A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
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?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.