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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  351 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: My new coup de coeur of a series

Another rowdy and whole-hearted endorsement for Longmire and Halt and Catch Fire.

Anybody could love Longmire. It's just an excellent story with fascinating characters, and is really well acted. I wanna know these people.

Halt and Catch Fire is about a VERY pivotal time in my life, when the computer industry boom was just starting in the late 1970's, early 1980's. Even if the subject matter isn't of interest to you, they do an utterly astonishing job of recreating the 1980's as they actually were, and it was the beginning of a cultural turning point. Prior to this time, the only "interesting" or "cool" geeks were astronauts from the Apollo program.

In H&CF, the geeks finally come up with something everyone else wants, and catch the eye of salespeople, marketing people, executive businessmen. And the culture clash between these geeks who just want to make something pure and perfect, and the "business types" who see a product to market and sell, is very much the initial spark that got the world where it is today, in an eternal battle between art and marketing.

These tech guys were artists, and their art was stolen by the businesspeople.

Sound familiar?

H&CF is not fast paced or shocking or tantalizing. It is just a great story, told well.

kleinbl00  ·  351 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I have explained H&CF as "Mad Men, except the people in it suffer for being assholes rather than thriving."

Mad Men is a bunch of broken people careening and colliding through the '60s. There is no causality to speak of, no one ever suffers consequences for their choices and everyone who attempts to improve their own lot and the lot of those around them pays inhumane penalties. The people who suffer the most in Mad Men are the idealists, and they suffer at the willing and intentional hands of the narcissists. The people who like Mad Men are the people who hated the ending of Game of Thrones because the blue-eyed blonde naif always gets the guy, right? I mean, we've been taught that. They're the ones who think The Social Network is a superhero origin story. Mad Men is of, for and by nihilists.

H&CF is full of human people who hurt other human people despite knowing that they shouldn't and it ends up putting them in a worse position and they end up having to deal with more problems as a consequence. Drama in H&CF is wholly based on people making the wrong choices and then having to deal with the outcome. People are broken for a reason; people heal or don't heal for a reason. Relationships evolve. Actions play out over seasons. H&CF is of, for and by people who believe in karma.

goobster  ·  351 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Mad Men, for me, was also an explanation of why the fuckwit assholes in Marketing always had it better than us developers, who, ya know, actually wrote the fucking software.

Mad Men was just morally bankrupt opportunists making buckets of money for intangible and unfalsifiable reasons. They made up the ratings system their success was measured by, and then - as if by magic! - were hugely successful. Clearly they were more skilled and more valuable than the people who invented the fucking product in the first place, because they made up "It's toasted."

Mad Men was cathartic for me; yeah, the shitheads won, but because they were empty and soulless, they never enjoyed their success... they just craved more.

And it helps me understand politicians for what they really are.