Silicon Valley star T.J. Miller says that he sees a need to satirize the tech industry. From the male-dominated culture, to hyper-inflated egos, and everything else that haunts the real-life Silicon Valley – and to a wider extent, the culture of the internet – the HBO comedy has shown no inclination to hold back, as Miller told the New York Post.
“The more I do the show, the more I understand how much these people need to be satirized. It’s ridiculous. There’s no shortage of material.”
Silicon Valley, which premiered on HBO on April 6, 2014, was renewed for a second season only two weeks later. Since its inception, it’s taken on tech-tropes like Google’s office culture, social-awkwardness, and the worst aspects of a male-centric monoculture. The second season, which starts today, opens with Miller’s character Erlich Bachman coaching reclusive software engineer Richard Hendriks (Thomas Middleditch) on using “negging,” a technique employed in the real world by self-styled “pick-up artists” on women (which involves insulting them to theoretically make them seek the offender’s approval) to bring in money from prospective investors.
Silicon Valley has only enjoyed limited success thus far, which is unsurprising, given the general track record of tech- and nerd-culture-inspired comedies, Big Bang Theory notwithstanding. But as previously reported in the Inquisitr, Silicon Valley was nominated for multiple Emmys in 2014, among other awards, and has been almost universally well-received by critics and audiences alike, receiving an aggregate score of 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, making Silicon Valley one of the top-rated TV shows of 2014.
The production of Silicon Valley has not, of course, been without its speedbumps. Executive producer Alec Berg spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about some of the challenges Silicon Valley has already faced, including the unexpected death of actor Christopher Evan Welch, who played angel investor Peter Gregory on Silicon Valley‘s first season.
Another significant issue Berg commented on was accusations of gender bias on Silicon Valley, which had an almost entirely male cast but will be adding two new female characters in the second season: Laurie Bream, played by Suzanne Cryer, who will basically be taking on Welch’s role (as well as holding up a mirror to real-life Silicon Valley CEO Ellen Pao,) and another, as-yet-unnamed female character. Berg said that the decision to add more female characters to Silicon Valley– and to not have them in the first place – was unrelated to any gender bias or outcry.
“I think people who have complained about the lack of women of the show will see it as, ‘Aha! I complained and they listened and addressed my complaint, and I have controlled the course of the show.’ But the fact is we don’t have any gender-biased directive on the show. There was no agenda in the beginning to make everyone male. I totally understand the criticism, but at the same time this is a show about guys who do something that 87 percent of the time in Silicon Valley is done by a man.”
Silicon Valley season two premieres tonight on HBO, and every Sunday at 10 p.m. EST.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]