TV Recap: Silicon Valley, Series Premiere

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Normally, when something TJ Miller related comes up, Pop-Break turns to our resident TV editor Luke Kalamar for his notorious two cents (he and TJ go way back on this site). However, before he could even agree to reviewing his new show Silicon Valley, I volunteered myself as tribute.

This is not because I wanted in on the drama. Trust me, I don’t need that right now. This is because I was really interested in this program. As someone who is young and currently works for a growing software company, I’m very interested in start up culture both inside and outside of Palo Alto. I also loved Beavis and Butthead, so the fact that this was a venture of Mike Judge spoke volumes.

Photo Credit: HBO/Isabella Vosmikova
Photo Credit: HBO/Isabella Vosmikova

But the show just didn’t click for me as much as I thought it would. There were some funny moments, but I wasn’t laughing out loud throughout the whole episode. This was my initial gripe with the show, as I read many reviews praising it before and after the premiere. I probably should have looked at all of the hype as a complete oversell, but I really didn’t think it was all going to be one big Silicon Valley stereotype. I thought it was going to be something more than the lifestyle of 20 something programmers, but hey if that’s the only demographic that exists in the Bay, so be it.

Anyway, this initial gripe I had with Silicon Valley sat with me throughout the episode and stemmed to even bigger issues I had with it. One of them that I really want to mention is the lack of a female voice, because this is something that has been totally overlooked. I mean, I’m not naive, I know the female to male ratio in the tech industry. I get the gender gap is a problem that many companies are trying to improve on.

However, I wish Judge would take this and run with it with a joke or two. Even better, I wish there was a main female lead I could relate to. I mean, I’m not adverse to “bro humor” but this show was “bro humor ad nauseum.” I think the worst line in the entire episode and what took me over the edge was the use of the “brogrammer” nickname. Give me a break. I understand Beavis and Butthead was also the same way, but at least Judge gave viewers an equilibrium of boob and pop culture jokes. Plus, lets not forget the 21 year time difference between Judge’s 90s cartoon and these programmers. 2014 is a very different world compared to 1993.

I don’t mean to go off on a tangent, really. I do think this was well acted and not the worst thing I’ve ever seen in the world. I just don’t think it was for me, and that’s okay. Maybe if it captivates people enough in the following weeks, I will take the stick out of my ass and give it another chance. Until then, I will happily take an early bedtime over this Sunday night program.

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Review: Beavis & Butt-Head (Lauren Stern)

Review: Mash Up, Series Premiere (Luke Kalamar)

Review: Big Bang Theory, 2013 Season Premiere (Lauren Stern)

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