Silicon Valley: Hooli vs. Pied Piper

Hello everybody! Today we have a new HBO series about technology called Silicon Valley.

SILICON VALLEY

CREATED BY: Mike Judge, John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky

STARRING: Thomas Middleditch, T. J. Miller, Josh Brener, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Christopher Evan Welch, Amanda Crew, Zach Woods

GENRE: Sitcom

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

Richard Hendriks (Thomas Middleditch) is a shy, reclusive programmer working at a large Internet company called Hooli, while developing a music app called Pied Piper in a live-in startup business incubator run by entrepreneur Erlich Bachman (T. J. Miller). After a rocky post-TED elevator pitch of Pied Piper to venture capitalist Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), Hendriks also shows his work to a pair of brogrammers at Hooli who mock him. Within hours however, Hooli executive Donald “Jared” Dunn (Zach Woods) and Gregory’s assistant Monica (Amanda Crew) are discovering that the app contains a revolutionary data compression algorithm. Hooli CEO Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) proposes a $10 million buyout of Pied Piper, while Peter Gregory offers a $200,000 investment for 5% ownership in the company. With encouragement from Monica and the support of Bachman, Hendriks chooses Gregory’s offer. He hires the residents of the incubator to become the Pied Piper team, along with Dunn who defects from Hooli, but loses his friend Bighead (Josh Brener) to the Internet giant.

All season long, the central narrative has surrounded Richard (an increasingly winning Thomas Middleditch), the founder of Pied Piper, who rejects a multi-million dollar offer from tech titan and Hooli founder Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), to throw his hat in with oddball investor Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), who just wants a stake in the company, not entire ownership. The move is a risky one, and fuels the wrath of Gavin, who decides to reverse engineer Richard’s valuable compression algorithm, to not only beat him to market, but also make it more attractive by coupling it with his company’s Google-esque suite of services. So, it’s a premise ripe with potential but its often left spinning its wheels.

Certainly, what Judge gets right is the unique and often surreal culture of the tech world, filled by young, extraordinarily smart men who are just as socially awkward as they are intelligent. And so even in Gavin, we see someone whose quirks are exacerbated by success, such as turning to his omni-present personal guru for advice (in a running gag that’s thankfully ditched pretty fast). Or taken to further extremes by Peter, who spends a good chunk of the third episode, “Articles Of Incorporation,” obsessively studying Burger King hamburger buns (leading to an unlikely breakthrough revelation).

But all this is not to say that “Silicon Valley” has missed the mark. Comedies often need a season to work out their tone and find their groove, and there is plenty of promise here to suggest that with the right tweaks, the best is yet to come from this show. Key to the success thus far has been the cast themselves, with Middleditch finding that sweet spot of someone who’s both ambitious and way over their head. Miller gets some good mileage out of the aggressively self-centered Erlich, who has more than few tricks up his sleeve, and while Starr has played this kind character multiple times before, there’s few who do it better. And when the writing zeroes in on the tech industry, “Silicon Valley” delivers some very big laughs. In fact, the extended, epic inspiration handjob joke in “Optimal Tip-To-Tip Efficiency” might be the best gag “Silicon Valley” has done to date: gutbusting, crude but also whipsmart. It’s a great piece of writing with the cast nailing the moment.

PROS:

  •  Main cast performances.
  • Surreal culture of Silicon Valley.
  • Technology at its finest.

CONS:

  •  Premise is left without clear direction.
  • Annoying re-occurring gags.

SCORE: 8.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music for me to review, drop me a comment! Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

Archer Vice: ISIS the Cartel

Hello everybody! Today we have a review for the most recent season of FX’s Archer.

ARCHER VICE

 

CREATED BY: Adam Reed

STARRING:  H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Chris Parnell, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, George Coe, Adam Reed, Lucky Yates

GENRE: Action, Adventure, Black comedy, Crime, Espionage, Sitcom

YEAR: Jan. 14, 2010 – Current

COUNTRY: United States

When ISIS is disbanded by the U.S. government, its former employees take note of a hidden stockpile of cocaine that the agency accumulated from previous operations. They establish a new headquarters in Cheryl Tunt’s manor and form a drug cartel, before heading south to sell the cocaine to fund their retirements. Cheryl, who is already extremely wealthy, instead decides to launch a new career as a country singer. Along the way, the group attracts the attention of rival gangs and face problems that arise from the characters adapting to their new roles. This season is considered a “re-boot” of the series, taking the gang to new places away from the spy game.

Archer Vice takes the series in a whole new (while still familiar) direction that is just an absolute joy to watch. While the ISIS gang tries their hardest to sell their “tonne” of cocaine, but they really aren’t the best drug dealers. Are they really the best at anything? I mean, first they are a spy agency, then a drug cartel, then arms dealers. They just conveniently keep fucking everything up and it is hilarious to watch. I want to point out that this season we were able to see more of some of our favorite secondary characters (I.e. Pam, Kreiger, Cherlene). As part of the Archer Vice series, the producers even released a country album for Cherlene. Its actually pretty good to, listen to it here Cherlene: Songs from Archer.

