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S3E1 “Founder Friendly”: The Start-Up Love Story Continues

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Source: Silicon Valley // HBO

The season premier of Silicon Valley set up season three with a few jokes, and surprising emotional depth. The episode immediately where last season ended. Richard is fired from his company, and he’s not going down without a fight. He’s the only one, though. Gilfoyle, Dinesh, and Erlich aren’t having it. Over the past two seasons we’ve seen them fight for control over Pied Piper, but this season looks like the team is going to be fighting for control within the corporate system of Sillicon Valley.

Richard is no longer the scrappy underdog, he’s offically secured himself as one of the most profitable companies in the Valley, he’s the girl in My Super Sweet Sixteen that refuses to only get one car because it’s her fucking birthday!

This new post nice-guy-underdog Richard is more fleshed out after the new CEO “Action” Jack turns out to be a decent person. Unfortunately, it takes Richard the entire episode to finally settle down and realize that. Which is the main conflict of this episode. While it takes Erlich only a few utterances of Aviato from Jack to make him fall for him. This professional romancing is not only a key component of this episode but the show overall. The show’s backdrop is the machismo attitude of the tech industry, which is exasparated by the way that start-ups (including the fictional Pied Piper) are often created. Groups of young heterosexual men live together in houses and create things that generally appease their human need for connection. Mark Zuckerberg and the mythology that Facebook was created as a way to get back at the people that rejected him. So here we are watching the satire of that community of homosocial relationships, and uber masculinity. Which reminds me of Todd VanDerWeff’s reaction to the first season of this show: “”It feels weirdly like a tech-world Entourage—and that’s meant as more of a compliment than it seems.” Entourage was about the inside look at Hollywood from a hypermasculine gaze. Silicon Valley is this, but for the tech industry. Which is part of the reason the dick jokes per minute are so high. It’s why the first season ended with a dick joke that ends up saving Pied Piper. It’s why this whole episode was about a CEO wooing his future employees. It’s why the emotional depth comes when Richard is told by Jack that he has a great mind, and Richard then accepts that Jack is on his side, and to fight  him will do more harm then good to P.P. (even the name of the company is a dick joke).

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Source: Silicon Valley // HBO

This tight knit relationship is exemplified in the banter of Dinesh and Gilfoyle. The entire episode they are debating on if they should stay loyal to Richard, and they feel so bad about possibly betraying him, they make up an emotional algorithm, an acronym for “Richard is a great but y’know” (engineers amiright?!). Eventually they decide that they’re better off without Richard, but then they try to code and realize that they need Richard.

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Source: Silicon Valley // HBO

If the story of Pied Piper is a homosocial love story, then this season is the reconciliation. It’s the moment when he just walked out on you after a huge fight, and now you’re realizing that you’ll lose the only good thing there is, if you don’t accept a small defeat, and swallow your pride. As Richard drives away from Jack, he realizes this, and he backs up ready to take a chubby, and hope that getting back together with his love will fix things.

While the P.P. team is starting their love story, Gavin Belson and Neucleus are trying to decide who gets the kids in the divorce. Gavin decides that he gets everything and shuts down Neucleus, fires 20 percent of Hooli and comes out as a Sillicon Valley hero. The type of corporate hero that hides behind authenticity as a way to come out on top even when they do terrible things. So we have two companies that are on opposite trajectories, and a show full of heterosexual men, making useless things that feed their own needs (I’m looking at you Flutterbeam and your video mustaches), and money that multiplies like Elrich’s old man burns (endlessly). Silicon Valley a microcosmic staire of the patriarchy problem in the tech industry (thankfully dicks are always funny).

Jokes of the night:

Erlich talking to Monica after she voted Richard out:

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Source: Silicon Valley // HBO

Erlich’s Jack zingers: “A fan of what? Metamucil? Polio? A nice piece of fish? Segregated water fountains? Senior citizen discounts at Perkins Family restaurants? Erectile dysfunction because of corroded penile arteries? Deviled eggs as an entrée? Liking Ike?”

Richard’s stoic attorney describing his Kombucha bender: “Next thing I knew, I was 70 miles away, wrapped naked in a blanket, shaking off a meth high, and facing charges for attacking a police horse with a shovel.”

Article Submitted By Kevin Cucolo

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