Ever since the first lady geek laced up her Doc Martens and learned to code, TV has fallen for the hackergrrrl. She’s Abby (Pauley Perrette) on NCIS, with those Emily the Strange pigtails, sharing a keyboard with a male colleague because she can’t fend off firewall attacks on her own. She’s Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) on Criminal Minds, with her zany glasses, accidentally leaking FBI intel because she’s too busy flirting with a knight in a role-playing game. She’s goth Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) on 24: Live Another Day, being rescued by Jack Bauer. In other words, she’s a cliché: She dresses like an independent thinker, but she sometimes acts like a damsel in distress.
On AMC’s new ’80s-set drama Halt and Catch Fire, she’s Cameron (Mackenzie Davis), an asymmetrically coiffed, camouflage-pants-wearing programmer who plays arcade games, knocks back shots, and hooks up with former IBM exec Joe (Lee Pace) just hours after meeting him. She’s such a male fantasy, she might as well have sprung fully formed from the skull of a guy who worships Steve Wozniak and shops at Hot Topic. READ FULL STORY