Over the past three seasons, HBO’s Silicon Valley has been chronicling the rise and fall (and sort of rise again) of the almost accidentally successful, middle-out tech company Pied Piper and the sometimes-genius engineers who helped bring it stumbling into existence.
And like Veep, which recently underwent a narrative reboot of sorts by bringing perpetual runner-up Selina Meyer’s political career to a close, launching what is essentially the lead character’s ongoing narrative into unknown territory, while maintaining various levels of sameness with the rest of the ensemble, Silicon Valley does something similar with the season 4 premiere ‘Success Failure’.
The end of season 3 saw the troubled start up he inadvertently created fall into the hands of pot-smoking incubator owner Erlich Bachman after a series of poor decisions saw him facing both financial ruin and public humiliation.
Now, at the start of season 4, Silicon Valley faces a decision of sorts: Does it continue trying to make Pied Piper happen after 30 episodes of watching Richard, Erlich, Dinesh, Jared (or Donald), and Gilfoyle repeatedly tempt outright failure only to fall ass backwards into success, or does it try to launch another high-risk venture destined to “make the word a better place”?
That question makes the premiere’s title perhaps the most appropriate in series history, but it also gives a series tilting towards repetition a fresh start that’s set to take advantage of the rich, comedic world Mike Judge, Alec Berg, and others have helped bring to life over the past three seasons.