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Silicon Valley SEASON 1 Thread

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  • Denis
    Oct 14th, 2011

     The Mike Judge comedy follows the lives of five software developers (T. J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, and Zach Woods) who try to develop a new software platform that will change the world, while living together in Silicon Valley.

    Premiere date: Apr 6, 2014

    When?   Air Time: 10:00 PM

    Where?  HBO.

    First reviews are very enthusiastic.



    May 20th, 2011

    I’m intrigued. At first glance, I thought it would be boring but it looks good. I’ll give it a shot. 

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    Jan 3rd, 2013

    I’ll check it out, because HBO almost never disappoints. I can’t say the plot interests me but I’m wiling to suspend my doubt.

    Come participate in this year's Goldderby Rankings! http://www.goldderby.com/forum/movies/2017-goldderby-rankings/

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    The premiere of Silicon Valley is a week away, but the sitcom about young software developers is already earning rave
    reviews.  In addition to naming it HBO’s
    best comedy in years, one that is “flat-out brilliant” and “consistently
    funny,” Tim Goodman’s review for
    The Hollywood Reporter effusively
    discusses the series’ “mass-appeal prospects” and says that “Silicon Valley”
    has the potential to become “HBO’s first bona-fide, broad-based comedy hit.”  Brian Lowry of
    Variety echoes that praise, writing that “HBO has its most fully
    realized and potentially commercial player within [the comedy] genre in some

    The critical darling Louie and
    the populist The Big Bang Theory
    seemed to pose viable threats to Modern
    last year, but the former proved too niche and dramatic, while the
    latter was broad and old-fashioned.  These
    early reviews are painting Silicon Valley
    as the perfect antidote to Modern Family
    fatigue.  It seems that the best is yet
    to come.

    Mike Judge, known for cult classic film Office Space and MTV’s animated Beavis
    and Butt-Head
    , co-created the show and serves as head writer and lead
    director.  He previously shared the Emmy
    for Outstanding Animated Program for King
    of the Hill
    , which he also co-created.  Other executive producers include EGOT winner Scott
    Rudin and frequent Larry David collaborator Alec Berg, a five-time Emmy
    nominee.  Judge is a likely contender for
    co-writing and directing the pilot, as six of the last ten winners for comedy
    directing have been pilots; half as many won for writing.  HBO is famous for its savvy Emmy campaigns
    and will be sure to put up a good one for Silicon
    , especially since it has not won best comedy since 2001 for Sex and the City, which was also its
    first time.

    Silicon Valley has
    hundred-to-one odds at Gold Derby right now in every category, but that will
    change once its existence is publicized. 
    There are only two months left in the Emmy eligibility cycle for the
    2013–2014 season, but do not think that Silicon
    is too-little-too-late: April is the same month that HBO launched Game of Thrones in 2011 and Veep in 2012.  The premium cable network is now ensuring a
    strong sampling for Silicon Valley by
    sandwiching its premiere on April 6th at ten o’clock between those
    two established hits.  Silicon Valley will be everywhere in a
    few weeks when its Nielsen ratings are scrutinized and its status as the next
    great sitcom is debated.

    The acting ensemble is filled to the brim with vaguely recognizable
    faces—an asset when competing for the best casting Emmy, which favors new
    series.  Thomas Middleditch is the
    series’ lead actor and “demonstrates a sly range,” according to Joanne Ostrow
    The Denver Post.  Variety
    says that he “seems to be channeling a young Gene Wilder from The Producers,” alluding to a role that
    garnered an Academy Award nomination. 
    The supporting cast includes Christopher Evan Welch who passed away
    during filming, the only actress among the eight-strong regular cast Amanda
    Crew, Zach Woods who gives the “personal favorite” performance of
    Indiewire critic Alison
    Willmore and Martin Starr, who delivers the
    climactic line: “What do we do?  All those
    YouPorn ones and zeroes streaming directly to your shitty little smartphone,
    every dipshit who shits his pants if he can’t get Skrillex in under twelve
    seconds—it’s not magic; it’s talent and sweat. 
    That’s what the fvck we do.”

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    Oct 14th, 2011

    Specially loved the doctor appointment scene, that was hillarious.

