Together again, the group debates whether the Internet and the World Wide Web will amount to anything and if they should make it their newest project, assuming they can overcome resentment over their past conflicts.



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Donna is able to persuade Cameron to meet about the project, the meeting to take place coinciding with Cameron and Tom's trip to the States to visit with family over the Christmas holidays. Donna feels forced to invite Joe if only to appease Cameron. Joe, in turn, invites Gordon, believing he having useful input seeing that they worked together on the NSFNET project. And Cameron invites Tom. The project, as Donna initially lays out to them and which uses Gordon and Joe's work on the NSFNET as the impetus, is to create a means for all the individual networks worldwide to be connected to each other - the world wide web or the Internet or whatever else they may want to call it. Those around the table each are excited by certain aspects but have some issue with the project, whether it be defining purpose, having conflicting visions of form, having issues with timing, or other issues. Joe brings important information to the table based on a conference he recently attended about relatively ... Written by Huggo

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11 October 2016 (USA)  »

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At the conference when they first talk about their plans Gordon mentions the "disgraced megalomaniac." He's talking about Steve Jobs who had been booted out of Apple Computer (the company he co-founded) at which point he then founded NeXT Computer, the machine talked about and later shown at the end. Like the Macintosh, the NeXT was ahead of its time, but bugged by a series of technical issues and a hefty price tag, it was never a success. In the late 90's, when Apple was in desperate shape and facing possible bankruptcy, it bought NeXT Computer and used its technology to reinvigorate the company. With Jobs also back on board as chairman, Apple rebounded and eventually become the biggest company in the world. See more »


Joe MacMillan: Let's get started. Berners-Lee wrote HTML to view and edit the Web, HTTP so that it could talk to itself. The chatter could be cacophonous. It could be deafeningly silent. Big picture what will the World Wide Web become? Short answer who knows?
Donna Emerson: Okay, so, what's your point?
Joe MacMillan: It's a waste of time to try to figure out what the Web will become. We just don't know. Because right now, at the end of the day, it's just an online research catalogue running on NeXT computers on a small network in Europe.
Cameron Rendon: ...
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References The Jazz Singer (1980) See more »


Still on Fire
Written by Anders Trentemøller
[Series theme music played during the opening title card and opening pre-commercial credits]
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Season 3 ends and wraps up a lot of story-lines
29 October 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

* * * HERE BE SPOILERS * * * (If you haven't seen the finale to Season 3, you may not want to continue.)

Season 3 of HCF ended as if it were the series finale. Many story-lines were wrapped up, even though AMC has committed to a fourth (and final) 10-episode season in 2017.

The final episode of Season 3 felt like a stage play, with mainly just Joe, Gordon, Cameron, and Donna sharing the screen (along with Cameron's new husband). The group was huddled in the former Mutiny office mapping out what would eventually become the Internet. (Bosworth was last seen as somewhat happily retired, living with his VC girlfriend, sailing and spending weekends in Napa Valley.)

This seemed like it could be a logical conclusion for the series, as Season 3 actually felt a bit rushed. At one point, we fast-forward 4 years to see Gordon and Donna divorced, Cameron living in Japan, and Joe doing whatever he does to survive. A pretty abrupt leap in the middle of a season telegraphed that the producers might want to tie things up quickly. And yet, it seemed there were a lot of details left out - at times, it felt like there was an episode or two missing.

The strength of HCF has been when the 5 principals are all together (Joe, Gordon, Boz, Cam, and Donna), even though they are often at each other's throats. Season 2 lost that energy when it split them apart. But Season 3 brought them back together again, while tackling lot of tech ground - early generations of online gaming, e-commerce, social media, hacking, privacy, and anti-virus software. That's a LOT to process in one season.

Gordon is still dealing with his advancing neurological issues, though we don't know exactly what he is suffering from now. We just know he passes out occasionally and keeps a diary of symptoms. To complicate his life, his now-teenage daughter is becoming more strong-willed and difficult.

The death of Ryan the coder was not a surprise - you could feel it coming. But the real revelation is how it impacts Joe. Even Joe says something to the effect that "even I don't want to work with Joe McMillan anymore". Has Joe finally changed or is this the same pattern we've seen before?

A welcomed light touch was the re-introduction of the printer salesmen from Comdex where the Giant was being shown for the first time. This time, these guys are selling (badly) their "Sprinter", or S-Printer as Joe called it. That was a reach back into the series' past that was unexpected, light, and enjoyable. They resisted the temptation to revisit any of the old Cardiff days, except in dialog reminiscing about how it all started.

As the last episode of Season 3 wrapped, we are led to believe we are witnessing the birth of the Internet. If HCF stopped there, it would have been enough. Season 3 ends in 1990 - the 1980's are over. Like "Mad Men", this would have been an opportunity to end this chapter and let the viewers speculate what would be in store for the cast.

So how do these disparate personalities integrate with tech in Season 4? Is there another time jump that gets the show to the early days of personal tech? (Think of the first-generation Palm Pilot or Apple's Newton.) That would put the focus back on hardware, where HCF started. Or does it leap further, to the early days of Blackberry, the Motorola Flip Phone, and all the pre-smartphone tech? Or is it the rise of Amazon, AOL, or pre-Facebook social media? Knowing HCF, they are liable to tackle as much as possible.

And what of Apple? Much of HCF is framed in light of the rise and fall (and eventual re-birth) of Apple. Yes, there are references to IBM, Nintendo, Sega, Commodore, and Coleco, but Apple always seems to be in the forefront of the show. So is Joe Steve Jobs and is Gordon Steve Wozniak? Or does it really matter?

HCF's ratings for Season 3 were down pretty significantly from last year (like -35%), so one has to wonder if AMC will stay true to its Season 4 commitment. It's likely they'll keep their word, but if not, Season 3 ended satisfyingly enough that it wouldn't leave us hanging.

So what will be in store for the final 10 shows? Will HCF give its characters some sense of closure, or just keep them repeating past mistakes? Does Gordon live through all 10 shows? Does Joe self-destruct beyond redemption? Will Donna and Cameron rule as the Valley's most influential women? And do those guys EVER sell their "Sprinter"?

Stay tuned - no pressure.

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