After using all of my brainpower to recall the names and genealogy of all the characters on Game of Thrones, I need Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley allows me to not spend my Sunday nights dreaming of beheaded direwolves and bald men that creepily hide their hands in their sleeves. Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley is the perfect GoT palette cleanser. Thrones must constantly move the plot forward. There are so many stories to advance; the show hits the cruise control like a trucker on the interstate and just plows through it all. Silicon Valley is the exact opposite. Richard Hendricks and his band of eccentric programmers are perpetually in a state of Sisyphean torture. The group can only resolve their conflict for a moment before more problems reform from the rubble.
Silicon Valley stands in *stark* contrast to Game of Thrones, which makes makes them the perfect pairing of shows.
This Sunday, when Game of Thrones seemed to be in a “reloading” episode, Silicon Valley produced what I think is their best episode yet. Episode three was special. It was magic in a way that you need to slog through all the grimy darkness of Game of Thrones just to appreciate it. Together, they were the perfect pairing.
Perfect Pairing Ex. 1: Theories for Everyone!
Like any good HBO series you must have a highly evolved and overwrought theory for your audience to chew on. In episode 3 of Silicon Valley, “Meinertzhagen’sHaversack” the boys devise a brilliant plan to create a “secret company inside the company.” Like Ocean’s 11, the crew devises a foolproof scheme to achieve their goal. In THIS article, they show that the terribly tragic ending could potentially be not as painful as it initially seemed. Like Jon Snow, lying in a pool of his own blood, Richard seemed to be in a place of no return. In the next episode, we will need a figurative “red lady” to come save the day.
Perfect Pairing Ex. 2: The Perfect Subplot
Usually, the B plot is unnecessary filler that allows you to get up and get a drink during HBO’s commercial-less programming. The subplot in “Meinertzhagen’s Haversack” is juvenile. The jokes are easy. Even the laziest teen could stumble upon one of Gilfoyle’s zingers on Dinesh’s gold chain. Some of the jokes are low hanging fruit, but boy are they delightful. I never thought hearing someone call a grown man “Chain the Virgin” would bring me so much joy. It did. I am not ashamed. Even the wisecracks about Jon Snow’s genitals couldn’t compete with how much I enjoyed this bit.
The chain story from this past #SiliconValley was actually from my life. In HS I got a silver chain. It went worse than it does in the show.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) May 10, 2016
Apparently, Nanjiani used his life experiences as inspiration for what might be my favorite moment of TV all year.
I’ve never been so enamored with a thin, gold chain since Wilson Philips threatened to break free from one.
Perfect Pairing Ex 3: “Poison” is always the best ending
Silicon Valley is known for their primo song selections. In THIS article, they discuss why it is appropriate for a group of nerds to have background music that has some “street cred.” The show uses artists like Run the Jewels, Ice Cube and Pusha T. In this week’s episode, the show borrows from Rick Ross’ catalog and ends with Bell Biv Devoe’s ear worm, “Poison.”
Aside from the obvious, (“Poison” would be the the theme song for House Martell) both shows tend to end with a “drop the mic” moment. This is usually the most satisfying way to end a show. Like pork and apples or beanies and weenies, Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones are the perfect pairing. They have as many similarities as they do differences. The pairing has become the best way to begin my week.
And with that, I’ll end this post the best way I know how….