Oct 15, 2015

[TV] Silicon Valley: Season 2

In recent years, a good number of comedies have decided to explore the whole quirk of highly intelligent people as a focus. This generates mixed reactions depending on which show does what and how this person or that one decides to reaction. Just looked at the mixed feedback that The Big Bang Theory gets as a sitcom with fairly high ratings but some backlash in the geek community. But that formula, you'd think that a show like Silicon Valley would get similar backlash but we don't always see that happening.

But Sillicon Valley is still a rather young show and it has its share of critical acclaim as well. It also has different elements compared to shows like TBBT and perhaps those quirks are what make all the difference between the two shows and then some.

But more on this show, the second season did a lot to try and take the show up to a new level of sorts and to push how far things might go. Beyond the subtle references to actual figures in the tech community, there's still a lot of fun to be had in this show.

Synopsis: Silicon Valley is a television comedy series created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky. As of April 2015, the show has been confirmed for a third season.

Hot on the heels of their big victory at Tech Crunch Disrupt, the Pied Piper crew are in a pretty good place. A lot of companies are now interested in investing in the company and contributing to (and being part of) and so it seems like it's really up to them to just choose the best offer among all those forwarded. But of course you can leave it up to Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) to think of the craziest strategy to give them the best deal ever - this consists of insulting all the different companies and pretty much calling their offers pathetic, Pied Piper is off to a grand start of pissing off every other company in the valley

But we come to the plot twist of Hooli suing Pied Piper with the claim that Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) had committed copyright infringement of some sort since he allegedly created Pied Piper while on Hooli time or using Hooli equipment. Sure, from a wider view of things, it's probably nothing more than a nuisance lawsuit. But the lawsuit is enough to make Pied Piper a lot more toxic to potential investors plus it gives Hooli time to finish Nucleus, its rival to Pied Piper. Enter Russ Hanneman (Chris Diamantopoulos), who offers Richard the Series A funding they need to survive. However he also has a bit of a negative reputation in the industry and thus it's still something to consider whether or not Pied Piper wants to get involved with this sort of a figure.

The challenge in the first season was to figure out what to do with this software and find a way to make money with little more than a concept. This second season had us following the fledgling company figure out its first steps in a much bigger pond with some pretty scary challenges, adversaries and other predators of a sort that they have to fight off. And that's the sort of thing that any start-up might actually face in the big bad scary world, especially given the volatile nature of the tech world as a whole.

And while I'm not a particular fan of the how the character are crafted in this series given they can be somewhat offensive stereotypes when you take them individually. However when you put them all together, you can really feel that their quirks somehow complement one another and they all work as a team pretty well. And maybe that's one of the joys of this show - for the most part it's about a bunch of nerd sticking together and working on something important. You can argue that Bachman is more of a stoner than a nerd, but you have to acknowledge that he still has the smarts for it and he actually has to bring up his coding skills this time around.

This season has a lot of interesting twists and turns ranging from the Hooli lawsuit, the Hooli efforts to paint Big Head (Josh Brener) as potentially a key contributor to Pied Piper when Richard was developing it while still employed at Hooli. But the best moment of the show was towards the end when you had the Pied Piper team pulling out all the stops to keep a Pied Piper power live stream alive as it is just slammed by thousands of viewers (including an unexpected Pacquiao reference) all the while Richard is in court with Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) because of the Hoolie lawsuit. Some really, really great choices there!

Sure, not all of the comedy is great and it still swings wildly from the brilliantly crafted joke to some very low-brow humor. And while it does sometimes go into weird territory, the show still largely hits the humor mark well and the results can be quite awesome during those golden moments. You could say that about any show maybe, but I really think that this show is able to build up to those moments quite well but in a manner that seems rather random. But hey, the payoff at the end is pretty great.

Silicon Valley: Season 2 is a great continuation of the story and a great way to take things in a new direction but still stay true to the elements that we've come to love about the show. It also leaves us wondering what's going to happen next, especially since allies have become somewhat enemies in yet another shake-up effort. This the season gets 4 crazy Nucleus features promised to the investors out of a possible 5.


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