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    Jun 13th, 2011

    Looking forward to giving this a try. 

    ReplyCopy URL
    Dec 1st, 2011

    Hollywood Reporter’s positive review:

    : TV Review

    1:47 PM PDT 3/10/2014 by Tim Goodman

    Bottom Line: Mike Judge has created a series that perfectly spoofs the tech
    industry, nerds, visionaries, geek-status and what it means to make a lot of
    money (or not).


    World premiere held at SXSW; premieres April 6, 10 p.m.,

    Created by:

    Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinksy


    Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Zach Woods, Kumail
    Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Josh Brener, Christopher Evan Welch, Amanda Crew, Matt

    finds its best and funniest full-on comedy in years with this Mike Judge
    creation, and it may even tap into that most elusive thing—a wide audience.

    It’s not exactly clear whether HBO ever intended to
    create a comedy brand wrapped around super creative, not very popular niche
    shows. It’s probably more likely that it wanted two or four other shows in the
    vein of Sex and the City—or even Entourage. Hell, at this point, it might
    even go for another Curb Your Enthusiasm
    (or, barring that, just a firm commitment from Larry David to make another season of Curb).

    But reputations firm up over time by repetition and
    expectations. HBO is no stranger to shows like Bored to Death, Family Tree,
    Flight of the Conchords, Eastbound & Down, Enlightened, Hello Ladies, and the recently renewed but barely seen Getting On, which wasn’t exactly a
    barn-burner in the ratings. None of those comedies were. Even Girls, its best half-hour and certainly
    its most written about series, is more of a dramedy and isn’t a gigantic
    ratings magnet. Veep, which is
    hilarious and has confidently found its stride in season two, may eventually
    break out but doesn’t seem to have the mass-appeal prospects of the Silicon Valley premise.

    Which makes Silicon
    stand out all the more. The Mike
    -created series about life in modern-day Silicon Valley is,
    immediately, HBO’s funniest series and quite possibly the most likely to lure a
    large audience. The series had its world premiere at the SXSW festival Monday,
    but it will premiere for everybody else on April 6 almost fully formed. The
    pilot is flat-out brilliant, and both the concept and target are broad. There’s
    material to mine here for ages and it has the ability—no guarantees, of course—to
    be HBO’s first bona-fide, broad-based comedy hit.

    Nerds and geeks rule the comedy world, and almost
    everybody is either a slave to or an acolyte of technology, which is where Silicon Valley mines its humor.

    Judge (Office Space,
    Beavis & Butt-head, King of the Hill) worked as an engineer
    in Silicon Valley in the late ’80s, so he has some understanding of the
    culture. But the series is very much of the current age, skewering Google-like
    companies and tiny start-ups with equal fervor. No angel investor or wannabe
    hacker is spared the knife that Judge and co-creators John Altschuler and Dave
    slash around with reckless abandon.

    Whether employees are taking “bike meetings” or
    going to voluntary company retreats that are clearly not voluntary, Judge,
    Altschuler, and Krinsky are there to satirize the culture of tech, nerdism,
    geek-speak, and the lust for zeros and ones that go faster and can be compacted
    smaller each year. Or month.

    The series focuses on Richard (Thomas Middleditch; Search
    , The Office) who works at
    Hooli, a tech company run by Gavin Belson (Matt
    ; Magic City, Big Love), who never lets a moment pass
    when that moment could be selling himself to the world as a rich do-gooder.
    Skewering tech bosses who are so filthy rich they can only justify it by saying
    their products are “making the world a better place” is just one of
    the spot-on jokes that Silicon Valley
    trades in.

    Richard is painfully shy, socially awkward, and gets
    grief from others higher on the nerd totem pole. He has developed, on the side,
    a product called Pied Piper that allows musicians to see if their music and
    lyrics have been used before by others. It’s not a killer app but, at the
    center of it, Richard has created a killer algorithm that sets a new, faster,
    and smaller-sized standard. It could be worth billions.

