“You were all brought here to generate moonshots. I need a moonshot now. If there’s any greatness in any of you at all, now is the time to access it.” – Gavin Belson (S02E07)
As if Season 1 of the hit HBO television show, Silicon Valley, wasn’t a moonshot already, it definitely is now. Going into Season 2 with my expectations set high, creator Mike Judge did exactly what I thought he’d do – he exceeded them. Keeping audiences rooting for the little guys of Pied Piper to crush the compression competition around them, get more funding for their company to grow and to receive so many offers that it’d make Hooli’s head spin, Judge had other plans.
We start the season off with Pied Piper deciding on what offers to take (funding versus exponential growth, equity, evaluation, etc.) after winning Tech Crunch Disrupt. Having to re-iterate the unfortunate real life loss of Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), the show takes a lighthearted spin on replacing the odd-mannered CEO with a similar tempered woman, Laurie Bream (Suzanne Cryer). In case you were wondering, Peter Gregory had to run, for what may have been the first and definitely the last time of his life (yes, a heart attack from running once; it’s Palo Alto, go figure). During his funeral, in an attempt to buy Pied Piper out, Gavin Belson of Hooli ends up suing Pied Piper of copywright infringement saying Richard Hendricks created Pied Piper while working for Hooli. In Silicon Valley, this happens all the time when a company wants to squash the competition and knows the tech can’t pay up. Frantic, Hendricks tries to get funding from the companies who’ve since retracted their offers because of the lawsuit; except for one, very excentric former big-shot named Russ Hammeman (Chris Diamantopoulos) who earned his billions from the investments of the dot com boom (also, he brought the radio to the internet).
Dealing with a fussy billionaire whenever the group needs money, Hendricks loses his patience at times and the group try numerous ideas to get funding while saving money: making their own servers to support their own cloud, providing 4k streaming capabilities to support a live event (‘Homicide’), hiring more people, hacking into the network of a company that “brain raped” Pied Piper during a fake interview to steal their contracts and last but not least, pissing off Belson to no end by any means necessary. The season is an uphill battle for PP, the obstacle course being Silicon Valley as a place to showcase their talents. What makes this season better than the first is that the audience sees just how great Pied Piper really is and how hard everyone tries to bring them down in an industry where every other company says they want to “make the world a better place,” no less. After each accomplishment, a tidal wave hits the group almost every episode. The finale proved that the guys of Pied Piper are here to stay, despite their constant uphill battles. Full of wittier banter that makes season one look like a sitcom, season two is flawless. The execution of each ending is almost enough to compare to the network’s dramas (they’re that good)… which may be exactly why I count down the hours after 10:30pm every Sunday until the next episode the following week; the underdogs generate the greatest moonshots.