'Silicon Valley' Recap Of Season 1 For Everyone Who's Forgotten What These Guys Did — And Didn't — Do Last Season
The mildly-neurotic, semi-awkward, possibly-high boys from Silicon Valley are back. Mike Judge's highly praised and hilarious show set in the competitive (and insane) tech world of Silicon Valley returns Sunday night for Season 2. Will these boys ever get Pied Piper off the ground? Will anyone be able to fill the void of Peter Gregory? Can Richard keep it all together? These are all questions that we need answered. If you need a quick brush up on just what you missed in the first season's eight episodes (this season has ten!!) grab an energy drink, relax, and here's your quick Silicon Valley Season 1 recap.
The first season was a lot of tech exposition. Let's be honest, I can barely figure out how to update my OSX software sometimes, so they needed to take some time explaining all sorts of tech gibberish to viewers at home. The gist of it is this: Richard (Thomas Middlemarch) creates a program, and but within that program, he accidentally creates an even better program. He's set out to make search engine that identifies if music you've created is "infringing" on any other song's copyright (which would actually be pretty useful). This program is called Pied Piper — ha, ha, so funny, get that musical allusion to the fable of the Pied Piper?
However, instead of creating this music database, Richard accidentally creates an algorithm for compressing HUGE amounts of data. His program quickly becomes a hot commodity in Silicon Valley, with others vying for his company, and it's algorithm.
Too bad most of the time Richard can't keep it together, in both his life, and his coding.
But because you probably want more, here's a little more detail:
Life At The Incubator
Richard lives in an "incubator." Basically, it's a bunch of tech guys who live together, all working on their programs/apps/star-ups/algorithms. The house they all live in belongs to Erlich Bachman, who sold his company, Aviato (but be sure to say it as douchy as possible), for a ton of money. Also in the house are Bertram Gilfoyle and Dinesh Chugtai — who are played by Martin Starr and Kumail Nanjiani, and have the most beautiful love/hate competitive bromance. When Pied Piper takes off, Richard hires Gilfoyle and Dinesh — along with former Hooli employee Jared Dunn (Zach Woods) — to help him out. Erlich "oversees" everything, since according to him, Richard developed the program in his incubator, so he owns a share of the company.
Wait, What The Heck Is Hooli?
Hooli is like Google, or at least it wants to be Google. It's like a huge caricature of Google, so yes, it's hilarious. It's also run by a guy named Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), who wants to blow the hell out of Pied Piper. Gavin starts trying to develop his own program, Nucleus. There's lots of tech gibberish, but he gathers a team together to reverse engineer Pied Piper, and this team includes Richard's former friend, "Big Head" (Josh Brener). Big Head is loveable, but confused. We like him anyway, even though he's technically working for the enemy.
Then There's Peter Gregory
With Hooli on one end of the spectrum, at the other end is Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch). Hooli makes a bid for Pied Piper, and Peter Gregory does, too — Richard goes with Peter Gregory.
With Peter Gregory's help, Richard owns a five percent stake of his company (compared to an outright payout that Gavin was offering out outright sell the company). Peter Gregory is intense, but brilliant. He and Gavin have a long standing rivalry, and Pied Piper seems to get caught in in the middle of it.
Sadly, Welch passed away from cancer mid-way through filming the first season, and didn't appear in the last few episodes. Judge decided against against recasting the character, and decided against working his death into the season — for him, it wouldn't have been right. The final episode was dedicated to him, and his absence will be addressed somehow in the upcoming season.
The Lone Lady, Monica
Monica (Amanda Crew) is Peter Gregory's assistant, and also the only woman in sight in the man-riddled Silicon Valley. Yes, the lack of female characters has been brought up a dozen times before. Yes, Judge is bringing in a few new female characters for this season. Yes, it's a shame that there aren't more female characters on the show and in the tech world in general, so YES, this is being addressed.
There maybe is, and there maybe isn't, something going on between Monica and Richard. She's made comments to him before about dating him, but she can't do it while he's working under Peter Gregory.
Richard signs up to present Pied Piper at TechCrunch. After he partners with Peter Gregory, he tries to pull out of it, but Peter Gregory insists that he go. When Gavin hears that Pied Piper is going to present at TechCrunch, he tries to out do them by presenting Nucleus at the same time. Also, with presenting at TechCrunch, Richard goes from having MONTHS to work on Pied Piper, to having roughly five weeks. He freaks out (a few times).
Mean Jerk Time
In what is the most hilarious, and most vulgar, scene of the show to date, a panicked Richard is about ready to give up since he doesn't think Pied Piper has any chance at doing anything. Erlich jokes that he might as well go into the audience at TechCrunch and service every single attendee. It starts off as a joke, and then it becomes Pied Piper's new algorithm. Also it's very NSFW, which is probably why I can't embed the clip, but you should absolutely take a moment to watch this.
Pied Piper, surprisingly, is a hit at TechCrunch. But, can Richard manage the algorithm, the company, and his life, to make it all work? Images: Frank Masi/HBO (2); Giphy (5)