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'Silicon Valley': A wish list for season 2

The second season of Silicon Valley premieres this Sunday, April 12, on HBO. I procrastinated watching the first season until recently because of preconceived notions of how the show would annoy me. As someone living in the San Francisco Bay Area and spending time around many of those immersed in Silicon Valley culture, I expected a fictionalized version of it to be an overly exaggerated cartoonish depiction. Secondly, I’m usually not clamoring to watch a show with an almost all-male ensemble cast. Despite my misgivings, the eight episodes of the first season won me over with its charm and the strength of the characters.

However, it’s not perfect. But many shows aren’t. I’m being lenient because first seasons of great shows often stumble a bit before they get to greatness. Based on the promise I’ve seen in season one, here are the hopes I have for Season 2.

1. The last scene of season one had Richard (Thomas Middleditch) rushing outside the TechCrunch Disrupt competition to vomit because of the anxiety of running his own successful tech startup after they win. This is a perfect metaphor for his character’s arc throughout the season. I hope Richard gains some agency and competence. We’ve only seen him stumble around awkwardly trying to get out of one problem for the company after another. It’s much more interesting to watch someone be good at their job than not. With his success, the whole “I’m a nerdy tech guy who is in way over his head” schtick has run its course.

2. Provide a satisfying and fitting reason for the disappearance of Peter Gregory, Pied Piper’s eccentric billionaire backer. Christopher Evan Welch’s performance was Emmy-worthy, but sadly, he passed away at age 48 from lung cancer. The last episode explained that he was “out of the country,” but it would be satisfying to give his character the dignity he deserves and provide closure.

3. It’s a troubling fact that women only make up a minority of the tech industry. That doesn’t mean this show needs to reflect that to honor the accuracy of the tech industry. As a fictional show, there is the great opportunity to create a world that doesn’t have to perfectly reflect reality, especially when they can depict a better version of it. Currently, the only major female speaking role is Monica (Amanda Crew), Peter Gregory’s assistant, who plays a large part in Pied Piper’s success—but her role exists more to provide help to Richard than as a fully developed character.

4. T. J. Miller, who plays Ehrlich Bachman, perpetual stoner and head of the “incubator,” first appeared as someone hindering Richard’s success and a one-note joke about always being high. In the season one finale, he came through for Richard at TechCrunch Disrupt. Seeing him as an ally makes him more interesting and turns him from an annoying stoner to a lovable stoner.

In fact, it would serve the show if everyone were better at their jobs. Jared (Zach Woods) is an easy target for the rest of the characters, and Woods is excellent at playing the role, but the group accepting him would move the plot forward.

5. More Dinesh/Bertram banter. I’ve been a fan of Martin Starr since Freaks and Geeks, and Kumail Nanjiani is a gifted stand-up comedian. Their ongoing rivalry and competitiveness has the great chemistry of a will-they-or-won’t-they scenario. Their characters really rounded out the setting and place, and added most of the comedic relief while the main plot was pushed forward. In season one they were treated more like accessories, but as part of Pied Piper, I’d love to see them take a more prominent role. It makes sense for the show to turn from a show about Richard to a full ensemble show.

It is nearly impossible to tell if these wishes will come to fruition from watching the short season two trailer, but I’ll be watching regardless.

Silicon Valley airs Sundays at 10/9C on HBO.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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