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hincandenza

S01.E07: Giant

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Guess I’ll start the latest episode thread since there isn't one up yet, if that’s okay.

 

I liked this one.  I do think the show has been starting to get its sea legs the last 3 episodes, although it’s still no great shakes. 

 

Gordon continues to baffle, since he’s gone truly and completely insane at this point; he had a nice moment of lucidity in the beginning, hanging up on Joe and focusing on his family… but of course, he lost that pretty quick.  Why on earth does he now find even basic functioning to be such a challenge; he couldn’t have always been this way and somehow held down a job and raised a family for years with an amazing wife, but whoever Gordon was, the guy has completely snapped.  Poor Donna…

 

… speaking of whom, I wasn’t thrilled with the piano playing Mary Sue-ness; we knew she played, but I know professional pianists who wouldn’t get up and play like that, much less at a fancy restaurant, because it’s simply rude and presumptive.  I did really like the twist that she made the first move on her boss, and that that her boss turned her down gracefully and confirmed that he is a total mensch, and wasn’t just trying to get into her pants with all the flattery.  He really does see her as capable and valued as an employee.  So, he’s basically a unicorn, especially in 1983. :) 

 

Which I guess makes it all the more sad that she went home to a messed up house, her kids passed out on the floor, and her psycho husband digging what looks like for all the world a grave for himself... more of that infamous “Halt and Catch Fire” symbolic subtlety at work, I suppose.

 

Weird to see Bosworth has apparently quietly turned into a zealous convert of this project, to the point he was at least considering putting his own house up as funding collateral… although I don’t totally disagree with Cardiff himself.  He comes across as a belligerent dick, but his advice- once the money’s gone, that’s that- is solid.  It’s a smart investment tactic to not throw good money after bad; that said, it’s also wise to spend $x after a project that has already spend $y to finish something that is nearly done when the ratio of x/y is sufficiently small (i.e., if you’ve spent $5-10 million, you’d reasonably spend another few hundred K to complete a project that was just short of the finish line), rather than toss it all away.  Bosworth didn’t, from what we saw on screen, make a clear dollars-and-cents argument, but more a Joe-style appeal to some future vision.  We the audience know they’re ultimately in the right, but Cardiff isn’t wrong in that time and place to say "enough is enough" to what must look like a total money pit.

 

Also weird is that Cameron was apparently *still* at the gallery when Joe got there, *and* that he somehow didn’t notice her in that wide open space when he first walked in.  I’m glad they didn’t explicitly say that designer had AIDS (that would have been tawdry and cliched), but I absolutely was confused on whether he’s now agreed  to make the case or not- since obviously Ken the strip club monger is not going to do so at this point.  Did he imply as much he was talking to Joe at the hotel that he had already decided in his mind to move forward when he was first flying in, or not?  I thought his words said as much, with "Aren't you going to ask me?" etc, but I really am not sure.  They always have the garbage bag plan as a backup, I guess.

 

I also disagree with the designer’s general tone; would a designer of that era be so cocksure about form over function, when the PC industry wouldn’t lean that way for years?  Not just Cardiff, but the industry as a whole is still working out the details of making a functional and affordable PC for the mass market; the luxury of design- much less the “Apple” aesthetic- simply hasn’t been earned yet by improvements in technology.  The iMac for example wasn't even released until 1998, much less those iconic devices like the iPod, iPhone, etc.  I recall homebuilt PCs up through the early 2000's were predominantly that plain beige case and flat design.

 

Edited to add:

Um... well shoot... I apparently messed up the episode number, and I don't see an option to edit the thread title.  Hoping a mod can fix that, or at least port my comment to the official episode thread when and if it shows up. :)

Edited by hincandenza
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he couldn’t have always been this way and somehow held down a job and raised a family for years with an amazing wife, but whoever Gordon was, the guy has completely snapped.  Poor Donna…

 

 

His behavior in tonight's show gave me the impresion that he dealt with the end of the Symphonic computer with behavior that was considerably more worrying than having too many beers and moping a lot, especially when I consider the comments from Donna and her parents about that time. It seems I missed the falling anvils. 

 

 

I did really like the twist that she made the first move on her boss, and that that her boss turned her down gracefully and confirmed that he is a total mensch, and wasn’t just trying to get into her pants with all the flattery.  He really does see her as capable and valued as an employee.  So, he’s basically a unicorn, especially in 1983. :)

 

 

I was convinced we were going to see him sexually harrass her or manipulate her into an affair. I was hugely surprised that his motives weren't sleazy, that he really did genuinely appreciate her work.

 

 

I wonder if Joe and Bosworth will have to buy into the PC to keep it going? Bos seems willing, though Nathan was in no hurry to take his money and thought the idea was absurd. 

