ramping up the sci-fi part of things this season while not abandoning the original narrative,” showrunner Carlton Cuse promised, in mind with the notion that the series’ creators were initially more interested in depicting occupation and colonization. Series writer Ryan Condol also claimed that Season 2 will see Colony “open up the world a bit more in an Orwellian surveillance state, [with more] darkness and more dystopian effects”. To better surprise, Cuse swerved attendees with an SDCC-exclusive special that promised a “major turning point” of the show with.. a profoundly done comedy bit with Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani(!!) as Will’s lost son “Charlie”. So damn unexpected and awesome!

(Cont.) My only true issue with the–otherwise highly informative–panel is that the show, one with the star power of Josh Holloway (Lost) and Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), brought on too many panelists, leaving a few of the actors on board the short stick. Thankfully, Callies—always the emotionally registered panel guest—added that her character, in term of her political conflict between her husband and the Resistance, was more vulnerable and alone than she’s ever been. And when Cuse responded humorously to a statement of impending alien doom for the group (“that’s a great question, or comment… or criticism”), Callies pushed that “even if the cause is hopeless, that doesn’t mean you don’t fight it.” Naturally, I booed when the producer compared the uphill battle to the Patriots losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl! Bible point deducted! *wink wink* Colony‘s moderator Retta often hesitated with her train of thought, and many of the audience questions were better than hers, including one that asked Callies to compare the similarity between her three most famous roles on Prison Break, TWD, and her current gig. “Well, I died in Season 3 in two of them. So there’s the Colony panel next year—I won’t be here.” 3.5/5 Bibles. – Travis Moody