HBO’s flagship non-government-themed comedy returns for its fourth season at the end of the month, so now’s the time to get in the loop (that was very clever wordplay if you know your BBC spinoffs and remakes).

Richard Hendrix (Thomas Middleditch) inadvertently creates the world’s most advanced file compression algorithm in his music-based app Pied Piper. Richard starts his own company while fending off greedy corporate hands and sneaky startups who want to steal and/or take advantage of Richard and his code.

From creator Mike Judge, known primarily for animation series (King of the Hill, Beavis and Buthead) or live action feature length films (Office Space, Idiocracy), Silicon Valley has the same irreverent and disaffected flair that his 1999 classic Office Space wears proudly on its vest. The whole series is a big middle finger to the culture surrounding apps and app development (and no, not the delicious kind). It is funny, remarkably so, but what’s really amazing about Silicon Valley is its structure and format, and the consistent maintenance the producers behind the series put into it. So, it’s amazingly and consistently hilarious, while moving forward plots that are completely unique to the setting and character driven. What is typically a fallback of comedy – where the plots or character arcs are typically recycled and tired at worst, or non-specific at best – is missing from Silicon Valley, making it an engaging serialized show, structured like a sitcom, with top tier laughs.

It has its pitfalls. It can be vulgar, overtly so for even the most calloused viewers of raunchy comedy. The cast – among the most phenomenal ensemble comedy casts of the last twenty years, at least – is male dominated, and the few women characters seem to always be a little too close to just being token representation.

The flavour of Silicon Valley may not be to everyone’s taste, but in no way should it ever be called objectively bad. Silicon Valley should be a model of the future of serialized sitcoms. If anything, take time to appreciate its mastery of the craft of sitcom writing.

Episodes to win you over: Season 1, Episode 5: Signaling Risk; Season 2, Episode 1: Sand Hill Shuffle; Season 2, Episode 8: White Hat/Black Hat

Categories: TV Show Review

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