Apr 9, 2014

Silicone Valley - Episode 1

I watched the first episode of Silicon Valley tonight with some other engineers from work.  Overall it was flat.  I've been convinced to give it another episode, but here's somethings that blew.

- None of the characters seemed to be anything bigger than caricatures of roles in tech.  I wanted to like at least one of the developers.  Or be impressed by them.  Or feel like I had met one of them in person.  Not a single one of the 10 or so characters mapped to a single developer or person that I know.  Or would want to know.  Their caricature of the super nerdy, very brilliant software developer that starts a website by himself wasn't like any person that I've ever met.  I know a lot of people in software.  Albeit, successful people in software.  I've also met a lot of people not in software.  All in all, they came across as inflated depictions of stereotypes about what people who work in tech and at start ups are like.

- None of the tech dialog really seemed to have any real backing to it.  It is not possible to have proprietary algorithms in a website that's posted on Github.  If it's on Github, it's open sourced.  Open source software means that anyone can read or inspect the code that you have written.  By definition, software that is freely published is not proprietary.

- There wasn't a single girl developer.  The only women that appear in the entire show are wearing skirts and high heels.  Both of the females with speaking roles use their few lines to croon about a male character.  Or offer one of them a ride home.  Snore.  You know what this show needs?  It could use a female foil.  Or two.  Instead of having five geeky men that fit the 'asian, east asian, pony tailed, tall white guy, weird bearded' stereotype, why not throw in a couple of women into the mix?  There's episodes, hell even story arcs of entertainment and character sub plots to explore.

Dear writers of Silicon Valley, I sense that you need some suggestions.  Here's some ideas for future Silicon Valley episodes:
- An entire episode built around a text editor civil war
- Have the main character struggle with an unexpected homoerotic attraction to his angel investor
- A whole episode about Twitter gender flame wars
- An episode dedicated to winning the top spot on some Hacker Daily website that in the end proves to have been manipulated the whole time (via an authenticity bug in the core security layer) by an AI project being run out of North Korea
- A Halloween episode featuring trolls
- Replace (or augment) some of the *very* bland core developers with multiple female developers characters.  The hyper femme who paints her nails in five colors of neon, and won't stop spamming the internal list serve with cat gifs.  The punk rebel coder girl who hacked her way into the Pentagon at age eleven and now spends her free time contributing to the Linux file system and talking about unmentionable body piercings.  The uber nerd girl that no one wants to sit next to because she has bad breath and a slew of Final Fantasy stickers adorning her laptop.  The hyper code bunny who does nothing but check in software bugs and check out the brogrammers at the code conferences.  Sure, maybe none of these females exist in real life.  To be fair, neither do any of the other characters in the show.

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