Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Stop And Take A Look

AMC surprised Hollywood when it renewed it's drama Halt And Catch Fire.  The show was set during the computer revolution of the 1980s.  The channel hoped for a new Mad Men, and instead got a low-rated series without much critical approval.  It would have been easy enough to declare it a mistake a move on.

But I liked it.  The first season was muddled at points, and the central character, Joe, a spellbinder with a big secret, was too on the nose in trying to be another Don Draper.  But it still managed to capture the excitement of creating something new, and being in on the ground floor of something big.  So I was happy it was getting a second season.

And, to my surprise, the second season is even better.  In the first, Joe came to a hidebound company and managed to create something forward-looking and innovative, destroying anything that got in his way.  This season takes us ahead a year, where the two main female characters, Cameron and Donna, are running their own company, an online operation named Mutiny that features original games, while Joe is off on his own, engaged to a new character, Sara, whose father is a rich businessman.  And Gordon, the other lead from the first season, a hardware specialist who cashed out, is trying to start his own Dell-like mail order computer business.

Joe has been removed from the center, and is, in fact, often seen as the enemy, and somehow this has enlivened the action.  We follow the women at underdog Mutiny (and the many nerdy male employees), seeing their ups and down, while Gordon and Joe revolve around them, sometimes working independently, sometime trying to get involved.

There are still two more episodes, and Mutiny looks like it's in trouble.  Whether or not it makes it through the season, the bigger question is if the show will be renewed.  The ratings, alas, are even worse this time around, so I doubt it.  But it would be nice to get just one more year out of it--we know computers are about to explode as never before, so let the characters get to see it.


Post a Comment

<< Home

web page hit counter