DATELINE: Entering the Twilight Zone


We do tune into this dark, strange show called Mr. Robot where Christian Slater is the dead spirit of an abusive father to a young computer nerd who is a drug addict. This is not your usual TV fare.

We have unfavorably compared it to the other AI show where the computers are supervillains, Person of Interest. However, there is a flourish on Mr. Robot that defies categorization and compels us to watch its cult development.

To our surprise and shock, the show opened up with familiar music and credits: it turned into a sit-com from the 1980s with the cast now playing your typical comical family.

Elliot, the insane and drug addicted hero of Mr. Robot, is now playing the son in a typical family. The colors and videotape perfectly mimicked the 1980s laugh track shows.

Indeed, Elliot—the bug-eyed druggie hero of the show—is totally overwhelmed by the sound of canned laughter at the unfunny lines.

The music had me puzzled until the guest star showed up for the show:  yes, it was ALF. Call us flummoxed. Paul Fusco’s little alien creature had returned to prime time.

On one of the most diabolical, tragic, mysterious shows of the era, pint-sized space alien ALF was guest star. Jaw dropping might be one characterization.

When star Remi Malik wakes up from a coma in a hospital bed about 40 minutes into the show, it comes back to its traditional shocker drama; the TV in his hospital room is showing a clip of ALF from the original show.

Though we are a begrudging viewer to Mr. Robot, finding its esoterica far beyond necessary, we are devoted to ALF.

What a weird and startlingly original show.