A Halt and Catch Fire Community
Tuesday 10:00 PM on AMC


Yesterday I saw that AMC's Halt and Catch Fire pilot appeared on the AMC website as a sneak peak (the whole episode). I couldn't resist the temptation and "BOOTED" it right up. After watching I decided to poll your thoughts and if you comment please *NO SPOILERS*.

**Also since I showed a little love on this community could you be so kind as to show yours by hitting that cute little blue/gray heart button? Thanks! **
poll

poll

I enjoyed what I have seen so far and just trying to drum up some buzz and a little discussion. Oh and Grumpyclown provided some great questions to enhance this:

- What did you think of the characters?

- Was there a lot of technobabble?

- Will you be sticking with it?

- Any weak points you'd like to see improved?

I'll give my answers in the comments below so you can too! Again please *NO SPOILERS* in the comments. :)

Comments (22)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I watched the pilot a few days ago and I lied it. The characters were believable enough, especially for that period of time. It's the time that combination of the guys that start in their garage (Apple, or Hewlett Packard) and the somewhat more modern businessman is possible.

Like @Sproxar I worked in the business in that time. So that technobabble is music to my ears. It was a time when those technical issues were at least a bit understandable. And I've got wonderful stories to tell about IBM and IBM compatible clones. I should have written a book about it.

Amongst other things, I was responsible for the purchase off all PC's for the Dutch government. When I think of my first meetings with IBM it was like in the pilot. Grey old man, always at least one more then we were and they were arrogant. We should be happy that they allowed us to buy IBM stuff, that we were allowed on jump on the riding train that IBM was.

Maybe more stories in the comments next times, after we've officially seen it.
2
Reply
Flag
Oh gosh, I liked it not lied it.
Reply
Flag
I just saw it and quite liked it. A show I can look forward to for this barren period.

I like the 3 main characters. There was a lot of techno-babble some which I had problem understanding. I am sticking to it.

I do hope they provided some background information especially to those of us who do not work for computer companies in the 80s.
Reply
Flag
I saw it, and loved it. Now I need to wait a few weeks to get more though. Bummer.

Full disclosure: I worked for several small computer companies in the 1980s, and had a ringside seat for the actual events this show is loosely based on. I also actually understand most of the so called "technobabble" being used.

The good news for non-techs is that understanding the technobabble is not required to enjoy the show. Most of the drama comes from character interaction, and when they dive into the more techy aspects, you can grasp the importance of what they are doing without understanding all the geekery.
Did you need to know how a flux capacitor worked to enjoy "Back to the Future"? No. And you don't need to know how a shift register works to enjoy this show (but feel free to look it up - most of the technobabble used here is at least real).

The stakes on this show are high. The main characters are all interesting and compelling. They make you care about what they're trying to do, even if you don't fully understand it. Of course, if you do, it's even better. The tech won't seem that unrealistic to more knowledgeable viewers. And to anyone who lived through this period, and watched upstart companies like this one slay the mighty IBM dragon, and free PCs from their attempted monopoly, it should be a nice walk down memory lane.

To avoid spoilers, I won't go into any of the events in the pilot, other than to mention that an Armadillo has a bad day, but if you watched it, and want to know more about what they're actually doing, check out these related articles:

IBM PC compatible

Clean room design

More+
1
Reply
Flag
Thanks for the link.
Reply
Flag
Thanks for those links to some backgound info. I started out (as a user) with a 80286 so some stuff is familiar, but most of the real basic technobabble is still a mystery.

But over all the episode was interesting and entertaining, so it did what an hour of TV is supposed to. Looking forward to more of this.
1
Reply
Flag
I actually looked up some terms because I was like that seems super cool and I want to know why! Also yes it's a bummer if have to wait for the next episode!!!!!
Reply
Flag
Even if the last 2 links I gave don't help much with the technobbable aspects, they illustrate the historical accuracy of show. They ain't just making this stuff up. As they say in those disclaimers before certain other shows: "The events depicted here are real. Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty/innocent".
1
Reply
Flag
I did see it and it did catch my attention, really nice I want to see how they will make the new PC.... It is full of computer stuff, IT people will like it :)....
1
Reply
Flag
I loved it. I'd heard of something similar to the work Joe and Gordon did in the garage in the Robert Cringely documentary "Triumph of the Nerds" and I'd always found this story quite interesting, so I'm glad they decided to make a show about it.