Edited by yuggapukka
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Man! I hate that I was right about Cameron falling for Joe. But it supports my thought she's been playing at the angsty, independent thing. She may not know that she is, though. Lately, I've been hearing so many 35ish plus women saying "oh and there was that time I went goth in the 90s", that I bet there was a similar thing in the 80s. But as someone said last week, I don't like that she can't just be an independent, talented asshole. She has to be this weepy plaything for Joe underneath it all.

 

Otherwise, this whole episode felt like a giant step back. I hate that they put Donna in the spot of being in the wrong. It was a nice twist. But still. Can she ever win?She deserves it! Gordon's just tragic. And you couldn't project that your PC department was going to run out of money sooner than a few weeks out?! Really? Why is this a surprise?

 

As for Joe and his ex, I can't help but feel that the relationship was just about completely one-sided in any way that matters. I'd need to rewatch (and I don't care to) to hear Joe's side. But I got the feeling that it was more of a Joe was stringing him along to advance professionally and personally, and at the very most, Joe maybe was attracted to the dude's talent. As opposed to Joe being in love with him but fearing his sexuality and society and all of that.

 

I don't know. That's electric shock sex thing was almost so out of nowhere that I almost gave up on the show on the spot.

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Wow. They should have called this, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!"

 

Surprise: Cameron and Joe. Cameron is really serious about Joe. Joe was fairly honest with Cameron about his relationship with the designer, without her prodding him. Joe defends Cameron to Church, stating she's the future and better than him at her age, as well pretty much saying she IS the project. More surprise; he had a serious relationship with Church, and he was genuinely upset to learn Church was ill. Yet he went back to Cameron, and answered her question about whether he'd get bored with her honestly and then proceeded to put his arm around her, apparently to comfort her. I might learn to like him.

 

No surprise: Cameron still acting childish.

 

Surprise: Donna and her boss. SHE makes the move. He declines! Never saw that coming. Although, I have to say he seemed to be leading her on. What was she supposed to think? I was relieved nothing happened, and I hope her job isn't in jeopardy. While it's nice to know the boss isn't an opportunistic snake, I'm embarrassed for her.

 

Surprise: Bosworth is very invested in the project for the project's sake. More surprise - I like him now. He decks the smartmouth on Joe's behalf! Never saw that coming! Maybe it wasn't him who had Joe beat up.

 

No surprise: Gordon continues to be a jerk, even though he certainly has a point about "making the product fit the suit." Not so strange that he hit the roof on that, but once again a mess on the home front. He did surprise me when he was practicing his speech and still knew exactly what Donna was saying to him, as well as being able to make stew. He disses Donna's suggestion about Church's design itself being able to overcome the heat sink problem. Typical Gordon. However, it must be tough to have his wife constantly out-thinking him. Her MarySue perfection seems to be getting to him. "No one's going to tell us what to eat."

 

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when he went off the deep end, digging the hole, but I was. And, yes, it sure did look for all the world like a grave. Not so subtle. At least he has the decency to be bothered by leaving the electrocuted man in the street.


Did he imply as much he was talking to Joe at the hotel that he had already decided in his mind to move forward when he was first flying in, or not?  I thought his words said as much, with "Aren't you going to ask me?" etc, but I really am not sure.  They always have the garbage bag plan as a backup, I guess.

 

 

Yes, I believe he does intend to complete it. He said, "I set it up before I even got on the plane."

Edited by renatae
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Man, I am sick to death of Gordon, what is his problem? Why would Donna hook up with this guy, never mind marry him & have his kids. We still don't know what the deal with Joe is either, and why is Joe suddenly obsessed with this computer? Since there's only 3 more episodes this season, I'll tough it out in the hopes we get some information, but then I'm done.

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Man, I think it's official, now: I hate Gordon more then either Joe or Cameron.  I feel like there really is something wrong with this guy, and we're slowly, but surely, seeing this dark-side he always kept bottled in.  The man is insane, an asshole, and continues to suck as a a family man.  I really want this season to end with Donna taking a page from fellow AMC show wives, like Betty Draper and Skyler White, and just flat-out saying "I want a divorce!" to him, at the end.  There has to be better options out there for you, Donna.  Just maybe not your boss, because that blew up in your face, in humiliating fashion.

 

Joe/Cameron continues to bore me.  The electric shock foreplay just made me laugh and laugh.  But, the final scene in the cab was actually well done and even a bit touching.  Can't believe I'm saying that about a scene involving a smug sociopath and an immature brat.  And with this reveal over Joe/Church, I continue to wonder if Joe really is bi-sexual, or if he was just trying to get closer to Church, to benefit himself on a professional level.  Then again, I wonder if Joe ever even had a sexual relationship with anyone, that doesn't involve alliterative motives.

