I really don’t watch that much TV these days, so it’s been quite a surprise to see my beloved Commodore 64 computer appear in some of the shows I watch. Three different shows to be exact. While two caught me completely by surprise, I’ll talk first about the one I actually expected to see C64’s in.
Halt And Catch Fire just returned for it’s third season on AMC, and so far it’s been all Commodore all the time. This of course shouldn’t be a surprise as this season follows the exploits of the online service Mutiny which runs on the C64. Since this show takes place in the 1980’s it’s been fun to pick out the various retro computers and technology these past two seasons. With the arrival of the NES this season it does seem that the Commodore’s days are numbered. Who knows though, maybe the show will eventually depict an alternative future where we all used Amigas instead of Windows machines.
The last show I expected to see a C64 turn up was on AMC’s Preacher, which is based on the excellent comic book series. This season’s villain Odin Quincannon can be seen in a couple different episodes playing Q-Bert on a C64 in his office when he isn’t running his slaughterhouse. Of course he plays it using the keyboard and by pushing only one button, but hey – it’s a completely random C64! As for the show, I think it’s good? As a huge fan of the comic I haven’t sorted out my feelings for it exactly. These things are complicated.
As I’ve always been a taller person, I could never just plop a 1702 monitor down on a desk like that. I always needed to elevate it up to a decent height or I’d feel like I was turning into Quasimodo after an hour. Anyone else with me on that? My old black and white “monitor” TV sat on an old shoe box for years.
This brings us to last week’s goddamned amazing episode of Mr. Robot from our friends at the USA Network. Character Angela Moss is abducted, taken to a house in the suburbs, and is forced to answer strange random questions from a creepy tween. Even better these questions are fed to Creep Tween by a fictional C64 program called Land Of Ecodelia. Apparently this is something she does to amuse herself between games of Maniac Mansion and Pitfall.
This is something that will give any C64 fan a huge nerd boner, and by “any” I actually mean “me”. The attention to detail on this show is just amazing. Check out these screenshots from the game(?).
I’m sure these images were just fed off screen to the monitor, but a part of me would like to think it really ran on a real C64. If so, hook a brother up with a disk image Sam!
Is anyone else watching this season of Mr. Robot? It’s been so damn good. Not since Breaking Bad have I felt the need to watch an episode twice before the next one airs. The season finale is next week guys – OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD!!! Why aren’t you watching this???
Long live the Commodore 64, and hopefully it’ll keep randomly popping up in the few TV shows I watch. I fully expect a Walking Dead zombie to get a breadbin upside it’s head in October. An Apple II might make a better blunt force weapon, but I suspect the royalties and permissions needed would make the Commodore a far better choice.