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Thread: Halt and Catch Fire

  1. #1
    Mister Manager Eyashusa's Avatar
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    Halt and Catch Fire

    Halt and Catch Fire AMC

    Anyone else watching this? I caught the first episode and thought it was pretty good... definitely good enough that I'll finish out the season.
    One day I hope to be as attractive and well spoken as Tuco!

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    Registered User joeboo's Avatar
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    First episode was really good, I thought the 2nd episode slipped a little bit in quality but it was still enjoyable. I'll definitely be watching the whole season of this show. I find the subject matter personally interesting since the early 80s was roughly the time I started using and becoming familiar with PCs as a kid.

    The punk/programmer chick is a little too stereotyped for my liking so far(hey look, a rebellious punk anti-establishment hacker-type, that's never been done before), but maybe her character will become a little more plausible as the season progresses.

  3. #3
    Mister Manager Eyashusa's Avatar
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    Yeah, I thought the three main characters were all a little too over the top stereotyped but we'll see.
    One day I hope to be as attractive and well spoken as Tuco!

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    Registered User Stosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eyashusa View Post
    Yeah, I thought the three main characters were all a little too over the top stereotyped but we'll see.
    I've watched the first two episodes. If Cameron and Gordon believed all of Joe's lies I would stop watching. However they know he's a bullshit artist and continue to allow themselves to be dragged along so that's kind of compelling. The story arcs from a character development standpoint seem to be obvious however, with Cameron yearning to be "normal", Gordon having a drinking and possible cheating on his wife angle, and the Joe at IBM/dad/what he's been doing the last year crap.

    I hope the payoff is worth it, since if this show was not based in the early PC universe I would not be bothered to watch.

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    I really dug the first episode (haven't seen the second).

    Now, is this company developing the first IBM clone? I recall IBM fighting that back in the day.

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    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    Its about a (fictionalized) company's effort to cleanroom clone the IBM bios. Which is weird since they mentioned columbia in the show, which ACTUALLY already successfully cleanroomed the bios (tho not entirely, it was like 92% compatible lol). I guess having a bunch of neckbeards in bunny suits wouldnt make for a great mad men successor.
    Last edited by khorum; 06-12-2014 at 08:18 PM.

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    Registered User joeboo's Avatar
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    Yeah, they specifically mention Columbia, Packard Bell, and I think someone else that were already making IBM clones, and how they all got around being sued into oblivion.

    I had a Packard Bell 286 PC back in the day. Goddamn it sucked. IBM compatible my ass, about the only games I could get to work were Sierra-made adventure games. Damn near everything else I tried I had to end up returning to Babbages because they would never work.

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    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    haha ya everyone made a clone. I coded on Amiga until the last couple years of high school but my family had a fucking HYUNDAI clone. I remember it being 96% compatible was a big selling point.

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    Not bad so far, but it started leaking oil towards the end of episode 2. His "It all started when I was 9" soliloquy in the parking lot...sheesh.

  10. #10
    Registered User joeboo's Avatar
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    Yeah we didn't really need a giant hole punched in his slick super-salesman facade quite yet. Needed more buildup of his asshole side first to really make that change meaningful

  11. #11
    Registered User gogusrl's Avatar
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    Didn't Cameron call his bullshit in the last minutes of the episode with Sputnik coming down almost a year earlier ?

  12. #12
    Shiny
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    You know, I am really liking this so far.

    It isn't perfect but they seem to be off to a good start at least.
    ...

  13. #13
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    I wanted to check this out, seems mostly positive so far so I think I will.
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    Registered User joeboo's Avatar
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    Did he really fuck a dude just to piss that old lady off? WTF?

  15. #15
    Font of Positivity Mist's Avatar
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    I liked the first episode, and then it got dumb.
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    Registered User joeboo's Avatar
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    It's definitely getting dumber. I hope it turns back around before the end of the season.

    I don't really need to see the hacker chick finding inspiration in random places and writing code on mirrors and crap. That's dumb. The show started out really intelligent and witty in the first episode, and it seems to be dumbing itself down for an attempt at mass appeal as it goes on.

  17. #17
    Registered User Stosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeboo View Post
    It's definitely getting dumber. I hope it turns back around before the end of the season.

    I don't really need to see the hacker chick finding inspiration in random places and writing code on mirrors and crap. That's dumb. The show started out really intelligent and witty in the first episode, and it seems to be dumbing itself down for an attempt at mass appeal as it goes on.
    That chick's nipple-tits are distracting. There is nothing attractive about them and she could probably wear three shirts and a sweater and her hard nipples would still be visible.