 

John is now starting to get more involved with the project and starting to believe in it.  Curious to see if we're going to continue to see him go against all the "good old boy" backers, and side with the rag-tag gang. I do like how the show has made his character interesting, and not an one-note "boss" character.

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John is now starting to get more involved with the project and starting to believe in it.  Curious to see if we're going to continue to see him go against all the "good old boy" backers, and side with the rag-tag gang. I do like how the show has made his character interesting, and not an one-note "boss" character.

 

John's been a pretty awesome guy the whole time, with the only knock against him really the suspicion that he had Joe beaten up by his cop buddies.  I'm still not convinced one way or another- less so when now that he defended Joe when Ken insulted him in the strip club- so if you ignore that one possibility, he's been one of the most likeable and relatable characters.  In-universe, the troops even voted him to turn on the "Giant" over people like Joe, Gordon, or Cameron, so he must have his fans in the Cardiff workplace.

 

Which is a shame, because when- not if- this whole project crashes and burns, he'll probably be one of the worst off for it.  Joe will snake away to charm some other hapless company, Cameron is talented enough to eventually settle in at a great job with another company (if she can reign in her adolescent angst, I can see her eventually being in a company photo like this one), and even the hapless Gordon has the amazing Donna to keep bailing him out and righting his ship.  But John?  Cardiff already seems ready to axe him when this thing fizzles, but jesus, if the poor guy remortgages his house- he'll wind up both divorced and in financial ruin when the dust settles.

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I think Joe is sexually attracted to perceived genius, but, as we saw a couple of episodes ago, is not beyond using sex to get what he wants. He should have asked more about the ex's illness, but that wasn't always what was done back then. Cameron being in the dark as to being at risk doesn't bode well for her future either.

  I liked that the Donna situation was almost the reverse, where, unlike Cameron or Joe, Donna WAS being credited for her non-sexual abilities. I suppose I should fault her for making the first step toward adultery, but I hate Gordon, so she gets a pass from me.

 

we knew she played, but I know professional pianists who wouldn’t get up and play like that, much less at a fancy restaurant, because it’s simply rude and presumptive.

ITA! Took me right out of the scene!

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Fun fact: the original Cardiff Giant is on display at the Farmer's museum in Cooperstown NY. It too weighs more than 15 lbs.

 

SHE makes the move. He declines!

 

Eek, I'm sorry to say I lived through something like that my ownself back around the same time. A fella I worked flirted like crazy with me, stood too close, praised too much, and when I made the move I was sure was invited, the boom? She was lowered. Some guys really don't like women to be bold, despite their protestations to the contrary. Less so now than way back then, I think. But way back then? Gender roles were still pretty straitjacketed.

 

Where was Donna's conference that she could get home only a couple of hours later, either by driving her rental, or getting a late flight? Or are we on the special timespace continuum that exists only on teevee?

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Romantic-puppy-dog does not look good on Joe. I hope his deep, dark secret isn't just that he plays for both teams. That might be a big deal in 1983 (though, perhaps a bit anachronistic is Cameron's very open-minded, it's-all-good-love-who-you-want reaction -- it would probably be a bit of a shock to find out the dude you're dating, who looks like the Preppy-turned-Yuppy poster child, used to date men), it's hardly a shocking reveal to a modern audience.

Gordon continues his efforts to be dubbed the world's most useless husband. And coworker. And human. Kudos, Gordon. Kudos.

Glad that they flipped expectations and had Donna make the inappropriate move. You don't often see the female subordinate making an unwanted/unreciprocated move on her male boss.

ETA:

Where was Donna's conference that she could get home only a couple of hours later, either by driving her rental, or getting a late flight? Or are we on the special timespace continuum that exists only on teevee?

They were in Lubbock -- home of Texas Tech and lots of cotton. It's probably at least a six-hour drive back to Dallas. So, yeah, not really driveable. And, it's a pretty desolate drive, at least the first part, so in a pre-cell phone age, not something a woman driving alone would likely do at night. And, as noted by the show, what rental car place would be open at 10pm or later? Lubbock's airport is not exactly JFK or LaGuardia, even today. Edited by annlaw78
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Music Box Dancer!

 

That was so spot on. It was played endlessly.

 

I don't like that she can't just be an independent, talented asshole. She has to be this weepy plaything for Joe underneath it all.

 

Ugh, seriously. "Are you going to get tired of me?" Gah. Cameron is really just an insecure little girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. FFS.

 

That's electric shock sex thing was almost so out of nowhere that I almost gave up on the show on the spot.

 

Same here. I was really fed up with everyone this episode—especially Gordon, who has gone beyond pathetic in into...whatever's beyond pathetic—that seeing that was nearly the straw that broke this camel's back.

