Silicon Valley claims a majority share in a finale that plays to its strengths

A-

At the start of season five, I argued that Silicon Valley was staring at a lot of obstacles, thanks to a somewhat unmoored fourth season and associated real-world debacles. And now looking at the season as a whole, it’s been a mixed bag in terms of working around those roadblocks. T.J. Miller’s absence proved to be no…

Richard flips a bitcoin for his company's future on a solid Silicon Valley

B+

In my review of Silicon Valley’s fifth season premiere a few weeks ago, I argued that while the show continues to have issues in its advanced age, it’s still working off of a sturdy foundation with its talented cast and its perverse sense of humor. And as we approach the end of the season, that point has held up. Each…

Facing the uncanny valley, Silicon Valley misses the chance to jump right in

B-

For all HBO’s “It’s not TV” pride at being above its broadcast peers, this Sunday has a lot of hallmarks of those broadcasters’ love of themed programming. On the same night as the second season premiere of Westworld, a show that throws the evolution of robots back in the face of their creators, Silicon Valley is…

A funny if scattered season of Silicon Valley comes to a funny if scattered end

B

Ever since Vikram Murthi filled in for me a few weeks ago, I’ve been chewing on a statement he made in his review, that this year Silicon Valley “excelled by shifting its focus towards episodic narratives over a strong seasonal arc.” It’s an observation I agree with, though instead of using it to praise the comedy I’m…

Richard breaks bad on Silicon Valley, and in the process breaks everything else

A

In his advance review of season three, Erik Adams made the key observation that while Silicon Valley’s ensemble is its greatest strength, it smartly never gets away from keeping Richard Hendricks at the center: “This is still the story of a protagonist with a good idea, noble intentions, and ample vulnerabilities… the…

T.J. Miller’s on the way out the door at Silicon Valley, but Erlich Bachman’s on the rise

A-

I’ve spent a lot of time in these reviews criticizing Silicon Valley for its inability to commit to making any major changes (and did so as recently as last week) but now it looks like real life is forcing change on the show. Last week we received the unsurprising news that HBO picked up a fifth season of the series,…

Hubris runs rampant through Silicon Valley, as Dinesh’s new job goes to his head and hair

A

For all that Silicon Valley the show and Silicon Valley the industry is about the unchecked promise of technology, the reality is that it’s more about the unchecked egos of its people. These are people packed into a bubble of constant one-upmanship, getting too much money too fast, high on the idea that they’ve…

Silicon Valley starts season 4 aggressively seeking the next big thing

B

There’s an interesting meta component that runs through the events of “Success Failure,” the fourth season premiere of Silicon Valley. Our erstwhile hero Richard, having managed to stumble back into a position of strength, finds himself dissatisfied and constantly trying to tweak something to its detriment. After some…

Silicon Valley’s finale gets the team back to where they once belonged

A

In the final moments of “The Uptick,” a sense of peace settles over the founders of Pied Piper. Everyone is gathered around their workspace in Erlich’s house, playing with a Hoberman Switch Pitch and confident in the next step for their fledgling company. And if that feels familiar to regular viewers, it’s because it…

On Silicon Valley, tables are like Pied Piper—and the tables have turned

A-

There’s a moment towards the end of “Daily Active Users” where Richard Hendricks is at a point lower than he’s ever been. Not for the physical circumstances of being curled up in Erlich’s bathtub, hair touching a drain that desperately needs cleaning, but for the absolute weariness in his revelation to Jared that he’s…

Everything has a price in Silicon Valley, even friendship

A

Early in the run of Silicon Valley—around the time of season one’s “Fiduciary Duties” to be exact—I realized that the relationship between Richard and Erlich is a vital part of the show. Part of it was the obvious parallel between such real-world partnerships as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, part of it was the…

On Silicon Valley, victory and defeat keep snatching from each others’ jaws

A-

One of the best things about watching Pied Piper’s journey through all its ups and downs is that there’s no one path to success for the company and its founders. It grew out of a mix of dumb luck and raw intellect, and since then has climbed to its current position by adding to the mix various measures of…

The caper movie is embraced and subverted in a glorious Silicon Valley

A

There are no words for how agonizing the ending of “Meinertzhagen’s Haversack” is. After spending so much time transforming Silicon Valley into a caper movie and giving our erstwhile heroes a position in which they could truly thrive and be cheered on—rebels against what was once their own rebellion—the entire thing…