“Halt and Catch Fire,” AMC's "Mad Men" replacement, is over, and many of us are feeling great relief. It was supposed to be about computers and the early 80s, and it might have been better if it had more about computers and the early 80s. It turned into the type of show where you see the “Hero” looking at a truckload of computers ready to ship, and you think “I’ll bet he gets out some gasoline and sets them all on fire,” and that’s exactly what he does. Why? Because they’re not enough. Because of what they represent. But more important, because this is the kind of show whose protagonist does things like that. Then he backpacks up to a hilltop observatory in search of stars and/or mother, and we know it’s a quest because he has a wise conversation with A Homespun Local who runs the kind of gas station you need on a backroads quest: the kind with faded signs, indicating you have found True America.
And what of our Seething Brainiac guy with the period facial hair? Why, he’s made it to the top, shed his nerd-fears along with his beard, and he’s sitting at the boardroom table - yet it all seems strangely empty now, doesn’t it. How empty? Well, the camera sinks down and the boardroom table engulfs him in its flat monolithic blankness, which COULD BE METAPHORICAL.
What about Spunky Hacker Gal With Issues? She has a start-up of geeks and you can tell they’re serious about changing paradigms because the company name is written on the wall in spray paint. Radical! She’s trying to invent something that won’t turn into CompuServe or AOL, just as the rest of the season was about inventing something that wasn’t the Mac.
The finale got a few good reviews - sorry, garnered a few good reviews; that's the prefered cliche. (The only time you ever see "garners" is next to "reviews.") But even the critics who liked the show admit that the finale was as dramatically inert and inorganic as its predecessors. I hope there’s not a second season. Because I would have to watch it in case it got better.
See also, “The Killing." Which did.
Okay, second season, then. Sigh.
NO SUCH THING? Do not taunt happy fun ball, or the internet. Verge notes that a hotel charges people half a grand if they slam the place on Yelp.
"If your guests are looking for a Marriott type hotel they may not like it here," the site reads. "Therefore: If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event.”
The story links to the hotel’s FAQ, which appears to have been modified to remove the charge.
VotD More from the Taiwan gas-leak explosion.
Don’t say “it looks like a Michael Bay movie!” It would have 17 cuts in 24 seconds if it was.