 

However, it must be tough to have his wife constantly out-thinking him. Her MarySue perfection seems to be getting to him. "No one's going to tell us what to eat."

 

Ugh, again. Donna out-thinking Gordon is the only reason his household is still functioning. Shove it, dude.

 

he defended Joe when Ken insulted him in the strip club

 

That was also about Ken insulting John's wife and him being a general douche. John is one of my favorite characters.

Edited by dubbel zout
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Something tells me that Gordon is going to end up dead before this is all over.  Or at the very least, some part of him is going to die.  I feel it, but I can't quite put my finger on why.  Maybe the writers should be a little more obvious and heavy-handed with their metaphors so that there is no doubt.  </sarcasm>

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Show, it is no use having Donna tell me what a swell guy Gordon is if you're going to keep showing him being...him. It doesn't convince me of anything except that Donna must've been out of her damn mind the entire time they were in college and is now desperately trying to convince herself he isn't the complete drag on her and the rest of the world that is he so obviously is.

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Surprise: Donna and her boss. SHE makes the move. He declines! Never saw that coming. Although, I have to say he seemed to be leading her on. What was she supposed to think? I was relieved nothing happened, and I hope her job isn't in jeopardy. While it's nice to know the boss isn't an opportunistic snake, I'm embarrassed for her.

 

 

I was wondering if Donna was the geeky girl in high school and Hunt was the big shot she always had a small crush on.  Perhaps, Hunt (maybe without even knowing it) manipulated this to his advantage, because I certainly felt that we the audience were supposed to think Hunt was coming on to her.   I know this never happens in tvland but a man can compliment a woman on her professional skills and not seem like he is hitting on her.

 

Gordon has to go through so much drama for every tiny thing in his life.  He can not figure out a hardware problem without great angst and stress, when just mentioning it to Donna will allow her to come up with an useable solution.  He can not just defrost the lasagne Donna has so kindly made for him, because then how will he get drunk, make horrible stew, endanger the well being of his children, and then still have time to literally dig his own grave.  It's like that tv trope that if mommy goes out of town for a night with Dad in charge, the house will almost be destroyed, except it is not funny (I actually always found this trope pretty sexist).  I am beginning to think that Gordon is an idiot masquerading as a genius, because his saintly wife always figures out everything for him.

Edited by qtpye
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Donna must've been out of her damn mind the entire time they were in college

 

I totally buy that Donna and Gordon were madly in love with each other in college. That was before Symphonic and the real world burst their idealism. And even after Symphonic went belly up, I can see why Donna stayed. Gordon seemed even-keeled and wasn't rocking the boat anymore, even if his soul was crushed. But now? Gordon's behavior is scary, and I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable leaving the kids alone with him. That should be the thing that makes Donna wonder if she'd be better off getting out of the marriage.

 

I hate what they're doing to Gordon, btw. It's fine if he's difficult or fed up with Joe or whatever, but there also needs to be some sort of counter to all of that. Let him successfully change the washer on the kitchen faucet, at the very least. I half expect Gordon to come into Cardiff with a gun and start shooting.

Edited by dubbel zout
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Also weird is that Cameron was apparently *still* at the gallery when Joe got there, *and* that he somehow didn’t notice her in that wide open space when he first walked in.

Just as when he walked into his office and Church was right there in his line of sight ( I reran the scene just to check), yet he turns 90 degrees and starts berating Cameron.  When he's obsessed, he's all in.

 

Show, can we grind Gordon into the ground (perhaps literally) any more?  Don't give him any redeeming qualities, make him the saddest of sad sacks.  Geez.

 

At least Donna didn't leap right into "New York, New York" or the theme from "Chariots of Fire".

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With everything going on this episode, I still felt the worst for Donna.  She comes home, sees a ransacked house with blood drops all over the floor, and finds her daughter lying motionless on the ground.  That had to be terrifying.  Then she goes outside and sees her hubby in the middle of a psychotic break digging a huge hole and rambling about finding a giant.  Seriously, Gordon has to have some mental health problem, right!?  To make matters worse, Donna absolutely humiliated herself by kissing her boss in a drunken state, only to have him turn her down.  How mortifying.  Sorry, but if he wasn't trying to lead Donna on, he was way too touchy and completely up in her personal space.  And now I'm worried that they've made it a point to tell us that the boss read the name "Susan Fairchild" somewhere.  Donna is totally going to get fired for helping on the Cardiff project, isn't she?

Edited by SonofaBiscuit
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Goodbye, show.

 

I wanted to watch a show about an early 80's company break into the highly competitive computer business, but you thought I wanted to watch a sad lunatic lose his mind and terrify his family. 

