Brief Thoughts: Silicon Valley

Who names characters Erlich, Gilfoyle and Bighead? Mike Judge

Shortly after the show finished I, coincidentally, listened to an interview with Peter Thiel. For the first few minutes I was distracted by how familiar Thiel’s voice was even though I didn’t recognise his name. Then I realised he was at least the vocal inspiration for Gregory. Welch got Thiel’s voice spot on.

I love the shading of characters. Erlich, for example—his fondness for Bighead, how his idea of himself as a ladies man initially seems delusional, until you find out it isn’t. His ‘I know HTML (How To Meet Ladies)’ t-shirt from episode one was more appropriate after he seduced the second of a Tech Crunch judge’s wives.

Among all the comedy roles, it’s understandable that Richard would seem relatively dull. But I didn’t take to him at all. Thomas Middleditch’s acting is fine but the character was mostly lifeless. I think a lot of American comedy relies too much on awkward conversation for humour, with characters stumbling over their words being a substitute for humour (Jonah Hill’s character in 21 Jump Street being another example). Otherwise good work like Silicon Valley and Jump Street can still be funny, but those types of conversations can be the dullest parts

Peter Gregory discovering Burger King, and later ruminating on cicadas, were some of the show’s best scenes. The scenes were both funny and absurd, and Christopher Evan Welch (RIP) played Gregory superbly.

My two favourite scenes were Erlich attacking the boy who sold Richard pills; and a sleep-deprived Jared descending into madness while surveying people at TechCrunch (“Interested, very interested, or very interested?”)

So quotable:
“Snack dick”
“You’re gay for my code. You’re code gay”
“You brough piss to a shitfight, fucker”
“Those belong to an underage kid that I took to my house”

Episode seven, while still amusing, was the worst of the season. The plotline of Richard becoming obsessed with a girl again, and that being resolved by confusion over his sexuality, felt cheap. I’m too lazy too look it up, but I wonder if that episode should have centred more on Peter Gregory, but had to be changed after Welch’s death

I loved how Gilfoyle’s illegal immigrant status didn’t seem to tie into anything else until it caused problems for Richard acquiring the Pied Piper name. Clever writing


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