By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Cheeky, crass tech comedy nails (male) geek culture.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Outcasts have all the power, and it pays to be seriously smart. But a college education is portrayed as a "joke," and dropping out doesn't necessarily have negative consequences. There's also a subtle theme that you have to be an "a--hole" -- as opposed to a good person -- to be successful.
Positive Role Models
The main characters are all outcasts in some way due to their social awkwardness, but they've become successful by using their brains and finding their niche. On the downside, there's a real lack of female role models thanks to a male-dominated tech culture. There are also some comedic/ethnic stereotypes.
Violence & Scariness
Slapstick-grade injuries, some physical threats, etc.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mainly sex jokes, with the occasional scantily clad stripper.
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Unbleeped language includes words like "f--k," "s--t," "prick," "boner," etc.
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Products & Purchases
Brands like Apple and Microsoft are mentioned, and some product logos are visible.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink socially. Some also use drugs like pot and mushrooms and abuse prescription medications.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Silicon Valley is a comedy that centers on a group of young, mostly male computer programmers attempting to strike it rich in the tech world. Characters use sexually charged jokes and crass, unbleeped language -- from audible words like "cum" to "f--k" -- and also drink and use both illegal and prescription drugs like mushrooms and Adderall. There's some name-dropping of popular tech brands, too, plus visible product logos.
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Videos and Photos
Based on 6 parent reviews
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Incredible, hilarious show.
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What's the Story?
When an algorithm he's developed for a start-up music site goes viral, mild-mannered computer programmer Richard Hendrix (Thomas Middleditch) finds himself fielding lucrative offers from two of the most powerful names in SILICON VALLEY. But deciding his product isn't for sale means Richard and his friends will have to build their own brand from the ground up.
Is It Any Good?
Based on creator Mike Judge's own experiences working at a Silicon Valley startup, HBO's Silicon Valley has shades of Judge's cult classic Office Space (sans the TPS reports) and largely nails the eccentricities of Bay Area tech culture. But its central character is hardly the kind of hero you feel compelled to root for, leaving most of the show's appeal in the hands of its quirky ensemble, an array of socially awkward man-boys who share a house -- and have no idea what to do with a stripper.
Of course, that's not necessarily a criticism, but the series does take a while to get going, so it won't have instant appeal for every viewer. It's also full of crass humor -- and a disappointing lack of female role models -- making it an iffy choice for impressionable teens who might be attracted to the Valley's geeky charms.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Silicon Valley's take on the actual Silicon Valley and whether it takes creative liberties for the sake of comedy. Does the series glorify tech culture or poke fun at it? How close does Silicon Valley come to nailing the eccentricities of the startup world?
How has technology affected the way young people think about the future in terms of college and careers? How is today's job market different than the one your parents entered after high school and college?
Why does the tech industry seem to attract a disproportionate number of men to women? Is there a gender advantage to being male, or is something else at play?
- Premiere date: April 6, 2014
- Cast: T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani
- Network: HBO
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship, Science and Nature
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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