By Sammy Park
Illustration by Angelica Navarro
Smart comedy returns to TV with HBO’s Silicon Valley. While the plethora of comedians turned actors practically guarantee a funny show, the writing also brings entertaining characters.
The show revolves around Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) who creates a new data compression company, Pied Piper, and soon finds himself successful. Along with Richard are his roommates Erlich Bachman (TJ Miller), Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), and Dinesh Chugtai (Kumail Nanjiani) who are also employees of Pied Piper.
Superb writing and great acting make Silicon Valley one of the best TV shows depicting the STEM community. The show successfully satirizes the tech world due to the real life experiences of the creators of the show.
Performances by actors carry the show to hilarity. Middleditch nails awkward without over the top and Miller captures egotistical eccentrically. The dialogue and onscreen chemistry between the roommates is what makes Silicon Valley successful. Subtle one liners exchanged between Nanjiani and Starr consistently deliver amusing dialogue.
Unlike its counterpart nerdy sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, Silicon Valley delivers authentic humor. Silicon Valley is genuinely funny and doesn’t rely on stereotypes to garner laughs. Instead, all of the characters are well written and are not just subjects of race or sex jokes. For example, Dinesh Chugtai is a dynamic, complex person of color and Monica Hall (Amanda Crews) is more than a girlfriend or female punchline.
Silicon Valley’s only sour note is its male-centric moments. The lack of female representation is expected due to the real life underrepresentation of women in STEM field, but some jokes make fun of women rather than satire gender stereotypes. While uncommon, these moments still lessen the quality of an otherwise great show.
While at times goofy or male focused, Silicon Valley shines with great acting accompanied by exceptional writing. Authenticity and wittiness mark Silicon Valley as a must-see show.