  18. #18
    Shiny
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    Well, they fucked that up now didn't they?
    ...

  19. #19
    Font of Positivity Mist's Avatar
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    This episode was almost good.
    Calling me a Cunt is a lot like calling Hitler a Nazi, it's not exactly received as the insult you were intending.

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  20. #20
    WINS! ShakyJake's Avatar
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    I REALLY wanted to like this show since I grew up during the home computer wars of the 80s. But it's mostly just boring and I don't really care for most of the characters.

  21. #21
    ヽ(o`皿′o)ノ NO! Grimmlokk's Avatar
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    I'm just getting started on this, up to the 5th episode I think, and finding it thoroughly mediocre. Some promise to start but just getting really boring and predictable. Punk girl is awful, Mr. Slick is pretty bad. Gordon is fine, he's not wildly overplaying the role like the other two.

    Plus the neighbor's Matthew McConaughey impression is distracting.
    Last edited by Grimmlokk; 07-21-2014 at 05:22 PM.
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  22. #22
    Font of Positivity Mist's Avatar
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    Gordon and his wife are really the only interesting characters. Joe is just way too over the top, and Mack gets only slightly more tolerable.

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    ヽ(o`皿′o)ノ NO! Grimmlokk's Avatar
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    I did "eenie meanie minie moe" between this show and Fargo on my DVR when deciding what to watch.

    I think I lost.





    Not really fair. It's not a bad show. Just....disappointing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Erronius View Post
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  24. #24
    Registered User OUAriakas's Avatar
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    I am watching it because there is nothing better on right now. It is decent enough.
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  25. #25
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    I love it as a period drama and as a pseudo history of the PC industry. I kinda hope they reel in more of the actual history and less of the groany wife/overgrown emokid thing tho. I get that the angsty judd-nelson-in-breakfast-club character is EXACTLY as 80's as cans of Tab, but can they keep to maybe 5 mins of each episode MAX? For a while there the engineer wife was one of my favorite characters until they decided to have her raise the bitter feminist battleflag and start cuckolding Gordon.

  26. #26
    Registered User joeboo's Avatar
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    Definitely needs more computer focus, less stupid personal drama. Hoping the Comdex trip can redeem the season.

  27. #27
    MAKE EARTH EXTINCT AGAIN! Abefroman's Avatar
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    This is a weird show. I really don't care at all about the characters but watch it for the computer shit. Every time I see the guy who plays the CEO all I can see is this.
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    ヽ(o`皿′o)ノ NO! Grimmlokk's Avatar
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    Seriously? I just assumed everyone saw the same thing as me.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Erronius View Post
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  29. #29
    Registered User Elurin's Avatar
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    So this show isn't really worth the time? I've got every episode downloaded so far, but haven't gotten around to watching. I may just take it off my auto-download for now.

  30. #30
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    Compared to what's airing right now? It's better than Leftovers and True Blood so yeah it's actually not bad. It's reasonably smart and it's obviously targetted at folks who remember fights breaking out over cabbage patch kids, people smashing up Toshibas at anti-japanese rallies, and New Wave synthpop bands. If you were born after 1985 it would probably just irritate you.

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    My dad was an army contractor and had produced one of the very first flight simulators on an IBM 8086 with a cga graphics card and a turbo button to boost it to 4 mhz I think lol. So for me the show kind of brings back some nostalgia from my early days using MS-Dos and copying basic code out of magazines, the power of my 300 baud modem and hacking a local BBS and having the owner call and complain to my parents about it. Good times.

  32. #32
    ヽ(o`皿′o)ノ NO! Grimmlokk's Avatar
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    The problem is it's based around something inherently boring to watch, programming and PC hardware stuff. So the characters and story have to be really interesting to carry it. But the programmer girl is just so so bad...

    And the random inspiration epiphany shit. Which is a staple of dramas but it's just so out of nowhere stupid random. "Oh, you named your flashlights? PUNK GIRL WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE OS NEEDING TO BEHAVE LIKE A PERSON!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Erronius View Post
    maybe there is some sort of mutant mandingo sweet-corn hybrid

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    Registered User Elurin's Avatar
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    Silicon Valley did pretty well despite being based around programming. Then again, it went the comedy angle.

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    The big epiphany in Silicon Valley was Optimal Tip to Tip Efficiency. The best TV epiphany of all time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Erronius View Post
    maybe there is some sort of mutant mandingo sweet-corn hybrid

  35. #35
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    See, that's a great example. Silicon Valley would be less interesting to folks who don't get valley-culture corporate cults, videogame references and stupid techcrunch San Francisco antics. But it's pretty much a lock for everyone who's got this forum on their browser history.

