Season 3 All Happens On A Boat
by DICK CHENEY
“So how was the season finale of True Detective?” Lynne said, twirling a chicken thigh on her finger like a basketball.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I said, covering my face with my hands. Lynne gave up on the show in week four, quietly walking out of the room around the time Vince Vaughn used the word ‘kike,’ throwing a framed photo of her with Matthew McConaughey on the set of Mud into the trash.
“You watch bad shows so I don’t have to,” she said.
“Ugh.” I was still reeling from the twenty minute recap of NBC’s Mr. Robinson I had given her the previous day. Women be shopping, I had begun, you can’t stop a woman from shopping.
“Tell me, or the next time Roger Ailes calls I’ll tell him you are here.”
“All right!” I screamed in her face. “Vince Vaughn was murdered by Mexicans and he hallucinated black kids bullying him for being who he was! Colin Farrell looked up to God in the heavens and it turned out his wife was making her rape up to get out of the marriage! The mayor killed himself because he was sad! Rachel McAdams dyed her hair the same color that it was! The solution to the murder the season began with had nothing to do with any of the characters on the show! Rachel and Colin fell in love forever based on the mutual sharing of how terrible Nic Pizzolatto has been for their career! Colin Farrell’s torso looked decent to good! Is that what you fucking wanted to hear?”
“Wow,” Lynne said, “by any chance did Ray Velcoro (Farrell) tell Rachel McAdams ‘None of that is your fault’ after he had mincing sex that reminded her of the abuse she suffered as a little girl?” Lynne always reads the worst recaps of television shows, the ones that are like, ‘Last night’s True Detective was a fine example of film noir…’ It’s like, go fuck yourself. At least include your significant other as a presence in the recap, so you can make it seem like you’re not just quietly taking notes on Vince Vaughn’s skin by yourself.
“None of it was anyone’s fault,” I replied. “About 100 people were murdered and there was not one investigation.”
After that, Lynne and I had make-up sex on top of our bear rug and ate string cheese like the dogs in Lady and the Tramp. I still couldn’t get over how bad the finale was, so to take my mind off it, I explained in choking, interrupted sobs how it wasn’t fair that Nic had a job while the guys who make Halt and Catch Fire can’t even get a meeting with AMC because no one watches their show.
It is almost impossible to write about Halt and Catch Fire. The show stars Lee Pace and his huge, massive eyebrows as Joe MacMillan. In the first scene of Halt, Joe is speaking at a university computer class when he discovers Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis), a computer prodigy who is basically if Kate Moss absorbed Albert Einstein. This wonderful, multidimensional character proves to Nic Pizzolatto once and for all that not every woman need either be a whore or a lesbian.
Complementing these two centerpieces is the starmaking role of Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy) a disgraced engineer working at a small Texas electronics company that Joe flips on its head. McNairy’s Clark is married with two young daughters. He and his wife Donna (the gorgeous Kerry Bishé) are recovering from the failed launch of Gordon’s computing brainchild, a device called Symphonic. Gordon’s relationship with Donna is fractious, disturbed and fragile: it is also completely authentic.
Instead of relying on nudity, profanity or violence to carry any of the action, Halt and Catch Fire consists of intensely charged personal interactions between people meant to be more intelligent than any on television. Instead of making genuises so different from us they are unrecognizable, creators Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers do a marvelous job of treading the line between moments that are alien to strategies for life that are barely recognizable. Halt feels so much like the world that it must actually be disturbing for some people to watch. This is the only reason that would explain the low ratings.
The second season of Halt and Catch Fire explored Cameron starting her own tech company with Gordon’s wife Donna, one that she named Mutiny. She also found manic pixie love with a young programmer named Tom.
Tom is the absolute sweetest and everytime he and Cameron kissed I had butterflies in my colon. Meanwhile, Lee Pace suppressed his past dalliances with men and pursued a relationship with the journalist daughter of a CEO of a multinational corporation, Sara Wheeler (Aleksa Palladino). She wasn’t the strongest personality on the show — her clothes always looked like a throw rug — and she ended up “needing her time and space,” which we all know what that means.
Having a show about two women running a company was exciting on both a sexual and human resources level. It felt novel, which the first season of True Detective exemplified, especially when Matthew McConaughey said things were shit for like ten straight minutes that one time. When it came to basically all the guys on the show dying and Rachel McAdams living somewhere in Venezuela and still being extremely cranky… the target was in L.A. but the arrow was in New York.
Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.
“Spirit Moves” – Langhorne Slim (mp3)