Fail fast and fail frequently. The protagonists of Halt and Catch Fire have been thoroughly applied to this Silicon Valley mantra. It is normal in a series set in the world of computing, with visionaries, programmers, entrepreneurs and people, all of it ahead of its time. Geniuses who find it too difficult to realize that computers are not what is important, but what allows us to get to what is important. What they do know for sure is that you will only fail if you have tried before.
The series has just said goodbye in the United States (in Spain, AMC has few chapters left) with a great and exciting fourth season that shows that, beyond computer terms and business struggles, the important thing here has always been the characters and your connections. Joe, Gordon and, above all, above all, them, Cameron and Donna.
Because one of the things that this series has done best is to reinvent itself in the same way that its characters have done throughout its four seasons. Halt and Catch Fire began to rework Mad Men. You know, a vintage story, ambitious people, women in a man’s world, the same television network (AMC) … But in the second season she took a turn at the helm and decided to be herself. He put the focus on its female protagonists and thus the story gained height and depth and its followers won one of the great female television characters of recent times, Donna Clark, played by the expressive and adorable Kerry Bishé. “One thing I have learned is that no matter what you do, someone will be around the corner making a better version. And if that person is a man, it may not be better, but it will get more attention.” You hit it there, Donna.
Interestingly, in a series whose protagonists are always looking forward, chasing the future and competing to be the first and the best, the last batch of chapters often goes back to the past, to what they were before, what they could have been, what they are and what will never be. We have seen Joe, Gordon, Cameron and Donna making good and, too often, bad decisions, connecting and disconnecting with each other, searching for themselves, fighting against their pride. Four characters with whom, precisely because of these weaknesses, it is so easy to feel identified. They live with failure, and yet they get up and try again. And again. It doesn’t matter if the backdrop is the search for the definitive PC, the birth of online games and communities, or Internet search engines. In the end everything is about connecting.
The journey Halt and Catch Fire has given us has been glorious because of that connection. Even though in the last season they have gone overboard with the greenish filter in the image, even if the first one was not as bright as the other installments. The musical selection, the recreation of the time, the nostalgic touch without abusing it … And, sorry for insisting: its characters. There is gold in this series, one of the best of recent times of which, unfortunately, many people will not even have known it exists.
I have enjoyed it in a big way: I have shouted at the screen with every bad decision they have made, I have cried when they have had a bad time, I have been happy for their successes. I have been excited. That is what makes a series enter my private list, in the MY SERIES list. Thank you.