What’s Worth Watching: A Valley of Laughter

Silicon Valley - Martin Starr and Kumail Nanjiani
Frank Masi/HBO
Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley, “White Hat/Black Hat” (Sunday, May 31, 10/9c, HBO)

“I’m a black hat? How am I a black hat?” sputters Richard (the wonderful Thomas Middleditch), the good-guy nerd who’s never more of a hoot than when he tries to assert himself as a high-tech badass. He and his Pied Piper crew have discovered a new nemesis in the unscrupulous team at EndFrame, which stole Richard’s algorithm and in so doing has stoked his competitive fire. In this intensely funny episode of Mike Judge’s inspired computer-culture satire, the two companies square off in a “bake-off” competition to win a lucrative account. When Richard once again naïvely tries to play nice, the results are calamitous.

As often happens in Silicon Valley, we’re left breathless by the twisty plotting, anxious for the next episode to reveal how the Pied Pipers get out of their latest fine mess and survive the cutthroat shenanigans in which they’re so amusingly, helplessly embroiled.