“Silicon Valley” is a ridiculously funny show, and by and large we consider it to be one of our favorites out of everything on the air. With that being said, we do feel almost like Sunday night’s episode was a case of there being almost a little too much going on to the point that not any individual story paid off as well as it could.
Let’s start with exhibit 1: Big Head getting what is basically a useless promotion just so that Gavin can make it seem like Pied Piper originated at Hooli. He now has a secretary and his own office to do effectively nothing in. We would have loved to see more of what his first moves were here, mostly because some of our favorite scenes of the series have revolved around him “going to work” on the Hooli rooftop and effectively doing nothing in return for a ton of money.
Now, exhibit 2: Erlich getting tickets from Russ to a prestigious gala, only to realize that it required a charitable donation of $25,000 in order to him to enter. Later, we found out that he spent much of the later part of the day weeping in a Taco Bell. We really didn’t need that scene, it feels like this party could have been a great place for some cameos.
As for the other stories of the night, Jared became almost the PC police during the hiring process, especially when a woman is Carla is hired to the Pied Piper team. We liked the tongue-and-cheek nature that the show looked at women in this field, mostly because of the frequent criticism about women on the show. However, there were two problems:
1. The character was almost too reminiscent of Cameron from “Halt and Catch Fire,” down to the hair.
2. They could have made this story so much edgier than they did; most of their grit here came in using the c-word, something that you don’t hear very much, even on HBO.
The episode ended with Russ delivering a ton of terrible Pied Piper merchandise to the house, which was a reasonably funny conclusion to a story set up earlier in the episode. Erlich’s feelings were hurt, and thanks to that he wanted to try to stick it to Richard almost any way he could.
There was just something about this episode that felt off to us for most of it. Maybe Jared’s material felt slightly out of character to us, or maybe the show just bit off more than it could chew to the point where it sacrificed many of its laughs in the process. Either way, this may go down as our least favorite episode of the series so far. Grade: C+.
You can see some other “Silicon Valley” news over at the link here, including our recent podcast on the show. Also, you can sign up now to get some other TV updates on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: HBO.)