Movies & TV

Halt and Catch Fire

Halt and Catch Fire is the latest series from AMC, continuing their run as the channel for innovating drama series. (TNT might know drama but AMC could teach a class in it.) Halt and Catch Fire takes place in the early 80’s when computers were just beginning to be found in everyone’s home. The first episode centers around computer engineer Gordon Clark, salesman Joe MacMillan, and young proto-punk Cameron Howe. Joe is a visionary that reads an article of Gordon’s that prompts him to seek out Gordon and convince him to reverse engineer the BIOS on one of IBM’s computers.

That’s what the show is about, but is it worth your time?

After watching the first episode, I can say that it probably is. The characters are believable and mostly likeable. It is interesting that this show takes place in Texas. In the early 80’s, the home PC market was very much like the frontier. There were various computer companies out there, but the big two were Apple and IBM with IBM the bigger of the two. These smaller companies could bring a PC to market but the standard was IBM. One problem with being the biggest and best is that many times, innovation is pushed aside in favor of the status quo. A lot can be said for the status quo, we need it for stability. We also need those people that see things differently and think why not.

From left: Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis and Toby Huss. (image courtesy of

From left: Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis and Toby Huss. (image courtesy of

Halt and Catch Fire stars Lee Pace (The Hobbit Trilogy, The Twilight Saga), Scoot McNairy (Argo, Monsters), and Mackenzie Davis. In lesser hands, any of these characters could have turned into caricatures, but here they are not…or at least in the first episode.

I am interested to see what becomes of this show. With the loss of Mad Men next year and that chemistry teacher meth show last year, they have holes to fill in their line up.

(For those wondering about the name of the show, you might want to check out this link. The more you know!)

Halt and Catch Fire premiers Sunday, June 1st on AMC or you can click here to watch a sneak preview of the full first episode.