Silicon Valley (HBO)
Created by: Mike Judge (Office Space, King of the Hill)
Starring: Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Zach Woods, Kumil Nanjiani
I am dork, but I guess I am not the Silicon Valley type of dork. Reviewers and critics all but rubber stamped this show to be the second coming of genius comedy for HBO, but I was left scratching my head last evening.
The show follows a group of five friends who fit the stereotypes of coders in the Valley, as pointed out by the CEO of Hooli. The shows central character is Richard (Middleditch) who has created an algorithm for a website named "Pied Piper." Richard has been approaching numerous people with his Pied Piper program, but people just laugh at him. When people start to realize the algorithm could revolutionize the way countless things are done like travel or get to links even quicker, the list is endless. Richard is faced with the dilemma of choice, do you go out on your or take the quick cash.
Silicon Valley is meant to a satire on the startup companies of today, much like the Mike Judge's Office Space was on the simple everyday mundane job. Judge graduated college, with a degree in physics; he eventually moved to Silicon Valley and worked for Parallax. Judge is quoted as saying "The people I met were like Stepford Wives. They were true believers in something, and I don't know what that was." The show itself hits hard on this subject matter, focusing on the core group and their thought process of breaking away from the structure of things like Google, or Hooli.
What is Hooli? Who are these men? Beyond their stereotypes presented in the sometimes clunky writing, there doesn't seem to be much depth, except for maybe Richard, who is character I enjoyed a lot. Judge is a solid writer, and I think he has done good/smart work over the years, I also think there is potential here. I have only seen one episode while many critics have seen several. Maybe there is some growth in these characters that may happen.
One of the shows problems is that it is sandwiched between HBO's two best shows on the air Game of Thrones and Veep. I think this show is a bit messy, contrived and poorly framed, Judge's direction is a bit weak. There were a few chuckles, but framework outweighs the chuckle. At the end of the day I will watch one, maybe two more to make sure I am right, but this show feel like miss, and come on Judge geeks get girls these days, and maybe put some female coders in the mix, they do exist, I swear I have seen them first hand, they aren't the Yeti.
Tune Out: Giving it it one more shot, critics are wrong on this show, and have a hard on for it, because it seems cool and pretentious.