HBO's show 'Silicon Valley' will have its Season One Finale in two weeks, with Team Pied Piper facing its greatest test at the TechCrunch startup competition. Already, show-producers is ordering a second season for the series.
This comedic series revolves around an intrepid, but somewhat dysfunctional startup called Pied Piper, which is developing a super-app that compresses music and video files without losing significant quality. With its side-splitting gags, the series lampoons the Silicon Valley lifestyle. Since the show began in early April, fans have begun drawing parallels between the show and actual startup culture.
Below, we have an overview of the show to prepare the viewer for the Season One finale. In other words, spoiler alert:
The pilot introduces viewers to the unassuming Hooli employee Richard Hendriks (Thomas Middleditch), who develops a music-video codec that is capable of an insane lossless compression. Not long afterwards, it is discovered that whoever owns this software stands to make billions. Even Hendriks' boss, Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) wants in, and attempts to buy the algorithm for 10 million dollars. In the meantime, Belson's billionaire rival Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch) offers to help Hendrik create a startup, that will give Hendrik near absolute control of the product, but at a cost of receiving a relatively poultry sum of investment money.
Hendriks chooses to accept Gregory's money to start the new company, Pied Piper, earning him the eternal wraith of Gavin. The techie-turned-CEO begins by recruiting his oddball housemates. Joining in on the fun is Hendriks' conniving landlord Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller), a failed entrepreneur who offers "free" housing for techs in order to leech ideas. In fact, everyone and their grandma (even Hendriks' own doctor) are trying to get their slice of the startup pie.
Pied Piper soon faces growing pains, and Hendriks is pressured to fire an unproductive employee -- his best friend Nelson "Big Head" Bighetti (Josh Brener). Hendricks is reluctant to do so, and later reinstates "Big Head" on the team. Ironically, before "Big Head" finds about Hendricks' change of heart, the former has already agreed to spill company secrets to Hooli in exchange for a raise in salary. Ironically, "Big Head" has absolutely no idea how the Pied Piper proprietary software runs, and is content with milking money from Hooli. Gavin soon bars "Big Head" from further projects, but keeps the latter on the payroll for both legal and philosophical reasons. Though bored, "Big Head" soon becomes accustomed to doing nothing, while receiving a fat monthly paycheck from the company.
In episode three, Pied Piper's survival is threatened by a legal dispute over having a similar trademark with a farm irrigation company based out of Gilroy, CA. Eventually Hendriks gets ownership of the Pied Piper trademark through a combination of cajoling, acts of false bravado and dumb luck.
Perhaps the greatest threat to Pied Piper is ironically the fault of the Hendrick himself, for he inadvertently signs the company to compete in the annual TechCrunch competition in Episode 5. In short, Pied Piper is forced to come out with product in eight short weeks. Making matters worse, Erlich has slept with both the ex-wife and current-wife of one of the judges. Episode 7 ends with Erlich getting pummeled by the infuriated judge during the competition. With this development, Pied Piper's future hangs in the balance.
The Season One Finale of "Silicon Valley" will air over at HBO on June 1, Sunday at 7pm PST. HBO has yet to confirm a premiere date for Season Two, but has already renewed 'Silicon Valley' for next year.
Viewers be warned, the show does have overt sexually-explicit content -- but not to the same degree and notoriety as HBO's more infamous offering, Games of Throne. Indeed, this is not a show intended for younger audiences, and is catered mainly for the more mature audience.