Created by Mike Judge (BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD, OFFICE SPACE, IDIOCRACY) and with a fantastic cast of comedic actors, HBO’s SILICON VALLEY is a fantastic comedy series about a group of coding nerds who claw their way through trials and tribulations to launch the next big thing in tech.
Richard Hendrix is an insecure, dweeby coder working at tech giant Hooli, which he considers a soulless dead end. Silicon Valley seems awash in cash, and he wants in on it. Along with some other coders, he lives in a house owned by Erlich, who earned a few million after selling his company and now finances budding app coders as an incubator. Richard produces a horrible music app, but at its heart is an amazing compression algorithm, which could dramatically speed up content transfer speeds and thereby revolutionize the Internet. Soon, the game is afoot, with everybody wanting a piece of it, Hooli trying to claim ownership, venture capitalists trying to control it, and Richard and his pals struggling to learn how to build and run a rapidly growing business.
The comedy isn’t thick or knee slapping, but it’s constant and smart. You don’t have to be in business or a coder to understand the show, but it feels like an education nonetheless. Anything and everything that can go right or wrong in the development of a business happens to these guys. What makes it work is every pivot in the show is attached to human emotion–Richard’s insecurity, Danesh’s desire to be loved, Erlich’s need to be aggrandized, the Hooli CEO’s massive billionaire ego–which shows how ridiculous all this is as well as cool.
I’m on to season 4 now and loving every minute of it. SILICON VALLEY is one of the most entertaining, intelligent, and again, honestly educational things on TV right now. I love a show that treats its audience like grownups, finds the heavily flawed humanity in a lionized, highly glamorized business, and pulls no punches.