• atlasmb1 June 2014
    10/10
    Promising Premise
    After watching the pilot for this AMC series, I am interested in seeing more. The story is alleged to be largely true. It involves an unlikely trio who are bound together in an attempt to create a market-worthy personal computer. The year is 1983 and IBM rules the market.

    First, there is Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace), a type A rainmaker from New York whose opinion of himself may only be eclipsed by his ability to sell anything to anybody. He lands a job at Cardiff Electric in Texas and promises to overhaul their sales figures. But does he have deeper, perhaps darker, plans?

    Joe aligns himself with one of Cardiff's corporate drones, Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy), an apathetic near-alcoholic who would seem to have nothing to offer. But Joe sees something in Gordon and challenges him to think beyond the meager circumstances of his conformist life. It's a dangerous gambit for Gordon, whose wife wants nothing more than conformity and reliability.

    Joe also crosses paths with a young woman named Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis), a self-sufficient young woman who lives outside society's rules, though not very profitably. Though she is extremely experienced at working with computers and code, she spends her time playing video games in an arcade and scoffing at conformity and the rules of society. Physically, she reminds me of Mary Stuart Masterson in "Some Kind of Wonderful".

    Each of the three may possess a particular kind of genius. Or they may just be destined losers; it is difficult to tell.

    Joe's plan involves reverse engineering an IBM PC and then--well, it is difficult to tell just where his plan may lead them, but it will undoubtedly be a risky enterprise. Can he be the glue that holds this volatile team together? After watching the pilot for "Halt and Catch Fire", I am willing to watch and find out. It's a compelling premise and the actors are very watchable.

    After you fire a shot across the bow of IBM, how do you keep them from raiding your enterprise?

    Update: Now that I have watched a few episodes, I am happy to report that each of the various primary actors are being fleshed out and they have their own story lines and characteristics. Joe, as anticipated, is a force of nature.

    Further update 6/30/14: There is good writing and there is writing so good you wish you had written it. H&CF falls into the latter class. I am upgrading my vote to 10.
  • ramair35023 July 2014
    10/10
    Top notch drama, excellent writing and acting, give it a chance
    This is an incredibly intelligent drama on AMC, which in my opinion is better than Mad Men, and equal to some of the best dramas on this or any other network (including HBO).

    The acting is A+. The characters come off as real people, with real feelings, and complicated motivations. Again, these characters really "pop" with the same clarity as any of the other great dramatic TV shows.

    The sets (early 80s) are right on the money, and the writing is intelligent and clearly benefits from knowledge of those who lived and breathed the computer industry in the early 80s. But just like any of the great dramas, the show isn't really about computers (any more than Mad Men is about advertising, Friday Night Lights football, and so on). This is an original drama that really delivers, folks.

    I am incredibly upset at the lack of ratings. I feel that AMC perhaps didn't promote the show properly, or maybe launching in the summer was a miss. If AMC will give this show real legs with a season 2 renewal, without a doubt this will climb the ranks as one of the next great TV shows and will have a healthy run. Please give it a chance!

    *****

    UPDATE - much to my surprise and joy, the show shall return next summer for Season 2! Maybe there is a god after all ...

    *****

    UPDATE #2 - unbelievable; Season 3 has been ordered! THANK YOU AMC! I am a believer in the AMC network; they have the balls and bills to keep an excellent show going, despite viewership that is not exactly strong (but the passion of the viewers that turn in is quite high). Can't wait!
  • ace_m1 June 2014
    9/10
    Better than Jobs
    Just watched the Pilot - pretty slick stuff. Nothing ground-breaking, but solid fundamentals all there - plot, acting, script, prod design, music, pacing (no pun intended, lol). Speaking of Pace, the guy has presence and this attractive intensity about him that makes for a dynamic character. Also, already showing good character development, good plot devices, and intrigue. I always found the history of the evolution of computers and the internet and cell phones to be fascinating, and this looks to be another engaging foray into that often inaccessible world. They even manage to explain the technical and legal jargon well enough. On an unrelated note, I can't get over the fact that I think Mackenzie Davis is a dead ringer for a young Robin Wright. Looks like she could be the American Lisbeth Salander albeit with just a tad bit less edge. Decent music too, and I love anything 80's anyways. Best TV techie show since the underrated TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. So good so far, looks like another winner for AMC.
  • xhidden9910 July 2017
    Cameron Howe is a terrible character who wouldn't last a day in the real world
    Sorry but being the hard criminal bisexual angry i hate you i hate this job this product this company genius doesn't actually exist in the real world. The reality is that there are tons of talented engineers who could do her job w/o the nonsense. The mythos that smart people are psychotic criminal masterminds who perform oral sex on their boss just to prove a point is just that, a myth. In the real world engineers hire engineers who do boring mundane competent engineer things. The scene in ep2 where she brushes her teeth is actually weird because we're supposed to think that she brushes her teeth with bourbon and flosses with a switchblade. While saving dolphins and puppies.

    Really? Because that's crazy. And I can appreciate artistic license but it's old and tired predictable and boring.
  • englevakten4 August 2014
    10/10
    After watching Season One, it's a 10 out of 10 and wanting more!
    This show catches the nostalgic momentum that so many of us old school geeks long for.

