The first season of HBO’s newest comedy, Silicon Valley, wraps up on Sunday, June 1. If you’re not already watching it, you should be. It’s easy to catch up on, too – there have only been seven half-hour episodes so far, and you have about a week and a half (including a holiday weekend!) before the finale.
Created by Mike Judge (of Office Space, Idiocracy and Beavis and Butthead fame), the show is very, very funny. That’s a given. It follows a start-up team called Pied Piper that’s building a compression algorithm, and each of the five main actors (Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani and Martin Starr) are great in their roles. Each is pathetic, loveable and funny in his own way.
But what I’m most impressed by is how right the show gets the world of tech. This might be obvious – especially for a show about the tech world on a network that usually does no wrong – but I can’t emphasize it enough. The highest compliment I can give the show is that it feels real. This could be the true tale – slightly exaggerated for comic effect – of five guys trying to make their product a success.
Think about other shows for a minute. I don’t know about you, but I’m endlessly frustrated when I see an actor “talking” on an iPhone that’s displaying the phone’s home screen. JUST TURN THE SCREEN OFF! I know it’s a minor, insignificant detail, but with the amount of time I spend in the world of tech – reading, writing and posting – I’m going to notice these things.
Silicon Valley gets all those beats right. It’s based in the real world of tech, where start-ups like Pied Piper are looking for seed money and angling to win TechCrunch Disrupt. Silicon Valley continually references the sites I read every day, and it talks about the iconic companies (and their leaders) in the world of tech. You don’t have to be familiar with the world of tech to enjoy Silicon Valley… but the show will be much funnier (and realistic) if you are.
I haven’t heard too many people talk about this show, which doesn’t bode well for its long-term success. I’m also not sure where it’s going to go from here. (Slight spoiler alert.) Pied Piper gets to TechCrunch Disrupt in Episode 7, which should wrap up in the season finale. There’s still a lot to be done to make Pied Piper a success, and I hope we get to see where the company goes in future seasons.