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‘Halt and Catch Fire’ is about perseverance




Dylan Martin, Graphic Designer

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Dylan Martin
Graphic Designer

Television is an oversaturated medium at the moment. When there are so many new shows popping up around every corner, it is hard to keep up.

While we usually get a chance to see a lot of great shows, there is the rare occasion of a good one flying under the radar. So is the case with “Halt and Catch Fire,” a show on AMC geared towards “Mad Men” fans that went largely unnoticed.

The first season of “Halt and Catch Fire” is set in 1983. “Return of the Jedi” just came out in theaters and the personal-computing revolution is just getting started. The story focuses on the lives of four main characters, their relationships, and how they all intertwine in the cut-throat world of technological progress.

Joe MacMillan is a pompous businessman that emanates the philosophical ethos of early luminaries such as Steve Jobs. He is a mysterious bad boy that is prone to nervous breakdowns. At the beginning of the series he had just lost his job at IBM and is contemplating a way to get into the PC race which is just heating up.

Hired at a firm called Cardiff Electric, Joe convinces a level-headed technician named Gordon to take some risky moves which he agrees to despite the reservations of Donna, Gordon’s wife.

Joe and Gordon swiftly recruit a prodigal programming punk named Cameron to help complete their vision and the rest of the story goes from there. As the series navigates through its four incredible seasons a recurring theme starts to crop up, one of failure and renewal.

The story of “Halt and Catch Fire” is something of a David and Goliath tale, but one that is very down-to-Earth.

The characters are always competing with massive companies who could crush them with their resources at any given moment. And when this does inevitably happen in the series, Joe and the gang always find a way to dust themselves off and start from scratch. Sometimes working with one another, sometimes in spite of one another.

The series is best at demonstrating character growth and the extremely complicated relationships the characters all share. Throughout the series, the characters often work together, and this can be a test of their loyalty as it becomes difficult to separate their personal lives from their work.

But their passion for what they do is their most powerful weapon while simultaneously being their biggest weakness. If what their competition possesses is far greater resources, what they possess is the foresight and heart necessary to create something truly great. And when it all burns to the ground the main characters of ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ have a knack for rising like a Phoenix from the ashes.

I must admit I cried at the end of final episode, even more-so upon reflection of what had come to pass in the four seasons of the show. “Halt and Catch Fire” personified the perceived barriers of my own life and really resonated with me as I imagine it did with other viewers.

I was with those characters from the very beginning and it is a rare thing for the final season to be the best of a series. However, this was the case with “Halt and Catch Fire.” I am both sad to see it go and happy with how it ended. It would be greedy of me to ask for more.

It is currently streaming on Netflix and I highly recommend you give it a go. Binge if you dare, but I would take the time to savor this one if I were you.

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‘Halt and Catch Fire’ is about perseverance