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TV review: HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ has great jokes—but a weak plot

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Thomas Middleditch, left, and Josh Brener make for two likable tech-heads in HBO’s comedy Silicon Valley.

Three stars

Silicon Valley Sundays, 10 p.m., HBO.

Fifteen years after creating the cult classic Office Space, Mike Judge returns to workplace satire of a sort with his HBO comedy Silicon Valley, about an online startup in the Bay Area. He’s poking fun at a different kind of corporate culture, but the show has the same mix of goofy and dry humor that fans of Judge’s work have come to expect. The premise is nearly identical to Amazon’s recent comedy Betas, but the characters on Silicon Valley are more likable, and the jokes are a bit sharper. Judge and co-creators John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky are good at skewering the oblivious self-importance of techies, but they aren’t quite as good at plotting, and the five episodes (of eight total) provided for review feature a lot of repetitive wheel-spinning. That’s not such a big deal when the characters are fun to hang out with, but whenever the humor flags, there’s not much to back it up.

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