Silicon Valley: Sand Hill Shuffle
April 14, 2015 9:01 AM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Riding the wave of a TechCrunch Disrupt win, Richard and Erlich meet with multiple venture capitalists to negotiate their way to the best deal for Pied Piper. Gilfoyle and Dinesh argue about who is CTO, and Jared still isn't allowed in meetings.

Pied Piper's future at Raviga is suddenly thrown into uncertainty with the unexpected death of Peter Gregory (following the death of actor Christopher Evan Welch), who survived a hippo invading his safari camp and a warning shot meant to scare the hippo, but not the sprint out of his tent. Peter's funeral is resplendent with PowerPoint presentations and an elegiac discussion of how he felt about Snapchat.

Erlich discovers a positive correlation between his rudeness during negotation and the dollar amount he is offered, but new Raviga partner-in-charge Laurie (Suzanne Cryer) offers well above Pied Piper's best outside offer in her best effort to keep the hottest start-up commodity and Raviga's investors. But Richard receives some clandestine bathroom-adjacent advice from Monica not to take Raviga's offer, as it leaves Pied Piper with unreasonable expectations for financial growth. Richard consults with Javeed (who hosted season 1's Kid Rock party), whose company has just tanked, about whether negotiating down would have saved his company, which is a way-too-soon-and-painful revelation for Javeed. Richard ultimately sticks with Raviga (and Monica and Laurie), but for half of the amount they offered.

Still on the horizon: Hooli's Project Nucleus, whose current ad campaign is a bit too "tampon commercial" for Gavin Belson.
posted by joan cusack the second (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm so happy FanFare is covering this. Nobody else I know watches it (despite my best efforts).
posted by sardonyx at 9:44 AM on April 14, 2015

I have the strangest affection for this show, especially Erlich and Jared. I loved Jared at the ballpark asking the catcher, "Would it hurt your feelings if no one went?" and his terrific explanation of negging as "a manipulative sex strategy used by lonely chauvinists." Erlich had me ever since he hit a child in the face.
posted by gladly at 9:59 AM on April 14, 2015 [8 favorites]

When I first watched the pilot I thought it was so unfunny as to turn it off about 6 minutes in. At some point I gave it another chance, and it has rewarded. This episode made me laugh out loud many times. Ehrlich constantly surprises by not being a pat douchebag character. He's a nuanced, multilayered douchebag.

Criticisms about portrayal of women are totally spot on, but I don't think you can be totally surprised by that given the show's setting and the creator.
posted by mzurer at 10:08 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Is Bighead gone? I liked Bighead.
posted by bondcliff at 11:04 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

I thought that it was great that they went all-in on Peter Gregory's death, not lamely erasing him out of the show with some tossed-off line. Some might have found it a little lacking in taste but I hope that Christopher Evan Welch would have approved.

This show took a while to hit its stride but I'm really enjoying it now.
posted by dfan at 11:58 AM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

Christopher Evan Welch would have approved

And most definitely would not have been disappointed in Snapchat.
posted by Justinian at 12:02 PM on April 14, 2015 [7 favorites]

>Is Bighead gone? I liked Bighead.

Last we saw him, he was working at Hooli. I'm sure he'll be showing up this season.
posted by Catblack at 1:22 PM on April 14, 2015

Yeah, season 1 took a couple episodes to get off the ground, but they just dived back right in here for season 2. Laughed multiple times during this episode, and also appreciated how the Peter Gregory death was handled.

This episode was a good season premiere, and I'm excited for the rest of the eps.
posted by dogwalker at 1:52 PM on April 14, 2015

Yeah, I liked the comedic inclusiveness regarding Peter Gregory's death. However, I was sorta confused by Laurie, his replacement. So there's another lady at the same firm that talks exactly like Peter Gregory? And she acts almost like Peter Gregory, except that she's not quite as good as Peter Gregory? (Monica said Peter Gregory wouldn't have overvalued Pied Piper for their series A funding).

