Silicon Valley Recap: Much Business Jargon, Little Comprehension

Previously, on HBO’s Mike Judge’s “Silicon Valley,” from Mike Judge, on HBO, about Silicon Valley: Richard invented a thing! Everyone wants the thing! He is existential-crisising about the road not traveled, and whether he’ll have to kill himself over it making all the difference!

Here comes Jared, the creepy guy from “The Office.” I still think he is Jonah from “Veep.” I just absolutely cannot tell them apart.


jonah from veep

See what I mean? It does not help that Zach Woods is also an Armando Iannucci Player, and has also been on “Veep.” Wait, what the fuck is this, IMDB? He was in Washingtonienne? And there was a TV movie about Washingtonienne? It was “A comedy that revolves around the professional and personal lives of three smart, sophisticated twenty-something girls working on Capitol Hill”?


Oh, man, now we are going to have to find 2009 TV movie Washingtonienne, and watch it, because despite the hundreds (thousands?) of posts about Washingtonienne on our sister site,, the lazy fuckers who came before us seem to have neglected the 2009 TV movie Washingtonienne entirely. Can somebody hulu that for me?

Silicon Valley Recap: Much Business Jargon, Little Comprehension

Washingtonienne, right, with some chick

Anyway! I should be able to tell Jared apart from Jonah from Veep by the end of this episode, I think, because Zach Woods is playing the opposite of his “The Office” character, and also the opposite of Jonah from “Veep,” and is the humblest, most truly self-effacing man in the universe. It is like when Jack Nicholson played “The Opposite of Jack Nicholson” in that one movie where he sold insurance.

So here is Jared, champagne in hand, at the Hacker Hostel. Jared is sorry he scared them, what with peering in their window and looking like the skeleton of a starved virgin to which his loving family has always compared him.

He is here for the launch party? Is he early? No. The four of them sit in front of befractaled monitors at their desks. This is an even worse launch party than the one with Kid Rock!

Erlich is really really mean and throws Jared out the house. Before Jared departs in shame, kicked out of a party he attended not to spy on but because he wishes them the very best in creating their own thing, he respects it, he hopes to be part of it should they ever need his specific MBA skill set, he hands over the bottle of champagne, like the pussy he is. Erlich grabs it and snarls, “It’s a fucking domestic!”

Erlich has brought his own launch party gift: Mochachino, an exotic dancer in booty shorts. He goes off to get high with her bodyguard, flipping the light switches so the Hacker Hostel is lit up in Virgin America-style fuschia and tangerine lights.

sky party

sky party

At the prospect of seeing a naked woman in the flesh, as Mochachino asks them to play some beats she can exotic-dance to, the friends all run out of the room to make playlists and cook water and otherwise not pay for it. Mochachino hates Palo Alto.

Of course Party Down is saving all his “humors” for Tara, coming into town in a couple weeks, and of course he refers to his jizz as “humors.” Gilfoyle is gross.

party down

Erlich and Richard meet with Peter Gregory, the man who promised to help Richard mold his company, with both contacts and expertise. They think they’re there to say hi, pick up their $200 thousand check. SPOILER ALERT! They will be neither saying hi nor getting their dollar dollar bills y’all.

Gregory starts flipping out, scarily stone-faced, about Erlich’s 10 percent stake. What other investments has Richard apportioned out? Perhaps this would be a good time for cap table, investment deck, business plan or other (sneering) “relevant” paperwork he might have prepared. The good times are over. They’ll be in hell now. “I just didn’t know that any of that stuff was due yet,” Richard whispers. Gregory addresses Monica, the assistant. “This is going very poorly! He doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing at all!” They have 48 hours to assemble an airtight business plan, a clear go-to-market strategy, and a three-year-summary P&L, which I assume is a Profit and Loss statement, which I have heard of but do not actually know what it is, because “businesslady entrepreneuring, yall!” He’s a petulant child, his voice climbing into a whinescream, his arms crossed awkwardly in front of his chest. Peter Gregory, eccentric billionaire, does not seem to be very “good” with “people.”

Oh, now that I think about it, Richard hasn’t signed anything with Gregory yet. He could go with the other asshole still.

Jared is back, bowing and sort of really sincerely ass-licking? It does seem to be serious? He says many words about things, and is apparently exactly the guy to help Richard make an airtight business plan in 48 hours.

Gavin is with his guru, getting his anger management on, which seems to be “have more anger to manage.” He apparently is still in this show. SUSPENSE!

Gavin Belson and his spiritual advisor

Gavin Belson and his spiritual advisor

Jared begins interviewing the other guys to assess their usefulness and place in the new company. Gilfoyle, mid-nihilist-bragging a bunch of bullshit about the Internet and Iranian revolutions probably and something about Skillrex and packets and the NSA, hell, probably Snowden too, wasn’t listening, and also how he should get more equity than those other losers, sneers at Jared that he was creating a Brave New World while Jared was minoring in gender studies at Sarah Lawrence. Jared corrects him, mildly: actually, he went to Vassar. Dinesh thinks since he is the only one who writes awesome javascript that works on stuff, he should get the most equity, and also that Gilfoyle is full of shit. Big Head? What can he do? Um, he can program, he guesses?

Erlich is not pleased with Jared, do the other guys agree how much he sucks too? Nah, he’s pretty sharp actually, with the knowing how to do dumb business stuff. Erlich is a big threatened baby. They discuss how Big Head is a great guy, but useless, and should not be in the company. Richard, his best friend, is the only one who wants to keep him.

