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Jun
05

Welcome to the Valley

Do you like TV shows about nerds? Were you a fan of The Big Bang Theory when it was all about the nerds until it became a knock off of Friends? If so, you should definitely check out Silicon Valley – a show about geeks, nerd culture, and what it takes to make it big in Silicon Valley.

This post will be spoiler free.

First and foremost, I am by no means a tech expert. When several friends encouraged me to watch this show I always responded the same way, “What/where is Silicon Valley?” “It’s a real place?” “What do they do there?” So if I make any mistakes when referencing technology or Silicon Valley, put your pitchforks back down and show a little mercy.

The show focuses on Richard Hendriks, a computer programmer working for a big, greedy, and evil technology company called Hooli (cleverly mocking technology giants like Google and Apple).

Google vs Hooli

Hooli offices have rock climbing, slush machines, candy vending machines, the list goes on!

 

As the story progresses, Richard creates a program that will not only revolutionize the technology industry but possibly make him a billionaire!

There’s two reasons why this show is awesome:

1)Story

Richard and his computer programming companions are obviously geniuses when it comes to technology. But when it comes to creating and running a company, they have no idea what they’re doing. And let me tell you – it is intense, suspenseful, and fascinating to watch them learn the ropes as they have to figure out how to schmooze and charm the right people (which they’re REALLY bad at), get their legal ducks in a row, create and implement marketing plans, run shareholders’ meetings, engage in vicious negotiations, try to be first to market, etc. While they’re learning as they go, they obviously have to compete against other cut-throat companies that just want to squash them!

Whether or not this is a true reflection of the technology industry in Silicon Valley is irrelevant. What matters, is that it is really entertaining! Every time it seems like Richard’s finally overcome his challenges, something else always comes up.

And great question comes up during the series – isn’t Richard’s company just like the big, evil corporations? They all want to share their products with the world and make millions of dollars. The only difference is that Hooli started a while ago and Richard is just starting now. Won’t Richard’s company eventually become evil and greedy once he makes it big?

2)Humour

Every single episode has made me laugh out loud. Not chuckle or smirk, but laugh out loud (except for one episode). This TV show cleverly pokes fun not only at nerds and nerd culture, but is also clever satire and makes hysterical but honest social comments about today’s society.

Now I know at first glance, it seems like Silicon Valley is just a rip off of the Big Bang Theory. No. Silicon Valley is so much more. Yes, the characters are very similar, but that’s because they’re both stereotyping today’s typical nerds! It wouldn’t be funny unless they were stereotypes!

Sheldon/Richard – socially awkward genius

Dinesh/Raj – token Southeast Asian guy and awkward around women

Howard/Gilfoyle – always competing with the token Southeast Asian guy (but of course, best friends)

The clever thing about Silicon Valley is that they explicitly point out that these tech friends/crews are always comprised of the same archetypes. It’s funny, because it’s true!

The show also pokes fun at a lot of other stereotypes: mainland China guys, eccentric billionaires, underachievers, suave businessmen, etc. Occasionally, the humour is predictable but due to outrageous and over the top reactions and great acting, the jokes still land.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Was7P_C-E-A

Our golden age of television is filled with so much drama, action, suspense and heart-break. Sometimes, it’s just nice to watch something that’ll make you smile (or slap your knees when laughing – in my case) and Silicon Valley will definitely provide your TV-watching schedule with some much needed humour. Until next time, nerd out.

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