I was late to the party when it comes to HBO’s Silicon Valley. The show has slowly matured as it as progressed through its run and boasts a unique brand of comedy. It’s awkward, irreverent humor has its hit and miss moments but it is generally one of the best written comedies on TV. The shows fourth season concluded Sunday night and it continues to evolve into a top notch cable comedy. Silicon Valley‘s fourth season ups the plot twists and frenetic energy of seasons past all the while staying freshly funny.
In this season, Richard and the gang at Pied Piper have another grand plan. As the show has evolved, its central focal point has also. Richard’s arc has shown him to be more and more desperate as the show goes on. Success has evaded Richard and those around him with less talent, have found it. Big Head continues to back into fruitful ventures and even Jian-Yang has found a way to stick it Erlich. It is that deperation that leads him to pursue the any means necessary method to finding his success.
One of the more intriguing points of season four is the scattershot story telling method Mike Judge and company have adopted. Judge seems to opt for a more unique brand of narrative unlike it’s previous seasons. Many plot points are brought forward and subsequently abandoned. Yet, the story moves along at a feverish pace and makes excellent use of the chemistry between its characters.
One of the weaker aspects of season four is its less than ceremonious curtain call for TJ Miller’s Erlich Bachman. It was recently announced Miller won’t be returning for a fifth season and the show doesn’t seem to care about Erlich leaving. Erlich was once a massive part of the overall story arc of this show and the send off they give his character doesn’t seem fit for the shows legacy
What can be said about Silicon Valley is its ability to use sight gags without really ever mentioning them or mentioning them in passing, but briefly. One of the best examples was in Sunday’s finale with Gilfoyle’s cat eye contact lenses. It’s a funny recurring bit and the show makes brilliant use of these gags.
While a fifth season is on the way, I can say the show still feels like it’s ripe to mine more out of these characters. In many ways, the ending of this season sets up a return to a familiar plot point of a Richard and Gavin Belson feud that we saw in the shows first few seasons. If Mike Judge can continue to keep things fresh and add more layers to his well developed characters, the show still has a lot of fuel in the tank for future seasons.
Best Episode: Episode 9, “Hooli-Con”
Worst Episode: Episode 6, “Customer Service”
Season Score: 8.0/10
Consensus: Silicon Valley‘s fourth season takes a few interesting directions and remains fresh and often very funny if not for a few flaws in its overall story arc.