Silicon Valley: Season 1 created by Mike Judge (Home Box Office, 3 Arts Entertainment, Judgemental Films Inc.)
Starring Thomas Middleditch, T. J. Miller, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods, Josh Brener, Amanda Crew, Christopher Evan Welch, and Matt Ross.
Inside the Incubator
Incubators possess critical importance. They bring life and vitality from the perilous threads of existence. They are also extremely limited in scope. What begins as sustenance can soon become a cage without proper perspective.
Even worse, when an incubator becomes a world to itself, it becomes an echo box of delusion as people dream big but touch so little.
From the house of our protagonists to the seclusion of technology permeating the Northern California valley of silicon, Silicon Valley finds humor in a culture that simultaneously provides the world with so much promise as well as unlimited hubris.
Rags to Riches?
Silicon Valley highlights the story of Richard Hendriks (Thomas Middleditch), a shy programmer that works for Hooli—a large stand-in corporation for Google. In exchange for a room, Richard moonlights on his pet-project, Pied Piper, a crappy music app in an incubator in Palo Alto.
This incubator, run by Erlich Bachman (T. J. Miller), includes projects from Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti (Josh Brener), Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), and Dinesh Chugtai (Kumail Nanjiani).
Believing he can hit it big with the next great technology app that could change the world, Hendriks tries to pitch his project to Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), with little success. As a last ditch effort, he hopes to convince Gregory’s assistant, Monica (Amanda Crew).
Later at Hooli, a few programmers from the popular crowd are making fun of Hendriks’ Pied Piper when they realize his compression algorithm for maintaining music quality is revolutionary.
Communicating this revolutionary technology up the ladder, business development professional Donald “Jared” Dunn (Zach Woods) learns of the product and pitches it to Hooli CEO Gavin Belson (Matt Ross).
Hooli contacts Richard with a lucrative cash offer. Problem is, Peter Gregory is offering to invest so that Richard can build something from the ground up.
Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
What to do? You could be set for life. But you’ll be anonymous. Building a company from the ground up means Richard could be the next Steve (Jobs or Wozniak).
The comedy of Silicon Valley comes from the absurdity that is the echo chamber of the Bay Area. There’s so much money flowing around that Kid Rock will play a house party and get ignored. Every mission statement includes making the world a better place. And you better expect your company philosophy to include some form of local, social, and mobile.
Silicon Valley feels like a natural extension of Mike Judge’s work in Office Space. He expands on the isolation and humor of work life. It’s not quite laugh out loud funny, but Silicon Valley is certainly enjoyable.
Verdict: 3.5 out of 5