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.
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