Silicon Valley//Season 1//Third Party Insourcing

Written by Dan O’Keefe
Directed by Alec Berg
Originally aired May 11, 2014

SV_S01_E06

Where “Signaling Risk” delighted in skewing the traditional deployment of race in TV, “Third Party Insourcing” lightly teases the inherent competitiveness of misogyny while simultaneously providing eye candy for the series’ male dominated (and potentially sex deprived) audience. Milana Vayntrub cameos as Gilfoyle’s girlfriend, Tara, who’s described as an “Amy Winehouse-type.” While this leads to one of the best lines of the episode (“What does that even mean?” “Decomposing? Oh god…that was dark”), her presence is little more than a source of sexual fixation for the guys of Pied Piper. Sadly, the use of Tara as bait for an ongoing feud between Gilfoyle and Dinesh would still be misogynistic even if the results were funnier than they actually are. Regardless, the circumstances give Kumail Nanjiani a chance to truly shine as the internally conflicted Dinesh and T.J. Miller’s Erlich uses the opportunity to dress down perhaps a bit too much. Continue reading

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Silicon Valley//Season 1//Signaling Risk

Written by Jessica Gao
Directed by Alec Berg
Originally aired May 4, 2014

SV_S01_E05

HBO has been flirting with brilliance pretty aggressively as of late. Last week, Game of Thrones produced arguably the best episode of its fourth season. “The Laws of Gods and Men” went just far enough to prove its merits without stepping into that rarefied space where a long-running, multi-arc series focuses in so extremely on one moment that it produces an almost hallucinatory state of association in the viewer. Had the episode been exclusively centered on the trial of Tyrion Lannister it may have reached the dramatic heights of Breaking Bad’s Emmy Award winning episode “The Fly.” The week prior, Silicon Valley writer Jessica Gao wrote one of the more curiously modern comedic takes on race with “Signaling Risk.” The intelligence of the episode is largely indicative of the new way TV talks about race. Its imperfection is a reflection of the difficulty faced by writers wanting to confront an eternally sensitive subject without being preachy or worse unfunny. Continue reading