Silicon Valley



Cheeky, crass tech comedy nails (male) geek culture.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.


Slapstick-grade injuries, some physical threats, etc.


Mainly sex jokes, with the occasional scantily clad stripper.


Unbleeped language includes words like "f--k," "s--t," "prick," "boner," etc.


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.

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.

Parents say

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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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:T.J. Miller, Matt Ross, Thomas Middleditch
Topics:Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Science and nature
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:Streaming

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byesoccer7 April 14, 2015

Really funny show, very underrated

I live in the bay area so I see and hear what these guys are talking about, and I'm interested in technology and startups so this is very funny. It's basically a better version of the big bang theory, that shows what nerds are really like, and makes it hilarious


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