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

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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

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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…

RuPaul's Drag Race builds an exceptional challenge from DragCon promotion

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RuPaul has changed the drag economy over the past decade, and RuPaul’s DragCon is a major part of that landscape. It’s an event that connects drag professionals and fans from around the world, and for Drag Race alumni, it can be a major money maker if queens are able to create a marketable brand for themselves. “Drag…

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

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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…

Richard weighs transplanting Silicon Valley's most vital organs

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All the way back in the third episode of Silicon Valley, I made the observation that a central lesson to take from the show was the message “Look before you leap.” Multiple seasons later, that message hasn’t become any less relevant. Putting the “neg” in “negotiations,” spilling evidence of a conspiracy onto the…

Richard experiences pains—growing and otherwise—as Silicon Valley settles into its new digs

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I may have come across as a bit harsh on Silicon Valley in my review of last week’s premiere, but I feel it’s important to clarify that my judgments come from a place of love. When this show is firing on all cylinders, it’s frequently one of the best comedies on television, and it bothers me when it comes across as…

The Big Sick lovingly updated the rom-com formula with a coma and a great 9/11 joke

For its first 40 minutes, last year’s The Big Sick follows a fairly familiar rom-com structure: Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl are driven apart due to the fact that they’re from different worlds, even as the audience can tell a romantic reunion is all but inevitable. And…

Today in good deeds: Kumail Nanjiani translates videos on dealing with ICE into Urdu

It’s a scary time to be an immigrant in America; although the Trump White House’s loudest rhetoric about the “dangers” of illegal immigration has died down from its early-2017 peak to a low, still very scary roar, the Department Of Homeland Security’s ICE agency continues to work largely unabated in its efforts to…

Silicon Valley is forced outside its comfort zone as season five boots up

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As it begins its fifth season, Silicon Valley finds itself at a disadvantage for a variety of reasons. It’s coming off a fourth season that had its moments, but that was repeatedly criticized for its inability to commit to the fresher narratives it introduced. It’s satirizing an industry whose public perception in the…

Seth Rogen, Tiffany Haddish, Kumail Nanjiani and more will bring the Hilarity For Charity on Netflix

Seth and Lauren Rogen’s altruistic variety special, Hilarity For Charity, is coming to Netflix for the first time in its six-year history. The streaming platform and the Future Man executive producer announced the collaboration today along with a stacked lineup. The indefatigable Tiffany Haddish has secured a spot in…

Watch Lupita Nyong'o and Kumail Nanjiani's funny, touching tribute to dreamers

During tonight’s Academy Awards ceremony, Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani presented the award for Best Production Design, but before that they took a moment to honor immigrants. Nyong’o noted that she’s from Kenya, getting a huge cheer from the audience (“Kenya’s in the house,” added Nanjiani), and Nanjiani—or…

Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon are developing an anthology series about immigrants

Newly-minted Oscar nominees Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani have their pick of projects at this point, and it looks like they’re headed to the small(er) screen. Deadline reports the Big Sick writers are teaming up with SMILF executive producer Lee Eisenberg and Master Of None co-creator Alan Yang on an anthology…

Kumail Nanjiani celebrates his Oscar nomination with some food he hates

Just because you’ve been nominated for an Academy Award doesn’t mean you can stop eating your vegetables. That’s the hard lesson Kumail Nanjiani learned this week when he was forced to make good on a bet with Baby Driver director Edgar Wright. Apparently, Wright predicted last year that Nanjiani and his wife Emily V.…

Kumail Nanjiani has a heartwarming story about Rian Johnson for you

Kumail Nanjiani may be terrified of social media, but he’s still very good at it. We’ve seen the comedian and actor use it to share stories both horrific and heartwarming, and while the tales themselves have been compelling on their own, what really elevates them is the clear sense of wonder and humility Nanjiani is…

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