HBO Comedies Trend: The Problem with Success — Alex Dudley

silicon_valley_veep_renewedTonight, HBO marked the return of some of its hit series.  Although I am a huge fan of the most popular of these three series, Game of Thrones, I wanted to use this blog post to discuss the returning comedies: Silicon Valley and Veep.

I can honestly say that Veep and Silicon Valley rank among my favorite comedy series.  They explore two wildly different groups of people: Silicon Valley is about a gaggle of nerds while Veep follow the vice-president (SPOILER: who, as of last season, is now president) and her misfit cabinet.  That being said, the characters in both series are selfish, mean, and believably real.

Silicon Valley came back first and had the difficult task of addressing the absence of one of their most popular characters, angel investor Peter Gregory.  Christopher Evan Welch, who played Gregory, died in December 2013, several months before Silicon Valley even premiered.  In its season two premiere, Silicon Valley kills off Gregory by alluding to a freak hippo accident, an absurdly appropriate goodbye for such an odd character.  The season also begins with Richard (Thomas Middleditch), the protagonist, learning just how dangerous success can be.  It will be interesting to see the trajectory of the season as Richard and the other boys of Pied Piper try to avoid a fall from grace.

Veep also dealt with walking the high wire of success.  (SPOILERS) As the new President of the United States, Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) must make a speech in front of the House of Representatives.   In the 24 hours leading up to the speech, Selina and her staff are bombarded with a ton of changes.  New power comes with increased responsibility and change brings new complications.  As opposed to Silicon ValleyVeep is a show about jerks, ones that we like to see win but love to see fail– and watching them try to desperately hang on to the spoils of their past three seasons’ efforts will be truly delightful. 

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