AMC - Halt and Catch Fire

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Anyone catch it? Enjoyed it.

Nerd Trombones (thebingo), Tuesday, 3 June 2014 13:00 (four years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I watched the pilot last night. This show is kinda fun. The people who revolutionized modern computing were very attractive and did not look at all like trolls, obviously.

Are there back issues of Byte Magazine in Google's magazine archive? I used to enjoy reading that when I was a lad.

polyphonic, Tuesday, 17 June 2014 17:54 (four years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Once I accepted that the show has to be packed with DRAMA and scene chewing since the setting involves lots of silent intent staring at machines, I am into it. Also, 'Complicated Game' and Bad Brains.

If anyone's curious this is essentially the story of the Compaq Portable, except that that was started fresh by people sick of TI. So no barging into another company and pushing everyone to the brink of destruction. Also much borrowing from The Soul of a New Machine, including the Colossal Cave Adventure references and the engineering pressure.

The three main characters I'm still in varying stages of appreciation and hatred for - I dig the Richard Dreyfussesque engineer who seems recognizably human and will most definitely have his gorgeous wife walk out on him, but Cameron and the prince of darkness I have a hard time suspending disbelief for. I'm liking where it's going but I don't want it to end up in True Blood-style telenovela insanity, if you know what I mean. (Hiring an entire team of engineers and firing them all next week?)

Part of the attraction I'm sure is that the show is a trip through memory lane for me, since I lived through the cybernetic utopia dream of the seventies and the craziness of the PC revolution of the eighties. I'm still not exactly sure when the show is set, somewhere between 1982 and 86?

Brakhage, Saturday, 5 July 2014 17:35 (four years ago) Permalink

Not exactly the Portable - Compaq is already mentioned as an industry player in the show, and the Portable didn't have an LCD

Brakhage, Saturday, 5 July 2014 18:29 (four years ago) Permalink

earlier, if i had to pinpoint it i'd guess 82. i'm enjoying it though i couldn't recommend it to anyone. kerry bishe is very very very pretty. i could imagine it becoming a good show though i don't know if it's gonna get enough time. it's an interesting story that hasn't been told, plus i'm a sucker for dramas about work, esp dramas about engineers at work, and i like period dramas. rmde at 80s draper though.

balls, Saturday, 5 July 2014 18:38 (four years ago) Permalink

also after decades of trying to 'get' xtc this show sold me

balls, Saturday, 5 July 2014 18:40 (four years ago) Permalink

the "look we know geek culture" signifiers are a bit much, but the overall arc is fun

everybody loves lana del raymond (s.clover), Sunday, 6 July 2014 00:43 (four years ago) Permalink

What references were egregious to you? Just curious

Brakhage, Sunday, 6 July 2014 01:26 (four years ago) Permalink

I couldn't take it anymore somewhere in the middle of episode 4. I lived through this era too and can't help the natural bias and nick picking, but I severely disliked Lee Pace's character so much that I found myself fast-fowarding through most of the episodes. Spent a lot of time waiting for something to happen. Annoying because I could get into a 1982 corporate tech drama.

I loved Bujalski's Computer Chess - wish this could be as stylized.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 6 July 2014 05:02 (four years ago) Permalink

What references were egregious to you? Just curious

― Brakhage, Saturday, July 5, 2014 9:26 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

well it really jumped out at me with actually listing what all the different codes were in Adventure, and generally overexplaining it. But there was some earlier stuff too. Hitting us over the head with ada lovelace for one.

the management guy with the timecharts was pretty good tho.

everybody loves lana del raymond (s.clover), Sunday, 6 July 2014 05:56 (four years ago) Permalink

I severely disliked Lee Pace's character so much that I found myself fast-fowarding through most of the episodes

I haven't seen the latest one, so who knows if he's gone full on American Psycho nail gun on us already, but I know what you mean. My guess is that he's a riff on the CEOs-if-successful-are-usually-sociopaths idea of today. More specifically he's modeled after people like Jobs or Ballmer - in public inspirational, in private a screaming holy terror. Even so yeah he's totally off-putting

actually listing what all the different codes were in Adventure

I hear you. I kinda accepted this since hey, at least that cheat-code stuff is somewhat relatable for the audience - what really cracks me up is when there's a comically compressed blurt of technoverbiage to overwhelm and intimidate. I know it's not a documentary and has no responsibility to explain anything, but I love how there's a conflict between needing to teach the audience about the tech work being done, and at same time reinforcing for them how impossible to understand it is

Brakhage, Monday, 7 July 2014 14:43 (four years ago) Permalink

Buddy just pointed out this is Austin 81 so totally accurate

Brakhage, Tuesday, 8 July 2014 03:53 (four years ago) Permalink

so there was stuff like 80s draper and his dad and even though i loved it i thought the turn w/ 'o no suitcases packed - but wait!' was maybe too cute but still i loved this episode. it wasn't 'shut the door, have a seat' but i'm now definitely hoping this show gets renewed and annoyed that it's getting ignored.

balls, Monday, 21 July 2014 22:16 (four years ago) Permalink

I think it's getting ignored because most people watched a couple of episodes and decided it was a pile of shit. It gets better?

