Silicon Valley: Minimum Viable Product   First Watch 
May 21, 2015 11:19 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Richard is a computer programmer. He has to choose between a $10 million deal with Gavin Belson and a $200 deal with Peter Gregory, in exchange for his cooperation to make the idea of a super compressing algorithm change the world.

Screen Rant review (Kevin Yeoman):
The majority of the comedy’s superb satire comes from the repeated comments made by people like Gavin Belson and his immediate competitor, the aloof, possibly-somewhere-on-the Asperger’s-spectrum, Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), about making the world a better place. This honest and oft-repeated belief that something as benign and seemingly trivial as a compression algorithm will literally improve the lives of its users is such a dead-on portrayal of the ideology behind such a distinct subculture that it feels utterly present, precise, and yet gloriously exaggerated all at the same time.

What makes Silicon Valley work, though, is that its primary narrative is constructed around technology that doesn’t necessarily require the audience to determine its appeal to them on an individual level. Pied Piper – or at least the algorithm behind it – is broad in its potential application, but by keeping its appeal more on the business side of things, the series alleviates the concern of whether or not the audience will accept it, while also increasing the level of satire it can wring from such a concept.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for starting this. I watched a few episodes after the MetaFilter post about the show first starting, then let it slip by. Seeing that other MeFites are still watching it, and enjoying it as an after Game of Thrones chaser or clenser of sorts gives me hope for the show.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:07 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I had a beer prior to watching this, so - standard disclaimer - but this was way, way better than I expected. AV Club gave it a B+? More like an A+ (amirite?). Or should I say C++? ha.

Strongest points are the characters, who are all very distinctly drawn and likable in their own way, and the cast. But actually it was pretty tightly written as well, and I hope that keeps up throughout the first series. Someone on the writing team is either ex-Silicon Valley or very, very observant - of course it is ripe for skewering but they did it very well indeed.

I found myself laughing out loud a lot in this episode - definitely in it for the first series. Bravo.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:28 AM on May 22, 2015

"Which Steve?"
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:29 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

This was one of the funniest bits:
Erlich: What do you got?
Pitcher: Okay, here it is. Bit Soup, like alphabet soup but ones and zeros instead of the letters. Cause binary... Binary is ones and zeros.
Erlich: I know what binary is. Jesus Christ! I memorized the hexadecimal times tables when I was 14 writing machine code, okay? Ask me what 9 times F is. It's fleventyfive. I don't need you telling me what binary is, just like I don't need you thinking about soup or taking pictures of it. I need you thinking about apps, software and websites. This is Silicon Valley, not...
Erlich: [uses his phone]
Erlich: Paris, Texas... which is where Campbell's Soup is.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:24 AM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


"I entice the flesh, I don't pay for it." :D
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:25 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Pied Piper is a proprietary site... Wasn't easy."

I've been sort of following this show on and off but I decided to go back and watch this because of this thread. It was better than I thought, and interesting to see how it got started. I was kind of hesitant to get involved with a subject that depresses me but I don't regret it.
posted by bleep at 12:17 AM on May 23, 2015

If you watched this first episode and it gave you horrible work nightmares, it gets better. This one was a little "too real" for me but I now really enjoy this show and look forward to it every week.
posted by town of cats at 9:52 AM on May 23, 2015

Yes, exactly.
posted by bleep at 11:45 AM on May 23, 2015

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