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bryn987
May 30, 2014


Anyone catch the first episode this past Sunday? I thought it started off pretty good and plan to keep watching it, see how it turns out

Synaposis:
Halt and Catch Fire is a fictional drama based I would say in the very early 80's, at the beginning of the PC boom. Joe Macmillan, played by Lee Pace, is a former IBM salesman who sees a future where PC's will take over the world and wants to be a part of that. To do so, he gets hired at Cardiff Electric. While there, he teams up with a reluctant Gordon Clark, played by Scoot McNairy, a hardware engineer who caught his eye by a article he wrote in a computer magazine Byte. Did Joe go to this company just to meet Gordon? We don't know yet. Joe also tracks down a college attending computer genius by the name of Cameron Howe, played by Mackenzie Davis, who makes the final person in his team. Joe gets Gordon to reverse engineer IBM's latest PC which then forces their company into the PC race.

This Article goes into more detail on the history of the show. Thanks Sober!

Top 3 Characters


Joe Macmillan
played by Lee Pace (the recent Hobbit movies, Lincoln)
I would call him a Steve Jobs type personality. He is the dreamer of the show that sees personal PC's taking over the world and will do anything to be a part of it. He brings together the team to make that happen.



Gordon Clark
played by Scoot McNairy (12 Years a Slave, Argo, Non-Stop)
Another dreamer but one who had an earlier dream fail. His passion has been reigned in by his past failure and by the responsibilities of having a family. His wife has also kept him down which is evidenced when they are introduced to us. But the passion is there, just waiting on a spark to ignite it again.



Cameron Howe
played by Mackenzie Davis (That Awkward Moment)
Cameron is the young genius/hacker type who is of course, also rebellious.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcVwF8XyD-8

Thoughts:
I always make a point to catch AMC's new offerings if they look interesting and this one was no exception. For a first episode, I felt the writing and the pace, while a bit fast, was not too bad. My favorite character so far was Gordon. I felt Scoot McNairy did a fantastic job showing how low his life has become, especially the scenes around his family in his house. As he received more air time to show "his life", I hope the other actors are afforded the same luxury.

bryn987 fucked around with this message at 22:43 on Jun 6, 2014

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ballistics statistics
Nov 27, 2003

:shepface:God I fucking love Diablo 3 gold, it even paid for this shitty title:shepface:




I thought it was fantastic, can't wait to see more. But that is a terrible OP.

JRay88
Jan 4, 2013


Great first episode, terrible op. At least update with some info about the show and cast.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Not afraid to admit the trailers and teasers lured me in but the show lived up to them. Don't care about the OP.

mobby_6kl
Aug 9, 2009



Didn't watch this yet, but as a huge nerd, I find the premise very intriguing and the setting of 80s Texas should be refreshing as well. Some early reviews seem to say that it's good, but does try a bit too hard to ape some other workplace period drama. Still, I'm planning on checking it ounce once I have some time.

ballistics statistics
Nov 27, 2003

:shepface:God I fucking love Diablo 3 gold, it even paid for this shitty title:shepface:




The show is pretty awesome, as a fellow nerd I really loved it.

Hopefully someone will make a real thread about the show because I'm sure there are lots of people that aren't posting because this is a poo poo thread and they're waiting for a real thread to be posted.

EDIT: As for the aping other shows workplace dramas, everything I've seen has been comparing it to Mad Men. I'm OK with this actually, since Mad Men used it's ideas and a totally new era opens up so many new ideas. That doesn't even include all of the drama that happened in real life at the time which alone is a show by itself.

ballistics statistics fucked around with this message at 07:54 on Jun 4, 2014

Pablo Bluth
Sep 7, 2007

I've made a huge mistake.


If you want to pass some time waiting for the next episode, I suggest tracking down the BBC's Micro Men. It's a 90 minute drama they did a few years ago, telling the story of the birth of Sinclair and Acorn computers in the late 70's/early 80's.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


This show is so full of itself. The main character is a ruthless, charming, Machiavellian badass cliche who not only screws some random college know-it-all the minute he first meets her, but also manages to convince her to jeopardize her future because of his dumbass actions. And of course, he manages to predict and plan his way around everyone based on some gut instinct, (oh yeah guise, I TOLD IBM I was copying their machine, don't worry, I'm a badass so everything will go my way), and some of the worst dialogue I've ever seen.

