TV Review: HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’

HBO premieres Silicon Valley—executive produced by Mike Judge—on Sunday April 6, 10 p.m. ET. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Co-created by Mike Judge (with the dryness of King of the Hill and tone of Office Space), it’s a savvy look at the birthing pains of a tech startup, filled with unforced humor and a serialized plot, in which the sad-sack characters find themselves caught between feuding billionaires. Similar but superior to Amazon’s Betas, it’s inordinately user-friendly compared to many recent pay-cable offerings.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

“In the grand tradition of Mike Judge projects, HBO’s new comedy, Silicon Valley, is a bit messy, a bit shambling, and often very funny. It’s also at once a critique and embrace of the idea of corporate culture, examining how scruffy groups of dudes (because this show is almost all dudes) are gradually homogenized and turned into the sorts of tech geniuses that are easier to sell to the press.”
—Todd VanDerWerff, A.V. Club

“These sturdy structural models give the show a grounding in which the shifting relations among characters —money changes everything — profitably flourish. The cast members — mention should be made of Zach Woods as a business advisor — have presence but do not push the jokes. Silicon Valley is a comedy, certainly, and a very funny one, but it doesn't spend all its time reminding you of the fact.”
—Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times

“In an excellent ensemble, the early standouts are Middleditch, who makes us feel every inch of Richard's fear and elation, and Welch — who, I'm sad to say, died while the sixth episode was being shot, leaving a hole the series will be hard-pressed to fill. But there isn't an actor or character you won't look forward to seeing again, and that includes those you may initially resist. Each is allowed to be right or wrong, each could exist in the world as we know it, and each can be uproariously funny in his or her own way.”
—Robert Bianco, USA Today

“Judge is a master of this, Berg, too, so no one should be surprised to learn Silicon Valley is funny. The surprise is just how funny it can be -- wait around a few episodes for Belson's Hologram adventure to see what I mean. But you never have to wait long. Judge has a keen eye for the absurdities of human behavior and speech, but he's not the kind of guy to waste that on subtle inside jokes or wordplay. He's not someone to waste it on farce, either: Silicon Valley also happens to be sly and smart.”
—Verne Gay, Newsday