Silicon Valley The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

Silicon ValleyTake it from me as I have a lot of friends in the tech world and Silicon Valley represents!  What do I mean about that?  Well, I honestly wish I could tell you, but I’m sworn to secrecy.  However, anyone in that “inner circle” will admit that Silicon Valley‘s a trip, and some of it “could” be accurate especially with the larger players out there like Google.  We’ve all seen The Internship, right?  Well, don’t you think their are similarities as to how Google is portrayed onscreen in that compared to the fictional companies in the world of HBO’s Silicon Valley?  You should at least pick up on that I hope.  I digress though because whether you’re trapped in the world of IT or not, Silicon Valley is a real hoot to watch and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until Season 2.  So I guess it’s no coincidence that with Season 2 right around the corner next month we have Silicon Valley The Complete First Season on Blu-ray this month.  Let’s commence with our review!

Silicon Valley


The all-new HBO comedy series Silicon Valley comes from the creative minds of Alec Berg (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) and cubicle jockey Mike Judge (Office Space).  The series is set in the high-tech gold rush of modern day Silicon Valley, where the tagline reads “the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success.”  I really had no intention of watching the show when it originally aired, but it was conveniently sandwiched between Game of Thrones and Last Week with John Oliver so I guess you can say I kind of fell into HBO’s trap, but I’m so glad I did because it’s a show that the San Francisco Chronicle hailed as “one of the best new shows of the season.”  The series was nominated for five 2014 Emmy Awards, including Best Comedy Series.  Not bad for a new comedy series, eh? 

Although the first season of Silicon Valley is only eight episodes long, I want to be very careful about what I divulge in fear of spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.  So I thought why not paint the picture of how it all begins and take it from there.  At least with this fundamental foundation of the series, you can hit the ground running with the remaining episodes, assuming this is your first time seeing the show.  If not, enjoy the very nice first episode recap.

Our story here all revolves around a shy programmer named Richard Hendriks (Thomas Middleditch).   He works at a large Internet company called Hooli.  He develops a music compression app called Pied Piper.  After pitching it to venture capitalist Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), Hendriks also shows his work to a pair of programmers at Hooli who basically ridicule him for it.  However, it’s discovered that the music app contains a revolutionary data compression algorithm.  Suddenly, Hooli wants in the game too.  Their CEO, Galvin Benson (Matt Ross) proposes to buy the music app from Hendricks for $4 million, but Peter Gregory counter offers with a $200,000 dollar investment and a small percentage of ownership in the company.  Potentially, Hendriks could stand to make a fortune with Gregory if he risks it all and decides not to accept the already generous $4 million dollar offer from Hooli.   What would you do?  I know what I would do!

Hark!  Who goes there?!  Hooli counteroffers Gregory’s offer with an easy $10 million.  Now come on, Hendriks!  You gotta take the money and run, no?   After all, that’s 10 million bones we’re talking about here.  Hendriks, to say the least, is conflicted.  His friends are pushing and pulling him in different directions while Gregory’s beautiful assistant, Monica (Amanda Crew), is trying to persuade him otherwise to take the dive and gamble his fate with Gregory.  I’m not going to go into what Hendriks decides, but if you passed the second grade, I think you can logically deduce what choice was made with the speculation there’s 7 more episodes left in the season and it’s coming back for more on April 12th when the second season commences.

While the subject matter of the show is near and dear to my heart, it’s the performances in Silicon Valley that really make it shine in a glossy polished kind of way.   I did not even make mention up above about the character of Jared Dunn (Zach Woods), who’s a Hooli executive, but he makes many the episode special and engaging along with the supporting cast of actors, who represent Hendricks’ friends and roommates/employees (where they all work in what’s hilariously coined “The Hacker Hostel”, that include the likes of T.J. Miller, Josh Brener, Martin Starr and Kumail Nanjiani.

So anyone either familiar with the Silicon Valley technology world or that of tech start-ups will truly love and embrace the charisma and chemistry of the series and all its components.  They are harmoniously blended to make the dull world of IT interesting for the screen with just the right amount of wit and dry humor thrown in for extra, ensuring measure.  You tackle such familiar start-up grounds such as financing, loans, payrolls, presenting at a tech conference, late night programming, disappointments, bumps in the roads, romantic relationships and my personal favorite, logo designing and self-driven cars.

Sadly, Christopher Evan Welch, who plays billionaire Peter Gregory, died in December 2013 of lung cancer.  He had finished his scenes for the first five episodes.  In the eighth episode of the season, a memoriam is made in his honor at the end of the credits roll  The character of Peter Gregory was not killed off or removed from the plot of the first season so nevertheless it will be very interesting to see where they go in the second season this April.

So it’s my great pleasure to announce that HBO’s Silicon Valley: The Complete First Season will be available on Blu-ray with Digital HD and DVD on March 31, 2015.  All eight episodes are also available now on Digital HD.  And I have to tell you the following.  Since this Blu-ray package arrived last week, I’ve watched this 2-disc set twice already!  And every time I do, I pick up on little mumblings, jokes (I can never get tired of the jacking off discussion that takes place in the season’s final episode) and mannerisms I missed the first time.  I guess you can say I can’t get enough!  However, you’re here for our stellar Blu-ray coverage, and not my ramblings, so let’s tell you all about the disc vitals and everything you’ll find here in this 2-disc set.

Silicon Valley


I have to say, I’m quite smitten by how good things look here in Silicon Valley‘s debut Blu-ray presentation.

