It’s almost the weekend! And that means you’re probably wondering what you’re going to do. What friends to hang out with at brunch, what hikes to go on, which TV shows to watch on Sunday night. Game of Thrones is over for the season, Mad Men's over for the half-season, there's no more Breaking Bad, and you’re probably through season 2 of Orange is the New Black already. UGH SUNDAY TV WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO.
Well, there’s a show called Halt and Catch Fire on AMC at 10 pm that you’re probably not watching. I say this because if you were watching the ratings would probably be higher. The ratings are not very good.
I know this and can say this objectively because my husband is the co-creator, and we get the ratings every week, and every week we wish more people were tuning in. I think there are probably a handful of reasons for the low ratings, some of which are due to viewers choosing not to watch the show, and some of which are just a matter of timing and exposure. It’s summer, so people are out of town and in and out and DVRing stuff or just missing it. There have been good reviews, but since no one’s seen where the characters end up yet, it’s too easy to judge certain story lines before they’re given a chance to develop. It’s about computers, and there’s a guy who initially appears to be yet another boring alpha mystery dude, and honestly when Chris first told me the premise of the pilot I didn’t think it sounded like something I’d choose to watch if I didn’t know him.
But I’m asking you to give this show a chance. I’ve seen the whole season, and it’s blown me away. Friends of mine who were initially watching just because they knew it was Chris’s show and they thought they ought to watch out of friend duty have told me they were surprised by how invested they’ve become in the characters. The writers—who hail from Mad Men to The Sopranos to Southland—take Gordon and Donna and Joe and Cameron in directions you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the pilot. There are subversively intelligent people, and there are LGBT people, and there are women who wear pants, and there are men who cry, and there are people who try to be someone they’re not. (This scene, gorgeously gif-ed, is actually so very stunningly sad when you watch it in context.)
Rolling Stone (which, by the way, strongly disliked the majority of the first half of the season) called last week’s episode “42 minutes of solid, sometimes surprising, sometimes striking television, growing like that flower in Halt and Catch Fire’s heretofore sterile circuitry. Let it grow.” The Austin Chronicle lists five reasons you should be watching this season. The actors turn in fantastic performances—I have an especial soft spot for Toby Huss, who plays Joe’s boss with a fantastic combination of Texan charisma and subtlety. And, in this coming episode, Lee Pace delivers a particularly brave and lovely performance.
Maybe you watched the pilot and thought it was okay but haven’t watched anything since. Maybe you’ve recorded the previous episodes on DVR and just haven’t gotten into them yet. Maybe you’re planning to binge it later. Maybe you didn’t DVR it at all—in which case, you can stream episodes for free on AMC’s website (all of them are still available for the next four days!) or purchase episodes on iTunes. Or maybe you don’t really give a shit about catching up, in which case I think you will LOVE this Sunday’s episode, which is one of my favorite episodes of the whole season. (BONUS: a Buffy veteran guest-stars. Start guessing.)
Anyway, if you have been even maybe possibly thinking about watching Halt and Catch Fire, it would be awesome if you tuned in now. I’d love for more people to love this show, and for the characters to get the chance to make you fall in love, and for the season to go out with more viewers than it came in with.
So. What are you doing this Sunday at 10 pm?
I’m completely hooked and so will you. Just watch it.