Silicon Valley has been one of the best comedies on television for the past two seasons, the story of a bunch of coders who create a ground breaking algorithm code but were incapable of actually doing anything with it.
This review will contain spoilers to season 3 of Silicon Valley.
I really like Silicon Valley it has been my favourite comedy of the last few years, it is a show with great characters, good acting and top writing, there really isn’t anything to not like. Season 3 followed on from the cliffhanger of the second season as Richard has been removed as CEO and replaced by Jack Barker, a new cone in the road for the boys.
Barker was a great addition to the season as he offered a more corporate version of the business world than we have seen before from the show. Wanting to make a boring box with the best compression algorithm in the business is a waste of the best piece of code available, however from a business perspective it makes a lot of sense.
Barker is an easy antagonist to cheer against, he quashes the ambitions of those more talented than him and is smarmy about it, he’s all about the dollar and making it as quickly as possible. The differences between Barker and Gavin Belson are subtle, both are corporate stooges stuck too far up their own arses who would back stab their own mother if it benefited them, but the manner in which they handle things (Barker being the subtler mover of the two) is totally different.
I do find it odd that we are now three seasons into Silicon Valley and despite having an apparently incredible piece of tech they still haven’t been able to make any real money out of it. In reality the biggest enemy of Pied Piper is Richard because he has a massive ego problem and is willing to self sabotage himself and his company for his own selfish means. It is funny that Richard is portrayed as a good guy when in reality the only difference between him, Gavin and Barker is that the other two have money.
That is the biggest issue I have with Silicon Valley, how long can they string this show out? The problem is that on numerous occasions they could have made bank and been living an incredible life, however here we are again, Pied Piper broke and having to start from scratch. You just have to look at the money which Gavin Belson throws at every other company to know how much money is floating about the tech industry for groundbreaking tech, yet they on more than one occasion they have almost went bust. In reality they would have made a shit load of cash by the end of season two at the very least, granted that sort of kills the show.
The other criticism I would make of the show (one I have made previously also) is that I feel that too often the writers rely on the ‘something disastrous is going to happen only to be saved at the last moment and everything works out ok’ trope or the reverse where it looks like it’s finally going their way only for them to fuck it up. The way the season concluded was a great example of this, as was being forced to make the box only for a swerve at the last moment or when it looked like the app was finally being successful only for it to turn out to be from a click farm.
I felt the ending of season three was very strong and well handed, they stripped Erlich of everything including his dignity, made him a broken man only to have him and Big Head come in and save the company at the last moment. It sets up the next season very well as it brings Erlich and Big Head into the fold after a season where both had sort of dragged their feet a little in terms of their importance to the story.
From a comedy perspective Big Head and Erlich’s time together was pretty fun as was the idea that Big Head got a massive payout from Hooli as he once again fell into a really good situation. Jared as always was amazing, showing that the straight man can be hilarious if played well. There genuinely isn’t a weak character in the show, everyone is relatable and can be identified to people you know in real life. One of the most important things in a comedy is the chemistry between the core cast and chemistry is something Silicon Valley has in abundance.
I did love how the platform didn’t work simply because they had been to arrogant to realise that non tech savvy people would be the biggest chunk of their business. It plays into the characters perfectly, the fact that they wouldn’t even think of giving it to a non-tech person is realistic for how the characters behave. As much as I do believe their lack of money making is something which hurts the shows realism, I do like the clever different ways which they find for the characters to fuck it up.
Silicon Valley is definitely one of the top comedies currently on television, it’s a top watch and manages to do lots of different things despite spinning its wheels a bit. The most important thing in comedies is that they are funny and Silicon Valley is certainly that. A smart comedy about smart people, that can pull out slapstick, word play or grotesque at will and deliver each without it seeming forced or shit, the evidence of a top show.
So what did you think of Silicon Valley season 3? Are you wanting a Jack box for yourself? Are you wondering how much sugar Big Head consumes in a day? Or are you just wanting a Jian-Yang for your house too? Well leave a comment and share those thoughts.