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

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

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

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

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

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…

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

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…

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

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

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…

Haley Joel Osment and a cold snap are the latest disruption to Silicon Valley’s ecosystem

At this point, the failure of the Pied Piper team to achieve long-term success is as much ingrained into Silicon Valley as Charlie Brown’s inability to ever kick the football Lucy Van Pelt holds up for him. Showrunner Alec Berg admitted as much in those exact terms a Vanity Fair interview, pointing out that in the…

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

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,…

The fall of the house of Gavin sets an interesting stage for Silicon Valley

On the surface “Intellectual Property” is a largely disconnected episode of Silicon Valley: The action bounces between no fewer than six different narratives, characters operating out of each others’ orbits and only intersecting occasionally. Yet it’s also exactly the episode that Silicon Valley needs at this stage.…

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

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

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…