  • Encoding: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Detail is dominant here in this Blu-ray presentation.  The textures are amazing.  Let’s take the hoodies everyone wears in the tech sector within  the Silicon Valley area as an example.  You can almost reach out and feel the fuzz inside the hoodie.  Other textures such as hair, stubble, etc. all jump right off the screen.
  • Depth: Due to the clarity, foreground figures literally pop off the screen with the utmost of three-dimensional qualities.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are all deep and inky throughout.  One fine example is at the Tech Crunch Disrupt conference when Hooli takes the dark convention floor stage to show off their newest compression product, Nucleus.  The dark blacks in this scene are amazing!
  • Color Reproduction: The colors, for the most part, are all all vivid and from what I would describe, accurate.  I couldn’t be happier here in this category.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones are all lifelike and natural.  The pasty white skin of the main tech characters is completely authentic, in my opinion.
  • Noise/Artifacts: I did not notice any noise or unwanted artifacts that would keep you from enjoying this bright, vivacious and pristine presentation.

Silicon Valley


Except for a few nitpicks I have, things are pretty stellar for the most part here in the audio part of the Blu-ray house here.

  • Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 DTS, Spanish 2.0 DTS, German 5.1 DTS
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Latin, German, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish
  • Dynamics: The dynamics are all over the place in a good way here in Silicon Valley.  From the hustle and bustle of walking the floor at a tech conference to the endless pecking away on computer keyboards everything is brought to life in this Blu-ray presentation with the utmost of authenticity and clarity.
  • Low Frequency Extension: I really only noticed the subwoofer pumping in moments where it was serving and kicking up the jams such as…SPOILER ALERT…when Hooli presented Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” at the tech conference in the Season Finale.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Besides the LFE presentation, this is probably the only area I would have loved to have heard as BEEFIER.  You hear things in the rear speakers such as audience applause, score, ambience, etc., but it would be so much nicer if it was even more prominent.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialog is VERY LOUD and clear throughout here.  If you have a problem with hearing the spoken word, then you might be deaf.  I’m just saying.

Silicon Valley


In my opinion, when it comes to television shows, HBO is second to none with their home media releases on Blu-ray.  The supplemental extras that we’ll talk more about below in a second are great, but what about the fact that the premium television channel also provides you with Digital HD files of every episode from the season in both the UltraViolet and iTunes format?  What about it indeed?!  No one else does that and HBO year-after-year never ceases to impress me with their Blu-ray packages so thankfully Silicon Valley The Complete First Season on Blu-ray is no exception to the rule either.  My only complaint is only where’s the gag reel at?  However, I digress!  So come with me below on a magic carpet ride for a quick tour of every bonus feature you’ll find here in addition to the redemption code for the Digital Copies.

  • Making Silicon Valley (HD, 12:32) – From the title I think you can logically deduce that here we have a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Silicon Valley. Mixed with various clips from the season, Mike Judge discusses his interests and why he wanted to do this series, most notably because that’s where he lives.  That’s a good enough reason for me, eh? The cast and crew also chime in about their roles and discuss their experiences with the show briefly.
  • Tech Crunch: Disrupt!  (HD, 3:42) – Here we get to learn all about how Silicon Valley created their own Tech Crunch: Disrupt! conference.  It’s interesting to see how they recreated the real show, including the utilization of real and dummy company names/products, and they talk about what all goes down at these conferences too.  They also brought in a real Tech Crunch consultant for the authentic experience of it all as well as the employment of the real vendors the show utilizes too.
  • The Hacker Hostel  (HD, 6:18) – Haha!  In this one we take a tour through the infamous Pied Piper headquarters/house MTV Cribs style courtesy of our host T.J. Miller.  We explore the rooms, talk to the cast members as well see what food is in the kitchen.
  • Episode Previews  (HD) – Although I wouldn’t necessarily consider this an extra, each episode allows you to take in a quick preview of what it’s all about.
  • Audio Commentaries  (HD) –  There are a total of 8 audio commentaries with Mike Judge, Alec Berg, T.J. Miller and many more.  So I thought it would be very prudent for our reader’s knowledge to list them all out here and who you’ll find in each of them.
    • Episode 1 – “Minimum Viable Product” with Thomas Middleditch and Mike Judge
    • Episode 2 – “The Cap Table” with Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, T.J. Miller, Martin Starr and Mike Judge
    • Episode 3 – “Articles of Incorporation” with Kumail Nanjiani, Alec Berg and Mike Judge
    • Episode 4 – Fiduciary Duties” with T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, Alec berg and Mike Judge
    • Episode 5 – “Signaling Risk” with Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, Alec Berg and Mike Judge
    • Episode 6 – “Third Party Insourcing” with Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Alec Berg and Mike Judge
    • Episode 7 – “Proof of Concept” with Thomas Middleditch and Mike Judge
    • Episode 8 – “Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency” with Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Alec Berg and Mike Judge

Silicon Valley


I guess if you should need any further reasons as to why you should at least check out Silicon Valley as soon as you can, I’ll give you four reasons:

1.  It’s funny!

2.  It’s raunchy!

3.  It’s about technology!

4.  It’s not television, IT’S HBO!

Armed with that knowledge how could you ever turn your back on not picking up Silicon Valley: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray?  I rest my case.




Emmy-Nominated HBO Series Available 

on Blu-ray and DVD March 31, 2015

Full Season Available Now on Digital HD





Silicon Valley Blu-ray Cover Art


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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