Jared, kindly: “I don’t think the CEO of Microsoft has a paid best friend.” To his credit, he is saying it to Big Head’s face. Dinesh, in the living room, is not saying it to his face: “This is gonna sound really mean, but [watching Big Head sleep, and staring at his face], all I could think was he was utterly useless. This is a man with zero purpose.” Why, that does sound really mean! Especially since Richard, Jared, and Big Head have entered the living room and heard all of it. Big Head composes himself, he’ll see them all later, he’s going to go for a nice walk … and comes back in to hear his presumed best friends saying that despite his being “a great guy,” yeah, a really great guy, totally great, they really love him so much, he is also “a completely useless appendage and we all know it.”


His forgotten water bottle in hand, Big Head says he’ll be going for that walk now. “Probably gonna walk back through one more time,” he lets them know, an utterly broken man.

Big Head has been gone for 12 hours, when Dinesh says if Big Head is dead, that might solve Richard’s problem of maybe having to have an awkward conversation.

Through Big Head’s Nip-Alert app, Richard finds him at Mochachino’s small apartment, where he’s playing video games with her two children. Big Head: Everybody’s right. Nip-Alert? Perverted, useless and sexist. “I made a perverted, sexist, useless thing.”

Joe Francis

Big Head quits, despite Richard’s wanting to make him a partner even though he adds nothing of substance to the team, and is leaving tech and Silicon Valley. This is goodbye. After he packs and stuff.

Big Head is packing up his desk at Hooli when Gavin Belson calls him to his office. SUSPENSE!

Jared is asleep sitting up, obviously exhausted, and apologizing for “lying” about saying he was awake. Fuck all of you, Big Head stays. Richard explodes. He has made his decision. If he were a sellout, he would have taken Gavin Belson’s $10 million. He’s not going to start selling out now. It was his idea, it’s his company, he does what he wants and Big Head stays!

Big Head is all, oh, actually, I just got a huge promotion at Hooli for $600 grand, because Gavin Belson wants revenge on you for stealing Jared from him. He looks pretty pleased! He’s the VP of spite.

“If you run into Gavin ever, you have to act really upset about it!” Big Head says happily. And Richard actually is upset. Dammit, he just made a stand! He is no longer a pussy, he is getting his inner asshole on. Now he is going to lock down this motherfucking business plan, he snaps as he strides from the room. “Jared, you’re with me!”

What an asshole, they all say admiringly.

Big Head calls from his new $600 large job at Hooli to give them a heads-up: Belson is reverse-engineering Richard’s algorithm prototype code and intends to beat them to market. Big Head is the best best friend ever. No wonder Richard loves him so much!

Finally, Richard is at the bank to deposit his $200 grand, Jared obviously having delivered enough of an airtight business plan and all those other things that Gregory has made good on his promised investment. But, oh? The check is made out to Pied Piper, not to Richard. He needs an SS4 (or a DBA presumably?) to deposit the check. Fucking really? Gregory made it out to a corp that doesn’t exist? That is some bullshit. He knows exactly how far along it is. He knows there’s no corporation yet. Fuck that guy, he is going to run them ragged because he can, because he’s a miser — whether he’s a miser financially is unknown, but probably. He’s doubtless one of those Galt’s Gulch Silicon Valley libertarian nightmares and the rest of us are as ants to these Supermen, just there to annoy them by getting in the sugar and being unable to predict their every unstated desire from outside their head.

Should have taken the cash. Also, probably time to kill yourself.

Catch up in the archives.

Silicon Valley Episode One

TV Show: Silicon Valley

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  • A Sarah Lawrence College joke. I am so onboard with this show.

  • Also, Andy Bechtolsheim,
    a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, who gave Google’s founders their
    first outside investment in 1998, also stands to win big. In a
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    handed the two founders a check for $100,000 that couldn’t be cashed
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  • Homestar

    The commenters over at AV Club were talking about the representation and lack thereof of women in the show/actual tech industry at odious length and it gave me such a headache. I work at a software company where there are women developers of all sorts, though the vast majority are dudes exactly like the guys on this show. I do think they should attempt a female character who has more than one or two lines per episode, and possibly throw in a few ladies at the Hooli building. Otherwise, I don’t care at all. I think this is a pretty smart, funny show, and I hope people can shut up about whether or not the media has an obligation to make social change by showing women blah blah blah. I too am a bad liberal sometimes.

  • gullywompr

    Hold on a second… “businesslady entrepreneuring, yall”? Don’t tell me you’re starting to identify with this shit!Anyway, I’m sure it was an unintentional oversight, but you glossed over the whole mushroom stamp thing.

  • bobbert

    Fucking Disqus. I try again.I originally thought it was a side shot to not credit AMC, but maybe anonymous acknowledgement is a compliment? I’m drunk.Also, I do not think I can watch “Silicon Valley”, and not just because I don’t have cable. I worked in the valley for 30-some years, when it was still mostly silicon, and generally you ended up between well-off and well-to-do. Occasionally rich, once in a while quite rich. I don’t easily relate to the current environment.We were, absolutely, nerds. But there really weren’t that many assholes, and we knew who they were. Some were, of course, very successful, but it wasn’t like everybody had to be a maximum douche. My impression is that gender equality has regressed since my tenure, and that I’m-all-right-mate-fuck-you obliviousness has increased. I haz sad,

    • DemmeFatale

      Yeah, my husband has been in the business for a longtime, too. I remember him not wanting to work for this company called Microsoft, because it sounded like too much work (golden handcuffs and all), and he was too young. His first bosses were women, and he thinks that gender equality has regressed. (I think the enrollment stats at universities support this.)Yes, he and his friends were major nerds, and some assholes seemed to prevail, (Larry Ellison comes to mind), but it’s wonderful to see his world parodied.