HBO's 'Silicon Valley' tackles tricky, quirky tech world for TV

Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:58pm EDT
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(Note explicit language in paragraph 17)

By Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If Mike Judge's new tech-world television comedy "Silicon Valley" were a start-up, Google Inc Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt might be an angel investor.

Schmidt appears briefly in the show's opening scene, a start-up's party where Kid Rock jams on stage and no one pays attention to the rock star. A newly minted tech millionaire tries to pump up the crowd shouting "I love Goolybib's integrated multi-platform functionality. Yeah!"

"Eric Schmidt was not actually at the party that we shot: you have to make certain accommodations for multi, multi, multi billionaires," said Alec Berg, Judge's collaborator on the eight-episode show that debuts Sunday on U.S. cable channel HBO.

"So when we showed him the footage of that scene, he said, 'I've been to that party,' which was a huge boost for us because it felt like we got that right."

For Judge, it's all about taking an "accurate, honest, satirical look" at the cradle of technology and innovation. He brings the biting, irreverent humor he honed in his MTV animated series "Beavis and Butt-head" and film "Office Space" to portray an industry few have dared to take on for television.

Judge himself worked as an engineer in Silicon Valley in the late eighties and he and Berg, a writer on "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," immersed themselves in the current-day Valley vibe, visiting incubators and start-ups and hiring consultants.

They say they found no shortage of absurd material to bring life to the otherwise un-filmable realm of computer programming.   Continued...

Creator, executive producer, director and writer Mike Judge and executive producer, director, writer Alec Berg talk about HBO's "Silicon Valley" during the Winter 2014 TCA presentations in Pasadena, California, January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson