Silicon Valley Online: IMDB
Genre: Comedy, Programming
Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) is an underappreciated programmer working in the headquarters of one of the biggest tech companies in the world, Hooli. He lives in an incubator with several friends, working on a music search website in his spare time. It is only after he shows some douchebag co-workers the website that folks begin to realize that he is extremely talented and that he has a ridiculous compression algorithm. With numerous companies vying to buy his program and repurpose it, he has to decide whether to keep his baby or take the money.
The series features drug use, swearing, sexual references and other adult themes.
WARNING: Some spoilers…
Silicon Valley is a show focusing on an incubator. An incubator is a residence where programmers work on and further develop their ideas in the hope of making it big. I had heard of incubators from articles previously, and found it a smart way of bringing talented people together. This series discusses what happens when one of those ideas is world-changing, high level compression software.
The household in this case is owned by Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller), a man that made some money selling Aviato. Bachman is a pot-smoking man-whore with a gift for the gab, but is an all-round dick. He’s made numerous deals where he owns a small percentage of the creations that his residents create should the idea be picked up. He also wears a trademark green shirt reading “I Know HTML… How to meet ladies!” which gives you a further idea of his personality. Miller does a really great job of playing this obnoxious yet occasionally brilliant character.
Richard Hendricks is a brilliant programmer with social anxiety. He is a nice guy, but tends to make things worse due to over-reacting to a situation. He is loyal to his friends almost to a fault. He is allowed to stay in Bachmann’s house in exchange for ten percent of Pied Pipper. The nervous genius comes naturally to Middleditch, and I am somewhat interested to getting some idea of his acting range.
Richard’s long-time best friend is Nelson “Big Head” Baghetti (Josh Brenner), an easy-going if naive guy that Bachmann allowed to stay in the house because of a really crappy Nipple Radar app. Yes, it is as crap as it sounds. He also worked in the same company as Richard, but is kicked out when Pied Piper is formed. He does make out like a bandit though, getting lots of money as a scapegoat and insider. This entails sitting on the roof and chilling with other employees used in the same manner. Brenner is adorable in this role.
Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) is a Satanist security expert living in the household. I forget what his app was, but a good portion of the show revolves around his competitive relationship with Dinesh Chutgi, which mostly involves pranks and sarcastic remarks. He is a Canadian living in the USA illegally because his car broke down at the border, he walked into the USA but never got around to registering for citizenship because of laziness. I took a liking to Starr’s acting in Party Down, and found his role in Silicon Valley to be an evolution of the sarcastic creative.
The last notable member of the household is Dinesh Chutgi (Kumail Nanjiani). Dinesh is the system administration expert from India. He is a lonely guy that is looking for the right girl, something that Gilfoyle periodically takes advantage of. Nanjiani’s role of Pinder Singh in Franklin & Bash is somewhat similar, but still worthy.
Some of the show focuses on the competition between former friends Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) the co-founder of Hooli, and Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch). Both men are insanely rich and are using Pied Piper as a means to get piss with each other. In this case, the neurotic Peter Gregory sees the brilliance of Pied Piper and decides to purchase part of the company in the hopes of developing the algorithm. In contrast, Gavin Belson showed interest in Pied Piper as a way to get back at Peter. Gavin is even willing to play dirty in order to mess with Peter, which creates a certain amount of the conflict in the first season.
Silicon Valley is a bit of a sleeper series and tends towards a bit of a computer-savvy audience that can stomach characters that regularly sabotage themselves. However, it is not the same sort of comedy as the likes of Big Bang Theory which deals more with scientists that don’t smoke weed. Being part creation of Mike Judge, it also has a comic/cartoonish feel to it. It works as well, not taking itself too seriously and allowing each character to dig themselves out of the messes that they’ve made. If this sounds appealing, then be sure to give the series a watch.