Now that the geeks have inherited the Earth and it's hip to be square, it was only a matter of time before someone made a TV show about the tech haven/hell that is Silicon Valley, San Francisco. Amazon Prime recently made a stab at it with original comedy Betas, and last month HBO announced a series order for Silicon Valley, a new comedy from Office Space writer and director Mike Judge.
Silicon Valley was apparently inspired by Judge's own experiences working as a Silicon Valley engineer in the 1980s, though obviously things have come a long way since then. The show stars Thomas Middleditch, Josh Brener, Martin Starr and Kumail Nanjiani as a group of ambitious computer programmers trying to create their own successful start-up company. Luckily for these four friends, a dotcom millionaire called Erlich (T.J. Miller) offers to let them live in his house - on the condition that he gets a 10% stake in their projects.
Silicon Valley will kick off in April on the same night as the Game of Thrones season 4 premiere, and HBO has released a teaser trailer that succinctly introduces the characters, their goal, and the comedic tone. With only 30 seconds of footage it's difficult to get a fix on how good the show is going to be, but if nothing else it proves that Judge hasn't forgotten how to craft a decent penis joke.
A show like Silicon Valley faces the difficult task of holding up to scrutiny by real computer programmers without becoming incomprehensible to the average viewer. IGN recorded some comments made by executive producer Alex Berg at the Television Critics Association press tour last month, in which he talked about the work that went into creating the show and its characters.
"It’s always a battle. You want to be as technically complete and through as you can be but you also want to do a show that people can understand.
"I met a lot [of powerful tech CEOs] before the first bubble burst because everyone wanted to do animation... [They] fell into two categories: asperger-y type or the kind of more aggro… Type A, uber-competitive guy... These guys are fundamentally changing the world, but at the same time it’s not altruistic. It’s hard to hear a guy who’s made 7 billion dollars saying he’s doing it for the good of humanity."
It looks like Silicon Valley will feature characters on both the top and bottom rungs of the industry's hierarchy. Judge, whose previous TV work includes King of the Hill and Beavis and Butt-head, has a talent for mixing lewd humor with sharp satire and Silicon Valley is definitely worth at least a trial watch.
Silicon Valley debuts on HBO on April 6, 2014.