Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Television Review: Silicon Valley Season One (HBO)

I actually only found out that this show existed because one of my friends posted about the third season premiering on HBO.   When I saw that it had Martin Starr in it and was created/sometimes directed by Mike Judge I knew I was in... I was all in.     Not only is "Silicon Valley" funny but it is unlike anything else on television right now.

The show revolves around a team of developers living in a house (which is owned by the always funny T.J. Miller, who just excels at this role) and when they are working for a major company together they develop (or one of them does at least) a way to store data faster and smaller.    It's not really important what is going on in that sense though because I like to think of that as the technical side of the show and you don't need to be a coder to enjoy the humor in this series.

Since they are coders though, there isn't a lot of "love interest" type of storylines in this show and I do like that about it.   I find it refreshing in a way.   Rather than watching a girl break this kid's heart, you're just watching the cruel corporate world do it instead as his ideas are picked apart, bought and sold, and just all around leaving him with doubt.

This show just goes to demonstrate how you can have a million (or billion) dollar idea and it can still become manipulated by enough people that getting to that point is sometimes more challenging than creating the idea itself.   Could you imagine if Thomas Edison was alive now and had to pitch his ideas and risked getting them stolen by larger companies?

As much as this show is a drama though, as it follows storylines from one episode to the next, it is just all around funny.     The jokes aren't really computer-based in the way that you won't be able to get them (And often times when one of the characters tries to make a joke about binary, for example, they end up explaining it anyway) but it's about the relationship that these friends have with each other that makes this so funny.

Well, it is their friendship and the fact that Mike Judge has his hands all over this and the cast is just one of the best assembled in recent memory.    The main character is played by Thomas Middleditch, who I will now know for this show, and of course, T.J. Miller has been in a lot of things but is perhaps best known right now as the voice of Fred in "Big Hero 6".   Martin Starr is one of my all-time favorite actors and Zach Woods, who I remember from the later years of "The Office" (U.S.)
Something about this show just had me watching every episode as quickly as I could, binging if you will.   The main character took his time growing on me during Season One, but he finally did and by the end of the first season I couldn't wait to start the second one and now I'm all caught up, as I type this, though I might do a Season Two review but we'll see.  

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