    I actually caught on this show in a Game of Thrones viewing at a bar. It aired right after the episode and most folks actually sat and watched as opposed to go home or just revert to usual bar behavior--but you can literally spot the tech folks from the crowd since there were awkward silences in most jokes but the two or three neckbearded ruby nerds who got them would fall off their stools laughing.

    I get the same sense with Halt and Catch fire... the human drama isn't interesting enough to people who would be captivated by better offerings but the attention to period detail around the era of the garage tech scene is pretty cool for folks who lived through it.

  36. #36
    ヽ(o`皿′o)ノ NO! Grimmlokk's Avatar
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    No, Silicon Valley is just hilarious. You don't need a some kind of degree to laugh at Erlich slapping the shit out of a kid or the group of them earnestly debating optimal handjob technique. I used those 2 scenes to get plenty of people in to the show who are miles out of the imaginary group who can enjoy it. If you have to be deeply embedded in the culture of a show to "like" it, the show is shit or so niche it should be on a special channel dedicated to that.

    I was thinking about it and I decided maybe the biggest problem with Halt and Catch Fire is that it's almost completely devoid of humor. Every interaction is so deadly serious and weighty, the show is just so far up it's own ass. Maybe the most memorable scene for me was the one genuine funny scene so far, when Bosworth called all the coders in to his office all angry sounding and it was just to help him get out of the cave in the text adventure game they installed. Funny. You need that, a show can't just be deadly serious all the time. Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Justified, on and on the list goes of dramatic shows that had plenty of humor in them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Erronius View Post
    maybe there is some sort of mutant mandingo sweet-corn hybrid

  37. #37
    Registered User othree's Avatar
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    My lady friend absolutely loves Silicon Valley. And she's as far away from being part of the "core demographic" for that show as possible. I think you underestimate the general funnies it delivers, khorum.

  38. #38
    Font of Positivity Mist's Avatar
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    I'm starting to like this show just enough to be sad when it gets cancelled.

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    This ending after one season would be fine IMO unless they went with completely new characters for season two as the current cast is fairly played out by this point.

  40. #40
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    It IS kinda hard where they'd go after the mac.... maybe they DO go to palo alto and next season is about a fake Sun Microsystems-like company? Maybe they watch Jobs get fired and join him in Next. Hard to imagine a show built around the Unix wars tho haha.

    Maybe they'll end up running old school BBSs and end up starting one of the early ISPs.... they did kinda hint about that in the pilot when Joe asked Cameron where she thought computers were going.

  41. #41
    Font of Positivity Mist's Avatar
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    It's not like the Mac put everyone else out of business. They were mostly selling PCs for the corporate market anyway.

  42. #42
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    I was kinda kidding when I predicted that they'd start running BBS's for the next season but it looks like that's exactly where theyre going! Granted it was foreshadowed in the first five minutes of the pilot by Cameron herself but it makes sense that would be the most interesting origin story they could make at this point. Compuserve had been around but BBS's were more prevalent (but I don't remember them as far back as 84). Assuming they get another season, that is. Wonder if they got Ronan the Accuser salary-locked for multiple seasons.

  43. #43
    Registered User OUAriakas's Avatar
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    I actually like the ending because if it isn't renewed we have closure for our main characters. Gordon is in over his head since he doesn't have an idea creator or innovator, Cameron is using her genius to forge into the future, and Joe is just trying to not go mental and enjoy life. It also works because they set it up perfectly to go find Joe in the second season after Gordon realizes he needs him. Maybe they buy Mutiny at some point. I wish more shows could wrap up seasons as well as this one did.
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  44. #44
    Font of Positivity Mist's Avatar
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    Realistically, Gordon would just have to sell slightly faster boring widget boxes for the next 15 years in order to make a giant pile of money to retire on.

  45. #45
    Registered User OUAriakas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mist View Post
    Realistically, Gordon would just have to sell slightly faster boring widget boxes for the next 15 years in order to make a giant pile of money to retire on.
    Yep, just increase the clock speed and RAM while trying to decrease weight.
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  46. #46
    ヽ(o`皿′o)ノ NO! Grimmlokk's Avatar
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    Joe was maybe the least compelling character I've ever seen in a TV show.
    Quote Originally Posted by Erronius View Post
    maybe there is some sort of mutant mandingo sweet-corn hybrid

  47. #47
    Font of Positivity Mist's Avatar
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    I was gonna post the same thing but I was too lazy to even find this thread. I really don't think his character made any sense at all at the end.