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And now I'm worried that they've made it a point to tell us that the boss read the name "Susan Fairchild" somewhere.  Donna is totally going to get fired for helping on the Cardiff project, isn't she?

I can see how Donna could misread the signals, but I also can see how Hunt might not realize he was putting them out there.  We don't know much about their relationship in high school -- if they're old friends, old flames, if he was the BMOC and she the band dork.  But we do know that they're close enough that Hunt knows her parents (and vice versa), and that she was in band.  So, cutting him some slack, his being overly familiar may be simply because they really are THAT familiar with each other, or at least.

 

That said, I think when he says in the end that feelings can get mixed up when people work together, but that most people just don't act on them, that he probably has thought about "what might have been," or had naughty thoughts.  I'll take him at his word that he wasn't planning on acting on them -- again, he knows her family, their parents may be friends, he wants to climb the TI ladder, etc.  Hunt seems like (at least at this point), a pretty decent guy.  Though I, too, sense that Donna's going to get outted as "Susan Fairchild" and canned from TI. 

 

I think the fantasy of Hunt means more to Donna than she probably means to him.  Gordon's been an insufferable, permanent mope for the past few years, and her giving him the time to follow his passion isn't helping matters -- it's just making him a more distracted, absent, and grumpy mope.  Being the "TI Power Couple" with Hunt, and having the big house with a grand piano in the living room, the country club membership, and jetting off with Hunt to the Japan office or whatever probably sounds a lot better than what she actually comes home to with Gordon most days. 

Edited by annlaw78
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Gordon is rapidly turning into the kind of guy you might read on the news about that he killed himself and his entire family.

 

I think our genius computer programmer is heading towards heart break with Joe. She is so very young and naive in a lot of ways. Joe seems to sexually collect people he finds interesting and fascinating. When he stops finding you fascinating it's bye-bye and thanks for the memories.

 

Last night while I was watching the episode on AMC during a commercial break the announcer was saying "only 3 episodes left in this season". Could this mean there is actually a chance of this show getting a second season?

Edited by magdalene
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I really wanted to love this show, but I'm just not.  I think one of the show's biggest problems (IMO) is that the characters are so unlikeable.  Gordon, Joe, and Cameron are insufferable to me.  And not in a love to hate them kind of way, but in a ugh go away kind of way.  Donna is the only one I don't dislike and that isn't enough.  This show needs major changes if it is going to survive IMO.  And I am so tired of Joe's speeches.  Just shut it, please!  I don't know what they are going for (channeling Don Draper or Steve Jobs perhaps), but it does not work and if I were one of his employees, I wouldn't be inspired, I'd be rolling my eyes and tuning him out.

 

Another pet peeve - maybe someone like Cameron would have been totally okay with Joe being bi back then, but IMO, they did that because the writers were writing from the POV of now and not wanting to be offensive.

Edited by Brooke0707
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The pilot of this show misled me into thinking it would be about the very real excitement of the pioneer days of mass computing: the open standard PC clone leading to the open standard Internet.  I thought the three principles--Joe, Gordon, Cameron--plus John would have their problems but the excitement of collaboration on something really cool and new (and profitable) resulting in a kind of creative synergy would be the main story.  The 1999 movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley," based on the actual origins of Apple and Microsoft, did a not so bad job of doing that.  "Great artists steal."  But also: "Great artists ship."  The margin of error for success in such a project in such a competitive environment is tiny.  This show is a complete disappointment.  No a single coherent or believable character.  Guess I'll stick around for the last 3 episodes out of a nagging habit to be loyal to shows, but I have no expectation of redemption.

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Yeah, I remember watching Caberet with Liza Minnelli with my AP class in high school in 1998 (my teacher was considered very forward thinking and progressive) and the class being absolutely shocked that the Maximillian character was sleeping with both a man and a woman.  It seems hard to believe that in 1983, a woman as naive and socially awkward as Cameron would just shrug off Joe's bisexuality.   Of course, maybe we will find out that Cameron is also bixsexual and therefore understands that sexuality is not always ridgidly defined.

 

Romantic-puppy-dog does not look good on Joe. I hope his deep, dark secret isn't just that he plays for both teams. That might be a big deal in 1983 (though, perhaps a bit anachronistic is Cameron's very open-minded, it's-all-good-love-who-you-want reaction -- it would probably be a bit of a shock to find out the dude you're dating, who looks like the Preppy-turned-Yuppy poster child, used to date men), it's hardly a shocking reveal to a modern audience.

 

 

Completely agree.

 

It is a little interesting to me that we finally have a show where a male character uses his sexuality to manipulate people.  We usually get sexy women in an office who are not afraid to use their looks to get ahead (the horrible Ally Mcbeal was one of the worst offenders).  Usually, men are shown as getting where they are professionally because of their skill, not because they are willing to bang whoever they need to fulfill their professional goals.  That being said, this type of desperation is not appealing in a character...no matter what the gender.

