“Silicon Valley” had a tough challenge ahead for itself Sunday night: Trying to make a second season of the show just as brilliantly funny at the first. Also, it had to so under the lens of stakes. It was easy to tell a story in the first season about a group of ragtag underdogs and a company that they felt would change the world. It’s a little different when TechCrunch is over, and they suddenly have companies bowing to them in hopes that they will be the one to hand over money.
It’s funny how a single lawsuit can change things. Sunday’s season 2 premiere played out brilliantly, culminating in Gavin deciding to lay down the hammer on Pied Piper … even if he does not have a proper hammer in his arsenal. While at a memorial service for Peter Gregory (who was written out properly after the death of Christopher Evan Welch), Richard and company learned that Gavin was going to try to claim that Pied Piper was “stolen” from Hooli. Hoo boy.
This moment of anger and absurdity followed one of the show’s greatest attempts to have heart, where Gavin gave a completely falsified speech over how we should all be trying to love each other and resolve differences in the wake of his old friend’s death. So much for that.
Even in spite of Peter’s death (and with the help of Monica, forced into a tough position thanks to a boss who has zero social skills at all), Pied Piper is still being funded by his company. This comes after a series of very-funny meeting where Erlich realized that the more awful that he is to other people in the room, the more intimidated the company is and willing to give up cash. These insults, coupled with watching Dinesh and Gilfoyle fighting over a title to impress women, were among the night’s shining moments.
In many ways, “Silicon Valley” is a sillier, nerdier, and much funnier “Entourage.” It’s about dealing with success, and learning that success is a transient thing. Also, it’s about Erlich sticking his junk on a desk to look like an authority figure. Grade: A-.
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