Silicon Valley is a new show about a gang of nerds trying to become the next Steve Jobs, but it’s actually brilliant and you should watch it right now.
The hipster runs strong in my veins as I write this. I can barely lift my head from the weight of a non-existent fedora. For years I refused to hate the Big Bang Theory, because at least there was something on TV where geeks ran the show. But as the episodes and season rolled on, even I have to admit that the show has irredeemably sunk into a festering quagmire of nerd-blackface.
Here’s where I stop myself from ranting about attractive people wearing “GEEK” t-shirts. Instead, I focus on the tremendous relief I felt after watching Silicon Valley season 1. As a Brit, here’s my best description: all those dreadful years of singing “Three Lions” only to watch a set of over-paid twats make excuses and give inconceivably dull press interviews – that’s the same feeling that most popular ‘geek’ culture gives me. The last episode of Silicon Valley, though, was like seeing Rickie-fucking-Lambert score a world cup winner. From the back row of the fucking stadium.
The eight-episode debut season of Silicon Valley follows a group of nerds which at first glance bear an uncomfortable resemblance to TBBT. Indian dude, normal-ish dude, really creepy dude and a guy who just says weird things all the time. That fear, though, evaporates quicker than an uncovered pool of liquid water on the surface of Mars (HEY EVERYONE I MADE A SCIENCE JOKE) as soon as these characters interact – they really are awesome nerds.
Without spoiling the plot, the ‘main’ character basically invents a piece of software that compresses files to an impossibly small size without any degradation – an invention that could revolutionize all digital media. He’s offered a choice: either sell his software for $10 million to the company he works for (which is essentially an in-universe Google equivalent), or accept an offer from an investor for a meager $100,000 to build his own company and retain 90% ownership.
I can’t really say any more without spoiling it, but the show revolves around him making that choice and dealing with the consequences and challenges presented. The thing that makes the show stand out, though, is the writing. This show absolutely nails what it is like to live in a group of average nerdy people. The way they look at each other, the things they talk about – everything.
Here’s an example. A typical piece of TBBT dialogue goes: “Hey Sheldon, have you seen my glasses?”
“Oh, I may have used them to build a new focusing lens my quantum agron lazer project.” [AUDIENCE LAUGHS]
“Well I need them back” [MORE LAUGHTER]
“Well Frodo wanted Seas Bean to live and look where that got him” [AUDIENCE LITERALLY SHITS ITS PANTS LAUGHING]
Rinse, repeat, and you have an episode of TBBT. Now take a look at how Silicon Valley approaches comedy. Many news outlets are calling this the greatest dick joke in the history of television. Unfortunately, it’s not embedable, but click this link then head back to read the rest.
My work here is done. In one scene you have witnessed elegant proof of everything I have stated above.
The show throws in a few decent cameos, and makes some amazingly subtle in-jokes that real geeks will get. Like how every company in Silicon Valley claims that it is “making the world a better place”, like what you see in Google and Apple commercials. Please, please, for the love of god go and watch this show. Nerds must unite to make this more popular than The Big Bang Theory. If Sheldon were real, he’d ironically agree. And we’d ironically punch him in the mouth anyway.