While there is no shortage of television content clogging up Netflix queues and DVR’s, one series in particular stands out as a recent comedy hit. Silicon Valley premiered in 2014 and has since garnered widespread attention and acclaim as one of the best shows on TV. The series follows Richard Hendriks, the shy, wide-eyed creator of the revolutionary data compression platform: Pied Piper. Throughout each season, Hendriks faces one dilemma after another, most notably his choice between a $4 million buyout or taking a $200,000 offer for 5% of his company.
Staff Writer: Anita Rudakov
What defines this series and its ongoing story arc is the proximity and dependance between technology and business. Perhaps this seems like a narrow pitch, yet the concept has wide appeal given this tech junkie era. Nowadays, it seems like every other person knows at least something about writing code (as I once heard in a Sauder hallway: “You don’t know code? That’s like not knowing English!”). This is the type of relatability that Silicon Valley has learned to capitalize on.
While there is definitely a large audience tuning in for Silicon Valley, most of the show’s fans have at least some interest in the tech space or business world. The reason for this is the field-specific jargon used in the show’s dialogue, a prime example being the SWOT analysis, which was mentioned heavily in the back half of season 3. This key analytical tool is familiar to anyone with any sort of business background, especially past COMM 101 students. Understanding what the characters are discussing without any hints or clarification brings pride and exclusivity to business folk, likewise for tech folk when JAVA is discussed. This interaction is a wink from the showrunners to the audience members, and part of the reason behind Silicon Valley’s success amongst its fanbase.
Another reason for the series’ popularity is the clever and hilariously satirical treatment of valley culture. “Hooli” acts as a pseudo-Google, perfectly caricaturing the heavenly human resource workplace: one filled with snack bars, complimentary carpools, and company retreats. Hooli’s CEO, Gavin Belson, embodies the money-obsessed faux-philanthropist persona, a reference to real world billionaire do-gooders. The “visionary” also appears in various characters, notably Erlich Bachman, a Steve Jobs wannabe whose personality aligns more with Napster founder Sean Parker.
With its heavy business content and comical storytelling, Silicon Valley is the perfect show for any Sauder student with a sense of humour. The series recently ended its third season and has been renewed for a fourth, making it the ideal binge watch for the end of summer.