Silicon Valley is a wonderful show which I re-watched leading up to the premiere. Each character has their own unique personality that they all strongly abide to. The interactions are also strongly consistent which is what makes the show. Here’s how I rank the main characters in order of my personal favorites.
Silicon Valley Characters (Ranked by Worst to First)
Monica – I’m love / hate on Monica. They make her intelligent and supportive of Richard which is needed. The two of them have awkward romantic chemistry which could also be labeled as none. She seems to act in the best interest of Richard which gives her character loyalty. Yet for some reason I don’t feel she plays a necessary role through it all. She’s not funny enough but it’s not like she tries to be. She was a good compliment to Peter Gregory, but they made Lori too weird for it to work with Monica.
Gilfoyle – I’m so-so on Gilfoyle. He plays the part of an engineer well and never breaks character as a satanist or anarchist or whatever it is. His girlfriend Tara (played by AT&T Milyana Vayntrub is super hot) made a few appearances but was never central to the plot. Gilfoyle’s constant ragging on Dinesh starts to get tired, but it feels necessary because it’s how he is depicted. He has no tact and tends to use the same “gargling of my balls” too often. I like Martin Starr as a human being, and don’t necessarily dislike Gilfoyle, but I don’t think he delivers enough with the dead pan, dry humor.
Dinesh – He falls into a more blending into the story line role but not in a bad way. He never gets girls in typical fashion of a computer geek and the show does a good job of portraying this. When he was talking about “his boys” in Tahoe and how they don’t want some “nerd” calling them, I was dying laughing. He doesn’t steal the show but it also wouldn’t be the same without him. They are moving him into the CEO role in season 4 which will lead to more Dinesh airtime. If you’ve seen the gold chain episode, this was Jared’s joke:
Nice chain, do you choke your mom with it when you put your penis in her butthole?
Jared – “This guy fucks” as so appropriately said by Russ Hanneman. Jared’s over affectionate for Richard should be noted in every scene. He is the only one of the group with any business sense so seeing his corporate personality mesh poorly with the group is realistic. Plus the nickname OJ as “Other Jared”, which he turns to “Original Jared” as a compliment, is A+. We can’t forget is boat trip to Peter Gregory’s island when he was hoping from help from “Mr. Car.” He also speaks German in his sleep and this scene with pivoting is perfection.
Erlich: Jared, clear this. Get all the smoke out of it. Otherwise, it damages the device.
Erlich: Don’t be a pussy.
Richard – I wildly underestimated Richard on the first watch through. He was dorky and even though the show used him as their protagonist, he only moved the plot…or so I thought. When I watched it again it became apparent to me that he was the genius and deserved to be CEO. The show plays up a bit too much on his ineptitude with such examples as hitting his head on Barker’s desk. I particularly like when he balls up in the bath tub at the end of season 3 as his company was failing because no one got his platforms genius. Once you watch with this understanding that Richard is the next “Elon Musk”, his character starts becoming more fascinating because he isn’t as inept as he initially seems. His entire personality is summed up with the Tabs vs Spaces below. The climax of this scene when he tries to go down the stairs 8 steps at a time” to prove a point works brilliantly. Off tangent, this is the scene I was talking about last night in bowling.
Jian Yang – It doesn’t seem right going through the characters without including Jian Yang. Aside from his hilarious delivery (Taco Bell, Old Man, Mike Hunt) and the way he incenses Erlich, he delivers time and time again. Only smoking on “special occasions” and then doing it in Monica’s office and in his room shows his lack of comprehension of just about everything American. E-R-I-C-H for Erlich’s name was spot on. For having such a minor role, Jian Yang plays a major part. You Little Cantonese Bastard.
Erlich – I’d be remiss if I didn’t say Erlich is great. Sure he’s overboard in almost every scene but it fits the personality. When he sold Aviato it gave him a house, money, fancy clothes, and universal respect of all the ladies. His dislike of Jared (if you don’t laugh at 4:00 – 4:30, you aren’t human) in season 1 is one of the funniest parts of the show that no one remembers. Russ not giving him any attention breaks his heart. His Luau party on Alcatraz, which cost a million dollars was a highlight of his spending of Big Head’s money. His business sense can also be noted when he purchased a tech blog which blogs about the demise of his own career. When he puts on his gloves and starts coding at the end of Season 2, it almost makes me feel good. Plus he’s high all the time and literally has 15 different pieces.
The Famed “Dick Theory”
Big Head – Useless by his own accord, I’m a Big Head fan. He doesn’t do too much and his stupidity consistently gets rewarded. His confusion in all his scenes, specifically highlighted in the scene below, makes his character fun to watch. He also should be attributed as the creator of “Nip Alert” and the man who has been promoted countless times. In last night’s episode when they were suggesting a man who “has held multiple prominent positions at one of the biggest tech firms and is on the cover of the most prestigious tech magazine” and he says, “this guy sounds great.”
I Don’t Think So…Well Have You?
Gavin Belson – Easily the best character in the show. I don’t even think it’s up to vote. If you don’t think Gavin has the most to offer as a character, you don’t watch close enough. The final season with the animals at every conference was hysterical. His questionable intelligence, combined with his no-nonsense arrogance, is the finest performance from a minor character since Mike Ehrmantraut. Every time he greets the board he says, “gentlemen…and lady”. This line from the scene below works exactly right, “…it is my fault I trusted them to get the job done.” What he did to Jack Barker last night should also be a testament to his genius.
“I have a question – That was horrible.”