And I'm probably full of poo poo on this one because my source is Wikipedia, but I'm pretty sure reverse engineering machines back in the day, even just for fun, wasn't illegal.

Anarcho-Commissar
May 22, 2002

"The means of production being the collective work of humanity, the product should be the collective property of the race. Individual appropriation is neither just nor serviceable. All belongs to all."
- Pyotr Kropotkin




Doesn't mean IBM wouldn't send lawyers after you anyway.

I agree on the bizarre "I am smug and know everything ahead of time", but I really like the show despite that. There were some pretty decent references (that I can't recall now) that at least showed they have real technology people on the show, instead of the normal "The IP is coming from inside the house!" crap we see in so many other shows.

:commissar:
(Formerly Colonial Air Force)

precision
May 7, 2006

hug your posting pals


ThaGrandCow posted:

Hopefully someone will make a real thread about the show because I'm sure there are lots of people that aren't posting because this is a poo poo thread and they're waiting for a real thread to be posted.

I was going to make an OP for it since I'm off work and I usually end up making the OPs for AMC/BBC/BBCUSA shows that nobody watches.

Xandu
Feb 19, 2006


It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am.

Shitenshi posted:

This show is so full of itself. The main character is a ruthless, charming, Machiavellian badass cliche who not only screws some random college know-it-all the minute he first meets her, but also manages to convince her to jeopardize her future because of his dumbass actions. And of course, he manages to predict and plan his way around everyone based on some gut instinct, (oh yeah guise, I TOLD IBM I was copying their machine, don't worry, I'm a badass so everything will go my way), and some of the worst dialogue I've ever seen.

And I'm probably full of poo poo on this one because my source is Wikipedia, but I'm pretty sure reverse engineering machines back in the day, even just for fun, wasn't illegal.

It was if you did it to recreate the code, but there's some caselaw about it that says it's not illegal if the people who reverse engineer it aren't the ones who recreate it (clean room approach or something) hence why they hired her.

TheRationalRedditor
Jul 17, 2000

WHO ABUSED HIM. WHO ABUSED THE BOY.


The central character archetypes seems like they're kinda hoary from the outset, but I liked the first episode. I'll become a fan if they stick with the subtle, lovingly detailed period recreation and excellent soundtrack selection.

And hey, Toby Huss as a hard-rear end executive shitkicker. More of that.

phongn
Oct 21, 2006



Colonial Air Force posted:

Doesn't mean IBM wouldn't send lawyers after you anyway.
IIRC, IBM did sue Compaq; the latter was carefuly to make sure none of their engineers saw IBM's technical documentation and that there was a 'Chinese Wall' between the people documenting the BIOS and the people writing their own implementation.

DominoDancing
Apr 26, 2008

Each morning after Sunblest
Feel the benefit
Mental arithmetic


Shitenshi posted:

This show is so full of itself. The main character is a ruthless, charming, Machiavellian badass cliche who not only screws some random college know-it-all the minute he first meets her [...]

Ugh, this. I could barely make it through the first ten minutes of the pilot. And she's really as much of a cliche as he is. Thankfully, the rest of the hour was better, and Gordon Clark is a less annoying character than either of them.

I already noted in in the General Chat, but I think it's a weird decision that they've mostly been pretty careful with the production design, but Lee Pace's character just doesn't looks like he's out of the 80s at all, esepcially the costuming.

Kung Fu Jesus
Jun 20, 2002

lol jews gonna get fucked.

As someone who knows nothing about computer engineering, I found the show pretty interesting. The characters are pretty cliche so far but they have potential for depth. I'm definitely interested in Lee Pace's character history and how the engineer guy will handle things going forward. The one I did not care for was the girl. She seems like every portrayal of the cool hacker type with the standard gently caress you attitude. I'm surprised she didn't have a nickname.

bryn987
May 30, 2014


OP updated, hope it's much better

kdrudy
Sep 19, 2009



Finally remembered to watch this on On Demand today, I really enjoyed it. It probably helps that I kind of wish I could have been in computing at this time, seems like it would have been such a fun time to be deep in it.

Sober
Nov 19, 2011

First touch: Life.
Second touch: Dead again. Forever.

