A little over three weeks ago, HBO premiered Season 4 of its most popular show, Game of Thrones. Social media and personal interactions blew up with discussions and theories, as anticipated. However, along with Game of Thrones, HBO also premiered the third season of another show called Silicon Valley (which was recently in the news for a scene involving explicit equine intercourse). Created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky, and starring Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Zach Woods, and Amanda Crew, Silicon Valley takes a satirical look at the tech start-up culture that has sprouted in the southern San Francisco Bay Area.
The show centers around Richard Hendricks (played by Thomas Middleditch), a programmer at Hooli (the show’s version of Google), who comes up with a revolutionary algorithm to compress files, and his journey (along with a cast of extremely hilarious characters) to get this idea up and running. The crew face numerous obstacles along the way, which provide most of the comedy. Tasks such as coming up with a name (which prompts a member of the company to take a ‘vision quest’, or ‘eat a bunch of shrooms’), finding a lawyer (who plays a guitar signed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin from Google during meetings and cuts important phone calls short for enemas), and dealing with various potential investors (Rus Hanneman’s way of describing car doors is the only way to represent rich people cars) lead to many laugh-out-loud moments through the course of the show.
The other major source of comedy is the amazing chemistry between the main cast. Dinesh Chugtai (played by Kumail Nanjiani) and Bertram Gilfoyle (played by Martin Starr) are constantly insulting each other (and the insults are of the “chortle on my balls” variety). Jared Dunn (played by Zach Woods) self-admittedly looks like “someone starved a virgin to death”, and Erlich Bachmann (played by T.J. Miller) is the quintessential obnoxious member of the group, with extremely misguided opinions (“Everyone involved in the music industry…is an asshole. Especially Radiohead.”) Each member of the cast plays off so well with the others and that makes the show all the more believable, even though some of the situations in which they find themselves are ludicrous. The crowning moment of the show till now was in the finale of season 1 which I won’t spoil here. However, all I will say is this: it involves algorithms and masturbation.
Silicon Valley is a hilarious, relevant, and extremely accurate satire of the tech industry in the present day. The smallest details in the show (like the head figure at Hooli being called the ‘Chief Innovation Officer’) are humorous insides to the culture in the Bay Area, educated by Mike Judge’s own experiences in the tech industry. Silicon Valley is, according to me, one of the best comedies running currently, and is strongly recommended to everyone.
P.S.: Silicon Valley also has some of the best end-credits music I have ever listened to. Every episode ends with a different song, and after 21 episodes, I have yet to come across a song I haven’t enjoyed.