Edited by qtpye

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No surprise: Cameron still acting childish.

 

 

it's tiresome, especially when she acts with greater emotional awareness at other times. Her behavior in "borrowing" Joe's car when he had a meeting pending and sprawling out in his office was ridiculous. 

 

 

I wanted to watch a show about an early 80's company break into the highly competitive computer business, but you thought I wanted to watch a sad lunatic lose his mind and terrify his family.

 

I totally buy that Donna and Gordon were madly in love with each other in college. That was before Symphonic and the real world burst their idealism. And even after Symphonic went belly up, I can see why Donna stayed. Gordon seemed even-keeled and wasn't rocking the boat anymore, even if his soul was crushed. But now? Gordon's behavior is scary, and I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable leaving the kids alone with him. That should be the thing that makes Donna wonder if she'd be better off getting out of the marriage.

 

Honestly, The idea that Gordon's problems are more significant than self-indulgent melancholia and too much tippling was a welcome development, even if I found it uncomfortable and disturbing to watch.

 

 Donna still sees the man she fell in love with, hence her loyalty and strong affection up to this point, but she's cracking now and starting to see the possibility that this version of Gordon is his true state. A guy who takes her for granted, is unreliable, unstable even and brimming over with an unattractive sourness. Also as Gordon himself noted about her habit of losing games with her children (substitute inferiors) on purpose, her tendency to put others ahead of herself isn't necessarily a positive attribute, she'd do better in all ways if she'd make a conscious point of setting it aside as her default reaction.

 

ETA

 

Another pet peeve - maybe someone like Cameron would have been totally okay with Joe being bi back then, but IMO, they did that because the writers were writing from the POV of now and not wanting to be offensive.

 

 

I was in my teens into twenties in the eighties and the way I remember things was that attitudes were often accepting of the existance  of Gay/bi sexuality. Also if you look back, andrgenous sexuality was kind of a thing in superficial areas like make-up, fashion and  music. I don't think someone like Cameron would be bothered, beyond it possibly tickling some jealousy.

Edited by yuggapukka
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The pilot of this show misled me into thinking it would be about the very real excitement of the pioneer days of mass computing: the open standard PC clone leading to the open standard Internet.  I thought the three principles--Joe, Gordon, Cameron--plus John would have their problems but the excitement of collaboration on something really cool and new (and profitable) resulting in a kind of creative synergy would be the main story.  The 1999 movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley," based on the actual origins of Apple and Microsoft, did a not so bad job of doing that.  "Great artists steal."  But also: "Great artists ship."  The margin of error for success in such a project in such a competitive environment is tiny.  This show is a complete disappointment.  No a single coherent or believable character.  Guess I'll stick around for the last 3 episodes out of a nagging habit to be loyal to shows, but I have no expectation of redemption.

Certainly the show is not what I was expecting either. As a child I read a Pulitzer price winning book by Tracy Kidder SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE which really gripped me at the time. I don't know whether anybody here remembers this book. It was a very important and revelatory book at the time and it influenced the way I thought about computers and the people who engineer and design them.

 

So I was probably expecting or hoping that this show would be more along the lines of "Soul" (even though Kidders book is about a somewhat earlier era of computer development.

 

Let's put it this way - nobody on this show is a Tom West.

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it's tiresome, especially when she acts with greater emotional awareness at other times. Her behavior in "borrowing" Joe's car when he had a meeting pending and sprawling out in his office was ridiculous.

 

I know. It's always one step forward, two steps back with her. I knew she'd tell the cab to leave while Joe was talking with Simon.

 

her tendency to put others ahead of herself isn't necessarily a positive attribute,

 

It is for a parent. If Donna were as hapless as Gordon, the kids would be completely screwed.

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I really hope that this is all been a set up to show Gordon's mental illness. All of the blatant current day hallucinations and craziness, plus Donna's hints about what went wrong before. This is not just the wacky behavior of a driven inventor or sad sack, put upon, jealous husband/office minion. It's just way beyond that!

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It is for a parent. If Donna were as hapless as Gordon, the kids would be completely screwed.

 

 

Self-sacrifice is great when you are safeguarding your children's welfare and ensuring their happiness, not so much when you smooth out all the bumps ahead of them. It's fine for Donna to let her kids win at games so they have a good feeling about playing them, but not good for anybody if she falsely lets them see her as incapable of winning, especially when she's a highly competent person.

