Silicon Valley has wrapped up it’s second season on HBO, and to coincide with the sophomore season HBO put out its Season One comprehensive DVD and Blu-Ray set in order to catch people up. This is a review of the DVD version.
Design: To start off Silicon Valley has a great cover image. Cleverly parodying the famous Steve Jobs, as if you look up Steve Jobs the first image you will see mirrors the Silicon Valley cover. It’s also amusing if you’ve watched the show as Erlich dresses in this exact outfit in episode four. The back cover briefly outlines the special features on the disc, however it completely neglects to mention that each episode has a commentary track. As someone who buys a lot of DVD’s solely due to their commentary track this is a big detriment to the packaging, and something that should be present in the Special Features listing. The inside cover has another cast photograph, and small descriptions for each episode. There are two DVD’s included with the set and they both include the early “Pied Piper” design that gets made fun of as soon as it appears. Overall asides from the lack of commentary information this is an expertly designed package.
Content: The season itself is really an absolute joy to watch. The characters have a great back and forth with each other supplying an excellent dynamic. Most if not all jokes are implemented to perfection, and the show manages to parody the Tech industry whilst still being a mostly accurate portrayal. The characters are also written in such a way that you actually care for them allowing the show to not just be hilarious but also allows it to have stakes. While early episodes may seem like it devolves into one off sketches, those ridiculous situations are always called back upon in later episodes. This allows the show to be crazy but also to have a defined sense of continuity. It is especially impressive once you get an understanding of how difficult the show was to make. For example their Tech Crunch Disrupt segment was made using real elements from the conference. They invited companies that actually attended the event to come in and display at their fake version of it. It’s the small elements of detail that really draw you to the show and encourage rewatching the series to get every little joke.
Extras: The three extras included upon the DVD, and advertised on the back of the DVD are highly amusing. However the total time between all three of them if only about three quarters as long as an episode. They showcase some behind the scenes interviews, and give you one indepth set visit. Each special accurately answers the questions they pose: such as “what do the details of Erlich’s house look like”, and “how they put together the Tech Crunch segment” but they only seem to scratch the surface. Had this been the only specials provided on the disc I would have recommended you just watch the season on HBO GO, fortunately however each episode has a commentary track with it. Each Commentary track is insightful, and amusing. For episodes 2,4,5,6, and 8 they have the large majority of the cast talking throughout the episode. When watching the big cast’s commentaries you really get a sense of how much fun it was to shoot this show. They all seem to genuinely enjoy hanging out with each other, which makes watching the show that much more enjoyable. If you are looking for a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon blasting their commentary whilst you go about weekly chores is a sure fire way to have a good time.
Overall if you haven’t seen Silicon Valley, and are a big fan of Mike Judge then this show is definitely right up your alley. The season one DVD has a great compact design that will merge well with your collection, and while the designated special features may be short the commentary more than makes up for the cost of the disk. This DVD boxset is a recommended purchase.