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Halt and Catch Fire; Seasons 1-3
Topic Started: Jun 22 2014, 01:46 PM (2,348 Views)
Krystal
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Well, I am in for sure. I really like it. The lead guy is heart stoppingly gorgeous, even though he's playing a total asshole. The whole cast is interesting, and the plot (in my opinion) as well. The character is as of last week's shocking epi, bisexual. When one thinks of the time frame, this is pretty scary as that is when AIDS was spreading like wildfire and the treatments were almost non-existent. We'll be sampling a few more summer shows, but this one is on the don't miss list.
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bilki
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I tried to watch EP 3 twice but lost interest both times. The guy at AV Club gave it a bad review, so I felt like I didn't miss anything. I'll try to watch another episode but have a feeling I'll drop this one.

I was amused by the commenters at AV Club asking for someone new to review the show, as it's pretty clear the guy doing it now doesn't like it.
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Dax
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I think I like it less than Krystal but more than the AV Club reviewer (and more than you).

It'll hold my interest for ten episodes. It's probably too soon too tell what I'll think after 10, since I've already been kinda up and down on it - 1, 'okay', 2, 'better, I think I like it', 3, 'got a little bored, but I AM curious about what comes next'...

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Main Cast
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Lee Pace -- Joe Macmillan
Scoot McNairy -- Gordon Clark
Mackenzie Davis -- Cameron Howe
Kerry Bishe -- Donna Clark
Toby Huss -- John Bosworth
David Wilson Barnes -- Dale Butler (not around long..)
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KMInfinity
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I watched the first two, and wasn't bored but wasn't drawn in either. The characters interest me but the story just isn't told very well. Either they need to get down and dirty and make the computer stuff clear, or sideline that shit and make it more strongly about the characters. For example, I'm likely to keep watching just because I really like the subtlety of the story they're telling about Gordon and Donna's marriage, and Donna's story. It (depressingly) looks a lot like Peggy Olson's 20 years later.
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Krystal
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KM try number 3. It really heats up. If you are not sold then it really is not for you.
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KMInfinity
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Caught up with #3 and #4 last night. I will watch the full season, but I needed a 'background' so I found this:

http://mashable.com/2014/05/29/halt-and-catch-fire-amc-compaq/

I think one reason I'll be watching is to critique the handling of the female characters. In some ways it's 'empowering' to have Cameron and Donna so integral to the science, especially how Donna comes in and saves the day rescuing the BIOS. But in other ways their characters are chock full of bad cliche crap and poor development in the service of 'dramatic storytelling.' Cameron especially is just a little too 'special snowflake' and the sex plot with her and Joe is too much too soon too unnecessary.

Quote:
 
The character is as of last week's shocking epi, bisexual.
I'm not sure he's bi. The intent was more to show how ruthless he is and how he will do A-N-Y-thing to push his agenda. And the whole BIOS crash in #4 supports this.

I read a geek review somewhere that panned the show pretty harshly and I agreed with a lot of it. I'll find it again and share.
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Dax
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#4 - I like that Donna was both the one to save the day and discover Joe's deceit.

Joe's beating - ouch.

Fun suspense with Cameron stalking around the Clark house with a can of spray paint, but I was confused for a minute when the Fired, Bitter Neighbor guy came in with a gun... I wasn't so sure he was checking out that there was an intruder or whether or not HE was a threat against Gordon and his family...
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Krystal
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KM, I think the female characters are very well written and accurate. Donna, smarter than the guys, in a man's field. Would have to work 2x as hard to get any credit, with the kids, she gets no help. She does it all. Very much the times. If you worked and had kids, you got no help unless you could hire it..She is a woman breaking barriers, resented I am sure because she is smarter and they know it. Been there done that.

Cameron, brilliant but flaky. That happens with creatives regardless of if they are male or female. Speaking of sex, everyone was having it at the time. Joe has not forced himslef on her, she does not have the job because of it. They are 2 horny people. (Looking like he does, I would have had sex with him too).
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KMInfinity
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Oh I love Donna. I really loved the speech she gave Gordon, about how HE can only succeed because of HER. (I need to look up the exact words... My friends and I joke that we'd be awesome and rule the world if we had wives.) I think some of it is very accurate and very insightful but some of it is cliche. They have the opportunity to be nuanced and sophisticated but I don't think they are always taking the 'high road' in their storytelling.
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Krystal
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Yes, I loved it as well. And I agree, a wife would be great! When you look at men who have big careers they almost always have a non working wife who does and arranges everything for them. And a secretary or "executive assistant" at work as well. Most career women do it with little or no help from their spouses (if they even have one), and the antagonism of the male counterparts.

