Watch Halt & Catch Fire
- 4 Seasons
Halt & Catch Fire is an AMC period drama that takes place in the Silicon Prairie of Texas during the 1980s and '90s. Inspired by the likes of Apple, IBM, and Compaq, the show follows a motley crew of engineers and designers as they try to create a revolutionary personal computer that will change the course of history.
The ensemble cast features a number of strong performances from Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, and Kerry Bishe, who all bring their own unique quirks and flaws to their roles. At the center of the story is Joe MacMillan (Pace), a charismatic, mysterious salesman who is determined to create the "IBM killer" from scratch. He's joined by Gordon Clark (McNairy), a talented engineer who has lost his way in life, and Cameron Howe (Davis), a young prodigy with a rebellious streak. Rounding out the core group is Donna Clark (Bishe), Gordon's wife and a brilliant software developer in her own right.
The show's first season focuses primarily on the creation of a new portable PC, which becomes known as the "Giant". Each episode explores the highs and lows of this endeavor, from the initial pitch to investors, to the first prototypes, to the final product launch. Along the way, viewers get a glimpse into the cutthroat world of computer technology during this era, where innovation and backstabbing were often one and the same.
As the series progresses, the focus shifts to different projects and challenges that the characters face. There's the creation of a new search engine, the development of online gaming, and even an attempt to build a virtual reality headset before its time. Along with these technological hurdles come personal struggles, as relationships are forged and tested amidst the workplace drama. MacMillan in particular is a complex character, struggling with his past and his manipulative nature, and constantly pushing those around him to greater heights.
One thing that sets Halt & Catch Fire apart from other period dramas is its attention to detail. The show's creators clearly did their research, and it shows in everything from the fashion to the music to the technology itself. But the show never feels like a history lesson; rather, it uses the era as a backdrop for a timeless story of ambition and innovation.
Overall, Halt & Catch Fire is a compelling drama that combines the best elements of a workplace procedural with a nostalgic trip down memory lane. It's a show that will appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of changing the world with a brilliant idea, and a reminder that even in the fast-paced tech industry, the most important thing of all is the people you meet along the way.
Halt & Catch Fire is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (42 episodes). The series first aired on June 1, 2014.