Is HBO capable of producing a show that’s anything less than…really damn good? I’m not entirely sure, since I’m but one man who’s seen only a handful of shows the subscription-based network has offered through the years. To date, my two favourites are Game of Thrones and the late Entourage. Curb Your Enthusiasm also rates quite high, but it doesn’t offer the healthy blend of self-loathing and escapism the other two host in every scene.
Anyway, on a steamy Thursday night in July I decided to cruise Telus’ “Crave TV”—their supposed answer to Netflix. After navigating the glitchy interface for five minutes I came across a backdoor collection of HBO series produced in the past few years. When I decided that Dwayne Johnson’s Ballers wasn’t for me (I’m not a big football guy), I came across Silicon Valley.
The show recently concluded it’s second season and—needless to say—I finished both within a week. While many of you chronic binge watchers are definitely laughing at how I didn’t fit the entire series into one, curtain-drawn day, know that I’ll watch a series at an intentionally slow pace to prolong the love affair.
Basically, the show is Entourage for the computer programming community. It takes place in—you guessed it—Silicon Valley, a region in San Francisco where major tech companies like Google and Apple operate. It follows a group of programmers trying to get their start-up company funded by a number of multi-billionaires who are intended to resemble guys like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. You can visit the Wiki page for a detailed synopsis, so I’m just gonna break down what’s attracted me to the show.
First off, it doesn’t mock me for knowing so little about the computer world. I’m a Mac user, and it’s like the show’s writers anticipated people like me would tune in. I can’t figure out how to use programs like C++, Cloud or HTML for the life of me and the show doesn’t rely on it’s viewership taking a four-year course to enjoy the 28-minute episodes.
Secondly, the characters are FU$%ing hilarious. Imagine every stereotype you’ve ever heard about techies and this show applies it masterfully. The main character’s a Mark Zuckerberg-type who calls his computer his girlfriend. The five main guys are basically female-repellant, but they’re not without their charms. The most popular character is Erlich Backman, an overweight, self-entitled visionary who’s always the first to speak.
If you like humour, at all, click here for some of his best quotes.
But, my favourite is Gilfoyle—an illegal from Canada who’s as tough as Jesse Eisenberg is awkward. He’s in charge of network security and is really good with hardware. A few will recognize him from Knocked Up (he’s the bearded guy), but this is definitely his best role. He kills it.
And don’t forget about the spot-on depictions of Aspergers-laced billionaires that awkwardly navigate their way through every social interaction like an alien learning our earth customs for the first time. Whether they’re overly calculating about every little detail or just damn full of themselves, the writers had fun with these creations.
Finally, the show’s great because it pokes fun of the underbelly of the high-tech world. Instead of making a robotic appendage that gives a man back his arm, corporations will invest in an app that lets parents keep tabs on their children AT ALL TIMES. Basically, it’s every pedophiles’ dream, but I suppose progress has to begin somewhere.
So, I implore you to cancel your plans, put the kids and girlfriend to bed, and take a trip down to the brainy, sexless world of high-technology.
(Submit equally witty and thought-provoking sign off here)