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Who was the guy on the cover of the magazine in John's office?  It was about a hacker and he looked an awful lot like a younger Joe, but with a different name.  Or was I just seeing things?  I wouldn't be surprised if Joe McMillan isn't his real name - remember the scene at the end of the last episode when the computer asked "Who are You" and when he wrote "Joe McMillan" the computer didn't register the answer.  Maybe that's foreshadowing...or maybe I'm trying to read something extraordinary into an ordinary show.  I'm not sure yet.

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Who was the guy on the cover of the magazine in John's office?

 

It's a real person named Neal Patrick who was affiliated with a group known as the 414's and that was an actual Newsweek cover.

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I hate what they're doing to Gordon, btw. It's fine if he's difficult or fed up with Joe or whatever, but there also needs to be some sort of counter to all of that. Let him successfully change the washer on the kitchen faucet, at the very least. I half expect Gordon to come into Cardiff with a gun and start shooting.

 

Speaking of guns, am I the only one who still wonders whether the cray-cray neighbor with the shotgun might return and do something insane? 

 

I was glad to see some empathy from Joe in this ep. He seemed genuinely upset that his ex was ill. 

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I wrote a reply a little while ago and poof it vanished.

--was surprised like most others that it turned out to be Donna and not Hunt who

made the first move. But I still think Hunt is going to come on to her and not take no

for an answer. There's something about the way that actor is playing this role that

makes me think Hunt is an abuser. Something is off about him, and scary. But the

dialogue he's given isn't. He says all the right things to Donna. But I don't believe them

Well, he looks a lot like the guy who played Dr. Rapist, Joan's ex, on Mad Men.

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did really like the twist that she made the first move on her boss, and that that her boss turned her down

 

Hated it, and the fact he turned her down was just too unbelievable considering he's been sniffing around her last number of episodes.

 

 

Also weird is that Cameron was apparently *still* at the gallery when Joe got there, *and* that he somehow didn’t notice her in that wide open space when he first walked in.

 

Yes it was and it almost takes you out of the episode, talk about continuity mistakes jeebus.

 

 

’m glad they didn’t explicitly say that designer had AIDS

 

Thought I was watching in a different show altogether with those scenes. I'm really glad they didn't but yeah didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was wrong with him.

 

Few eppy's left thank goodness. And the less said about Gordon the better, how the heck is he not in a nut house by now? His poor kids.

 

Not one character on this show is believable and I'm amazed they got this far in life doing anything remotely productive. 

 

Guess I'm watching now out of curiosity how it will end.

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As a child I read a Pulitzer price winning book by Tracy Kidder SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE which really gripped me at the time. I don't know whether anybody here remembers this book. It was a very important and revelatory book at the time and it influenced the way I thought about computers and the people who engineer and design them.

 

Ooo! Ooo! Mister Kotter! Me! me me!

 

I read it in college (required as part of a computer course), and LOVED it. I remember an auction at the Boston Computer Museum where they had a signed copy by the author and all the people mentioned in the book. It went for $300 (late-80s).

 

You're right that there is no Tom West. In fact, they should have made a miniseries about the book if they wanted to capture the 80s computer rush (albeit, it was the twilight of the mainframes).

 

Sorry, show. Joe may be bi with a lover with AIDS in the early 80s. He's still a psycho asshole to me.

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I was in my teens into twenties in the eighties and the way I remember things was that attitudes were often accepting of the existance  of Gay/bi sexuality. Also if you look back, andrgenous sexuality was kind of a thing in superficial areas like make-up, fashion and  music. I don't think someone like Cameron would be bothered, beyond it possibly tickling some jealousy.

This is probably an area of mileage varying, but I'm a bit surprised that Joe was so open and honest with Cameron about his bisexuality.  That's the sort of thing that I think he would guard pretty closely back in 1983.

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This is probably an area of mileage varying, but I'm a bit surprised that Joe was so open and honest with Cameron about his bisexuality.  That's the sort of thing that I think he would guard pretty closely back in 1983.

Unfortunately, it's Joe. We can't trust anything he says, even if he seems open and honest. He might just be playing at bisexual to get what he wants in any given situation, his own version of "gay for pay".

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I'm a bit surprised that Joe was so open and honest with Cameron about his bisexuality.  That's the sort of thing that I think he would guard pretty closely back in 1983.

 

I think the cat was already out of the bag when she asked him outright and he knows that Cameron tends to be more of a loose cannon when she thinks something is off about the answers she's getting.

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Unfortunately, it's Joe. We can't trust anything he says, even if he seems open and honest. He might just be playing at bisexual to get what he wants in any given situation, his own version of "gay for pay"

True; I thought it the events with Jean Smart's toy boy were a bit more interesting, viewed through the lens of Joe's being strictly opposite-sex oriented, and willing to do anything he had to in furtherance of his dream, the "gay for pay" thing. 

