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Silicon Valley “Signaling Risk”

By Tony Leopold on May 7, 2014 to Silicon Valley


If this week’s Silicon Valley taught us anything, it’s that Richard is dragging the show down.

I mean, seriously, how great was the beginning of this episode? Having Erlich, Dinesh, and Bertram together in the Latino ‘hood was priceless. The interaction between Erlich and Chuy, a graffiti artist that they hope to have design their logo, was so uncomfortable and Dinesh and Bertram acting little squabbling children in the van was perfect. The beginning of this episode felt like no other episode of Silicon Valley, which is a good thing. The show seemed to be getting caught up with too much talk about Pied Piper. It was refreshing to see the characters talking about something other than coding and Hooli, etcetera, etcetera.  

Let us now detour.

Do you guys remember the show Weeds? 

One of the things I loved about that show was that the song that played during the opening credits was always different. Well, it was mostly always different, with a different band offering a different version of the same song every episode. This episode of Silicon Valley featured a different opening credits song, and it was wonderful. It kept the flavor and theme of the scene preceding it and served as a cue to the viewer, telling us that this episode was going to be just a little different.

After the opening credits, the next scene featured Erlich, Danesh, and Bertram again, arguing about what was or was not racist. Once again, the chemistry between these three characters and actors is superb. But then…then comes Richard to suck the fun and humor out of the show. At this point, any time that Richard, and to lesser degree, Jared, is in a scene, I know that the humor and pacing is going to be dragged away, only to return when they are not the focus. All they talk about is mundane business-related things and every conversation is the same.


For example:

Jared: “We need to act more like a real, grown-up business.”

Richard: “Yeah, I don’t know. I just want Pied Piper to be great and these guys are my friends.”

Jared: “I know, but blah, blah blah.”

Richard: *awkward mumble, avoid eye-contact, avoid making a decision about anything*

Speaking of funny, the meeting that Big Head attended with the hologram version of Gavin was pretty well done. Scenes like this have been done to death in film and TV (Our technology doesn’t work! Aren’t we silly?!?) but they somehow managed to make this one seem fresh, with much of the credit going to Matt Ross (Gavin), who nailed every line in that scene.

The mural/logo plot line became pretty predicable, but I think it is forgivable because at least it offered something different for the characters to coalesce around. Also, are we to really believe that Erlich wouldn’t go to jail immediately for having all that pot in his garage? I mean, that *was* a lot of pot, right?

Ready for next week?

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