Monday, June 26, 2017

Now on HBO: Silicon Valley, Season 4 (2017)

Silicon Valley, Season 4 (2017) - Created by John Altschuler, Mike Judge, Dave Krinsky; Starring Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Amanda Crew, Zach Woods, Matt Ross, Josh Brener, Stephen Tobolowsky.

By Kenny Howell

You would think after four seasons it would get tiring watching Richard and his crew screw up chance after chance.

But it is far from it, and somehow Silicon Valley, which just wrapped up its fourth season recently, is seemingly getting stronger. It may be the smartest comedy on TV, as the creators work tirelessly to get real tech lingo and science into the show, and somehow seamlessly weave it into dick and weed jokes.

In season 4, we see the boys video chat app, which used Richard's groundbreaking algorithm, blowing up, and Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) has stepped up to lead the way on it. Richard (Thomas Middleditch) is disillusioned with the use of his masterpiece and wants to do something bigger. He decides he wants to step away and go do something historic. He wants to go build a new internet.


From there, things spin out of control as a critical mistake dooms the video chat app, which leads to new unlikely partnerships, deals made and collapsed, and a spiral into what might finally end Richard's career.

As far as twists and turns go, Silicon Valley's fourth season may be its shiftiest. It also may be its funniest. There are plenty of standout performances, but two minor characters really got a chance to step it up this year. The first is Zach Woods (Mascots) as Richard's loyal partner in Jared. Jared is very by the books, and knows how to run a successful tech business. He is also obsessed with Richard, so the internal battle he has throughout the season as things go terribly is hilariously done by Woods who is finally getting to show what he can do. The other is Jimmy O. Yang as Jian-Yang. The show really amped up his "friendship" with Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) this year, and the battle between the two got some of the biggest laughs of the season.

The best thing Silicon Valley did for its fourth season is set itself up for a bit of a pivot for season five. I won't say what that is obviously for those who haven't seen it, but it gives it the potential to continue to be one of the best, if not the best comedy on TV.

All four seasons of Silicon Valley are now streaming on HBO Go or HBO Now.

Rating: ****

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