Someone I follow on twitter who’s opinion I respect often mentions how if you value independent websites and blogs on the internet. You should continue to create and contribute to them, not just consume. That rung true for me because of my array of personal sites which hadn’t seen much new content in a long time. Including this one. So i’ve cleaned the look of this up slightly, and i’m posting something new.

I know that one of the reasons I often don’t post much of my sites is I can get very picky and critical of what I write. So i’m going to try a new style. At times it may almost be bullet points. Just get my thoughts down and posted.

Halt and Catch Fire is a show I go on about a lot, and I rewatch atleast once a year. I’m about to finish my latest rewatch. Here are some of the reasons I like it so much:-

  • It builds. Every season is better than the last as it grows more confident.
  • It has a positive outlook on technology and creativity, whilst also being aware and self-aware of some of the traps and pitfalls.
  • 4 central characters (and many more side characters) that you really care about. This is so key for me. They could be reading the phonebook aloud, but if I care about the characters i’m in.
  • Relationships. All manner of different relationships are explored.
  • It has two of the best hours of patient and quiet drama i’ve ever seen produced for television. Episode 3×10 “NeXT” and Episode 4×08 “Goodwill”.

I’m going to get into spoilers for these two episodes to explain why they are so good. Only as far as I need to. But you have been warned.

I’ve often heard it explained that drama when you boil it down is two characters in a room talking. Thats what these two episodes are. The scripts for both could be performed on stage without too much adaptation.

“NeXT” sees our characters come together to discuss the next big thing. What it could be, what they could do with it, and how long it might take. In doing so they explore the current state of their relationships in that snapshot of time.

FAIRLY BIG SHOW SPOILERS

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“Goodwill” is an essay on shared grief. As after the death of a much loved central character, the remaining cast come together to pack up his house. It brilliantly navigates all the real-life and TV troupes of grief and especcially shared grief. How do you act and function around each other when you’re all feeling the same loss? The whole hour is filled with quiet moments of brillance. But two stand out.

  1. Two characters dissect the stand “script” for the awkward conversations you have when you’re not sure what else to say. “How are you doing?” “Hanging on in there”. But by acknowledging those tropes, they are then able to have a truthful conversation, offer each other some comfort and make a connection that they had been struggling to make for a long time.
  2. As the work drags on, Bos, through gentle persuasion and cajoling makes sure everyone has something to eat. The first instance of it tipifies how in these situations how it’s small acts of kindest that can help get people through.

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