 

 

I think the cat was already out of the bag when she asked him outright and he knows that Cameron tends to be more of a loose cannon when she thinks something is off about the answers she's getting.

I just expected Joe would at least try to lie and keep it private.  As you said, Cameron is a loose cannon, and prone to immature outbursts.  I wouldn't want to confide something in Cameron that could potentially tank my career/reputation, as being gay in the very macho Cardiff Electronics in 1983 might be.  Bosworth didn't punch out Ken in defense of Joe's homosexuality, but because Ken impugned Joe's manhood by calling him "queer" (or at least that's my take on it). 

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I think one thing that makes Cameron prone to immature outbursts is knowing she's being lied to, or when someone is dismissive with her. The outbursts and stupid pranks are her way of pushing back. I also think a lot of those outbursts are coming from a place of insecurity. She doesn't have a lot of consistent support in either her personal or professional life.

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I don't think Gordon is all that bad.

It's not really that I like him or dislike him.

I'm just very interested in what the hell he's going to do next. But I haven't

seen enough to conclude he is a 100 percent asshole. He seems to talk decently

to his kids. He doesn't talk down to Donna, does he? I know he takes her for

granted, is totally self-absorbed. He's not a hero. But he keeps me guessing.

 

 

I hugely appreciate what the actor is doing in the role. He has no reservations about being all the way in with portraying Gordon's flaws and weakness. There is no vanity in that performance. Seeing how good Scoot is in the role is what makes Gordon watchable for me. I frequently have to look at him through my fingers. It's rather wonderful that such a milquetoast character leaves me so thoroughly horrified. He really gets to me on a visceral level. You can almost smell the fear rolling off of him, along with some beer sweat. (ew) I don't hate the charcter I feel hugely sorry for him and want him to get some control over himself and his life. Also, the biggest complaint about him is how he takes Donna for granted and lets her down. I adore Donna, Donna loves Gordon, so what I really want to see is Gordon getting to be more like the man she believed she married. 

Edited by yuggapukka
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I hugely appreciate what the actor is doing in the role. 

I have to disagree with you on this. If I'm watching something & I start thinking about what a good job the actor is doing, my opinion is that they're doing a crap job. I'm not supposed to be able to see them act, I'm only supposed to see their characters.

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If I'm watching something & I start thinking about what a good job the actor is doing, my opinion is that they're doing a crap job. I'm not supposed to be able to see them act, I'm only supposed to see their characters.

 

 

 

If I find myself completely drawn in by a character's reality, whether repulsive or appealing, have a strong reaction to it and afterwards am struck by how natural and effortless it seemed, I'm fairly certain that what I was watching was a strong performance, not self-conscious acting choices. 

Edited by yuggapukka
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magdalene, I'd really like to see a second season but the ratings are abysmal. "Giant" got a 0.26 in the demo, which is *below* Rubicon and Low Winter Sun territory. But AMC is still promoting it, so we'll see.

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This show is really starting to lose me I will probably watch the rest of the season, but if it is back next year I probably won't be. I really don't care about the Cameron/Joe relationship drama. The electrocution sex was stupid as was the scene of her crying in the cab. If I wanted to see something like that I would just watch my wife's old 90210 DVD's. When she asked Joe if he would get tired of her I really wanted him to say "probably".

 

The only scene that was really interesting to me was when Gordon was meeting with his team. I mean they basically told him that their machine was slower, heavier and more expensive than they had wanted. But it seemed nothing came of it. The whole case design thing made no sense to me. I mean would someone like Joe's ex really design as case for a computer, and then prepare to have it made, without even making sure the computer could actually fit inside it? And even though the contrail name is stupid, the Cardiff Giant is just as stupid. Especially based on Gordon's story about how the Cardiff Giant was a man-made hoax.

 

And wow Gordon is crazy, kind of weird to see that this kind of thing would develop this late in his life. He is still an asshole though. The scene that sealed it was at the beginning. His wife wakes him up to tell him he is screaming in his sleep, he wakes up and finds out his kids are freaking out and his wife is still working on a work thing, and instead of checking on his kids, he goes back to sleep. And I really still have no idea what Donna ever saw in Gordon. I guess part of it was his genius, but I doubt he would have been the only computer genius at Berkeley.

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Fun fact: the original Cardiff Giant is on display at the Farmer's museum in Cooperstown NY. It too weighs more than 15 lbs.

Yeah, I'm not seeing how naming the computer after an obscure hoax is a good thing.  Nor, if they are going for portability and ease, why referring to something large and bulky is good.  Gordon, leave the branding to someone who knows better.  Contrail is actually a pretty interesting name, suggesting speed, leaving competitors in its wake, leaving its mark on the field.  It also has a pleasing alliterative sound with Cardiff and computer, and there are plenty of other "con-" words for other models. 

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