Midweek Geekiness: Halt and Catch Fire

The Misfits Don’t Fit Into the Typical Nerdy

When I watched Silicon Valley, I get the impression it’s The Big Bang Theory with the high-brow sheen of HBO.  It means they aim low, but not too low with the sex/drug jokes.  It’s too bad as the show comes from Mike Judge, the same guy giving people the cult classic Office Space.  I have seen these misfits before from the crazy, drugged-out, loudmouth with shaggy hair to the awkward lead.

Halt and Catch Fire gives us Joe Macmillan (Lee Pace, The Hobbit), Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy, Argo), and Cameron Howe (MacKenzie Davis, That Awkward Moment).  Each character displays the misfit qualities in a drama such as this, but it feels organic to me.  Cameron Howe sports the androgynous look popular during the early 80’s, but she’s a woman in largely a male dominated field.  In other words, nobody leans into anything unless it’s their hairspray.  Joe Macmillan may look like a typical 80’s master of the universe, but climbing a corporate ladder at IBM doesn’t interest him.  This guy goes for the unexpected, and he may prove a successor to Don Draper in the post-Mad Men era of AMC.  Finally, we have Gordon Clark the engineer Macmillan recruits on the basis of a past article in Byte magazine.  He’s an example of the guy with an idea ahead of its time.  He’s also an example of what happens after a failure.  We see a broken man until Macmillan and his charisma pick him back up.

Speaking of charisma…

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