While I really enjoyed this “re-boot” of Archer, I can see where many people are thinking it is a step forward in the wrong direction. This feeling is only supported by the fact that Archer creator Adam Reed has stated that the ISIS gang will be going back into the spy game for the next two seasons. A single season remake? Seriously? Also Lana finally gave birth. She pissed me off and was a total bitch as a pregnant woman. Archer had gone as far as they could with Lana being pregnant, thank god that is over. The mother in her will maybe give some decent content for the show to attract more viewers.

PROS:

  • New direction for the show.
  • Outlaw Country!
  • Secondary characters have more screen time.

CONS:

  • Lana is a bitch pregnant.
  • Could they have some success please?
  • Re-hashing old story lines.
  • One season reboot?

SCORE: 8.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music for me to review, drop me a comment! Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

Futurama Series Finale After 13 Years….

Hello Everybody! Here is my review of the series finale to one of Matt Groening’s Emmy-winning series, Futurama.

FUTURAMA

TITLE: Futurama

DIRECTOR: Matt Groening

STARRING: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille. Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom. Phil LaMarr. David Herman. Frank Welker

GENRE: Sitcom, Adult Animation, Science Fiction

YEAR: 1999-2003, 2008-2013

NUMBER OF EPISODES: 140, 7 Seasons

COUNTRY: United States

I have to say, after 13 years, I am finally happy to see Futurama get a proper send off. If you don’t know, Futurama is a story set in the year 3000 (the story begins on New Years Eve 2999 and end in 3013) in a futuristic version of New York called New New York. We follow the adventures of the Planet Express crew which consists of Fry, Leela, Bender and their inept coworkers. These coworkers include: Professor Farnsworth, Amy Wong, Zoidberg, Hermes, and Scruffy. You can check out some short bios for each character below:

  • Phillip J Fry:  A native to the 20th century who was cryogenically frozen seconds into the year 2000, having fallen in just as 1999 ended. He was revived in 2999, and subsequently became a delivery boy for the Planet Express Company
  • Turanga Leela:  She is captain of the Planet Express ship. Originally thought to be an alien, it was later discovered that she is a mutant.
  • Bender Rodriguez: He was made in Tijuana, serial number 2716057, Mexico in 2997. Bender drinks copious amounts of alcohol to recharge his fuel cells, while displaying symptoms similar to intoxication when he stops. When he burps, fire comes out of his mouth. He gambles, smokes cigars, consorts with hookerbots, had, at one point 50 terabytes of porn on his hard drive, and is constantly trying to gain attention to boost his already over-inflated ego.
  • Professor Hubert Farnsworth: The proprietor of the Planet Express delivery service. Professor Farnsworth is pushing the limits of even the 31st century at the old agе of 173. Professor Farnsworth is one of six living relatives of Fry, together with his own clone, Cubert,
  • Amy Wong: Professor Farnsworth’s long term intern/grad student who assists the Professor in his mad schemes. Daughter to wealthy Wong family.
  • John Zoidberg: He was born on the planet Decapod 10 and moved to Earth to practice medicine after giving up comedy once, despite being a self-proclaimed expert on humans.
  • Hermes Conrad: A Jamaican bureaucrat grade 34 and the accountant at Planet Express. He is afraid to make mistakes as this may demote him to a lower grade.

What I admire about Futurama is that it managed to stay on the air this long. Despite cancellations and changing networks, the show has managed to stay at least decent in comparison to earlier seasons. Some of my favorite episodes are in the later seasons. Not a single episode will be as good as “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings”, the opera is simply amazing.

Okay, well let me get back to the series finale. Warning, SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW. There is plenty of nostalgia in this episode, long term fans on the series will love the nods to the first season. The episode opens with the Planet Express crew making a delivery to the moon. Leela casually tosses the box in the delivery bin, stating”We used to try harder.” After Leela’s near death experience, Fry decides to propose to Leela, and in the course dies multiple times. We get to see this multiple times, thanks to Professor Farnsworth’s time button.

The best part of the episode is it finally wrapped up our Fry and Leela romance. After Fry dies multiple times while being stuck in a time loop, Leela figures out a way to save him. This results in Professor Farnsworth’s death and Fry crushing the time button. The destruction of the button causes the universe to freeze, allowing us to see Fry and Leela grow old together. At the end of the episode, Farnsworth reappears with a way to revert the universe back to the moment before he created the time button, unfortunately erasing all of their memories. Fry prompts a final question to Leela which then ends the episode.

I could not think of any better way to end the series. With out luck though, the show will probably be renewed again in five years when television realizes the mistake they made.

PROS:

  • Final wrap-up of Fry x Leela.
  • Great time travel story.
  • Memorable quotes.
  • Fry’s many deaths.

CONS:

  • Gets repetitive seeing actions happen over and over.
  • What happened to Zoidberg’s girlfriend?

 

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music for me to review, drop me a comment!

Remember:

Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl

Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review

Stay tuned for the new you tube channel!