Grinding To the End of Silicon Valley Season One
As much as I generally don’t like the humor of Mike Judge, I have been told by a number of people that I needed to ignore the first couple of rather lame episodes of Silicon Valley and stick with it until the end of season one, where the pay off would be enough to get me hooked. It has almost worked, but not exactly.
First off, let me clarify for those hating on my Silicon Valley Binge entry from about a month ago. I am not a huge fan of the sort of wooden character humor that Mike Judge is good at. Rather than making the players flexible like real people, Judge instead makes the characters into sort of plywood cut-outs, and bounces the stories off of these reasonably stationary objects. Their actions and reactions are generally predictable, and having made it to the end of season one, I can tell you that my opinion hasn’t changed much at all.
I see no heros in this show. None of the players are particularly likable. You can relate to them only in the basic way, they probably play very well with the real silicon valley types they are based on. But for me, they just seem dumb. The saving grace for the show is the storyline writing, which takes a while to sort itself out, but plays out well in the end. It takes about 3 or 4 episodes just to set up the end of season 1 payoff, but the payoff is good (but at least a little bit predictable).
Season one ended strongly mostly because of how it plays out the cistory of the little guys over the big guys. It’s pretty much classic TV trope, and more power to Mike Judge for getting there in a relatively complicated way.
Silicon Valley Season One is about a 6.5 out of 10. The first couple of episodes could have been better, but towards the end of season one the characters finally started to put a little bit of meat onto their cut-out characters, and the results are promising.
However, the real world kicked this show quire hard between season one and two. Christopher Evan Welch who played Peter Gregory, died of a heart attack late int he filming of season one. His zen master investment concepts were perhaps one of the true high spots of the show, leaving the other characters in total awe. He was one of the only players in the show that didn’t require anyone else to bounce off of, he was a show unto himself and strongly held the position of investor / guru / out there guy. Season two has started with his replacement in the office, a girl who made me think of Holmes’ girlfriend Fiona in Elementary, the same sort of personalities.
Silicon Valley season two looks much more promising. I watch about the first half of the first show, enough to know how they handle Peter Gregory’s death. It’s tragic, really. But all of the characters appeared much stronger, as if the story was written with actual people in mind rather than 2D placeholder. Time will tell!