Sometimes it takes a little while for a show to find itself, but when it does, it’s beautiful.
With ‘Founder Friendly’, the Season 3 premiere, Silicon Valley finally knows exactly what it is, and the premiere was a profound pleasure in every way. Like being with an old friend who is every bit as funny as you remember them (and maybe more). It was the most memorably right episode of television I’ve seen in a long time, in that it kept making the choices that felt…right.
Richard: should be kicked out as CEO of such a high-powered company. He’s not ideally suited to the CEO role. And he should be pissed. And he should lash out. That’s exactly what he did.
Jared: should find his value in lighting the darkness. He should be the only one to be completely loyal to Richard and should do it without being too creepy. That’s exactly what he did.
Erlich: should be forward without being a complete douche (they sometimes struggled to land on the right tone with him in season 2). He should be a bit of a perv, but ultimately deliver lines like an absolute machine. That’s exactly what he did.
Gilfoyle and Dinesh: whom I lump together because they are too beautiful as a team to pull apart, should have wavering loyalty and hash it out in a hysterical manner while also being self-serving and base. That’s exactly what they did.
Riviga: should have Laurie Bream as the unwavering, brass tacks decision maker with Monica trying to help the Pied Piper guys from the inside. They shouldn’t buckle or change because Richard is upset. That’s exactly what happened.
The pace was outstanding, the jokes were spit-polished, the characters were on point, and on top of that we get to see the intro of a brand new character: Action Jack Barker. You see them announce Laurie’s new pick for CEO and then you see that it’s Steven Tobolowsky and a great thing just keeps getting better and better.
Jack Barker fends off the sublime ageist attack of Erlich and uses his own kryptonite against him, properly pronouncing Aviato several times. It was a thing of beauty to watch.
When a comedy gets a sense of itself after muddling around a bit (a la Parks and Rec and 30Rock), truly amazing things can happen. Silicon Valley was already must watch TV, but now it just feels like it knows what a comedy heavyweight it is.
Silicon Valley looks primed for a phenomenal season of comedy.