    Why we got into computers to begin with. Why we spend extensive time playing with our electronics. Our type, we're here in abundance, and the need to get the word out that this is a "real" feel good reason why we got hooked to begin with... It often takes multiple seasons before you really catch the eye of a target group, but the production of HACF gets the attention of so many others in addition. Us, the geeks, we've just been waiting for a series that gets into the heart of why and how the society started with electronic niche needs... Just like Hackers and somewhat Silicon Valley HACF gives the feeling of consent and belonging from a time when the concept of using a computer for more than spreads was frowned upon.

    The whole concept has so much to build on; the series can come together again. But it doesn't need to. Take any one of those paths at the end of the season, and there's a new story just waiting to be told. Keep it on the air. And if no, just know some other production is going to milk the concept!

    Englevakten
  • Catherine Rhodes20 June 2014
    10/10
    Excellent show with great cast
    I love this show. Very smartly written and well acted. We've all seen shows with a charming, ruthless character but Joe Macmillan takes it to a new level. That's what the tryst with Lulu's boyfriend was all about in Ep. 3. No, Joe Macmillan is not gay, but he will do anything to win, including seducing the boyfriend to sabotage the deal with Lulu. That scene was misunderstood by most commenters.

    Given how many mediocre shows (anything on USA network) and dumb "Real Housewives" reality TV and derivative cop shows are out there, I'm thrilled that "Halt" came along. I just hope that it makes it to a second season. I'm still not over "Rubicon" being canceled.
  • Richard Ronteltap16 April 2017
    5/10
    Such high hopes, but ... argh!
    Warning: Spoilers
    To start off, I'm a Computer Science graduate that has been with the computer / internet industry since about the dawn of the PC (Apple ][). I really wanted to see this series because it would depict all the exiting innovations and dramatic battles what I have witnessed up close. And that have influenced my life greatly. . I've watched all 3 seasons now, reluctantly. And I must say, I'm *very* disappointed. Sure, the series is well made, and the acting is okay. But the main subject of the series, the tech industry, is almost completely pushed aside by unnecessary personal drama. The "soap opera" tactics, used to make this series interesting for a broader audience I presume, include: 1 Numerous inter-colleague affairs, 2 Bi-sexuality, 3 Life threatening illness, 4 Suicide, 5 Major crimes, 6 Always working behind each others backs, 7 Never listening to reason, never consult beforehand, 7 always make your life-changing decision in a snap. It's like watching "As the World Turns" with some tech thing happening once in a while. . Come on, script writers, you are better than this! You don't need all this cr*p to make it good. The tech industry has plenty of drama to make it interesting in itself. It's brutal, exciting, and even wrecks personal lives... Please do a better job for the next season and stick to the subject. Thank you.
  • Hazman Stinger2 May 2015
    9/10
    Addictive and Timeless
    A show with one of the best intros I've ever seen; this was a prelude of what was to come. Off the bat, the entire 80s nostalgia hits you hard. Lee, Gordon, and Cameron are the ultimate alter-egos and boy did the producers hit the nail on the digital head. The show has everything from corporate intrigue, personal rivalry, clashing visions, and historic technological developments. Over all I loved how they were able to stay loyal to the historic era from clothes to cars to hairstyles. To conclude this is a highly addictive story and character development is excellent. Very much looking forward to season 2, this is a must watch!!!
  • Zando7775 August 2014
    8/10
    Good Show, Better than Mad Men.
    I was initially skeptical of the goofy title, but ultimately grew to really like this show. (Ended up joining mid-season, and binge-watching 5 episodes in one night.) For anyone who lived through the early 80's and the computer developments of that time, it's an interesting show, with interesting, complicated, realistic characters. I personally like it more than Breaking Bad or Mad Men (though not as much as True Detective.

    AMC would be stupid not to give this one more year -- most good non-network shows take awhile to "catch fire", and this one will likely pick up steam over the next year.

    I personally grew up on Tron, my 1983 TI994A, the Apple II, etc. I remember seeing an ad in a magazine for one of the first ever home computers, and simply getting turned on. I never ended up becoming a major techie, but I remember the excitement of something new, which eventually would end up changing all of our lives, opening up new communications and opportunities. An instructive series for anyone who didn't live through it, and a nice nostalgic piece for those who did. While also addressing the always exciting ideas of love, creativity and entrepreneurship.

    Worth checking out. There aren't many good, well-written, gripping shows on TV - this is one of them. And one of the only ones today with Breaking Bad and the Sopranos gone, and Mad Men ending.
  • macktan8942 June 2014
    7/10
    Give this a chance
    From watching just one episode, I'm intrigued enough to watch another. Although I'm hardly a computer specialist, I do admit that I've always been fascinated by the technology. I'm old enough to remember when they were purchased for the workplace and you had to learn commands and operate A & B drives using floppy disks. No internet. Out with the secretaries and IBM selectrics. You had to write your own reports and letters.

    One of my favorite books is Tracy Kidder's Soul of a New Machine, which won him all kinds of prizes, about the race to build the dream computer. So far, this show reminds me of that book.

    Too early to judge whether this show will work out, but I liked the first episode.
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