Monday, April 7, 2014

Pilot Talk 2014: Silicon Valley

Every TV season, networks bring out a new crop of shows, in hopes that they'll be the next big hit.  Pilot Talk is devoted to figuring out whether these shows are worth your time based on the first episode.

Sundays at 10:00 PM on HBO

Mike Judge knows a thing or two about workplace satire, having written and directed the 1999 cult classic, Office Space.  Silicon Valley is like a spiritual successor to that film, providing a more modern spin on the ins and outs of the tech world.  It follows a group of programmers who are living together and making ends meet at small-scale software companies, until one of them (Thomas Middleditch) stumbles upon an app with a compression algorithm that will revolutionize the industry.  Here, the comedy is just as dry as it was in Office Space, but the satire has a little more bite to it.  The pilot gets alot of mileage out of tech speak mumbo jumbo and the ridiculous nature of the faux-hip startup culture in the Silicon Valley area.  The entire cast is solid, from Kumail Nanjiani as Dinesh to T.J. Miller as the quasi-leader of the pack.  If there's one knock against the pilot, it's that it's a little slow, and I can see the show lacking drive because of the way it coasts.  But I can also see it really falling into a solid rhythm, one that takes a few episodes to get into before it truly clicks and makes sense.  In the hands of Judge, I'd bet on the latter.

Grade: B-

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