It's interesting there are lots of movies and shows about programmers, but this is the first about hardware building.

Lee Pace does know how to pick TV shows (though he has made some questionable movie choices). In my opinion he should stick to TV. Oh, and he made pies look cool, now he's making old computer tech cool again.

Just some pics for fun. (It's hard to see him as anything but that amiable piemaker...)




4
Reply
Flag
Have not seen it but judging from the comments, I think I will give it a try.

Thanks for no spoilers.
1
Reply
Flag
Reading the comments of an earlier post about this show, I noticed a lot of complaining, just based on the trailer, that there would be too much technobabble. Which made me think ...

Does all the medical mumbo jumbo really detract from the characters, plot and general entertainment value of shows like Bones, Grey's Anatomy, House? These are shows that have run for 8+ years, so people must enjoy them despite quotes like "Booth has a bigger mandible and a more prominent zygomatic than Fisher, as well as a more pronounced ratio between the width of his clavicles and his ilia." - we get the idea Brennan thinks Booth is hot.

Maybe we should give this show a chance, I'm sure that the writers don't expect us to be able reverse-engineer the BIOS of a PC to enjoy this show.
3
Reply
Flag
Yeah, there was a lot of technobabble, and despite how much I use my computer, I don't know very much about it, and so pretty much everything went over my head. It didn't take away from the acting, story, and overall drama of it all, though.
2
Reply
Flag
Agreed. I like your comparison there.
Reply
Flag

What did you think of the characters?

I think the characters are off to a good start. There is enough intrigue and some unknown that will draw me back for more. Joe (the handsome Lee Pace) appears to have narcissistic tendencies on the surface but there is something more to him. He has a plan and a purpose but he has secrets.
Gordon (Scoot McNairy) is meek, detached and has some depression. His feelings are very much on the surface and his fire has gone out from past
failures. Cameron (Mackenzie Davis) probably has the most to prove (being a woman in the early 80's). She's fierce, different from your typical pretty girl and isn't afraid to say what she means. The secondary characters such as Gordon's wife and Joe's Boss are also good and they will probably help develop our 3 main's motives, pasts and paths.

Was there a lot of technobabble?
For someone who has some computer knowledge this went over my head. So it may appear that way to others. However I don't think it hurts the plot and you just roll with it. I did look up the terms I didn't understand. So now I am ok. :)

When is it set?
In the early 80's. When music and toys were innovative and freaking rad!!!!!

Will you be sticking with it?
Like a Post It. :)

Were there any weak points?
I'm not sure yet, I'm a pretty positive person so it's hard for me to find fault in things. So if I had to choose maybe the technobabble and an explanation of some of that legal maneuvering? This first outing seemed pretty even.

More+
Reply
Flag
Thanks to a heads-up from a certain grouchy mime, I caught the pilot of it.

I really enjoyed it. I'm not usually big on period dramas, but I thought the pilot was really well done. I liked the pacing, the characters, and the premise.

It helps that I've always liked Lee Pace, and I think he did a fine job in this. Liked the guy playing Gordon Clark too, although I didn't recognize him from the movie roles I've seen from him until I read up on the show -- interestingly, he and Bishe (the Clarks) also played hubby and wife in Argo.
2
Reply
Flag
I knew Gordon was in Argo (loved BTW) but didn't place the wife! Good catch!
1
Reply
Flag
I've seen it and liked it - especially the Jason Bateman vibe I got off of Lee Pace

Now:

*What did you think of the characters?

*Was there a lot of techno babble?

*When is it set?

*Will you be sticking with it?

*Were there any weak points?
2
Reply
Flag
I saw the first episode yesterday and also very much liked it.
  1. The characters were believable and well-acted.
  2. Yes (technobabble) but like SciFi shows, you don't need a degree in anything to enjoy the story.
  3. Set in late 1981, I'd guess.
  4. Absolutely will watch it all.
  5. **teensiest very vague pilot spoiler** I was "wtf?" about the "love" scene ]
    ...but otherwise it was well-produced and mostly accurate (or close enough to my aged memory). I was definitely feeling the tech nostalgia, so I'm a tiny minority of its intended audience.
1
Reply
Flag
I'm part of the minority too! Yes, these were cool technology times.
1
Reply
Flag
See above. :)
1
Reply
Flag
Follow this Show
Members
1,834