Is it supposed to be a meta joke about how they needed a new Peter Gregory? They certainly had to rewrite all the dialogue anyways, so it's not like they just crossed out PETER and wrote LAURIE. OTOH, I am glad to have another female character, and especially one that's not a love interest or object of desire, cause Monica's not just that but she also is that.

Monica's actually an interesting case, because she's clearly smart and has agency (she wants her company to do well, also she has a financial stake in how Pied Piper does), but she's doing Richard some total favors because she has a thing for him.

Loved the baseball thing, that all felt too real, and Erlich's meeting dickery was great.
posted by JauntyFedora at 5:14 PM on April 14, 2015

Ehrlich constantly surprises by not being a pat douchebag character. He's a nuanced, multilayered douchebag.

posted by Pope Guilty at 10:06 PM on April 14, 2015 [7 favorites]

Gilfoyle's weird sorta racist upside-down CTO joke just killed me. "But you're the wrong kind of Indian."

However, I was sorta confused by Laurie, his replacement. So there's another lady at the same firm that talks exactly like Peter Gregory? And she acts almost like Peter Gregory, except that she's not quite as good as Peter Gregory?
I got the sense that she was more like Richard than Peter Gregory. Good at what she does, but socially backward. I suppose Peter Gregory was to some extent too, but he had the eccentric crazy vibe, where as Laurie is just trying to make it work.

As for the over valuation, that appears to be the fault of run-away start-up culture and the need to have something more solid than what PG was currently investing in.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:50 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's hard to pick a favorite moment, but I loved Richard's attempt at "negging" and Erlich's "There is a line, and I may have crossed it" moment.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:12 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

I had to watch the finale of season 1 to fall back in love with this madness. I tried to persuade my geek friend to try it out with S1 but he went meh on me.

I love the whole bad-taste-but-good rhythm running through it, and resisting the need to be offended by it. The character development is consistent but with surprises, each fitting in their box but with room to breathe.

One of the few comedies I laugh out loud at.
posted by arzakh at 4:59 AM on April 15, 2015

Until this thread I didn't realize Christopher Welch had died. Belated


He was great in Season 1.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:01 AM on April 15, 2015

I do not know enough about Silicon Valley doings to be able to recognize the non-Gavin Belson eulogist cameos but the PowerPoint eulogy gave me a good chortle.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:52 PM on April 15, 2015

dogwalker - I also turned the show off a few minutes into the first episode, only to be convinced by my SO that I needed to give it another chance. Now I'm obsessed. I had to wait until Thursday to watch the season premier because my SO was out of town and we watch it together, and it was so hard to wait!

Question for the rest of you - do you live in the Bay Area or work in tech? My coworker (at a tech company in SF) and I were trying to decide if this show resonates outside the tech universe.

I can't quite figure out Laurie either. She doesn't seem to be a 1-for-1 replacement for Peter - she's definitely way more awkward and less "eccentric."
posted by radioamy at 7:48 AM on April 17, 2015

I live in Nova Scotia, have nothing to do with tech and I love Silicon Valley. It's very well-written and funny and I'm glad it's back.
posted by Flashman at 7:39 PM on April 17, 2015

Really interesting parallel with the way the character died and the way the actor died - a heart attack brought on by something equally as scary as a heart attack.

What got me watching this show in the first place (the newest episode a few weeks ago) is how strikingly the character of Laurie reminds me of someone I used to work for (that quiet, wavery-voiced rapid-fire information-dense mumble, like they're repeating something they've already been through 100 times and only half paying attention) so it's even more amazing/funny that she reminds everyone else of someone else.

I loved the funereal PowerPoint, and the formula. Gavin Belson's eulogy that sounded so much like what a eulogy is supposed to sound like I actually fell for it.

I loved Richard's big speech that didn't make any sense.

"It's a manipulative sex strategy used by lonely chauvinists." I love Jared, because he reminds me of Data and I love Data.
posted by bleep at 12:42 AM on May 25, 2015

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