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Silicon Valley ends with one of its darkest and most far-reaching episodes

  • "With its series finale 'Exit Event,' Silicon Valley gets the chance to end on its own terms and it runs with it," says Les Chappell. "It’s one of the darkest and most far-reaching episodes the series has ever put together, an episode that takes the show’s oft-mocked message of 'making the world a better' place and realistically introducing the idea that Richard Hendricks and company could add 'by ending it' to that statement. And like any good series finale, it’s an episode that’s fully aware of its place in the series, winks and nods to the canon that lead it to a feeling of closure."


    • Silicon Valley's real achievement was in sticking it to tech's ruling class -- "the billionaires, the venture capitalists, the lawyers, the liars," says Hank Stuever. "What was more perfect than that early scene of Richard’s idol, tech guru Peter Gregory (played by the late Christopher Evan Welch), pulling away from a crowded valet-parking situation in a prototype of an ultra-narrow car built for one, bypassing all traffic with narcissistic efficiency. It presaged the scooter craze that took over our sidewalks, along with the scooter-bro arrogance that made it possible. Silicon Valley was torn between relishing and deploring tech’s male entitlement. Its funniest bit came at the end of Season 1, when an argument about mutual masturbation techniques inspired Richard to write the code for Pied Piper’s landmark innovation — a 'middle out,' 'tip-to-tip efficiency' for compressing media files, leading to unfathomably improved speed and user experience. Like tech, it was a guy thing all the way. And that is where the show’s work remains unfinished and leaves viewers most in need of a new show, just as funny and just as smart, only this time about women in tech — and the lack of equality therein. All the studies, initiatives and op-eds about this persistent discrimination are fine, but what really works in our world is the stinging bite of satire."
    • Silicon Valley's innovative solution to its impossible series finale problem is an episode that splits the difference between the show’s positive beginnings and its negative end
    • Co-creator Mike Judge on why Silicon Valley had to evolve: "When we started out, it was absurd in more of a funny way, seeing these young programmers and tech types suddenly becoming billionaires so quickly," he says. "But it has gotten a little more serious now. Facebook’s motto back then was 'move fast and break things,' and it’s little less cute now that they actually have moved fast and broken things. So it's a different kind of comedy now. If we had started the show today, we’d have to approach it a little differently."
    • Any chance Silicon Valley could be revived?: "There is a joke at the end that, I guess, as we were writing it, we’re like oh, I guess this could be a scene for something further down the line if it ended up happening that way," says executive producer Alec Berg. "There’s certainly no concrete plan. It’s not like okay, we’re going to put this away for three years and then come back and do a limited run. There’s none of that, but look, I love everybody on the show. The whole cast was really just such a delight to work with, and they’re all such pros, and everybody respected everybody else’s work that if there were a way that it made sense to do something down the line, I’d do it in a second."
    • Executive producer Alec Berg says "we got super lucky" with Silicon Valley's approach to tech: "We just got super lucky that the tech business, during the run of the show, went from having this real smug, 'You’re welcome world' attitude at the beginning to 'We might’ve broken the world' at the end," says Berg in weighing in on the show's legacy. "I’m hearing stories now of people who work for tech companies who are ashamed to tell people (which company they work for) because they don’t want to get abuse for it. It’s gone from this impossible level of smugness to… I don’t want to say shame yet, but some people are definitely feeling like, 'Oh, we might have done terrible things and we might be held accountable for some of our obliviousness.' But at least in (the case of Silicon Valley), our guys had the foresight and the moral judgment to shut it down versus, 'This machine might be lubricated with the souls of our users, but we’re going to do it anyway!'"

    TOPICS: Silicon Valley, HBO, Alec Berg, Mike Judge, Series Finales