Is “Mr. Robot” the new “Sons of Anarchy”? While the two series may not have too much in common in terms of story, the USA drama has developed a similar tendency to run episodes that are much longer than the standard 42-minute run time without commercials included.
In some ways, you can argue that for both shows, it made sense when you had such a rich universe and characters you want to attend to. However, in particular “Mr. Robot” has come under fire for being slowly-paced at times, and we have personally wondered if that has hurt the live ratings in some way because it makes more sense for someone to just record it on their DVR and burn through it later without so many commercials.
In some ways, creator Sam Esmail understands the criticism that is out there, and even told Entertainment Weekly that he will more than likely break down a lengthy episode of a great show and watch it over two nights rather than one. With that said, he also explains that these runtimes were necessarily for what he needed to get out there:
“For the first few episodes of our season, those long runtimes were necessary to get through what we needed to set up for the season. There wasn’t anything we could really do, and I think we really tightened it and made it as polished as possible to set up those beats and tell those stories. Unfortunately for some people out there, it wasn’t as engaging, and for others it was. That’s the nature of the beast.”
We’ll see how things go from here; personally, we’re fine with longer episodes so long as they don’t drag. There were a few moments during episodes 3 and 4 that did slow down, but for last night’s episode 5 everything felt perfectly-paced and engaging, even if it did run over a good ten or so minutes.
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