Will you be ready for some laughs after watching HBO’s Game of Thrones? Probably. There’s an enormous tonal shift from the dark and tragic world of Westeros to HBO’s new comedy, Silicon Valley, which follows it on Sunday nights this spring.
Silicon Valley comes from the mind of Mike Judge (Office Space, Beavis and Butthead) and explores the competitive world of technology power houses and start-ups. It’s loosely based on some of Judge’s own experiences from his time as an engineer there during the 1980s.
Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and his best friend, Big Head (Josh Brener), work for a huge tech company, Hooli, while living in a start-up incubator owned by Erlich (TJ Miller). When we meet Richard, he’s getting challenged and ridiculed about the music site he’s created, Pied Piper.
Erlich threatens to kick Richard out of his”Hacker Hostel” for not coming up with a profitable idea and programmers at Hooli make fun of him for his idea. A downtrodden Richard wouldn’t be funny, but when his program becomes highly sought after, it all changes.
Richard has a decision to make when a bidding war breaks out between Hooli founder, Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), and venture capitalist, Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch). Will Richard sell Pied Piper for a lot of money or keep it and continue to develop it himself with a small infusion of cash?
Silicon Valley provides plenty of laughs which are accessible even to those who are tech challenged. While it takes place in the Silicon Valley and some knowledge of the tech world will elevate your understanding of a few of the jokes (Steve? Jobs or Woziniak?), it’s not necessary.
At the heart, Silicon Valley is about this unique group of friends who work together to make Pied Piper into a profitable endeavor. Richard is a tech guy and struggles as a leader to make his dream come true. His innocence and general likability are highlights of the series, in contrast to other over the top characters.
From the opening scene of an excessive tech party with Kid Rock performing and attendees feasting on liquid shrimp to Erlich showing up to an important meeting in an ill-fitted t-shirt and sandals, the idiosyncrasies of this world provide the perfect framework for hilarious circumstances and interactions.
A perfect example is shown in the clip below. Richard has a panic attack after the bidding war for Pied Piper. The doctor he sees only makes the situation worse. Check it out!
The Pied Piper crew is rounded out by Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani), Monica (Amanda Crew) and Jared (Zach Woods). They each provide a unique talent to the team to help make the start-up dream become a reality.
Silicon Valley premieres on Sunday, April 6 at 10 pm ET on HBO.
(Image and video courtesy of HBO.)