When I walk into a depo, I am extremely well prepared and usually take out the opposing council's questions without breaking a sweat. But if I see a 50+ year old woman across the table I know I am in for a battle, because like me they had to claw their way up. I eat the young ones for lunch regardless of their sex :)
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KMInfinity
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I think we should get Weiner to interview you and make a show about you. :D
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Krystal
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I could give him material from the old days for sure :)


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Dax
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http://www.thewrap.com/how-halt-and-catch-fire-can-esc-cancellation/
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KMInfinity
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I wasn't very impressed with the 5th episode. there seems to be a lot of 'manufactured' conflict between our core characters, and they seem to veer wildly from competent to nitwittery based on plot needs. The only part I really liked was the stuff with Cameron and the coders and the new tool boss.
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Krystal
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I still like it a lot. I did like the interaction with Cameron, and the father showing up was interesting. He felt like a player as much as his son. Donna's hsb, I can't even recall his name, has acted like an idiot in the past so I would believe him screwing up the deal with the Japanese guys. I wonder if Donna's boss is about to put the moves on her.
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Dax
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The coders playing Adventure reminded me of one of those early games I'd play in the computer lab in junior high... it was called 'Asylum' or maybe 'Sanitarium' and you were locked up in a mental institution, and issued commands to move to room to room and look for clues that could help you escape... but I remember that all of us kids got to a certain point that we could never move beyond, and it was frustrating, and I never DID learn the solution, and sometimes it still haunts me...

The guy Cameron fired putting up a Greatest American Hero poster in his office - funny.

Poor Gordon.

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Krystal
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Liked this one a lot. Seeing more depth to the characters.
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KMInfinity
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Yeah this one was better. I liked the hurricane metaphor connections and the dynamic of Donna and the kids with Joe.

The absolute insanity over the Cabbage Patch doll was so real. Reminded me of the adventures my bff and I had to get "Sherman" for my goddaughter - and she still has him!

I assume there's gonna be trouble with TI over proprietary control thru Donna's involvement in Gordon's project.
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Krystal
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Yes I could not believe the Cabbage patch dolls were that long ago!!

I wonder what will happen with Donna's business trip.
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Krystal
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It also was a big deal about trying to humiliate a woman if she was in a relationship with one of the guys. One of my clas mates claimed to be having sex with me (ugh, I would not!) so I told everyone he had a tiny penis that wouldn't get hard, then of course he had to take back that we had never been intimate.
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Dax
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>>I liked the hurricane metaphor connections and the dynamic of Donna and the kids with Joe.

I liked it. Finally got the real story on Joe's scars.

Zack Whedon script on that one...
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KMInfinity
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Huh. Didn't notice the writer credits. Thus my Whedon-love is confirmed.
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Dax
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#7 - Nice undercut of expectations in Donna's story.

Whoa, Gordon's really losing it. I was scared for the kids.

Oh, okay... so Joe IS bisexual (I was also thinking the to-screw-over-Jean Smart thing was just circumstantial).
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KMInfinity
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Ditto

Ditto

Ditto! Always good to see DB Woodside. He's fun to watch in Suits with Gina Torres.

I am enjoying Donna's story more than anything, appreciating her trying to negotiate a very typical, tough spot.

The plot to get the first laptop is starting to remind me of The Maltese falcon MaGuffin. I actually want to understand the ins-and-outs of the science/business model and challenges but it seems to be used as a storytelling device instead.

Hanging in there.
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Dax
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I like DB Woodside, too.

It's been an interesting contrast to what the dorks of Silicon Valley were doing.
It (building the laptop) seems so IMPOSSIBLE, all those challenges... space, heat, etc. And we take it all for granted now...

I don't think there will be a second season.
I'm okay with that, but it's an interesting thing for AMC to have taken a chance on...
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Krystal
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Wow. Best New show by far. I'll be crushed if it doesn't get renewed.
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Krystal
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This one was soooo great. Now we see that Joe truly is bi, and all the potential that goes with that at the time. Then when the designer tells him "I'm sick", just wow.

The boss finally turning on to the program.

Donna, how I recall being the only woman and may many meetings...

Gordon, how bad is it?
Typical, can barely do his job while she does hers and everthing else...
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blosslover
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I caught up with this show on demand over the weekend and watched all the episodes available from the first, except for Sunday's that I viewed Monday night. I can see AMC not renewing this if the ratings aren't there. Was this developed by the current heads or the last execs?
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Krystal
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I don't understand the lack of ratings, I think it is terrific. Didn't MM have low ratings in the beginning?
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Dax
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>> Was this developed by the current heads or the last execs?

They've broadened and restructured, but I don't think there's been a complete turnover... same people in charge, I think...

>> Didn't MM have low ratings in the beginning?

Yeah, and BB, too. But those were their first two shows. The standard is higher now than then, of course...
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