Ok. To be fair. It is not that no one is talking about the show. If you Google “Silicon Valley,” you will see plenty of reviews, but it is not likely a show your friends are talking about on social media or will follow the conversation starter, “Did you catch the latest episode of ___” at school or work Monday morning. Silicon Valley is a well-written comedy that is forced to dwell in the monstrous shadow of Game of Thrones.
For those who have not watched the series premiere of Silicon Valley, log on to HBO Go and check it out. It is not going to be a comedy that will appeal to everyone, but it may be the perfect comedy for the millennial generation.
The show was created by Mike Judge, who brought us Beavis and Butt-head, King of the Hill, Office Space, Idiocracy, and Extract. Fans of these shows and movies should give the show a chance at the very least because there is a good chance they will enjoy this show too. Unfortunately, this may be the latest smart comedy HBO cancels well before its time because it is not going to have violence and sex in it, and that is what the audience wants.
Seriously. Who doesn’t like Game of Thrones? I love the show. Several members of my family love the show. It seems everyone I am friends with on Facebook loves the show. It has everything the average TV audience wants. It is a dark, high-drama thrill ride with violence, sex, scandal, more violence, and even more sex. It’s got dragons, zombies, dark magic, and plenty of twists and betrayals. How can a show compete with that unless the show in question caters to the same audience?
Smart sitcoms simply don’t do well on the small screen. It doesn’t matter if it is network television, cable networks, or online video streaming services, shows like Silicon Valley will have a specific fan base, but will be cancelled because they don’t get the ratings the network wants them to get. Unless a sitcom follows the same formula as shows like Modern Family, it is not going to take off with the average TV audience.
It is a shame, too, because Silicon Valley seems like it is going to be a good satirical comedy. It is perfect for a generation that has as much of an entrepreneurial spirit as previous generations, but as the labor market has changed, so has the focus of how to make it big in America. Who are the icons of these aspiring young entrepreneurs? They are the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world. They are the young billionaires who dropped out of college, but made it rich in the tech industry by introducing the right idea at the right time.
Young people go to Silicon Valley thinking it is going to be their golden ticket to the chocolate factory. But, what do they encounter when they get there? It is a culture of, as Judge put it, “true believers in something, and I don’t know what it was.” The show depicts the environment as cult-like and an enemy of higher academia. Judge worked in Silicon Valley briefly, but was turned off by the prevailing culture and quit his job in less than 3 months.
Judge’s experience in Silicon Valley, however, gave him all the material he needed to create his new show. As I said before, if you like the work of Mike Judge, check out Silicon Valley. However, it certainly is not be a show that will appeal to everyone. People will either love it or will not get it.