Number None, Tuesday, 22 July 2014 00:24 (four years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

This is much more interesting than it has any right to be, given the cast of two-dimensional characters (except maybe the wife).

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Sunday, 12 April 2015 04:20 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah it wasn't amazing or anything but i've found myself looking forward to another season

some dude, Sunday, 12 April 2015 04:24 (three years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

good season so far but i bet nobody cares

got bent (mild cheezed off vibes) (s.clover), Wednesday, 10 June 2015 06:40 (three years ago) Permalink

is this actually markedly different/better than the first season like some critics are saying or wut? bc i would be down if it is. like I dig lee pace but he was not meant to play faux-enigmatic alpha or would-be-alpha males.

slothroprhymes, Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:36 (three years ago) Permalink

totally different so far -- pace is completely sidelined, nearly everything is rotated in terms of what characters are up to, and how they're dealing.

got bent (mild cheezed off vibes) (s.clover), Wednesday, 10 June 2015 14:49 (three years ago) Permalink

hmm. i will give it a try! i'm getting the impression i don't /really/ need to watch s1 to jump in - is that the case?

slothroprhymes, Thursday, 11 June 2015 14:35 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah you sort of won't know who everyone is but that's ok you'll pick up from context.

got bent (mild cheezed off vibes) (s.clover), Thursday, 11 June 2015 18:45 (three years ago) Permalink

i wouldn't say it's taken some huge jump in quality that it makes any sense to watch s2 without s1.

fetty wap, kombucha, where to trap queen (some dude), Thursday, 11 June 2015 22:22 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah but its a different and potentially more interesting story, and either way its easy to pick up if you'd just prefer not to watch the whole first season for whatever reason.

got bent (mild cheezed off vibes) (s.clover), Friday, 12 June 2015 01:05 (three years ago) Permalink

started season 1, scene where the dude's shirt gets ripped in the parking lot fight showing his childhood scars and prompting him to immediately launch into his traumatic origins story and prepared nerd manifesto was pretty lol.

dutch_justice, Wednesday, 24 June 2015 04:11 (three years ago) Permalink

enjoying it overall though. it needs to throw in a little humour here and there, it can get pretty stuffy/self-serious.

dutch_justice, Wednesday, 24 June 2015 04:12 (three years ago) Permalink

this last episode was the closest it's been to genuinely compelling in a while

some dude, Wednesday, 24 June 2015 04:21 (three years ago) Permalink

I'm a couple of episodes behind but I don't like the introduction of the coke addiction at all.

The two female leads are distractingly pretty.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Thursday, 25 June 2015 01:00 (three years ago) Permalink

when it happened i was like "well it's a period piece about the 80s, i'm amazed it took this long to have a plot about cocaine"

some dude, Thursday, 25 June 2015 02:20 (three years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

joe is gonna become john mcafee right?

big WHOIS aka the nameserver (s.clover), Monday, 26 October 2015 00:09 (three years ago) Permalink

idk if literally but when i realized what his turn meant i did smile. it would not be hard to imagine him setting up a jonestown though.

balls, Monday, 26 October 2015 00:17 (three years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

I can't believe this is in its third season

El Tomboto, Monday, 22 August 2016 15:01 (two years ago) Permalink

2 hour premiere tomorrow night

dan selzer, Monday, 22 August 2016 15:35 (two years ago) Permalink

is this any good

mh, Monday, 22 August 2016 15:39 (two years ago) Permalink

I like it. It can be a bit silly though. First season was a bit too much "Mad Men in 80s silicon valley" at times but was still enjoyable especially if you like the setting/era. Second season was better.

dan selzer, Monday, 22 August 2016 15:43 (two years ago) Permalink

it isn't perfect but it's very good, dan otm about s2 being better

Immediate Follower (NA), Monday, 22 August 2016 15:43 (two years ago) Permalink

Despite what some dude said up thread I skipped S1 completely and enjoyed S2 quite a bit.

