I can’t quite decide whether or not I like AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, but I’m warming up to it. It’s no Mad Men, no matter how transparently and eagerly it tries to be, but it has its moments. I’m annoyed that it leans on the premium cable cliché that shrill wives exist primarily to obfuscate their husbands’ noble pursuit of manly dreams, but at least it’s putting a somewhat interesting spin on it by making the apparent point-of-view lead character much less sympathetic than his wife. I also find the guy who drives the plot intriguing, because you rarely see genuine sociopaths as lead characters. He’d work better as a Steve Jobs pastiche if they didn’t name-drop Jobs and Apple a couple of times per episode, but oh well.
I was initially a little concerned about the show, because the premise sounded remarkably similar to the novel I’ve been developing for the past year. Yes, like every jackass blogger in the world, I like to flatter myself by pretending I could ever create a work of novel-length fiction worth reading. Thankfully, the actual reality of the show isn’t terribly similar to my idea, so I can keep living my little delusion in comfort.
You don’t have to worry about me writing Mad Men-esque analyses of each episode’s themes, by the way. Halt and Catch Fire doesn’t exactly possess the same degree of symbolic grace. Like the bit last night where the financier talked in grim tones about the troubled business to the man responsible for running it, then nodded to his ranch hands to shoot an injured horse in the head. So subtle!
2 thoughts on “Halt and Catch Fire”
I’ve been fond of the show, and rather confused by the overall negative reaction I’ve seen online. It’s not a show that is going to make a mark the same way much of AMC’s content has, but it at least explores an interesting period that’s mostly untouched.
Caught the first episode; was bored enough by the first half that I almost turned it off but didn’t and then really liked the last half. Haven’t gotten around to watching the others yet but I’ll probably get around to them one of these days.
It’s a good premise and a decent cast. And when Toby Huss gets angry you can hear his Cotton Hill voice.
I also like that there actually seems to be some attempt at accuracy. Sure, electronic components have a tendency to spark and smoke when they really shouldn’t, but compared to the way computers behave on most TV shows, I’ll take it.
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