Through three seasons, HBO’s Silicon Valley has emerged as one of TV’s more consistently hilarious comedy series. From the beginning, it has perfectly threaded a very difficult needle: It’s about the high-tech industry and jockeying for venture capital dollars, a world that few viewers know a great deal about. But it’s nevertheless managed to make that world believable and entertaining for a wider audience, while retaining credibility with the very tech world that it’s forever skewering.
The show’s third season was a characteristic roller coaster ride: It looked like things were going great for fictional start-up company Pied Piper, then terrible, then great again, and so on, most notably in a planned caper that looked like it would last all season but ended up unraveling within minutes. The ending of the season set up the fourth season for, in Silicon Valley parlance, a “pivot”-- and knowing this series, it probably won’t be the last.
HBO has debuted a new teaser for season 4, and if the 50-second clip is any indication, we’re looking at an even wilder ride when Silicon Valley returns in April.
The teaser indicates that Richard Hendrix (Thomas Middleditch) is leaving the company that he’s been a part of since the show’s inception, although it appears (with not much objection from the others) that he’ll be allowed to keep the name “Pied Piper.” He’s also brainstorming ideas for what exactly to do for his next step, while also trading “WOO”-like loud noises with Jared (Zach Woods.)
Fans may wonder whether or not Silicon Valley can three-peat, but the series has shown little signs of faltering yet. As all-over-the-place and full of ups and downs as the plotting has been throughout the first three seasons, Silicon Valley has always succeeded as long as the writing has delivered. The preview, brief as it is, indicates that it likely has.
It does appear that general discontent with the tech industry has risen quite a bit in the last year or two among the general public, at least compared with the utopianism of five or so years ago. Whether such attitudes will disrupt Silicon Valley’s delicate balance is a whole other question; knowing the show, it will find some clever way to level it.
Silicon Valley returns for its fourth season on HBO on Sunday, April 23.