The Coalition of Chaos

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Kiki Basco
    October 10, 2016 @ 10:23 pm

    I don’t actually have anything insightful to say about Mr. Robot because I found the show unwatchably bad almost immediately.

    I do have something funny to say about the show though! So, get this: Mr Robot is a conspiracy thriller, on a cable network with basically zero original content worth watching otherwise, with a first season that got massive critical acclaim for its brilliant cinematography, a really brilliant lead performance from a previously-obscure kinda-ethnic-looking actor, and the way it dealt with post-Citizens United ennui; but despite showing no signs of losing any of those things, it fell sharply and inexplicably out of critical favor after its first season.

    In other words, Mr Robot is Orphan Black for men!


  2. Miles
    October 10, 2016 @ 10:43 pm

    It was really surprising, to me at any rate maybe I’m naive, the really strong reaction the tone of this show garners from a certain segment of tv critics to whom not only are revolutionary politics “stupid” but rolled their eyes at this show as “some millennial bullshit” as if we’re absolutely glutted with shows that honestly grapple with the political and economic situation we find ourselves in. Not to mention shows that expand the toolset of televisual storytelling more than any show since maybe Twin Peaks. You’d think there’d be some appreciation for at least the technical/storytelling achievements but the second a character under thirty makes some comments about how maybe capitalism isn’t ideal a bunch of people whose job is allegedly media criticism just turn off all their faculties and go “GOD GROW UP STOP WHINING UGHHHHH…”


  3. David Anderson
    October 10, 2016 @ 10:59 pm

    I liked the second season, but I think you’re playing down the flaws too far.

    I think that whether or not Elliot is presented as being in prison or as trying to work through his psychological problems, the problem remains the same, which is that the Elliot plot seems to be treading water; whereas the Darlene plot (explicitly) and the Angela plot are still both overshadowed by the absence of Elliot.
    In particular, the Angela plot suffers in that there’s no obvious place for the plot to go: we don’t believe Angela is actually going to go over to the dark side, and we don’t believe she is actually going to find the evidence to bring down EvilCorp on her own, and therefore it too looks like a plotline that is just treading water. Which isn’t to say that Angela doesn’t have a lot of good moments; but given the treatment of Shayla in the first series it’s only in hindsight that you can trust it to do something more interesting than Lois Lane gets herself in trouble while trying to investigate. In hindsight, yes, it works itself out.


  4. Sean Dillon
    October 11, 2016 @ 2:07 am

    I suppose the series threatening to go full on multiverse theory makes a lot of sense considering Fight Club 2 has an enormous anxiety of influence with Grant Morrison of all people. Also, the happy ending it presents is one wherein the alt right get buried alive under salt. So, that could be interesting.


  5. Anton B
    October 11, 2016 @ 9:22 am

    I’m with you on this Phil, though I found the second season somewhat less gripping than the first. It was no longer appointment TV for me, simply a show I really liked watching. The essential problem with any “everything you know is wrong” or multiverse scenario is that it becomes increasingly difficult to care or invest in characters who might at any moment be shown either not to exist or not be who or where you thought they were. Post Modernism is at its core an ironically shallow medium, its very form simultaneously inviting deep analysis and rejecting it. This may be what’s puzzling the critics.

    BTW has anyone bothered to tell Alan Moore about Mr Robot’s V for Vendetta/Anonymous mask trope. Could be worth poking a stick in his nest to get a comment.

    Your mention of Twin Peaks is apposite. Have you considered a series of essays on Lynch? There would be a good end point with the new Season Three TP imminent.


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