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Silicon Valley Season 1, Episode 2 Review

Silicon Valley Season 1, Episode 2 Review

‘The Cap Table’

Things start to get quite chaotic for Richard Hendriks in episode two of Silicon Valley when he learns that there is a lot of hard work that needs to be done in order to establish a clear and coherent business plan.

After Peter Gregory’s $200,000 investment, Hooli executive Jared Dunn arrives at the incubator, begging Richard to hire him. Jared is played by Zach Woods, who is famous for his portrayal of Gabe Lewis from The Office (U.S). Woods plays a similar character in Silicon Valley, and he delivers excellent performances in the first two episodes of the show. Upon talking to Jared and establishing some business goals, Richard takes his time to decide whether or not he should let him join the Pied Piper team.
silicon-valley-episode-2-01To celebrate Richard’s success, Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) hires a stripper to give private dances to the guys at the incubator. All of the guys are extremely uncomfortable with this, so they hide away in the kitchen, leaving Nelson ‘Big Head’ Bighetti (Josh Brener) alone with the stripper. I was slightly disappointed with Brener’s performance in episode one, as I expected him to act like his character in The Big Bang Theory. However, having watched him in episode two, he definitely produces a better performance, the highlight of which comes when he interacts with an angry stripper.

The next morning, Richard has an important meeting with Peter Gregory, who is very disappointed that he hasn’t developed a business plan. Richard is sent away to figure out how to run the business more efficiently, so he hires Jared to help. Jared wants to know what all of the guys in the incubator will bring to the company, so he sets up small interviews. Jared ascertains that Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) and Dinesh Chugtai (Kumail Nanjiani) are brilliant coders, and therefore vital to the Pied Piper team. Unfortunately, Bighead is comparatively mediocre so he is forced out of the company, much to the dismay of Richard. Despite this, things start to look up for Bighead when he is given a promotion by Hooli CEO Gavin Belson. On his return, Bighead learns that Hooli are reverse engineering Pied Piper to create the same product under the name of Nucleus.
silicon-valley-episode-2-02Minimum Viable Product introduced us to the general narrative and main characters of the show, but The Cap Table reveals a good ensemble mix of minor characters. We are fully introduced to Jared, as well as Gilfoyle and Dinesh. These characters add something extra to the show, as most of the comedy is centred around them.

The Cap Table is very similar to episode one in the sense that the script is fantastic and the episode moved at a beautiful pace. More jokes have been added, such as a gag about Dinesh’s fear of women. It’s revealed his first physical contact with a woman came when he shook hands with a female mail carrier. This anecdote confuses the guys, who start to make fun of him. Some of the humour in the show is quite ironic – the CEO of Hooli has major problems with voice-recognition technology, but most of the time, the humour comes from the personality and idiosyncrasies of the nerdy characters in the incubator.

The Cap Table is proof that a second episode of a new series can be just as good as the first and it looks as if there is no stopping Silicon Valley from becoming one of the greatest HBO sitcoms of all time.


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