Halt and Catch Fire

A show set in the 80s, with the dawn of personal computing as the setting? Holy shit, it’s as if a show creator read my mind, and created exactly the kind of show I’d love to watch. Think Mad Men, but with computers. The show debuted this past weekend, and I absolutely loved the pilot. Everything feels so right, and it has one of the best opening credit sequences I’ve seen in a while – love the music they used as well. This has the potential to become one of my new favorite shows.

Mad Men

So yes, my other favorite show is Mad Men, so right now I’m dealing with the issue of which one to watch first (Game of Thrones usually wins). It’s been a slow start to this final season, but I’m enjoying it so far, and especially enjoyed this latest episode, with Don bonding with Sally. I do think we’re about to get a lot of office turmoil fairly soon through, and I can’t wait.

What Do These Colors Mean to You?

Last night I was reading through the latest issue of Rolling Stone — really loved the cover feature on Mad Men, as well as the profile on SNL creator Lorne Michaels — and seeing how they branded the issue’s theme (“Fall Television”) made me wonder just how relevant that particular imagery really is these days. The branding in question is what you see pictured above — it appears with all of the TV-related articles in the issue — and is of course inspired by the TV test patterns of old (pictured below, and technically known as “SMPTE color bars,” as I learned through Wikipedia).

As a retro effect, it works — I certainly remember them — but has anyone under the age of 20 ever seen one? As far as I know — and keep in mind that I’ve been living in Japan for 10+ years — they haven’t been used in at least a decade, and not just because they’re not necessary anymore (in this world of digital sets), but also because we live in a world with 24-hour broadcasts.

I’m just curious as to whether it’s still a good icon or image to use when referring to TV, although I’m the first to admit that I liked how it was used, and I can’t think of anything off-hand that would work better.