The third season of "Halt and Catch Fire" premieres on Tuesday, and it's the drama you've been waiting for -- even if you missed the first two seasons. Here's why the drama about the early days of computing may be your next great ESC.
1. It's kind of a reboot.
The third season starts after the central characters have abandoned the Silicon Prairie of Texas for Silicon Valley. Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy
) and Donna Clark (Kerry Bishé) have an imperfect marriage, and there's also some bad romantic history between Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace
) and Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis
). John Bosworth (Toby Huss) is cool with everybody.
2. '80s nostalgia.
You love the setting of "Stranger Things" (pictured) but wish the heroes were grown-ups inventing games instead of kids playing them? "Halt and Catch Fire" is your show.
3. It's the serious version of "Silicon Valley."
HBO's comedy uses the tech industry to expose human weakness, insecurity and greed. So does "Halt and Catch Fire," but it raises the stakes by injecting an incendiary device into the mix: love.
4. The credits.
Just watch them and try not to get sucked into the cold, "Tron"-like meanness of the '80s -- and the lives of the humans trying to find some kind of warmth. Also, there's a definite sperm-and-egg thing happening here.
5. The characters.
With the possible exception of Donna (Bishé, pictured), no one on the show is a superhero. They're just decent, hardworking people with insecurities and many, many flaws.
6. The acting.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a stronger cast anywhere. The actors hold their characters' emotions close, so when they explode, you feel it all the more acutely. Everyone on the show is one role away from breaking into A-lister status, so watch them now before they're Clooney famous.
7. The tech.
The references to obscure companies like "Nintendo" will surprise and delight citizens of the present -- who, to the characters on the show, are far, far in the future. We know what will become of many of the businesses and products featured on the show, but the people we're watching don't. There's innate tension there, and it can be a little heartbreaking.