Given the ongoing cult following of Beavis and Butt-Head creator Mike Judge’s 1999 cubicle-culture satire Office Space, expectations were high for Judge’s 2014 HBO comedy series Silicon Valley. Aimed squarely at the tech industry of the titular area south of San Francisco, season 1 followed programmer Richard (Thomas Middleditch) as he tried to build a company from the ground up.
Judge gleefully skewered the tech industry and its ever-ballooning, multi-billion-dollar hype and hyperbole as Richard is caught between two warring billionaires, Hooli CEO Gavin Belson (Big Love‘s Matt Ross), coming off as a cold-blooded hybrid of Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, and venture capitalist Peter Gregory (the sadly departed Christopher Evan Welch), a scene-stealing, charismatically detached version of Bill Gates.
Our first look at season 2 (which you can watch above) is high on style and low on plot hints, but it stays true to the mixture of apathetic geekdom and foul-mouthed, tech-culture savvy comedy for which Silicon Valley immediately became notable.
The first season was centered on Richard’s fledgling company and the his co-horts, played by Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, and Josh Brener, all of whom live in an incubator lorded over by successful entrepreneur Erlich (T.J. Miller). When Richard’s sophisticated compression algorithm is coveted by Hooli, Peter Gregory convinces him to turn down $10 million in order to build something of his own – a gesture revealed as just one more shot in a long rivalry between the two tech icons, who were once friends.
While Judge’s sharp sense of humor and all of the characters’ established traits are on display in this teaser trailer, we have yet to see any kind of glimpse at the storyline of season 2. The season 1 finale seemed to place Richard in a position to pull ahead of Hooli and Belson’s attempts to rip off his algorithm and make good on his ambition… but what would be the fun in that?
Throughout Judge’s lampooning of the tech culture, his point was that as earnest innovators like Richard struggle for identity alongside opportunists like Erlich and capitalists like Belson, real contributions to society somehow sneak into existence. We’ll have to wait for season 2 to find out where on the spectrum Richard will eventually fall.
Silicon Valley returns to HBO for Season 2 on April 12, 2015.
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