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Silicon Valley: The Complete First Season
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From the offbeat mind of Mike Judge (Office Space, Beavis and Butt-head), this HBO half-hour comedy takes viewers inside the world of tech start-ups – and the socially awkward underdogs who try to navigate its lucrative potential. Starring a talented ensemble of young comic actors (see below) and veterans, Silicon Valley charts the rising fortunes of Richard, an introverted computer programmer who lives in a “Hacker Hostel” start-up incubator along with his friends Big Head, Gilfoyle, and Dinesh. These social misfits live under the watch of Erlich, a dotcom millionaire who lets them stay in his house for free – as long as he gets a 10% stake in their projects. Stuck working part-time at a large tech company called Hooli, Richard’s obscure website, Pied Piper, is going nowhere fast. But when a mid-level Hooli executive named Jared is apprised of the value of the site’s novel compression algorithm, Richard finds himself caught in the middle of an extreme bidding war between Hooli founder Gavin Belson and independent billionaire venture capitalist Peter Gregory.
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There are many obvious differences between the two shows, but there are also more similarities than I am willing to spend time to list. It seems that Silicon Valley will be more than sufficient to fill the void for me left by the cancellation of Betas. Silicon Valley is fast paced, witty, funny, and the characters have a lot of depth. As many other reviewers have branded themselves, I am also on the software side of the tech industry so I can tag nearly all characters in this series to somebody I know personally. Mike Judge has found another winning formula which I hope will remain interesting and relevant for many episodes and years to come.
My only complaint about season one is how there are only eight episodes as it seems that most pilot seasons are closer to ten.
Being a Hollywood brat and a computer nerd since high school, and finally moving to "just over the hill from SV" I like to think that I have a solid grasp on how great this show is. It is like Betas (the failed Amazon show) but cooler, grittier, and darker. The main character is super annoying, but that is just acting brilliance. Great characters, great plot lines. It almost feels like a reality show. Very funny, crude, asinine, and spot-on "what it is like to live in a start-up in a boomtown." The "extra characters" (the Silicon Valley execs that come and go in this show) are so real I could almost name the people they were inspired by. This show is television done right. It feels enough like reality to be believable, but scripted enough to be highly entertaining.
Okay, so what is this show about? It is about a start-up, and all of the hell that entails. It is set in Silicon Valley, and so we have a huge cast of SV types that serve as the backdrop for our five main characters. It is a nice blend of episodic storyline meets soap-opera. There are entire seasons of continuity and cross-season continuity, but also "flavor of the week" storylines. Unlike Betas, this is not at all camp; it is brutal and hilarious. I have watched the first two seasons and I can't wait to see how this expands. If you watch the first three episodes you will have a fell of the series (tone and pace). The humor only gets better over time by the way, and you may end up liking characters later in the series you hate at first.
And the actor playing Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch) is TERRIFYING in his oddness.
One gripe: There is exactly 1 core female character - who appears in every single episode - and they didn't give her a last name. The only character without a last name. I can't tell if that's pure, obtuse sexism or another level of satire.