Where would we be without HBO? They keep churning out good programmes – and this Silicon Valley is no exception. Think Sex and the City with geeks, and penises, and the main characters are all men, and mostly virgins, and did I mention they were geeks? But I think you get my drift.
The premise is simple. In Silicon Valley, California, everyone wants to be that tech start-up that gets bought by the big boys for the big bucks – but in order to do that, you need the idea, the app, the techie bit that doesn’t actually matter in this review, but these 5 guys have it. They have come together as part of a hot house, somewhere to work on ideas, in exchange for a percentage of their product – it’s a roof over their heads and someone to bounce ideas off and get help if and when they need it.
Over the course of the 8 episodes in series 1, we meet all 5, flesh them out as characters and watch as they face the ups and downs of bordering on a genius and totally inept at everyday life – and a potential billionaire. Richard is the idea man, a stereotypical geek, shy, nervous, awkward around people and in crowds, but full of ideas and potential.
When his product is put before several possible buyers or backers, he’s given a choice – take the money and run but sign away the rights or take some startup funds and sell a small share of his company and also get the business knowledge and guidance needed to succeed in this cut-throat world.
The rest of the series follows his adventures or mis-adventures with his 4 buddies and their possible backers. It pokes fun at the whole tech world, highlights some of the anomalies, the sheer wealth available, and is host to a lot of in-jokes!
The cast is made up of pretty much complete unknowns, and the series is the better for that – I liked that I got to binge watch as these boys grew and matured, learning from mistakes as they go along their journey. The writer, Mike Judge, drew on his own Valley experience back in the 1980s and this shows – it needed a gentle hand to make the jokes and still produce something where you care about the characters.
This is the real deal and cannot wait till Season 2 – yes, I’ve checked IMDb, there is a season 2!
4 stars – minus one as some of it goes way over my head at times