“Silicon Valley” season 2 was a thing of beauty. We’re not sure that it surpassed “The Office” season 2 or “Community” season 2 as our favorite second-season of any comedy series ever, but it’s right up there.
With that, our expectations were super-high coming into the third-season premiere on Sunday, and it’s understandable that in some ways, the show may have struggled to hit the bar entirely. Yet, we don’t mean to demean the show at all, since it still presented us with a funny, super-current installment about Richard Hendricks’ ability to be bitter simply for the sake of being so.
The base premise here was simple: After being informed that he would only serve as the CTO of Pied Piper rather than acting CEO, Richard tried to avoid meeting new CEO Jake Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky) and looked for jobs elsewhere, including at what we’d like to describe as a company basically making advanced Snapchat filters. Right when Erlich convinced him to get back on board with Jack, Dinesh and Gilfoyle pushed him back over the edge by proclaiming at the worst possible time that (RIGBY) they didn’t want to follow him out the door and lose all of the work that they had done for the company.
The creation of the RIGBY acronym was fantastic, and exactly the sort of thing that we would expect from people like Dinesh and Gilfoyle. The same thing goes for Erlich getting completely schmoozed by Jack, just because he did his research on what he worked on well before Pied Piper. The scene with Tobolowsky and TJ Miller may be one of the strongest of the premiere, at least alongside Erlich attacking a robotic animal in the opening as he and Richard traveled to Reviga. Other wonderful bits of comedy: Big Head getting a $20 million buyout from a downsizing Hooli for doing next to nothing, Gavin taking no responsibility for the failures of nucleus, and Jared completely disregarding what would happen to him if Pied Piper failed to exit.
In the end, Richard finally did meet with Jack, and may have been manipulated into taking the job. Time will tell. The episode struggled at times with the business-speak of it all, mainly in setting up the landscape of the board seats and how exactly Richard’s departure (both with Monica voting and not voting) would take place. It felt like we avoided some technicalities for the sake of comedy, which isn’t always something the show glosses over.
The only other overarching criticism we can give is that there were no roll-on-the-floor moments in the episode, even if RIGBY and everything else mentioned brought a few laughs. Think of this episode more as a foundation to what will hopefully be a great season the rest of the way. Episode Grade: B.
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