Egotistical nerds, messiah-like CEOs and a diverse group of comedic talent make up Mike Judge’s new HBO series “ Silicon Valley.”
The show chronicles Richard, (Thomas Middleditch), a young technical writer who has created a billion-dollar algorithm that he has no idea what to do with.
In the show, gargantuan tech company “Hooli,” a Google-esque company that help pokes fun at the various luxury amenities and egos within the valley, tries offering Richard extraordinary amounts of money upon realizing what he has created.
The focus of the first season is Richard’s journey from building a company, selling an algorithm, competing in a vicious billion-dollar industry and learning to become some version of a grown man in the software based, incubated world that is Silicon Valley.
Richard’s company consists of fellow programmers and housemates played by darlings of the new comedy world Kumail Nanjiani, T.J. Miller, Zach Woods,and Martin Starr.
Richard is developing his company, “Pied Piper” with little experience or confidence, guided only by his Yoda-style mentor, genius start-up CEO Peter Gregory. Christopher Evan Welch, who passed of lung cancer during the filming of this season, portrays Gregory in the first five episodes. How Welch’s death affects the plot of the show and season is yet to be seen.
The show was created by Judge, the creator of “Beavis and Butthead,” “ King of the Hill” and “Idiocracy,” among others.
The show falls perfectly in line with Judge’s signature fast and devastating wit, as well as with his previous entries into the television medium. Judge is considered a legend in the world of comedy, yet has only found mainstream success in few of his projects.
Judge’s comedy works best when he manages to balance his smart yet dirty humor with his career-long themes of becoming a man and remaining true to oneself while the world changes rapidly. In fact, while other recent television projects of Judge’s have failed, this one seems much better rounded and seemingly holds a higher opportunity for long-term success.
Judge’s greatest accomplishment with “Silicon Valley” is making it feel as familiar as an 8-year-old Ipod Video right from the start. The show is immediately funny, thanks to the writing by Judge, the portrayals and character choices by each individual actor, all of whom perfectly nail the personalities and tropes that come with living around young, hip, motivated geniuses.
“Silicon Valley” is rooted entirely in satirizing the tech world that appears to be rapidly and relentlessly taking over the world, both on a corporate and personal level. The show deals with being bombarded with app ideas by everyone from your doctor to the BevMo bag boy.
Hooli, the most obvious iteration of a mock tech giant, is run by its super Zen, super giving, life-changing, CEO Gavin Belson who represents the god like figures within our modern tech industry, such as Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Bill Gates, and shows how ridiculous worshipping these figures truly is.
The “Hooli” offices are littered with ping-pong tables, free work shuttles, cafeteria sushi and half -zipped hooded sweatshirts.
“Silicon Valley” is a hilarious and fresh take on a new culture that has been exploding for the past decade, the participants of which are now becoming the butt of jokes everywhere. What the show does well is creating likeable, relatable characters who have an immediate repertoire and will keep audiences tuning in week after week.
“Silicon Valley” is on every Sunday night at 10 p.m. on HBO, or is available for streaming on HBO Go.