  48. #48
    Registered User joeboo's Avatar
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    I guess I don't understand the point of him. He's the perfect bad guy, yet they try to pawn him off as a good guy. He's handsome, arrogant, vindictive, stubborn, and has had success and fortune virtually handed to him via his family. Everything that would make a great villain that would be easy to hate. Yet they constantly try to make us like him. The whole scene where you saw all the scars from being abused/bullied? Didn't care. I feel absolutely no empathy for the guy, he has no redeeming personality traits or qualities whatsoever.

    They should have played it up as Cameron, Gordon, Donna, etc succeeding despite him, he should be on the "losing" side of things. Heck, even the boss Bosworth who we are initially made to dislike became a more endearing character than Joe by the end of the season. He's much more likable.

  49. #49
    Font of Positivity Mist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeboo View Post
    I guess I don't understand the point of him. He's the perfect bad guy, yet they try to pawn him off as a good guy. He's handsome, arrogant, vindictive, stubborn, and has had success and fortune virtually handed to him via his family. Everything that would make a great villain that would be easy to hate.
    Because that's how life works. Those are the kinds of people who lead companies. They don't have great ideas, they don't design great products. They sell widgets, and they do it with a kind of counterproductive ruthlessness.

    He did turn out to be the loser at the end. That last scene of them in the meeting room asking if anyone heard from Joe, someone said they heard he was a fry cook somewhere.

  50. #50
    ヽ(o`皿′o)ノ NO! Grimmlokk's Avatar
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    He was just boring and pointless, not so much his actions as he was the catalyst etc. Just all his character traits and foibles. The best episode for him this season was when they totally dropped all the crazy pseudo-sociopath 80's slickster(sans bonitis) shit and he was at Gordon's house and playing with his kids.

    Which of course they ruined with the flashlight naming shit making him realize Cameron was right. But still, the character felt like an actual person that episode. Not the writer's weird attempt at a lovable version of Patrick Batemen.

    Donna was the best character on the show and the most consistent. Though if they open next season with Gordon flipping out because she didn't tell him she was going to work with Cameron it will be stupid. If she's doing it in "secret" that will be even more contrived than most of this show.

    Cameron was consistent as well, just consistently horrible. Sticking her in a house with the nerd herd is a good idea though, they are fun bit parts.

    I don't know why I care about how it's going to be going forward, I won't be watching it. I can't....I really shouldn't.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Erronius View Post
    maybe there is some sort of mutant mandingo sweet-corn hybrid

  51. #51
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    I think the problem with Joe was primarily that they never explored his depth. There's obviously a lot of underlying issues to why he is the way he is, but they left most of that stuff on the periphery - the issues with his dad, whatever led to his departure from Microsoft, his mother's craziness, etc. Anything that was meant to make him a sympathetic character was mostly just hinted at or explained in a way where you weren't sure whether he was being authentic or not. And by leaving that stuff on the sidelines, it made him fairly one dimensional and hard to like. He was mostly just a manipulative asshole who had no redeeming qualities. Considering how the season ended, I gather they'll be getting more into his background next season, but they really should've put more effort into filling out his character in this one.

  52. #52
    Registered User darkmiasma's Avatar
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    Renewed for Season 2: AMC Renews For A Second Season

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    hell yeah.

  54. #54
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    Glad to see it renewed but it wasn't really surprising. Amc doesn't have a lineup beyond this show and better call Saul since mad men will be gone next season. The show doesn't have a viewership to speak of, but its few fans are very dedicated.

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    It is sort of surprising considering the show had significantly lower ratings than Low Winter Sun, not to mention the fact that AMC has about two dozen shows in some stage of development with five pilots ordered and at least two new shows set to debut next year. But, it is good to see AMC having faith in a show and willing to give it time to grow. Perhaps they learned from with Breaking Bad's sudden jump in ratings during its later season.

  56. #56
    Registered User enzie's Avatar
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    Read some article that it's a combination of having almost nothing of worthwhile in development and multiple shows on break and/or ending soon, so they are willing to renew lower rating shows right now just to fill out their schedule. Plus, the two main actors were in higher profile projects recently (Joe was Ronan in Guardians, for example) so they are hoping for some splash-over awareness of the show.

    Personally, I liked this show. I have a hard time saying why, but I started watching it and got invested I guess. The history of the computer business is interesting, and I kind of like Joe as a character for some weird reason. I realize I'm in the minority on that, but I'm glad to see it coming back for another season at any rate.

