Lost in all the big news last night of the Game of Thrones season premiere was the Silicon Valley premiere that came on after GOT. The GOT premiere was the most watched episode of the series and the 2nd most watched episode in the history of HBO behind the finale of The Sopranos.
With 6.6 million people watching GOT as a lead in to the Silicon Valley premiere, it’s no surprise that the numbers for Silicon Valley were very good. Silicon Valley averaged over 2 million viewers for the premiere which makes it the 2nd highest premiere HBO has had (the premiere of Hung was first). Great numbers for the new show that is produced by Mike Judge (Office Space, Beavis & Butthead) but is the show really any good?
Well I watched it last night and after the premiere, I just don’t know what to make of it…yet. I never judge a show by their pilot or premiere episode. I like to give shows at least a few episodes to see if something will develop. Often times, characters and plot lines change very quickly from the pilot as the writers and producers try to find what works for the show. Sometimes things click and a hit show emerges and sometimes the shows are on NBC and they are canceled before they have a chance.
My feelings on Silicon Valley are reserved. I really like the cast that has come together for this show. I am a big fan of comedians T.J. Miller (Carpoolers, one of my favorite shows that was canceled way too soon) and Kumail Nanjiani (Franklin and Bash) who are both part of the Pete Holmes/Chris Hardwick/Nerdist comedy universe. The cast is full of young comedians like these who’s names you might not recognize, but you would probably know them if you saw them.
Silicon Valley is about life in, as you guessed, Silicon Valley. Creator Mike Judge’s first job was as a programmer working in Silicon Valley and he was part of a tech start-up. He has the background to make a show like this and his inside knowledge of the industry is apparent.
The problem for most people watching the show? It’s too inside. You really have to know a fair amount about the tech industry to understand what is going on in this show. Oh they are making fun of Google? But one of the Google execs is making a cameo. How can that be? If you ask yourself that, then you just don’t get it. If you just don’t get it, you are probably older than 25 and right now, I don’t think this show is aimed at you.
I like the cast and I like Judge’s ability to portray work life from the perspective of us worker bees so I am hopeful that after a few more episodes, a real story line develops other than constant insider techie jokes that only a small percentage of the population will get.
On second thought, if they are going to keep Silicon Valley in it’s slot following Game of Thrones, then they probably won’t change anything because the same dudes who are right now trying to learn Dothraki, are also the only ones who will get Silicon Valley so maybe that’s been their goal all along.
Silicon Valley airs on HBO Sundays at 9:00.