Commentary: The ‘Silicon Valley’ Finale Redefines Success

by Frank Martin

Warning: spoilers ahead for Silicon Valley.

Few stories have more of an up and down nature to them than that of HBO’s Silicon Valley. The show has been heralded as a marvelous comedy, but from a storytelling standpoint, it has a very unique trajectory throughout its seasons. Overall, the basic premise is simple: a group of guys try to find success with their tech startup. Of course, the plot gets enormously complex as they deal with a multitude of challenges along the way. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose. But overall, the show’s plot trends upwards as their company grows larger all the way to the series finale.

The last episode largely deals with the fact that the company’s success was so great it actually became dangerous — so much so, that the group had to sabotage all of the work that they had done in order to protect the world from it. It’s a very heartbreaking and emotional ending. We have journeyed along with them through all of the trials and tribulations to reach the pinnacle of their industry only to realize that it was best to for everyone if they failed.

The comedy in Silicon Valley is crude, raunchy, and quite possibly offensive to some. But one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The ending of the show is a very poignant lesson about the nature of success. The tech industry itself is all about appearances. Who’s driving the most expensive car, eating at the best restaurants, and wearing the top clothes. The show teaches us that success is all relative. Even though their company was a public failure and they never achieved the wealth they were always searching for, in the end, their product was a success. They designed it to do exactly what it was supposed to do. In fact, it was so good that they couldn’t share it with the world. This was a secret and internal success that they could only feel and not express outwardly. It’s a difficult but important message that I think is rare in a show filled with sex jokes.

Silicon Valley is now streaming on HBO Max.

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