Silicon Valley Season 4 Review
Silicon Valley Season 4 – A Scattershot Approach
Spoilers for Silicon Valley Season 4…
Silicon Valley Season 4 started in much the same way every season has started, namely Richard recovering from a defeat and miraculously pulling the strings to make things just about work. Of course, things aren’t that simple and this season more than previous seasons focused on the fracturing relationships between the group of friends. HBO’s show about tech guys felt somewhat scattershot this season with subplots not fully explored and changing how we think about Richard as a person.
The chemistry between the cast remains good and we got to see Thomas Middleditch portray a more frazzled Richard willing to bend the rules to get his way. Some subplots worked better than others this season, Jared’s inner struggle to support his friend and boss while wrestling with his conscience led to some amusing and heartfelt moments particularly late in the season, meanwhile Dinesh’s development as a power-mad CEO of PiperChat could have used more time to flourish. Richard having to help and work alongside Gavin Belson was an interesting plot point early on in the season but by moving Matt Ross to the sideline for much of this season, the show lost one of its most enigmatic and entertaining characters for a good chunk of time.
Silicon Valley Season 4 adhered to the fact that this is a repetitive show and intentionally so. On the positive side we did see some character development as Richard kept pushing his friends and they continually called him out on his poor decision-making. This makes sense given we’ve had three seasons of bad decisions and screw ups and I hope there is some fallout next season because of Richard’s actions, especially in the final episode. The interactivity between the tech obsessed friends has always been at the heart of the show and I feel the writers could do something more adventurous next season. On the other hand, Richard is no longer a guy we are rooting for as he stopped making bad decisions for his company and started throwing his friends under the bus instead. Hopefully, this season turns out to be a turning point for Richard rather than more moral quandaries over whether or not to break the law.
The show wasn’t as funny or entertaining as previous seasons but there were some good laughs to be found. Jian Yang’s food app and smart fridge was pretty funny although the smart fridge saving the day felt too convenient. Big Head is a underutilised character but when he does show up it’s usually entertaining as this season he stumbled into being a professor while still clutching his signature Big Gulp. Even more entertaining was the conflict between Gavin and Jack Barker with particular highlights being the plane journey and Jack’s kidnapping as he tries to explain the conjoined triangles to a bunch of overworked Chinese employees. A special mention too to Gavin’s garage within a garage bit.
As mentioned earlier, Silicon Valley Season 4 was a scattershot one with some subplots left hanging and the main thread struggling to find its way. This is epitomised by T.J. Miller’s departure from the show which wasn’t handled particularly well. The character didn’t have a definitive arc this season, one that his character deserved and it remains unclear if this was due to his departure coming late in the development of the season and perhaps being unexpected. The actor has stated his departure was due to many other projects and the show will certainly miss one of its stronger characters who played a hopeless entrepreneur but who pulled it out of the bag when it came to helping Pied Piper flourish. Silicon Valley is about entertaining individual personalities and quirks as much as it is about a group of friends and the show could do with some fresh faces in this regard after this latest departure.
Overall, there were some things that worked this season and some things that did not. Jian Yang plus Gavin and Jack’s conflict provided some funny moments while the chemistry of the cast remains good. Richard’s conflict with his friends gave us something more substantial to chew on but may provide problems in the future if Richard remains an unsympathetic character moving forward. Significant holes are beginning to show in Silicon Valley though with the departure of T.J. Miller and some scattershot writing this season.
What did you think of Silicon Valley Season 4? Will you be sad to see T.J. Miller go?
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