Silicon Valley: "Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency"

(Episode 1.08)

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<em>Silicon Valley</em>: "Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency"

What better way to wrap up the first season on a brand new show with not only an absolute triumph, but also one of the most elaborate dick jokes ever committed to film? Oh, and a final shot that finds our chief protagonist vomiting into a dumpster. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The most important thing is that because Erlich took a few punches to the faces from the cuckolded husband of his latest conquest, Pied Piper is pushed on to the finals. But after seeing the elaborate presentation that Hooli brought out to trumpet its new Nucleus program—one that offers up the same compression success as Pied Piper, but with a whole raft of apps to go along with it—no one in Richard’s crew feels as if they have any chance to succeed. So, they decide to go down swinging, even if it means that Erlich will jerk off every guy in the room.

Cue the most elaborate and lengthy dick joke this side of the “Little Donny” episode of Upright Citizens Brigade. The four engineers and programmers of Pied Piper spend an evening in their hotel room trying to work out just how Erlich would be able to jerk off the 400 or so men at TechCrunch Disrupt in the time allotted. Would it take putting the dicks of two guys of the same relative height together at the tip so he could work from the middle out, and handle two at a time? Or make sure a short person and a tall person were standing in front of each other, their dicks making a perfect 45 degree angle so he could work in downward and upward strokes? On and on they go, building upon this ridiculous premise, because that’s the way geeky minds work. No matter how outlandish or silly the idea, they are going to see it through its natural climax … I mean, conclusion.

As they go on, though, Richard has an epiphany, and a big one at that, so big that he runs off into his bedroom to deal with it. And when he comes out, he has tossed out almost everything that he and his crew have worked on, but promises that his new compression algorithm out-performs his previous model and the one offered by Nucleus. And he does it from the stage of TechCrunch Disrupt. The judges don’t believe him and offer him up the challenge of compressing a 3D video, the one kind of file they had no success with in the past.

You can figure out where this is headed, right? To sum up: they succeed big time, doubling the rate of compression that even Hooli could offer and walking away champions. And when faced with the prospect of this success and having to turn that into a workable company with employees and a real office, etc., Richard runs out of the building and pukes.

It was the perfect capper to a great debut season by this show, tempering the huge heights that Richard, Erlich, Dinesh, Gilfoyle, and Jared reached with a moment that brings them right down to Earth again. As I know we’ve talked about in the past, Mike Judge wants us to see the sausage getting made and the dumb mistakes and uncomfortably human moments that come with it. That seems to be the formula for the best kind of television comedy, and something that you won’t ever really see on the big networks too often. Here’s looking forward to a second season that will hopefully mine even deeper and leave us reeling even harder with laughter.

Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.

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