Three episodes in to “Silicon Valley,” we still find ourselves divided as to whether or not we really love it, or we just really want to love it. It’s a show that produces very funny comedy and has likable characters, but there are still stumbling blocks that continually keep it from being as brilliant as it could otherwise be.
A good case in point here is the new episode of the show from Sunday night. What worked was a simple, funny storyline that was probably true to any small business with a name: Pied Piper was running into trouble, as Richard realized that there was another company out there with the same name. His attempts to fix it, and his fear that the guy who actually owned the name was going to beat him up, made for great comedy. The same goes in the scenes where Richard had to both purchase and take back a margarita machine when he realized that he didn’t have the money.
While we laughed at all this, we then had about six or so minutes in this episode that reinforced the show’s problems, beginning with an obsessive need to make sure all characters every episode have a story. Peter Gregory with Burger King was bizarre, but there was nothing we took from that at all. Meanwhile, we took a ton from Erlich getting really blitzed and then taking a kid … but we didn’t like it. As a whole, this character feels too cartoony for this world, and the sort of guy who no serious business would want around a company. Given the money that these guys were funded, couldn’t they find a different cheap place to do their business and get their company rolling?
What you are supposed to take from this in the end is that Pied Piper continues to Pied Piper, and the name is still the same. Also, we still like a good percentage of what we see from the show, but there are indicators that it is still struggling with balance and voice three episodes in. Grade: B-.
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