The last episode of Silicon Valley’s previous season began with the protagonist giving an uplifting talk about why the gang got into this mess in the first place – “to build cool s**t” – as an injured man endured a 127-hours-esque ordeal on a live video stream using software that they had designed.
“The quality is great!” enthuses one.
+ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Catastrophic cyber attack on U.S. grid possible, but not likely + Secretive Intel quietly woos makers in China
“More good news – there’s a storm coming. There’s no way the EMS guys can get up there,” says another.
Other characters chuckle at the livestream’s emerging status as a meme – we get an anonymous Filipino playing guitar along with the man’s anguished cries. It’s such a Mike Judge moment – cynical, straight-faced, and incredibly funny.
And thankfully, there’s more to come, as the third season premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. on HBO. While Silicon Valley has justly won a great deal of critical acclaim, the response from within the technology sector itself has been a lot more muted – the frozen smiles and forced laughter of somebody trying desperately to be a good sport about getting roasted.
Which is, of course, the point – the show is a thorough, unsparing send-up of the real-life Silicon Valley’s self-absorption, greed and exceptionalism. The second season deals with intellectual property theft, exposing one’s genitals to a room full of venture capitalists, masturbating tamarins, horrible billionaires, and an energy drink called Homicide. Ah, the business of making the world a better place.
It wasn’t quite as amazing as the first season – a little more uneven, the excellent Bachman character began to suffer from plot-induced stupidity, rather than his usual organic kind, toward the end – but the general standard is still very high. The show has a host of timely, intelligent jabs to make at the industry, and it makes them in elegantly nasty ways. New cast members Suzanne Cryer and Matt McCoy steal many of their scenes. It’s a joy to behold.
And to be honest, there’s not that much else to say about Silicon Valley – it’s funny, it’s smart, it’s pointed, the acting and writing are fantastic, and it speaks the tech industry’s language fluently. If I were you, I’d watch.
This story, "HBO’s Silicon Valley returns this weekend" was originally published by Network World.