The second season of Silicon Valley, a TV show based partially on creator Mike Judge’s experiences as a Silicon Valley engineer in the late 1980s, shows that the first season wasn’t just lightning in a bottle and that the show has what it takes to go the distance in the competitive television comedy market. Although some episodes leave the viewer slightly frustrated with the execution of a show that has so much potential, the second season as a whole really leaves you wanting more.
Coming off a huge win at TechCrunch in the season one finale, Pied Piper begins season two with a seemingly endless choice of potential funding. That is until the Pied Paper crew is dragged into a lawsuit by CEO of the fictional company Hooli, Gavin Belson, when he claims ownership of Pied Piper on the grounds that it was developed on Hooli’s equipment when Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) worked there. The lawsuit causes Pied Piper to go from being in the position of being able to have their pick of the litter with potential funding to having to resort to taking any funding that didn’t back out after hearing of the Hooli lawsuit. Richard and the Pied Piper team are finally able to find funding from a bizarre billionaire (yes he is part of the three comma club) named Russ Hanneman (Chris Diamantopoulos). The three comma club is something that Russ takes very seriously, to the point of owning extravagant paintings featuring three commas, as well as owning a tequila company called Tres Commas. Needless to say, when Pied Piper starts to falter and his third comma comes into jeopardy he starts to panic which leads to some very memorable and hilarious scenes. Besides the Hooli lawsuit and Russ Hanneman plotlines, Silicon Valley’s other main plotline in season two revolves around Pied Piper’s relationship with Raviga Capital (formerly owned by Peter Gregory before his unfortunate safari accident in the first episode of season two). Following Peter Gregory’s death, his replacement Laurie Bream (Suzanna Cryer) loses interest while Richard’s love interest, Monica (who also works at Raviga Capital) tries to remain honest to Richard and Pied Piper.
Season two is primarily the story of Richard’s growth as the CEO of Pied Piper, chronicling how he handles the company through its highs and lows (mostly lows). Although Richard plays a huge role in this season, it is still Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) that really makes the show for me. Erlich is the one character who holds the show together and delivers the lines that make you literally laugh out loud. That’s not to say that the rest of the Pied Piper supporting cast does a bad job, as that is certainly not the case, but it is Erlich’s character that always makes me think that I don’t know how much I would really enjoy the show without him. Gilfoyle, Dinesh and Jared (Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, and Zach Woods) certainly hold their own in season two as Gilfoyle and Dinesh constantly bicker and try to sabotage each other, and Jared is one of the most interesting characters on the show who contributes a comedic vibe that is absolutely hilarious for reasons that you can’t really put your finger on. A new coder named Carla joined the Pied Piper but was unfortunately mainly just shown in the background and was not utilized as much as I was hoping, but it was still nice to have a female character thrown into the mix.
Silicon Valley’s sophomore season delivers with the same smart yet brutally crude comedy that we came to expect after the first season while going down a new path that takes the Pied Piper team to all incredible highs and horrific lows. Every time you think that things are finally starting to work out for the best something else happens that throws a wrench into their plans and causes mass chaos which provides quality television entertainment without being too over the top unrealistic.
While we wait for the third season to premiere sometime in 2016 (likely around the same time as Game of Thrones Season 6) for those who have not yet watched the second season of Silicon Valley or those who want to watch it over again, it’s now available for digital download on services including iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Xbox Video, Best Buy’s Cinema Now, Nook, Playstation.Video and Verizon Fios.
So get your season two episodes ready and as Erlich would say, “Line ‘em up, nuts to butts.”
I give the second season of Silicon Valley, 4.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Check out the trailer for season 2:
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