AMC has another hit on their hands with their new series Halt and Catch Fire. Like most shows they produce, they brought in a talented, relatively unknown cast. AMC does a phenomenal job of creating stars instead paying for fame. Two prime examples are John Hamm from Mad Men and Andrew Lincoln from The Walking Dead. Neither man had previously been in a starring role and now both are arguably two of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood. I believe Halt and Catch Fire’s Lee Pace, has the potential to follow in their footsteps.
Pace plays the part of ex IBM executive Joe MacMillan in the early 1980’s. He fancies himself both a leader and visionary and makes his way to the Silicon Prairie. When he arrives, he recruits an engineer Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy) from Cardiff Electric and a programming prodigy Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis). He convinces them to reverse engineer IBM’s BIOS system, in hopes of leading the PC revolution. He does a spectacular job of creating a character you love to hate, but then find yourself loving once again.
Pace isn’t the only rising star of the bunch. Keep an eye out for Mackenzie Davis. Her character really begins to take shape by Season 2. She may seem like an unrealistic casting choice for a programmer, but it’s not long before that thought escapes your mind. She warps all preconceived notions of what a programmer SHOULD look like. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot more of her in future films.
This series isn’t just hardware and software. It’s has all the key components necessary to create a quality drama, including ego, sex, drugs, corruption and an overwhelming desire to be the best. It grabs your attention quickly and refuses to let go. It’s a “breaking all the rules” type series and says fuck you to big evil corporations.
Like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead, Halt and Catch Fire hasn’t gained national acclaim in the first two seasons, yet it was still renewed for a third. AMC does a wonderful job recognizing the potential of their series early on and though they may start out with relatively low numbers, they allow them to develop. It’s a good thing they do too, because most end up running for 5+ seasons and become cult classics.
Don’t be the last one to see Halt and Catch Fire. This series is on the verge of being the next big thing. Mark my words and start watching below.
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