Halt And Catch Fire, the departed AMC drama, which ended on October 14, was probably one the most critically acclaimed shows of the peak TV era. But unfortunately never really captivated large audiences like some others AMC shows such as The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul.
For me, the show was an underappreciated masterpiece and it never disappointed me once. It had some magnificent writing. Beautiful and real characters. Masterful directing and cinematography. And some brilliant performances from everyone involved. Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé, Toby Huss, is probably one of the best cast ever assembled.
Halt And Catch Fire captivated me from the start. When it premiered, back in 2014, I was instantly hooked. I never thought I would care about a show telling the history of personal computers. But by the end of the season, I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out the fate of computing companies.
Set in the 80s, the first season of the show dramatizes the personal computing boom through the eyes of a visionary (Lee Pace), an engineer (Scoot McNairy) and a prodigy programmer (Mackenzie Davis) whose innovations directly confront the corporate powerhouses of the time. Their personal and professional partnership were challenged by greed and ego but somehow, they formed a very strong bond between them.
One of the best things about Halt And Catch Fire was that it managed to reinvent itself with each new season.
After the success of Cardiff Electric's revolutionary new computer The Giant in the first season, the writers pivoted the show from PC revolution to gaming and online communities in season 2. Cameron alongside Donna created a new company called “Mutiny” and the gang left Texas, Silicon Prairie, at the end of the season 2 and moved to San Francisco. In Silicon Valley, Mutiny reached some success but the relationship between Cameron and Donna became very problematic. They started questioning each other's tactics running the newly found company and that led to an inevitable clash between the two strong women. It was great to watch how the writers managed that though. As the show progressed, it became more complicated and deeply emotional in a way that I could never imagine when I first started watching it.
The fourth and last season was a great experience of nostalgia for me. The writers decided to make a time jump and the story moved to the beginning of the 1990s. As a 90s kid, I really appreciated the attention to details in the writing and production. It was amazing to see the humble beginnings of the internet and technologies that changed our lives presented so well on the screen. Everything was just like I remembered it was back then.The production design, costume design, and especially its music choices were spot-on. I'm also really glad they didn't do the Hollywood ending by having Cameron & Joe together as parents. That would be so lame.
Overall, It was refreshing to watch a show that was not about plot twists, but really about character interaction. The depth and evolution of the characters were amazing. I really loved those characters and loved the way they all compliment each other, Halt And Catch Fire really “got” the ’80s and '90s, and made an excellent job capturing the vibe of that time. The music (I can't listen to Dire Straits' - So Far Away anymore without thinking about the show) and cinematography of the whole series were consistently top notches. it's a shame that only a few people had a chance to watch such a great show. But if you ever decide to give HaCF a chance, the first 3 seasons are on Netflix and you can easily grab the last season from iTunes or Amazon. Trust me, if you do it you won’t have any regrets.
To finish this, I just wanted to say thanks to the show creators, Chris Cantwell & Chris Rogers and everyone else who participated in the making of this show. Thanks for all the work that you guys put into it. I’m looking forward to what they will do next.