One of my favorite shows just wrapped up its 4-season run, and now that I can see the entire picture of the series, from start to (very satisfying) finish, I can confidently state the following: Halt and Catch Fire is one of the best TV dramas I’ve ever seen.
It didn’t start that way: the show began as a compelling but clunky prestige drama wannabe, an 80s-set tech industry riff on Mad Men that made some significant missteps. But then, improbably, it proceeded to improve with each passing season through a bold willingness to repeatedly reinvent itself and a commitment to fixing what didn’t work and emphasizing what did (such as making the female leads the narrative focal point).
What it retooled itself into (thanks to deft writing and fantastic performances) is one of the most emotionally honest and deeply heartfelt shows on TV. It tells a story about the tensions between professional success and personal connection, and about the all-too-human drive to create, innovate, and find one’s place in the world. And all the while it manages to feel not like you’re watching a scripted, manufactured drama, but like you’re looking through a window into real people’s lives. I’m going to miss these characters, but watching their journey has been a great pleasure (even when it made me cry).
So yeah, if you haven’t seen Halt and Catch Fire, it’s on Netflix and (in case you can’t tell) I give it my highest recommendation.