Silicon Valley has consistently been both one of the funniest shows on television, and one of the most accurate portrayals of nerd/geek culture in media. The true-to-life business tactics of the show are executed with a hilarious eye for the absurdity of it. All of the characters seem accurate, and real. Now with this latest episode we get to see even more new characters that flesh out just how great the show is.
Early in the episode we get to see Pied Piper’s hiring process begin. The results are spectacular effectively setting up the bizarre nature of resumes, and introducing us to some potential new characters. This episode does get into the nitty gritty of the tech business world, going from the lowest element “the hiree’s” to the highest element “the ceo’s”. One of the potential hiree’s known as “The Cyborg” (due to his pacemaker) is a big wedge between Richard and Erlich. This leads to some of the biggest laugh out loud moments of the episode with the two feuding in every aspect of company life. The other hire is Carla Walton who is a great female addition to the cast, not that her being a female makes her a great addition to the cast…just that she’s best suited for the role. At least that’s what Jared would say if he were the one doing the review. They really go far to point out the careful balance tech companies take with adding good female staff without just hiring them because they are female. Which the fact is pointing out you are not just doing it because she is female is essentially pointing out just the opposite. If you don’t mention it, it’s not an issue just hire the person. Of course Jared’s character now called ‘OJ’ doesn’t seem to understand that fact causing him to continuously be sexist accidentally. Now the addition of a female member in the way they did it may be a commentary of how some viewers may take the addition. They go through the rigmarole of making a joke about adding a female to an all male cast in an attempt to ease the tensions of viewers who make think they are just doing it to add a token role to the team. Well done in all aspects.
After Richard declines Erlich’s say in the hiring process for Pied Piper, Erlich begins to grow into a neat freak around the house. Issuing statements on where the garbage should go, where the spoons should be, and how the VHS cassette’s should be organized. People with a keen ear can hear Erlich ranting about the alphabetization of “Star Blazers” episodes. Which is most likely the nerdiest sentence you’ll hear today. Initially the idea of alphabetizing them would be the nerdy highlight but it’s actually the use of Star Blazers that sets it over the charts. For those of you who aren’t masters of 70’s anime Star Blazers is an American adaptation of the popular anime series Battleship Yamato. So in other words while Big Bang Theory will make nerdy references that are abundantly clear focusing on well known big budget nerd enterprises like Star Trek, and Star Wars, Silicon Valley will make deep cuts without you even realizing it.
As hinted at last episode we get to see get to see Josh Brener’s character get unexpectedly promoted. Which instead of giving the character more to do, he is instead updated from a guy on the roof who does nothing…to a guy in an office who does nothing but people care about his nothingness. Case in point having Wired magazine come and do a detailed profile on him in regards to his new role. Which I really hope is an addition to a DVD/Blu-Ray release of this season. Imagine how much of a stretch they would need to make in order to make the character of Big Head seem like an important person. The show has done leaps and bounds to explain that Big Head is essentially untalented but manages to get heaps of accolades built upon him for doing absolutely nothing. This is a criticism Mike Judge makes time and time again with his business comedies. Most of the people that have positions of power in his shows have done nothing to earn them.
The last big set piece of the episode features a business meeting with Russ Hanneman and the rest of the pied piper crew. Russ Hanneman continues to be the funniest character on the show with his insane personality now running Pied Piper into the ground. The business meeting introduces Russ to the Cyborg’s existence which then causes him to buy him out to work for one of his other business ventures, and causes Erlich to go against Richard in a business deal that could further bring the company closer to failure. The whole meeting is wonderfully awkward, and infuriating with Hanneman showcasing more and more of his awfulness each time we see him on screen.
Overall the episode does attempt to tackle some of the shows bigger problems in this episode with elements of sexism, and diversifying the cast while still being true to itself. The Richard and Erlich conflict, the asinine business practices of Hooli all of it works out stupendously. Silicon Valley continues to be one of the funniest television shows on TV, and is a must see. The immediate must see is the Season 2 episode # 5 trailer right here –