Jul 29 2015
One of the things I do when I am stranded alone in New York (Hmmmm, “Stranded Alone in New York” sounds like a new play) is catch up on binge watching TV shows. My latest obsession is the HBO comedy Silicon Valley and I just started watching it a couple of days ago (thank you HBO GO®) and it took a couple of episodes to really get me going but now I am really into it. Maybe because it speaks to the field/industry that I am in but I like it. Tonight I just finished the Season 2.
Silicon Valley is a comedy from the mind of Mike Judge (Office Space, King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-head) and tells the plight of a struggling programmer, Richard Hendricks, as he breaks off from a large tech conglomerate called Hooli to form his own startup company, Pied Piper, Inc. Richard pulls with him several of his colleagues to launch their revolutionary compression software. But before he decides to leave the company he sends his alpha version of the program to some others in the company and now they are trying to reverse engineer the programming behind it to try and beat Pied Piper to market.
Silicon Valley draws parallels to many of today’s top tech people/companies. Hooli was created in a garage by 2 people, Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), a marketing genius (like Steve Jobs), and Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), a free thinker (like Steve Wozniak), but as the company grew Gavin bought out Peter to make the company in his image (sounding a lot like Apple, huh?). The work environment at Hooli looks very similar to the workplace at Google, so it is safe to say that nothing in the tech industry is safe here. Hooli continued to grow and buy up all of the up-and-coming startup companies that showed any promise but when Peter started backing Pied Piper, Gavin starts trying everything in his power to stop them.
Silicon Valley brings more of a dry humor than Office Space did but it still has that tech version of David vs. Goliath that keeps you coming back for more.
Silicon Valley stars:
|Thomas Middleditch as Richard Hendricks
– Founder and CEO of Pied Piper, Inc. Richard is a stressed out entrepreneur trying everything in his power to keep his dream of making Pied Piper a success amidst all of the corporate greed and backstabbing in the industry.
|T.J. Miller as Erlich Bachman
– Erlich is an ex-programmer and owns the house that Pied Piper operates out of and therefore has made himself a 10% owner of the company. He really doesn’t show any discernible skills except for B.S.’ing his way out of the situations he get the group into. (Every time I hear T.J. speak I can still only picture him as Tuffnut in the How to Train your Dragon franchise)
|Josh Brener as Nelson ‘Big Head’ Bighetti
– Richard’s ex-best friend who started Pied Piper with Richard but stayed at Hooli when he left.
|Martin Starr as Bertram Gilfoyle
– One of the programmers at Pied Piper and their resident Satan worshiper.
|Kumail Nanjiani as Dinesh Chugtai
– Pied Piper’s CTO (a title that is contended between he and Gilfoyle) and programmer.
|Amanda Crew as Monica
– Assistant for Peter Gregory and ally to the Pied Piper group.
|Zach Woods as Donald ‘Jared’ Dunn
– Pied Piper’s link to the “Corporate” side of the tech industry. Not tech savvy but more like their PM.