Silicon Valley – Season 1 (15) Home Ents Review

Silicon Valley – Season 1

Dir: Mike Judge, US, 2014, 240 mins.

Cast: Thomas Middlewich, T. J. Miller, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani. 

 Most people would assume that the life of a Close-Up Film writer is all Hollywood parties and cocaine, and you’d be right. But the sad reality is that cocaine is really expensive and that bars at Hollywood parties tend to only stock Cristal Champagne, Grey Goose vodka and Fabergé scotch eggs. So to make ends meet, day jobs are in order. It just so happens that this writer’s day job is with a software company, which puts me in an excellent position to take a gander at the latest TV series about the software industry: Silicon Valley.

Richard Hendrix (Middlewich) is a low level coder for a Silicon Valley giant who dreams of fame and fortune from his proprietary compression algorithm (no I don’t know what that is either). When it starts to become clear that his software has a potentially game-changing component worth billions, he finds himself in the centre of a bidding war between two titans of the tech industry and is faced with the choice of selling his creation for millions, even though it’s potentially worth billions, or start his own company in the notoriously cut throat, fickle and mercurial world of Silicon Valley.

If this sounds like the start of a dramatic delve into the dark heart of corporate America, well then my writing has been influenced by far too much Hollywood cocaine, because this is the brainchild of the great Mike Judge, creator of King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-head and more relevantly Office Space.

Silicon Valley is very much the spiritual sequel to Office Space but moves from the white collar, cubicle farm arseholes of 1990’s corporations to climbing-wall-in-the-office, making-the-world-a-better-place, hire-a-pop-star-for-a-party arseholes of the 2010’s.

The series starts with wit but as it progresses develops into belly laughs. The writing is incredibly witty and the characters are simultaneously believable, relatable and obnoxious. The episode titles could be titles of PowerPoint slides. The geek culture and archetypes are more on the nose than shows like The Big Bang Theory could ever dream of. You don’t believe me? Go to TED and watch any talk from anyone in the tech industry.

Admittedly, it’s not always laugh out loud, but there is enough wit and affection for the characters here to keep you watching and waiting for Season 2.

Silicon Valley – Season 1 is out on DVD and Blu-ray on 23 March.  Buy from Amazon

Review by Mark Moynihan.

 

Dave Smith

Author: Dave Smith

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