  57. #57
    Registered User supertouch's Avatar
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    I'm surprised this was renewed. Far better series have been canceled after similar declines in ratings.

  58. #58
    Registered User joeboo's Avatar
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    Anyone watching Season 2?

    Bosworth is quickly becoming my favorite character on the show, and he has the absolute least connection to doing anything technology-related(the reason for my initial interest in the show)

  59. #59
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    Yeah I've been watching it. It's been decent so far and Ronaan's character is definitely less obnoxious this time around. Unstable hacker girl is approaching absolute insufferability tho.

  60. #60
    Registered User gogusrl's Avatar
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    I'm watching as well. It's nice but it could be better (as in more tech stuff, less emo hacker girl). I like that they're using the right hardware but those fuckers need to learn how to touch type.

  61. #61
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    Gordon is way less neurotic and quite a bit more likable this season. So I'm guessing his nosebleed is some kind of terminal cancer and he'll be dead soon.

  62. #62
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    I think they've done a good job toning down all the characters, which is probably why I've been enjoying this season more than last. Last season, everyone was too chaotic and destructive to find anyone to root for.

  63. #63
    Registered User Ossoi's Avatar
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    this season started slowly but has gradually got more interesting and the plot seems to coming together

  64. #64
    Registered User supertouch's Avatar
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    This show is incredible. It's a shame that it hasn't gained a larger audience.

  65. #65
    Skebe Bebe SekaiX's Avatar
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    Finally finished up this season. Good wrap up, and Joe will always be Joe.

  66. #66
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    Yeah I loved the ending, actually. It got cancelled but if they manage another season somehow, it's a good starting point.

  67. #67
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    It hasn't been cancelled yet... but given its ratings, I don't really see a lot of hope of AMC continuing it sadly. Too bad the show didn't start as strong as the second season.

  68. #68
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    Huh, yeah looks like AMC hasn't announced it either way. Looks kinda grim tho, Kerry Bishe signed up for Billions on Showtime as a guest star. She could schedule both, but it looks bad for Halt.

  69. #69
    Font of Positivity Mist's Avatar
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    I can't watch this show now because it reminds me that I have a job supporting software PBXs.
    Calling me a Cunt is a lot like calling Hitler a Nazi, it's not exactly received as the insult you were intending.

    Star Citizen referral code - [STAR-C3G4-2XMJ]

  70. #70
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    They spend like 1% of the season hacking PBX's... and that's while subverting an oil company's mainframe. For the rest of the time it's some confused bisexual's emotional journey through an indifferent and patriarchal Reaganesque 80's. The show's practically written for you.

  71. #71
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    It got renewed! Really looking forward to where they take things in season 3.

  72. #72
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    I wonder if they'll actually shoot it in california though. A lot of productions actually film in Arizona to get the same look and it's like 5 times cheaper.

  73. #73
    Delicious Noodles Noodleface's Avatar
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    This worth checking out? Buddy at work keeps talking about it and how realistic the assembly language is.

  74. #74
    Get raped khorum's Avatar
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    I like more for the nostalgia than the assembly hacking. There isn't much there of that but if the early eighties dawn of the PC scene interests you then you'd enjoy it. There's actually quite a bit of history about the rise of venture capital, tech envangelism and the fall of big-iron mainframes that they use as the basis for the drama.

  75. #75
    Registered User Elissidel's Avatar
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    Fuck yeah! Was really worried a season 3 was just not going to happen. Very cool

  76. #76
    Font of Positivity Mist's Avatar
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    Super shocked and very excited. This show has really compelling characters.
    Calling me a Cunt is a lot like calling Hitler a Nazi, it's not exactly received as the insult you were intending.

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  77. #77
    HE A GOOD BOY Iannis's Avatar
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    I was way late to this show. Did season3 ever happen?

    All the things listed as faults are mostly true, tbh... and in a different show they would annoy me. Probably very much. But for some reason in this show they make it work.

    I think it's just the actors are able to own it. All the stupid shit that they all do is mostly believable. It gets a little heavy with their Joe interactions sometimes. But I guess it's gonna get a little thick with Joe sometimes, that's just his character. They did a good job with him, even, he could be a comic book villian very easily. But really he's just a shark.

    Sarah I think was the dumbest so far. But she was cute.

  78. #78
    Registered User joeboo's Avatar
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    I think season 3 is set to debut in August or September

  79. #79
    Registered User grumblethorn's Avatar
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    Summer time premiere alongside Mr. Robot and Bojack around the same time

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