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Monday, 22 August 2016 15:47 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

tuesday night's episode, goddamn was it good.

dan selzer, Thursday, 29 September 2016 04:05 (two years ago) Permalink

That was one of the more intense things I've watched in the last while! Impressive for a show without a body count.

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Thursday, 29 September 2016 04:09 (two years ago) Permalink

Seriously. Amazing that there's all this fascinating behind the scenes machinations involving Joe and Gordon and yet two women arguing about the direction of their company and their relationship makes for such intense tv.

dan selzer, Thursday, 29 September 2016 04:33 (two years ago) Permalink

this show is just enormously good and it's really too bad that abt a dozen people watch it

Clay, Thursday, 29 September 2016 06:54 (two years ago) Permalink

It started off pretty slow; I think a lot of people must have dropped out when things were still putting along midway through the first season. Now it is really cooking!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 29 September 2016 12:33 (two years ago) Permalink

the first season was a bit of a drag until the last few episodes, not helped by the focus on joe's don draper-lite man-with-a-past stuff which was pretty cookie-cutter

second season was so much better - the characters really do get fleshed out nicely and the ebb and flow of the tensions between the four leads is great

i need to get around to getting up to speed with s3 asap, i totally missed it had even started up again...

the devastation is very important to me (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 29 September 2016 12:46 (two years ago) Permalink

two months pass...


homosexual II, Thursday, 1 December 2016 21:14 (two years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

i love this show too but i did lol when they did the flash-forward in s3 and then slowly panned in on a computer screen to show the MICROSOFT OFFICE COPYRIGHT 1990 for a long time to say YES THIS IS A FLASH FORWARD IT'S 1990 NOW HEY HEY PAY ATTENTION

na (NA), Thursday, 20 April 2017 17:19 (one year ago) Permalink

it's nice to watch a tv show about people who are all somewhat intelligent and competent and at least trying to be good people

na (NA), Thursday, 20 April 2017 17:20 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah this show is a delight, and I like that there's no villain, really. (except maybe Shaggy from Scooby Doo but that's kinda silly).

Show has been wildly inconsistent with Joe McMillan, though. I get that they cut him down a peg but he goes from arrogant and scheming to permanently walking with his head hanging down, continuing to sulk years after the fact. That kind of massive personality shift just doesn't happen in real life. Every other character is fundamentally the same, even as situations change their goals and values, but they seem to rewrite the lead guy from scratch every season/half season.

Evan R, Thursday, 20 April 2017 19:25 (one year ago) Permalink

god i love toby huss

na (NA), Friday, 21 April 2017 02:34 (one year ago) Permalink

he doesn't seem to do much dramatic work but he's so good and affecting in this

na (NA), Friday, 21 April 2017 02:41 (one year ago) Permalink

six months pass...


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 12 November 2017 03:20 (one year ago) Permalink

watched 1.5 seasons so far and i am here to say that toby huss is the greatest

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 12 November 2017 03:21 (one year ago) Permalink

now i'm wondering if there is some ps4 thing i can buy though...

scott seward, Thursday, 16 November 2017 16:13 (one year ago) Permalink

Hope to make some S3 headway this weekend

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 17 November 2017 00:46 (one year ago) Permalink

nobody expected me to be that useful at work so I watched 2.5 episodes while poking around on a project at work, tell no one

mh, Friday, 17 November 2017 00:47 (one year ago) Permalink

this seems kind of h&cf-ish since I’m totally on that kind of project

mh, Friday, 17 November 2017 00:48 (one year ago) Permalink

how did I not know Toby Huss is a fellow Iowa boy?!?

so great, love his king of the hill work

mh, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:24 (one year ago) Permalink

I was loving this until halfway through season 2. That any of the protagonists would seriously contemplate going back into business with the sociopath was too much disbelief to suspend.

mick signals, Sunday, 19 November 2017 17:16 (one year ago) Permalink

his season one characterization was an incredible misstep in the show and retooling him was the best thing they did, but I feel that

mh, Monday, 20 November 2017 17:18 (one year ago) Permalink

another thing I will say here (trying to avoid reading spoilers while posting) is that whoever chose Cameron's music selections knew what was up with early-80's Texas punk rock (Big Boys!), Bobby Soxx "Learn To Hate In The 80's" was especially inspired.

sleeve, Monday, 20 November 2017 17:22 (one year ago) Permalink

Really Red as well.