    That gets Belson bidding for it, but also opens up the
    eyes of eccentric billionaire venture capitalist Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch; The Master, Vicky Cristina Barcelona—who sadly died during filming of the
    series in December 2013), who Richard met at—wait for it—a TED talk. Both power
    players have different approaches. Belson quickly goes from an initial offer of
    $600,000 and a promotion to, in escalating moments of desperation, $10 million.
    Gregory offers only $250,000 and 5 percent of the company—but Richard would
    still own the rest of the company. Sell out and lose control or build your
    dream and take your chances? It’s the question Richard involuntarily throws up

    Of course, Richard is already down 10 percent to Erlich (T.J. Miller), who became a millionaire
    by selling his own much lamer idea and who now hosts a Hacker Hostel—his home,
    essentially, to programmers who want to live there for free and develop things
    in exchange for 10 percent of whatever company they build or sell.

    Miller is the pop-out performer on Silicon Valley because he gets so many great lines. But others are
    equally strong in different ways, including fellow incubator house guests as
    Richard’s best friend Big Head (Josh
    , Glory Daze), Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani, Portlandia) and Gilfoyle (Martin
    , Freaks and Geeks). Joining
    them is Belson’s former head of business development, Jared (Zach Woods; In the Loop, The Office),
    another nerdy, nervous type who thinks Richard is a hero for turning down the
    $10 million, even if that decision is still making Richard throw up. (Amanda Crew has a role as Gregory’s
    assistant that will hopefully grow, since Silicon
    lacks a strong female presence.)

    Now that Richard knows he’s got a dream product, he needs
    to make it happen with the relatively paltry money Gregory has invested. Not
    selling out while living in Palo Alto, Calif., and commuting to San Jose,
    Calif.? Almost impossible. But the dream is there for the taking.

    Judge and company milk innumerable hilarious moments from
    the tech world in the pilot (listing them would only ruin it for you), and
    though Silicon Valley takes a slight
    dip in the second episode, it moves skyward again in the third episode and
    beyond. Again, this series needs no time to find its legs. Its premiere is
    confident, spot-on, searingly funny and uncommonly insightful.

    Are some of the tech topics and habits of that environ
    too easy to spoof? Sure. But even when you see a good joke coming, it’s often
    funnier than you expected. And Silicon
    has countless moments in the first handful of episodes where sharp,
    satirical stabs at the holier-than-thou, we’ve-inherited-the-world, POV of the
    real Silicon Valley are almost too close to the funny bone.

    That’s a great sign—it means Judge and fellow creators
    know who we are, as users of technology. They know what we love and hate, what
    we use all the time, when we use social media and why that’s inherently funny
    or helpful (to, say, a firm wanting to capitalize on that information).

    Mostly though, Silicon
    has a strong cast that can pull off all kinds of comedy. It has tech
    lust, which so many of us swim in, for a starting point. And it has
    consistently funny writing. It’s the best, most wide-appeal show that HBO has
    had in ages. Now the channel will just need to find out if any of the people it
    will appeal to are subscribers.

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    Dec 1st, 2011

    Entertainment Weekly’s review:



    by Karen Valby on Mar 26, 2014

    EW’s GRADE: A-


    Start Date: Apr 06, 2014; Genre: Comedy; With: Thomas
    Middleditch; Network: HBO

    There’s a great scene in Mike Judge’s 1999 cult classic Office Space in which a couple of
    working stiffs—understimulated, put-upon cubicle dwellers—kick the stuffing out
    of a printer while Geto Boys blasts in the background. The equally unlikely,
    similarly alienated heroes of Judge’s terrific new comedy Silicon Valley are
    essentially their modern-day flip side—but with sharper minds and insane
    earning potential. Welcome to a world where Kid Rock performs at a corporate
    event as uninterested nerds sip test tubes of $200-a-quart liquid shrimp and
    any female guest above a 7 has been paid to be there.

    The anchor of the series is the easily overwhelmed
    Richard (played with beautiful awkwardness by Thomas Middleditch), who while
    living in a start-up incubator house with fellow coders unwittingly develops a
    game-changing compression algorithm. (I don’t know what that is, which is why
    I’ll never get a chance to shoot shrimp juice.) The poor boy, once just a cog
    in a Google-like tech company called Hooli, must decide whether to sell his
    invention for $10 million to his megalomaniacal boss Gavin Belson or steer his
    own ship with $200,000 in seed money from billionaire venture capitalist Peter

    Richard’s potential mentors are among the show’s many
    pleasures. Belson (Matt Ross) is the type of blowhard who believes his own
    self-righteous corporate prattle such as ”We can only achieve greatness if
    first we achieve goodness.” Belson’s nemesis is Gregory (Christopher Evan
    Welch), a genius screwball whose flat, monotone voice makes him sound like a
    drowsy child just arisen from a nap.

