HBO’s “Silicon Valley” (2014–present) had to play second fiddle to “Game of Thrones” (2011–present) in 2016 when it aired at 10 p.m., immediately following “Game of Thrones.” Fortunately, the upcoming season of Silicon Valley, which premieres on April 23, will not have to follow HBO’s fantasy behemoth as its seventh season has been delayed to July.
“Silicon Valley” doesn’t have the mass appeal of the patented ‘sex and dragons’ approach of “Game of Thrones,” but it is a whip-smart satire of the technology industry. As such, its characters are absurd, but never so much as to be unbelievable. Characters such as a pompous coder who dumps his attractive new girlfriend for being on the wrong side of the tabs vs. spaces debate (#teamspaces) are just silly enough to be believable. If “The Big Bang Theory” (2007–present) had been about technology companies instead of physics, and its writers had not catered to slack-jawed audiences who love recycled jokes, the show would have essentially been “Silicon Valley.”
HBO dropped a teaser trailer for the upcoming fourth season of “Silicon Valley” in February, and with the season’s premiere date fast approaching, here are the Daily’s predictions for what viewers can expect this season. These predictions are rooted in rigorous frame-by-frame analysis of the teaser trailer, an encyclopedic knowledge of the show’s previous seasons and consumption of truly harrowing amounts of ‘official’ Richard and Jared slash fiction.
Commentary on sexual harassment, lack of diversity in the technology industry and the industry’s gender imbalance
Although the unflattering news about Uber’s culture of sexual harassment might have come too late for the writers of “Silicon Valley” to include a barb about the ride-sharing company’s terrible, no good, very bad February, sexual harassment in the technology world is not a new issue, nor is an appalling lack of diversity or a paltry percentage of women in technical roles. Creator Mike Judge and co. have dealt out cutting satire in the past, so expect some satirical napalm on one or all of these subjects.
Erlich gets out of his own way and genuinely succeeds for once
Erlich Bachman, T.J. Miller’s bearded buffoon of a character, has been a joyous caricature of a moderately successful technology entrepreneur since episode one, and his lumbering heft adds a certain scruffy ballast to the show’s proceedings. Yet for all his many misadventures, including squandering his fortune on a lavish Alcatraz Luau, Erlich’s lazy self-destruction was always combined with formidable capability. Erlich managed to outmaneuver the show’s villain in the season three finale and has also shown a savant-like aptitude for manipulating venture capitalists by using social media and occasionally exposing his testicles. With Richard’s apparent departure from Pied Piper confirmed by the teaser trailer, Erlich may step into a leadership role and find himself succeeding despite himself.
Jared follows Richard wherever he goes
Jared Dunn (Zach Woods), a profoundly traumatized but upbeat business development professional, is incredibly loyal to Pied Piper’s socially awkward founder, Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch). So it stands to reason that if Richard leaves Pied Piper, Jared will follow right behind him. In the finest moments of the teaser, Richard whoops experimentally in celebration of some unrevealed achievement. Jared eventually whoops nervously in sheepish imitation of Richard before getting totally carried away and unleashing a trio of blood-curdling shrieks. We can’t predict what the pair is celebrating, but that moment certainly provides an incentive to watch season four.
The show’s rich real-world internet presence gets richer
HBO has produced a raft of online content for the superfans of the show that fills out the esoteric corners of the show’s universe. From the buzzword-laden nonsense of the Bachmanity website to the ‘journalism’ of faux-technology blog coderag.com, expect more of these online gems in season four.