The essential ingredients aren't promising: Socially maladroit people, working in isolation on keyboards. Now give me a closeup of that monitor as keystrokes appear on the screen. The thrill of typing!
How do you transcend such a notoriously dry subject? As you may have guessed from the lurid title, Halt and Catch Fire takes the histrionic route, overloading every scene, encounter, and speech with dubious intensity.
You say you want more? How about some hot geek love? Before the first commercial break in the pilot, the two most presentable protagonists are having knee-trembling sex in a storage closet. No malware jokes, please.
The show is set in 1983, and an
There's really only been one successful and satisfying drama made about computer folk -- The Social Network. And that worked primarily because of
The portentously written Halt and Catch Fire doesn't have that advantage. When Pace declaims, "Computers aren't the thing. They're the thing that gets us to the thing," the other characters must look at him with awe, as if he has just expressed something profound.
The series is also tiresomely overacted, particularly by Pace, who apparently prepared for this role by watching
Halt and Catch Fire has all the self-importance of AMC's other modern period piece, Mad Men. But it lacks the substance to make that swagger look anything but foolish.
Halt and Catch Fire
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