    There’s so much money on the table and cultural absurdity
    to lampoon in this dotcom world. In one gem of a scene, Belson stands next to
    his spiritual adviser looking disdainfully down from his office window: ”They
    always travel in groups of five, these programmers. There’s always a tall,
    skinny white guy; short, skinny Asian guy; fat guy with a ponytail; some guy
    with crazy facial hair; and then an East Indian guy. It’s like they trade guys
    until they all have the right group.” His guru nods approvingly. ”You clearly
    have a great understanding of humanity.”

    But, as in Office
    , the heart of the show is watching Richard and his friends struggle
    to make sense of themselves and their purpose. They’re good, weird guys you
    want to hang out with. My one wish is for some female characters to be as
    carefully and oddly drawn. We have Gregory’s head of operations, Monica (Amanda
    Crew), who is a perfectly lovely voice of reason but who fails to serve a story
    purpose other than being ready for someone to fall in love with her. Richard
    would be lucky to have her, but we deserve better.

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    Cobalt Blue
    Aug 7th, 2012

    Can this possibly be bad?   I don’t see how.   Veep + Silicon Valley is going to be such a great combo.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Jul 23rd, 2012


    The AV Club gave the first five episodes a “B” grade. They have also went ahead and reviewed three episodes of Game of Thrones (A-) and five episodes of Veep (A-).

    The comparisons with Entourage are starting to worry me, but we won’t have to wait too long to find out if they are accurate. Although, there should be a disclaimer next to Todd VanDerWerff reviews saying: “I did not have Breaking Bad’s final season in my top ten for 2013 and I thought Homeland’s second season was the second best TV show of 2012.”

    So, in other words, take it with a grain of salt.  

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    Jun 22nd, 2013

    Most of the time I agree with VanDerWerff, but his Homeland Season 3 reviews were way off so I’ll take it with a grain of salt.

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    May 19th, 2011

    Went to the HBO Premiere last night and it really is all it’s hyped up to be. If the first two episodes are any indication of the series itself, then this will be the one to dethrown ‘Modern Family’ from its 5th consecutive Emmy for Comedy Series. I was sitting next to a senior editor for The Hollywood Reproter, and after the screening he decalred it as the best new comedy this season. I’d have to say I completely agree.

    Emmy-wise, in the big categories, I’d say the show is solid for: Comedy Series, Supporting Actor (TJ Miller), Guest Actor (Christopher Evan Welch), and Writing (Pilot). Lead Actor (Thomas Middleditch) is possible, but he shouldn’t submit either of the first two eps, and depending on how much more they give Amanda Crew throughout the season, a Supporting Actress nom could also be in the cards.

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    Welch is unfortunately supporting.

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    May 19th, 2011

    Welch is unfortunately supporting.

    Eh. That’s what Marcus and I were thinking, but with only 5 episodes and limited screen-time (as great as he is), it’d be foolish of HBO not to use their muscle and declare him in Guest (which if ‘Shamelss’ can go Comedy with the Academy’s blessing, they should have no trouble doing).

    ReplyCopy URL
    Dec 1st, 2011

    [quote=”thedemonhog”]Welch is unfortunately supporting.

    Eh. That’s what Marcus and I were thinking, but with only 5 episodes and limited screen-time (as great as he is), it’d be foolish of HBO not to use their muscle and declare him in Guest (which if ‘Shamelss’ can go Comedy with the Academy’s blessing, they should have no trouble doing).[/quote]

    And let’s not forget that this is a posthumous nomination we’re talking about, which the Emmys rarely do. I think the “easier” placement is routinely the guest acting categories, but if Welch is as good as the reviews suggest, then maybe a real supporting push by HBO is in order. He was so good in “Rubicon.” It’s a tragic loss. I don’t think it was ever disclosed what happened to him.

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