TV Series Critique/Reviews

Hey guys it’s been a while that I wrote a review. I have been swamped with work generally but I’m back now. So, HALT AND CATCH FIRE SEASON 2!

I wrote a review on my facebook page about the season 1 of this series last year, you can read it here.  Season 2 was nothing short of what I expected, they delivered an amazingly good series. Ok…let me do some introduction.

HALT AND CATCH FIRE is a series centred around the birth and evolution of computer and technology generally. This series was set in late 80’s prior to the era of Microsoft, Dell or HP or even Apple. It’s a techie based series and trust me you will love it – especially if you are technology enthusiast. This season took off where season one stopped, Gordon Clark received his own share of the sales of former Cardiff Electronics. Joe Macmillan didn’t get a dime, his cheque was shredded to piece in his presence by the former CEO of Cardiff Electronics because of his role in the eventually collapse of the company.

Gordon Clark who is a computer engineer became really rich and didn’t bother looking for work any more after Cardiff Electronics, so he sat at home and decided to try his hands out on hard core C programming. He succeed in creating a program which he intend to use to fix a lagging problem that he was experiencing while playing Tank Battle a Mutiny game online. The program ended up doing more harm than good, crashing Mutiny’s network and almost ruining Mutiny.

Cameron Howe – the genius programmer who started Mutiny with the money she got from the sales of Cardiff Electronics. Mutiny started out as a company that is into creation of online computer games. She hired Donna Clark who is also another genius to come work with her at Mutiny since she also lost her job when Cardiff Electronics collapsed. Donna suggested that they should start a community for the gamers on their network, Cameron wasn’t sure it’s worth their time and effort but she eventually agreed to let Donna have her way and then the community started growing – that was the beginning of chat rooms.

Joe MacMillan – the infectious bad guy, he eventually moved away to Dallas and got engaged to Sara the daughter of Jacob Wheeler who works at WestGroup Energy a multi-million dollar oil and gas firm. Joe reluctantly took up job at the data processing department of the company but he bullshitted his way up the ladder by convincing Jacob to let them lease out their mainframe computers during the off peak periods to organizations that are willing to pay for it. He brought in Gordon Clark to help him reconfigure the mainframes so as to restrict access to the corporate information while other users are using their network.

Gordon Clark tried to help his wife Donna who works at Mutiny, by offering to help them secure a deal with a supposed company that is willing to lend them their network – for obvious reasons he left out the part that Joe Macmillan is involved. Joe and Cameron have not seen each other since their ghastly break up in season one. You can imagine the shock she was in when she eventually found out that she will be going back to the devil for help – awkward is an understatement. She reluctantly agreed to work with him, although Joe as usual, gave her tough time during the negotiation of price. Thanks to Donna who kept things under wrap – although she too lost it and almost broke down because of pregnancy stress.

In the end, Joe suggested to Jacob that WestGroup Energy should acquire Mutiny, Jacob liked it and they made an offer to Cameron – who initially refused to sell, but later decided to sell, then she finally refuse to sell after Joe told her not to sell because Jacob Wheeler plans to take them apart and make them into something else. Joe then went back to Jacob to tell him that the deal didn’t went through because they changed their mind.

Jacob Wheeler later kicked Mutiny off of WestGroup network, replaced Joe Macmillan with a much younger and person after he turned in his resignation letter and decided to move to California with his newly wedded wife. WestGroup hijacked Donna’s community idea and made it into WestNet having seen the potential that community has, Cameron went to see Joe at WestGroup on the day they had planned to unveil WestNet to the world. She gave him a diskette containing the same malware Gordon Clark wrote which attacked Mutiny’s network, Joe then used the same diskette to take down WestNet and all of data on the WestGroup Network. It was epic, brutal and brilliant! WestGroup was caught pants down, Joe revealed to the crowd that the original idea owner is Cameron Howe and Donna Clark. His wife Sara divorced him, because her father Jacob Wheeler was ruined by Joe’s action.

Gordon Clark came to the rescue again as usual, since he was the one that designed the malware, he was able to write a specific code that targets the malware and re-engineers them. Brethren behold the birth of what we now call Antivirus! Joe Macmillan figured this out and he went to make a presentation about it to the same venture capitalist guy who had made fun of him for being nothing but a joke. He infected the man’s computer and also cured it using Gordon’s code after watching him panic and scramble for a solution. He walked away with a whopping 10 million dollars deal. Gordon had to read about it in the papers on the plane on his way to California. He had been diagnosed with brain tumour but refused to tell his wife Donna, which almost led to the eventual collapse of his marriage that he reluctant agreed to save by buying some servers for Mutiny in California and moved out there to help Donna fix them so as to get Mutiny back online.  Joe too eventually moved to California and bought up a big office space. Season 3 promises to be even more exciting, intriguing and exhilarating. Now that everyone has moved to California.

I enjoyed this series so much that I will recommend to everyone I know. It was carefully written, filled with humorous lines and sarcasm. It’s a must watch series for anyone in the tech business, be it a start-up or an established firm. It highlights the nitty-gritty of running a tech business. Pitching of ideas, managing code monkeys, business survival, risk management, recognizing an opportunity when it presents itself and managing the tech business generally. You just have to watch this series. I give it a complete 10/10.

An ardent lover of classic movies, animations, country music and adventure video games (COD,BF4 etc). An experienced social entreprenuer who is multiskilled in the media and IT industry. I believe in calling a spade, a spade without sugar coating if i piss you off with my posts here, its nothing personal. Stayed tuned for more interesting reads.

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