Amazing music supervision and not just deep knowledge of Texas punk. Tiny meaningless spoiler but when Joe goes to the Stark Club they nailed the music.

dan selzer, Monday, 20 November 2017 17:49 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah the music supervision stays good through the rest of the show

Simon H., Monday, 20 November 2017 17:51 (one year ago) Permalink

watching the final season a couple days after attending a funeral for a relative was emotionally wearying

mh, Monday, 20 November 2017 17:52 (one year ago) Permalink

his season one characterization was an incredible misstep in the show and retooling him was the best thing they did

Maybe the thing for the viewer to do is pretend it's a different character entirely. After season one, Pyro Joe died on the way back to his home planet, please welcome Believable Joe?

mick signals, Monday, 20 November 2017 23:38 (one year ago) Permalink

for some reason that i have not analyzed it gives me great pleasure to see the look on someone's face when they GET AN IDEA on this show. it happens about 5 times an episode. hey, that picture of a hacker on the magazine cover....THAT GIVES ME AN IDEA.

i just really love it.

i'm watching the whole first 3 seasons again with maria. she didn't watch them with me the first time around.

scott seward, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 18:05 (one year ago) Permalink

The one thing that this show did well that is seldom done in television is having characters decide to do things off camera and just kind of report later "oh I did that" or "I changed my mind". As if there are things going on in the world, some of them important to their lives, and we're not seeing all of it.

mh, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 18:08 (one year ago) Permalink

i love when episodes start and time has obviously passed but they don't really make a big deal about it.

scott seward, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 18:12 (one year ago) Permalink

i also don't think i remembered that when joe goes and gets his check at the start of season two that almost two years have gone by. 20 months i think it says at the beginning. that's a long time.

scott seward, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 18:14 (one year ago) Permalink

Some of it seems to come out of nowhere when the series gets toward the end, especially when (not really major spoilers here) starts speaking to others about how women were continually marginalized in the computer field and unfortunately ended up playing against each other. But when you look back at the series and realize all of the in-house drama with her and Cameron has this much larger context the little lightbulb comes on

mh, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 18:17 (one year ago) Permalink

whoops, when *Donna* starts speaking, that is

mh, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 18:17 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah i should probably stay away from this thread until i've seen season 4.

scott seward, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 18:40 (one year ago) Permalink

i wonder if i should just pay for the fourth season instead of waiting for netflix. PS4 will probably sell it to me.

scott seward, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 18:42 (one year ago) Permalink

I bought it via Amazon

It's on the AMC streaming app if you have any sort of cable, but it has commercials and is kind of glitchy

mh, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 19:21 (one year ago) Permalink

bummed at how normcore Cameron is, fashionwise, by the end of s2

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 28 November 2017 20:00 (one year ago) Permalink

she's going to switch it up

Choco Blavatsky (seandalai), Tuesday, 28 November 2017 21:14 (one year ago) Permalink

Just finished season four after a month's binge and feel bereft :(

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 7 December 2017 20:21 (one year ago) Permalink

man that wedding scene in S2 with Bosworth and his kid was really well done

"your mother would combust"

sleeve, Thursday, 7 December 2017 20:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah - every character gets amazing material but Bos especially. What a show, though. It's been a particularly rough month of my life and watching this got me through a really fucked up November. It's such a privilege when a piece of art reaches you at exactly the right time in your life - a few years ago or a few years from now I might have been less moved, or given up.

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 7 December 2017 20:39 (one year ago) Permalink

season 4 is on netflix! woo hoo! i'll come back after watching that.

scott seward, Friday, 15 December 2017 21:36 (eleven months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I just finished this and I am gutted. I'm going to miss the hell out of these characters

Evan R, Sunday, 31 December 2017 16:34 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I am about halfway through s4 and am not loving it as much as prior seasons. Should I hope for a turnaround?

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 31 December 2017 16:35 (eleven months ago) Permalink

100% stick around. You've made it this far, so even if the ending weren't outstanding I'd say stick it out, but those final four episodes really are beautiful

Evan R, Sunday, 31 December 2017 16:37 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Some minor, minimally spoiler-y thoughts:

1. No show that reboots its main character so many times had any right to be this good
2. They gave Bos so much amazing material in the final season
3. Haley was an incredible character who turned out to be as engaging as any of the series principals. I hope that actress lands a series of her own one day.
4. I need a hug

Evan R, Sunday, 31 December 2017 16:39 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Otm re: Haley. And amazingly, that was her first acting job

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 31 December 2017 18:17 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Also Bos leaving the doctor to Fanfare for the Common Man <3 <3

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 31 December 2017 18:18 (eleven months ago) Permalink

didn't realize "Cardiff Giant" was a clever name for longest time.

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 31 December 2017 18:45 (eleven months ago) Permalink

All those little anxious tics that Haley did... I couldn't tell if that was a great character choice or if the actress just does those naturally. They really trusted her with some pretty demanding material. Both daughters were pretty remarkable, though... they did a great job making two characters who essentially didn't exist for the first three seasons feel like they were there from the beginning.

