Shrewsbury, Massachusetts- Fifteen years ago, Mike Judge broke down cubicle walls with the biting and hilarious Office Space, enlightening the drudgeries of the office job. Since then he has been trying to recapture that lightning in the bottle, but with not as much success. Now he has focused on the world of digital business, a world that he was a part of for a brief spell before moving on to entertainment. Judge is hoping to do to Silicon Valley what he did to corporate jobs.
Richard Hendricks is a lowly programmer working for the massively popular tech company Hooli. Meanwhile, Richard and his friends are living out of the eccentric Erlich Bachman’s “incubator” to develop fresh ideas. Richard is working on a website called “Pied Piper,” which helps artists see if their work infringes on copyrights. Little does he realize that he has created a compression algorithm that could change the Internet. He is suddenly financed by the venture capitalist Peter Gregory and propelled into the spotlight.
Mike Judge decided to go back to ripping on the world of programmers and capitalists just like he did with Office Space and 1999 and thank goodness he did. Silicon Valley is hysterical television. With a grand underdog story matched with spot on writing, Silicon Valley really stands out amongst the freshman sitcoms that are out there right now.
That’s also partly because the cast is filled with virtual unknowns. Comedy and podcast fans like myself will be familiar with these stars, like Thomas Middleditch who leads the cast wonderfully as Richard. TJ Miller is great as Erlich Bachman, a man who is equal parts asshole and intellect. Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, and Zach Woods are also gut busting as the lesser members of the Pied Piper team, but their banter is one of the show’s strengths. This leaves Christopher Evan Welch as Peter Gregory. His performance is spectacular and it’s a real shame that he passed away before there was time to really explore his character.
All in all though, Silicon Valley is entertaining and funny as all anything. The cast works incredibly together and the writing elevate that even further. This is a story that you want to keep following and root for these people, even though they may keep falling on their faces. It’s well worth the try to watch.
Silicon Valley is on Sundays @ 10 pm on HBO