The AMC execs knew they were piling the pressure on themselves with a new drama set in the 80s, considering the success of a certain period drama currently taking a break after a mid-season finale. But regardless of the Mad Men comparisons, Halt and Catch Fire’s first episode is a promising start.

Halt and Catch FireScoot McNairy [L], MacKenzie Davis [Centre] and Lee Pace [R] in 'Halt and Catch Fire'

“First of all, there's sex,” writes Newsday’s Verne Gay, “even before the opening credits. Pace's MacMillan is a late-model Don Draper with fast lines, faster moves, and could sell water -- to use the old line -- to a drowning man.”

David Hinkley of The New York Daily News thinks “It all adds up to a promising, surprisingly lively and fast-paced drama that humanizes those early computer geeks. With strong performances by Pace, McNair and Davis, we can root for them even as we mutter darkly about whoever signed off on Windows 8.”

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For Matt Roush of TV Guide, we’re dealing with a “fairly cynical premise, though the pilot is slickly produced and very well acted. Is there enough here to carry a series, and is Joe's small band of tech wizards distinctive enough to break through the clutter the way those glamorous '60s ad men and women did seven summers ago?” he asks, concluding: “First impression is that Halt is fresh and fraught with calculated promise, but whether that's enough to catch fire remains to be seen.”

And finally, Tom Gilatto of People Weekly thinks, “The drawback to Catch Fire is that we aren't yet interested enough in the backup characters. For now Pace is reason enough to watch this on whatever TV, laptop or mobile screen you prefer in the digital age.”

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Overall, the show has a score of 69 on Metacritic, and there’s time for that to change. It’s worth remembering that Mad Men’s first season has an overall score of 77, too.

Halt and Catch FireLee Pace stars in 'Halt and Catch Fire'