HBO's upcoming Silicon Valley — an ensemble comedy about a group of young programmers on the cutting edge of the tech world — establishes its nerd cred in the very first scene of its trailer, as two of its central characters debate the relative merits of Apple cofounders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. "Jobs was a poser, he didn't even write code," complains star Thomas Middleditch to his incredulous roommate (T.J. Miller).
It's the first sign that HBO is charting unknown territory with the new sitcom, which clearly aims to be a more accurate chronicle of American nerdiness than The Big Bang Theory. The development of compression algorithms might not sound like the most fertile ground for comedy — but it's hard to imagine a writer better-equipped for this project than showrunner Mike Judge, who has previously channeled his interest in the oddities of the American workplace into projects like Office Space and Extract.
"For thousands of years, guys like us have gotten the shit kicked out of us," says Middleditch in the trailer — but for all the anxiety it produces in him, the millions of dollars his work might be worth seems like just rewards. Will audiences respond to this unconventional look at the modern tech world? We'll find out when Silicon Valley premieres in April.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- 10 burning questions you've always wanted to ask about investing
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- 10 things you need to know today: July 22, 2014
- Progressives' hot new poverty-fighting idea has just one basic problem: Science
Subscribe to the Week