Television: Silicon Valley

It's Entourage by way of Office Space, set in SF Bay-area geekdom rather than L.A. stardom.

I don't know if maybe HBO realized it had a hole in its programming, left there by Entourage's departure or what. If so, this is their plug, their finger in the leaky dam.

Richard is a would-be tech entrepreneur who is developing a program called Pied Piper. He works days at Hooli, a major tech corporation, while laboring on his passion project as a member of friend Erlich's incubation group. The group is rounded out by others whose stories I'm sure we'll get to eventually.

Pied Piper, it turns out, has a compression algorithm that is worth a lot of money. Richard is offered $10 million up front by Hooli's founder and CEO but he turns it down in favor of an offer that will allow him and his friends to develop the software and program themselves. (If it were Entourage, this would basically be Vince turning down a blockbuster in favor of starting his own production company and going indie.)

Silicon Valley comes by the Office Space vibe genetically; it's created by Mike Judge. I generally like Judge's work, but this show wasn't as funny as I hoped it would be. I wasn't looking for flat-out gags, but I did want to laugh. I didn't, but maybe that's partially due to the strange juxtaposition of going from Game of Thrones to Silicon Valley? Would I find the show any better if I waited to watch?

I live in the Bay area so am familiar with all the stereotypes portrayed here; I come into contact with them semi-regularly. (Well, and I grew up with a number of them thanks to my dad, but that's something else again.) I'd say the caricatures hit pretty close to home, and maybe that's another reason the show wasn't so funny; people aren't always funny. Fact of life.

My rule is to give things three episodes, so I'm curious to see how things progress here. It was a bland start, but that's also just so much foundation laying, and there's only so much one can do in a half hour. We'll see what the next 60 minutes bring and go from there.

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