April 6 – June 1, 2014
Home Video Release
March 31, 2015
Season 1 refers to the first season of Silicon Valley. It consisted of 8 episodes, and aired on HBO in the United States from April 6 to June 1, 2014. It was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 31, 2015.
Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) is a shy, reclusive programmer who works at a large internet company called Hooli. He is also developing a music app called Pied Piper in a live-in startup business incubator run by entrepreneur Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller). After a rocky post-TED elevator pitch of Pied Piper to venture capitalist Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), Hendricks also shows his work to a pair of programmers at Hooli who mock him.
Within hours, however, Hooli executive Donald “Jared” Dunn (Zach Woods) and Gregory’s assistant Monica Hall (Amanda Crew) discover that the app contains a revolutionary data compression algorithm. Hooli CEO Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) proposes a US$4 million buy-out of Pied Piper, while Peter Gregory offers a $200,000 investment for 5% ownership in the company, an offer that would result in an equivalent valuation for the company. This led Gavin to increase his offer to $10 million. With encouragement from Monica and the support of Bachman, Hendricks chooses Gregory’s offer. He hires the residents of the incubator, except for his friend Big Head (Josh Brener), to become the Pied Piper team, along with Dunn, who defects from Hooli.
Hooli works to reverse engineer Pied Piper’s algorithm based on the version he demoed, developing a copycat product called Nucleus. Gregory and Belson later each learn that Hendricks has been slated to present Pied Piper at TechCrunch Disrupt, a competition for unfunded startups. Belson is confounded by the news, and responds by scheduling the announcement of Nucleus at the event. Hendricks explains to Monica that he meant to withdraw from the competition, but Gregory demands that the company follow through, in large part due to his rivalry with Belson. The countdown to the event means that Pied Piper has to be ready to show in less than eight weeks rather than Gregory’s initial plan of five months. The team rushes to produce a feature-rich cloud storage platform based on their compression technology.
At the TechCrunch event, Bachman takes the lead in a dramatic onstage presentation of Pied Piper. However the presentation is cut short when one of the judges assaults Bachman for having adulterous sex with both his current and ex-wives. Pied Piper automatically advances to the final round as recompense for the assault on Bachman. Belson presents Nucleus, which is integrated with all of Hooli’s services and has compression performance equal to Pied Piper. Watching from the audience, the Pied Piper team generally admits defeat. The team eventually retires to a hotel room, where Bachman nihilistically suggests “jerking off” every member of the audience, and the group launches into a recreational engineering conversation about how to do that efficiently.
The discussion sparks a sudden revelation in Hendriks, who spends the entire night coding. The next morning, Hendricks takes the lead in making Pied Piper’s final presentation. Having scrapped all of Pied Piper’s other features overnight, Hendricks describes his new compression algorithm, and demonstrates it. Hendricks’ algorithm strongly outperforms Nucleus (miraculously escaping the constraints of information theory), and he is mobbed by eager investors.
|Picture||Episode Title||Directed by||Written by||Original Airdate|
|Minimum Viable Product||Mike Judge||Mike Judge, John Altschuler & Dave Krinsky||April 6, 2014|
|Richard Hendricks‘ compression algorithm ignites a bidding war between mega-rich tech funding giants Gavin Belson and Peter Gregory.|
|The Cap Table||Mike Judge||Carson Mell||April 13, 2014|
|Richard hires Jared Dunn to help him create a business plan. Hooli steals the Pied Piper algorithm and calls it “Nucleus”.|
|Articles of Incorporation||Tricia Brock||Matteo Borghese & Rob Turbovsky||April 20, 2014|
|The guys find themselves in trouble when they find out that the “Pied Piper” name is already taken.|
|Fiduciary Duties||Maggie Carey||Ron Weiner||April 27, 2014|
|Richard drunkenly promises to make Erlich a board member on Pied Piper, which he immediately regrets the next morning.|
|Signaling Risk||Alec Berg||Jessica Gao||May 4, 2014|
|Erlich hires a graffiti artist to create a new logo for Pied Piper and to paint it on the incubator’s garage.|
|Third Party Insourcing||Alec Berg||Dan O’Keefe||May 11, 2014|
|The gang hires a young computer hacker known as “The Carver” to improve their cloud-based modules, but he ends up destroying the entire code.|
|Proof of Concept||Mike Judge||Clay Tarver||May 18, 2014|
|Pied Piper arrives at TechCrunch Disrupt, where Richard gets distracted by an ex-girlfriend, and Erlich has sex with a judge’s wife.|
|Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency||Mike Judge||Alec Berg||June 1, 2014|
|Pied Piper wins at TechCrunch Disrupt and the guys calculate how long it would take for Erlich to jerk off every male in the audience.|
The first season of Silicon Valley was nominated for the following awards.
SXSW Audience Awards
- Best Episodic series – Won
66th Primetime Emmy Awards
- Outstanding Comedy Series – Nominated
- Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (Mike Judge for Minimum Viable Product) – Nominated
- Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (Alec Berg for Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency) – Nominated
- Outstanding Art Direction for Contemporary Program (Half-Hour or Less) – Nominated
- Outstanding Main Title Design – Nominated
4th Critics’ Choice Television Awards72nd Golden Globe Awards
- Best Musical or Comedy Series – Nominated
67th Writers Guild of America Awards
- Best Comedy Series – Nominated
- Best New Series – Nominated
19th Satellite Awards
- Best Musical or Comedy Series – Nominated
- Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series (Thomas Middleditch) – Nominated
67th Directors Guild of America Awards
- Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series (Mike Judge for Minimum Viable Product) – Nominated
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