Halt and Catch Fire : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 1, 2014
Season #: 1, 2, 3
Halt and Catch Fire Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 158 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Former IBM sales executive Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) recruits reluctant Cardiff Electric engineer Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy) and programming prodigy Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) to reverse engineer IBM's BIOS system, setting up the PC revolution.
  • Genre(s): Drama

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Jun 2, 2014
    83
    The thrill comes not from the actual computer building, but the people doing the building. These characters are complex and well-developed, especially Pace’s fiery exec, who is a mesmerizing manipulator.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    May 27, 2014
    80
    The good news is that Halt and Catch Fire is a triumphant pilot with excellent writing, impressive acting and a noteworthy cinematic visual style. ... But ultimately that means nothing until we see the next episode. And the one after that. And the one after that. So take this early praise with that caveat.
  3. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    May 30, 2014
    80
    It all adds up to a promising, surprisingly lively and fast-paced drama that humanizes those early computer geeks.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    May 30, 2014
    70
    First impression is that Halt is fresh and fraught with calculated promise, but whether that's enough to catch fire remains to be seen.
  5. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    May 30, 2014
    70
    You don't need to speak geek to watch Halt and Catch Fire, any more than you need to know corporate law to love "Suits."
  6. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Jun 23, 2014
    63
    With little exception, MacMillan is the sole character given scenes that seek to bring out his antic inner life, the most memorable of which being his meltdown in an electronics store, where he tries to find a hold of his ambition in a torrent of comingled rhythms emanating from various speakers.
  7. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    May 28, 2014
    50
    At least in the one episode sent to critics--Halt doesn't offer up complicated, three-dimensional characters. Instead, we get versions of familiar types pulled from the character storage room by the writers.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Jun 1, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While the comparisons to Mad Men aren't exactly there, this show seems determined to make it's own path by exploring the early days of the personal computer boom in 1980's texas and by showing these three desperate characters making it much more personal.
    Joe Macmillan seems to be the lead star with the almost Patrick Bateman-esque bad boy charisma.

    The only real fault of the show so far is rushing through some of the technical details like in the montage in Gordon Clark's house when they are taking apart an IMB computer.
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  2. Jun 7, 2015
    10
    I absolutely love this show. I was literally addicted to it! 5 of 5 stars! Great cast. Lee Pace as Joe is amazing! You will love all theI absolutely love this show. I was literally addicted to it! 5 of 5 stars! Great cast. Lee Pace as Joe is amazing! You will love all the characters and the plot. They are now on season 2 and episode 2 comes out every Sunday at 9:00 pm. Expand
  3. Jul 22, 2014
    10
    I wanted to wait until I have seen a few show to write a review on this series. I have seen 7 episodes. Going into the series not sure howI wanted to wait until I have seen a few show to write a review on this series. I have seen 7 episodes. Going into the series not sure how they were going to approach the topic. I thought this is an interesting time for PCs and the market.

    I will say that this show is wonderful. The acting is great and the story is intriguing and engaging. I did not watch Mad Men, but did watch Breaking Bad. Breaking bad is on a level all it's own and a handful of shows are on that level. I would say that this show is on the level right below that.

    The writing is great and the attention to detail to the technical side is spot on. They nailed the font style for the PCs for that era. I would recommend this to anyone who deals with computers and for anyone who is not tech savvy.
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  4. Jul 11, 2014
    9
    I'm a big fan of this show. It does a great job capturing both the corporate dynamic and the techie frustrations on a large-scale project.I'm a big fan of this show. It does a great job capturing both the corporate dynamic and the techie frustrations on a large-scale project. My only criticism would be the tendency to jump time-frames between episodes with little explanation. Probably my favorite new show for 2014. Expand
  5. Jul 21, 2014
    9
    This is a fantastic show. I was a part of the computer revolution in the early 1980's, and this brings back many memories to me. I stronglyThis is a fantastic show. I was a part of the computer revolution in the early 1980's, and this brings back many memories to me. I strongly recommend this show to anyone who is a techy and remembers when the computer industry was in it's infancy. The show incorporates some personal stuff into the story, but I suppose that has to be done in this day and age. I will be greatly disappointed if AMC does not pick this show up for Season 2. It's a winner. Expand
  6. Aug 13, 2014
    8
    This show is good, I don't care what the critics say. I really hope it gets renewed cus viewership has been kind of low.

    First I like the
    This show is good, I don't care what the critics say. I really hope it gets renewed cus viewership has been kind of low.

    First I like the unique setting. How many shows are about the 1980s at all, let alone the computer business in any era? TV is littered with cop dramas and angsty romantic comedies, and now the new wave of fantasy and zombies, Halt is a really refreshing change up. Although it's nothing like Mad Men, the uniqueness is similar in that both explore a time period and field that no other show really does.

    Second the acting is really good, outside of Cameron. For some reason I think she comes across as super moody and not realistic. She seems shallow to me, she's so obsessed with making a perfect computer experience I feel like the writers have to kind of push her to be extreme to make the show go certain places. It just doesn't feel quite natural. But every other actor does a stellar job. Donna is amazing as the conflicted wife. Bosworth is a very compelling figure, torn between the new generation's way of thinking and progressing to the future and the old guard that he is part of.

    I don't really see any major plot holes although a few things that happen seem a little far fetched like how quickly they complete certain tasks for one. But otherwise the story never really dragged and had plenty of twists without feeling like the writers were reaching for anything. In all it's a great show I hope more people check out.
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  7. Jul 8, 2014
    1
    Show was hanging by a thread in the first three episodes. The baffling events of episode 3 made me literally turn it off 3/4 of the way intoShow was hanging by a thread in the first three episodes. The baffling events of episode 3 made me literally turn it off 3/4 of the way into it. Boring, uninteresting characters with almost no resemblance to reality. A shame considering how much I really wanted to like this show. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

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