TV Reviews

Silicon Valley Season 5 Review

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Silicon Valley is just getting better every season with this past season being the best so far. This season also happens to be the first without one of the original stars of the series, T.J. Miller. Erlich Blachman was a funny character whose presence lessened over time to where he was barely recognizable last season. He was definitely not missed here but the season still managed to acknowledge his absence in a funny way.

Despite the inevitable speed bumps along the way, this season, unlike the others, saw the Pied Piper guys in a position of power for most of it. Everyone knows about all of Richard’s many quirks and this season had plenty of those moments with the scenes between him an AI robot named Fiona (R.I.P. Fiona) being the highlight. However, this season was a coming of age story for Richard as he overcame his trademark awkwardness and several other hurdles in exciting fashion to build Pied Piper into a powerhouse.

With Blachman gone, Jian-Yang had a welcome larger role this season and was a showcase for Jimmy O. Yang. He literally tried to take over Blachman’s place but when that didn’t work, he became more of a thorn in the side of the Pied Piper guys. He wasn’t the only thorn in their side as Gavin and Hooli continued to loom large. Gavin fought to stay relevant and was worried about Pied Piper’s success and tried to do whatever he could to stop them. His ego ultimately caught up to him which may have led to his downfall at Hooli.

A few new players emerged this season with Laurie and Gavin’s factory manager named Yao (Tzi Ma). Last season, Monica joined forces with Laurie to form a new VC firm but knowing what we know about Laurie, it wasn’t clear how long their relationship would last. Growing dissent between Richard and Bream Hall and between Laurie and Monica led to Richard ending Pied Piper’s relationship with Bream Hall and Monica leaving Bream Hall for Pied Piper. Yao saw an opportunity to create his own network that could rival Pied Piper’s PiperNet. With the loss of Pied Piper, Laurie and Yao struck a working relationship which may continue next season.

Thomas Middleditch as Richard was strong once again but the others guys were fun to watch as well despite the rivalry and banter between Martin Starr’s Gilfoyle and Kumail Nanjiani’s Dinesh being mostly the same as their chemistry more than made up for it. Matt Ross had moments as the obliviously arrogant Gavin. Josh Brener’s Big Head stole a few scenes, however, it is baffling as to why he is still considered a main character when he is rarely on screen. Jared continues to be the M.V.P. of the series thanks to some great writing and an even better deadpan delivery from Zach Woods (he should be in contention for a Supporting Actor Emmy). Coming a close second to Woods was Suzanne Cryer’s deadpan as Laurie.

Overall, this was an excellent season and the best season so far with the best story so far, seeing Richard and the Pied Piper guys overcome every obstacle they faced while actually winning by the end and forming their own internet. There were plenty of hilarious moments throughout and a surprising amount of dramatic ones. The great writing, performances, and chemistry between the cast kept things compelling to watch. With the season ending the way it did, it will be interesting to see where the next one will go and how much longer they will continue the series.

Score: 9/10

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