I still don't get "Cardiff Giant" but I do love how those final episodes paid homage to that whole storyline.

Evan R, Sunday, 31 December 2017 19:52 (eleven months ago) Permalink

mh, Sunday, 31 December 2017 21:12 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I think I'd probably put this show in the top 5 dramas of the last 10-15 years, behind the big four (Sopranos/Wire/Mad Men/Breaking Bad). It's not up there with those, but I think it comes as close as anything else I've seen.

Evan R, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 16:23 (eleven months ago) Permalink

i think it works better as a comedy (and it's frequently much funnier than silicon valley)

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 20:13 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Just started this on y’alls recommendations... finished ep 2 of season 1 and lolled at the ending “handle! It needs a handle!” and the sales dude imagining the future of portable computing when the IBM dude who visited him to give him his back pay literally used the briefcase for its intended purpose (to hold the check) and not do any portable computing

calstars, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 20:17 (eleven months ago) Permalink

yeah that first season really does start off as rocky as everybody warns you it is. Kinda amazing the show became such a great character drama, given that it doesn't begin with any great characters

Evan R, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 23:44 (eleven months ago) Permalink

bos is the only character on this show that I actually liked all the way through. the way they handled the clark family story arc in the final season was very touching. i don't want to spoil anything but the donna/gordon flashback killed me

dynamicinterface, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 23:52 (eleven months ago) Permalink

yeah so far it's not as bad as I was expecting, will definitely stick with it. doesn't hurt at all that mackenzie davis is beaucoup jolie

calstars, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 00:07 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Not sure I want to continue now after that mind numbing Texas county fair Japanese car bashing scene

calstars, Saturday, 6 January 2018 12:36 (eleven months ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

We are two episodes from the end. Everyone's really sad. I'm really sad.

I don't know, I really liked the first season. I think watching it well after the fact of Mad Men or Breaking Bad or any of those other prestige-type shows gives it some breathing space. Plus, season one Joe McMillan is hilarious. And the husband and I are fairly nerdy about computer hardware, so we were actually both invested in the tech of it. I missed season one Joe when season two rolled around.

Still, though, the last two seasons are phenomenal television. I particularly love the scenes in season four where the men gradually figure out what Haley's deal is. Just two men, trying to do what's best for a teenage girl. And I always liked Cameron's relationship with Bos. Age-appropriate and non-creepy! And I always liked how they dressed her. Never "sexy" at all.

trishyb, Saturday, 3 February 2018 01:55 (ten months ago) Permalink

Man, this is making me sad and missing this show again.

The scene in the first season, where Gordon steals the Cabbage Patch doll and finds the corpse... at the time it felt too on-the-nose, like a lot of Season 1. But it's really stuck with me! This show will always haunt me in the nicest way.

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 3 February 2018 02:38 (ten months ago) Permalink

We spent this morning watching the last two episodes. I cried most of the way through both of them because I am a sap, but also just because they are great. I haven't felt this satisfied with a television series since The Wire. The scope of it, the character work that went into it, and the fact that the programme makers understand that sometimes people want an actual proper satisfying ending goddammit.

trishyb, Saturday, 3 February 2018 13:37 (ten months ago) Permalink

I thought McMillan's progression as a character is actually really well done (and didn't strike me as unbelievable esp. since he's supposed to be late 20s in first season and nearing 40 at the end of the last). All the characters are amazingly human actually. One of the few shows I can remember watching where for all the character's flaws I really liked and rooted for everyone...

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Saturday, 3 February 2018 15:51 (ten months ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

watched through this show over the past few weeks, really remarkable show. each season is a near-reinvention of the show - I thought it was so bold to make Cam and Donna essentially the central characters in S2, while Gordon and Joe take a backseat. the Mutiny storyline in particular that season was so fraught yet fun and nostalgic for me, I may go back and rewatch just S2.

but then S3 and S4 also take the show to very different places. loved how the tone of the show gradually becomes less dramatic, or at least the characters do less to contribute to the drama themselves and handle it in more mature ways. the development seemed very relatable. also, hard to think of another show where I loved and disliked every main character at various points in the show: that's a huge testament to the quality of the actors. it does get a little ridiculous how much these characters' lives intersect at times, but I don't have many complaints about this show

Vinnie, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 09:38 (two months ago) Permalink

bos is the only character on this show that I actually liked all the way through

Oh right I take back what I said, I never disliked Bos except maybe in the very first episode

Vinnie, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 09:40 (two months ago) Permalink

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