US TV

Review: Silicon Valley 1×1 (HBO)

Silicon Valley

In the US: Sundays, 10pm, HBO
in the UK: Acquired by Sky Atlantic for summer 2014

Geeks and nerds are hard to do well. The natural instinct of US comedy writers – typically arts graduates who know next to nothing about science and technology – is to mock them mercilessly and hold them up to be objects of ridicule. Even when seemingly siding with nerds (cf Revenge of the Nerds, Weird Science), writers still regard them as ‘the other’ and targets for the comedy more often than not – hapless losers who succeed despite their apparent social failings, unattractiveness, etc, rather than who have worthwhile character traits.

Look at Big Bang Theory, which supposedly is on the side of the geek, but which still gives all the nerds 1970s clothing and haircuts and has ‘normal’ people around to look down on them. Or at least that’s how it started (it’s improved a bit not a lot).

And in a lot of ways, HBO’s new comedy Silicon Valley is no different. Set inside a Silicon Valley ‘incubator’ – a collection of start-up businesses all under one roof being helped to become successful by a mentor – it’s a show that very precisely satirises the people, the working style, the business practices, the culture and pretty much everything else in California’s technology capital. Very precisely – having written about technology (as well as TV) for the best part of 20 years, a lot of it is very familiar to me, even if it is exaggerated.

But at the same time, this is a comedy from Mike Judge. Best known for the affectionate but teasing portrait of Texan family life that is King of the Hill, he’s also the progenitor of the much-loved cult movie Office Space, which did a fabulous job of mocking working life.

So although the geeks and nerds on display in the show are as much the butt of the humour as in any other show, not only is it quite affectionate mockery, no one escapes it. Best of all, it’s also very funny.

Here’s a trailer and if you liked that, you can watch the entire first (censored) episode, too (if you live in the US).

Continue reading “Review: Silicon Valley 1×1 (HBO)”

News: UK buyers for Silicon Valley and Intelligence, Waterloo Road cancelled + more

Doctor Who

  • Tom Riley to guest in Mark Gatiss-scripted episode

Film casting

UK TV

New UK TV show casting

US TV

New US TV shows

News

News: more Musketeers and Lewis, less Mob City, a young Transporter + more

Lady Sif on SHIELD

Film casting

  • Ed Skrein to play young Jason Statham in Transporter prequel movies
  • Eliza Dushku and Bradley Whitford join Midnight Rider

Trailers

  • Trailer for Richard Ayoade’s The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska

International TV

  • Maggie Q to star as pirate Ching Shih in Red Flag

UK TV

US TV

  • NBC to create web series for Chicago Fire, Parks & Rec, Grimm and Parenthood during the Olympics
  • CBS adds more shows to Hulu Plus
  • TNT cancels: Mob City
  • Teaser for season 3 of Veep
  • Sunday ratings: Walking Dead gets 15.8m viewers

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

Monday “NBC’s disasters, returning Alan Partridge favourites, James Lipton’s Arrested Development plus more Mr Selfridge” news

Film

  • The return of familiar Alan Partridge characters for the movie
  • Tarantino planning Django/Basterds trrilogy

Film casting

Trailers

  • Trailer for Hours, starring Paul Walker

UK TV

US TV

US TV casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

Monday’s “Iron Man and Star Trek trailers, more NCIS, more pilots and Do No Harm flops” news

Film casting

Trailers

UK TV

US TV

US TV casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting