Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


June 4, 2014

HBO's Silicon Valley finds fans in tech

Mockumentary poking fun at high tech coming back for second season

(AP) — When HBO rolled out a mockumentary poking fun at high tech this spring, Silicon Valley checked it out.

Initially, its namesake geeks and nerds who spend their days coding, developing and hacking in a red hot tech economy weren't so sure it was funny: "Most startups are a soap opera, but not that kind of soap opera," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk, one of the valley's most charismatic billionaires, after a premiere.

But many were amused enough by the warped story of their lives to keep watching, and soon some of the biggest names in the Silicon Valley were singing its praise on the region's virtual water coolers.

There were even cameos from locals, including Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt. And, for a day, entrepreneur-investor Marc Andreeson tweeted lines from the show like "I truly believe we can only achieve greatness... if first, we achieve goodness."

Now, with the final episode airing Sunday night, "Silicon Valley" has been upped for a second season — good news for local techies who gather en masse to watch five of their doppelgangers awkwardly talk to women, seek venture capital and try to launch a startup called Pied Piper, complete with its own mock website.

Creator Mike Judge ("Beavis and Butt-Head"), who collaborates as executive producer, writer and director with Alec Berg, taps into his own experience as a Silicon Valley engineer decades ago to nail the authenticity of this funny and sometimes painfully real, show.

"I live it every week," said Silicon Valley venture capitalist Barry Schuler, former CEO of America Online. "We cannot take ourselves too seriously.

Shuler says the socially awkward characters — who wince and blink nervously, get bullied by adolescents, have trouble talking to women and taunt each other awkwardly — are a fair parody of his tech community.

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