I dunno if you want to stick this in the OP, but this article kinda describes what HCF is based on. Basically it's a fictional retelling of Compaq 'copying' the IBM PC.

They've got most of the details right in the pilot like how the hardware itself wasn't copyrighted, but stuff like the BIOS was, and the only way to copy it was to reverse-engineer the code and get someone who had never seen the code to basically rewrite it from the ground up.

From the Compaq co-founders they interviewed:

quote:

There were actually a few companies that went in and just started copying out of the manual and they ended up getting sued and shut down.

...

We knew there was a way to do it. We believed we could do it legally. We didn’t just assume things. We hired the best intellectual property attorneys we could find and used their strict guidance to help us do the reverse engineering very carefully.

...

What our lawyers told us was that, not only can you not use it [the copyrighted code] anybody that’s even looked at it–glanced at it–could taint the whole project. (…) We had two software people. One guy read the code and generated the functional specifications. So, it was like, reading hieroglyphics. Figuring out what it does, then writing the specification for what it does. Then, once he’s got that specification completed, he sort of hands it through a doorway or a window to another person who’s never seen IBM’s code, and he takes that spec and starts from scratch and writes our own code to be able to do the exact same function.

precision
May 7, 2006

hug your posting pals


The show is also going to be about the founding of Texas Instruments and all that, right? Or did they change that?

Sober
Nov 19, 2011

First touch: Life.
Second touch: Dead again. Forever.

No, they name dropped TI (like the actual acronym) in the pilot. IIRC all those companies in Texas were well established by the time of the show. Cardiff Electric is probably fictional in the same sense as Sterling Cooper, except I don't know much about how much of SC&P going to McCann could be real whereas I think Cardiff could just a fictional analogue for Compaq.

edit: quick wiki check says TI was founded in the 30s

precision
May 7, 2006

hug your posting pals


Hmm, fair enough. I missed the "TI" in the pilot. Coulda sworn that when the show was first brought up in general chat, the main focus was going to be on Texas Instruments though. Maybe they realized that might be a bit boring, or the source was quoted poorly or something. :iiam:

strangemusic
Aug 7, 2008

I shield you because I need charge
Is not because I like you or anything!




Knowing AMC's track record building shows that fit around Breaking Bad or Mad Men, I was worried... And my worries are somewhat justified, because as pilots go this was not AMAZING though I look forward to seeing what happens down the road. My main gripe is with the leading man: he's going to have to do a lot to convince me that he's not just riffing on Gekko/Bateman/Futurama 80s Guy.

Also, Mackenzie Davis was a year ahead of me in high school, it's insanely weird seeing her in a serious business TV drama.

strangemusic fucked around with this message at 19:21 on Jun 6, 2014

Party Plane Jones
Jul 1, 2007

by Reene


Fun Shoe

To be honest most AMC pilots aren't exactly barnburners; aside from Walking Dead and Breaking Bad the other pilots have generally been sort of eh in the case of Rubicon to decent in the case of the Killing and Mad Men. I couldn't say what the 30 minute series pilots were like because they're all universally dogshit and I refuse to watch them. Amusingly Low Winter Sun had a fairly decent pilot but dang that series went absolutely nowhere.

strangemusic
Aug 7, 2008

I shield you because I need charge
Is not because I like you or anything!




Party Plane Jones posted:

Amusingly Low Winter Sun had a fairly decent pilot but dang that series went absolutely nowhere.


*shocking Breaking Bad cliffhanger ending*

NEXT, ON AMC'S LOW WINTER SUN.

*clicks TV off*

Sober
Nov 19, 2011

First touch: Life.
Second touch: Dead again. Forever.

Party Plane Jones posted:

To be honest most AMC pilots aren't exactly barnburners; aside from Walking Dead and Breaking Bad the other pilots have generally been sort of eh in the case of Rubicon to decent in the case of the Killing and Mad Men. I couldn't say what the 30 minute series pilots were like because they're all universally dogshit and I refuse to watch them. Amusingly Low Winter Sun had a fairly decent pilot but dang that series went absolutely nowhere.
There was a lot of buzz for this pilot, people rating it on the same tier as The Walking Dead ... which was odd. I was mostly excited for this show too but it wasn't really comparable at all.

bryn987
May 30, 2014


Thanks for the link, added to OP

Sober posted:

I dunno if you want to stick this in the OP, but this article kinda describes what HCF is based on. Basically it's a fictional retelling of Compaq 'copying' the IBM PC.

