DVD Review: HALT AND CATCH FIRE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

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AMC’s HALT AND CATCH FIRE was created by Chris Cantwell (“Vicariously”) and  Christopher C. Rogers, and stars Lee Pace (Lincoln, “Pushing Daisies,” Guardians of the Galaxy ), Scoot McNairy (Argo), Mackenzie Davis (Smashed), Kerry Bishé (Argo, Red State) and Toby Huss (Cowboys & Aliens).

The sophomore season of AMC’s hit tech-centered drama “Halt and Catch Fire” hits the ground running. It’s March 1985. More than a year has passed since Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) set fire to a truck full of Cardiff Giant PCs, the last in a long string of destructive acts that burned the people that made the machine possible: Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy), Donna Clark (Kerry Bishé), Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) and John Bosworth (Toby Huss). The Giant is about to go the way of the dinosaur, like any number of personal computers to enter the market in the wake of IBM. The lesson is harsh but clear: in history, only the truly disruptive ideas are destined to matter. Season two of “Halt and Catch Fire” thrives on the spirit of innovation and takes on world-changing scenarios, no matter the risk.

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The writing for Halt and Catch Fire continues to be intense and thought-provoking as we watch this fun group of genius frenemies deal with their everyday lives and the backstabbing that comes along with it. There’s also some hard lessons that still have to be learned in the second season. There are plenty of lighthearted moments as well as some pretty dark and emotional  times between the central characters. The first season dealt with the pioneering of the personal computer and the second season focuses on gaming and communities. All of the retro sets look like we’ve been zapped back into 1985. The wardrobes and styles also look vintage and authentic. Even the music matches the year!

Trust continues to be a major issue between Cameron and Gordon who have been screwed one too many times by Joe who is trying to be a better person in the second season but the guy is still full of bad decision making. They’re all doing their own separate things/gigs for most of this season. Gordon gets some bad news about his health this season so he’s dealing with this now. Cameron has launched “Mutiny” which is the new gaming program that everybody is after plus she still has a thing for Joe. Donna is helping Cameron and has distanced herself from Gordon for a while. Speaking of good ole Joe, the guy can be a total sleaze ball one minute and a loyal best friend the next – the guy is just full of surprises! The finale ends with the entire “Mutiny” clan heading west and lucky Joe getting a big paycheck. Hopefully this will lead to something great for all of them in the third season.

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The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes series details, some images of the cast and the list of special features. The three DVD discs also feature matching artwork. Inserting each disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were both really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete Second Season ended up being a great watch and even better than the first groundbreaking season. The series is all about the tech that is invented and pioneered in the 80’s but it’s these wonderfully flawed characters who are the driving force to Halt and Catch Fire, that and the impressive storytelling for each episode. Things also get really intense in the sophomore season because these people have already been screwed over and they’re all in kind of a defense mode and they’re ready to strike back at any bottom feeders who try and weazle into their lives or office space. They have all become jaded! There’s no Blu-ray set for this sophomore season for some strange reason so all we get is this three-disc DVD set that releases on August 9th and it is definitely worth a watch.

Distributor: Anchor Bay

Run Time: 3 Discs / 10 Episodes / 434 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

DVD Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)

DVD Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include individual featurettes that takes the viewer inside all ten episodes of the second season. There’s also four more featurettes that catches the viewer up on what’s going on in the second season, follows Joe who is trying to give himself a makeover and be a better person, a tour of the “Mutiny” house, and the final one that gives you a tour of the rest of the set.

  • Inside “Halt and Catch Fire: Episodes 2.01-2.10
  • History of Now (05:13)
  • The New Joe (05:01)
  • Tour of An ‘80s Startup (03:18)
  • Set Tour With Lee Pacse and Scoot McNairy (03:03)
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