They've got most of the details right in the pilot like how the hardware itself wasn't copyrighted, but stuff like the BIOS was, and the only way to copy it was to reverse-engineer the code and get someone who had never seen the code to basically rewrite it from the ground up.

From the Compaq co-founders they interviewed:

ApexAftermath
May 24, 2006



I really enjoyed the first episode but I'm a sucker for everything they are stylistically going for in this show anyways. Those opening credits are loving great.

passionate dongs
May 22, 2001

Snitchin' is Bitchin'

ApexAftermath posted:

I really enjoyed the first episode but I'm a sucker for everything they are stylistically going for in this show anyways. Those opening credits are loving great.
here is some behind the scenes for the opening credits.

There are some character problems in the pilot. I like how Gordon Clark was fleshed out, Cameron seems like a cliched after thought at this point.

Seeing as how it is 1982/83(?) in the show, doesn't that mean IBM clones are right on the horizon? Like end-of-this-season kind of soon?

feedmegin
Jul 30, 2008



passionate dongs posted:

Seeing as how it is 1982/83(?) in the show, doesn't that mean IBM clones are right on the horizon? Like end-of-this-season kind of soon?

Well...yes. That's the point. These guys are coming up with the first IBM clone. They're sort of a fictional version of Compaq.

passionate dongs
May 22, 2001

Snitchin' is Bitchin'

feedmegin posted:

Well...yes. That's the point. These guys are coming up with the first IBM clone. They're sort of a fictional version of Compaq.

just seems like a rather early plot milestone, that's all. I guess given Cameron's responses in the start of the pilot they could move on to internet stuff if they survive their first season.

feedmegin
Jul 30, 2008



passionate dongs posted:

just seems like a rather early plot milestone, that's all. I guess given Cameron's responses in the start of the pilot they could move on to internet stuff if they survive their first season.

I doubt they'd really do the internet per se, that didn't go consumer mainstream til like the 90s. But they've got plenty of material from being an early PC-compatible maker to be going on with, I'd have thought; it's not like the first PC clone came out and everyone was like 'OK then' and nothing happened in computing ever after, kind of thing.

Mighty Horse
Jul 24, 2007

Speed, Class, Bankruptcy.


TI was name dropped because Gordon's kids speak n spell...It was a TI product. And his wife works there.

Baronash
Feb 29, 2012

So what do you want to be called?


Compaq exists in this universe? Why are we watching people play secondthird fiddle?

Dr_Strangelove
Dec 16, 2003

Mein Fuhrer! THEY WON!



YES! A Pony Excess reference!

e: And balls on the face!

Dr_Strangelove fucked around with this message at 02:25 on Jun 9, 2014

texaholic
Sep 16, 2007

Well it's floodin' down in Texas
All of the telephone lines are down


Dr_Strangelove posted:

YES! A Pony Excess reference!

e: And balls on the face!

If the show lasts long enough a death penalty reference would be great.

Also that mall reminded me of Prestonwood Mall before the tear down and redevelopment of the area.

Baronash
Feb 29, 2012

So what do you want to be called?


The show should end with everyone finding out Lee Pace is a serial killer.

passionate dongs
May 22, 2001

Snitchin' is Bitchin'

I want to like this show but they are trying way to drat hard when it comes to the insane salesman angle.

Dr_Strangelove
Dec 16, 2003

Mein Fuhrer! THEY WON!



texaholic posted:

If the show lasts long enough a death penalty reference would be great.

Also that mall reminded me of Prestonwood Mall before the tear down and redevelopment of the area.

Thumbs up on both comments. I also enjoyed the reference to the old Sanger department store.

gret
Dec 12, 2005

goggle-eyed freak




So what was the importance of Gordon finding that switchblade?

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TheAngryDrunk
Jan 31, 2003

"I don't know why I know that; I took four years of Spanish."

gret posted:

So what was the importance of Gordon finding that switchblade?

I thought it was just there to further Gordon's suspicions that she's dangerous/unreliable/a mistake.

As for the show so far, I liked the pilot a lot more than the second episode, but I still liked the second episode. So far, so good.

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