Archive | April, 2014

You Should Be Watching Silicon Valley

29 Apr

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Im kind of angry at TV right now. I try to be productive, to write more, and read more, and even exercise more. Except now we’ve got the greatest first round in the history of the NBA playoffs taking place and every night there are incredibly awesome basketball games on TV. And Mad Men is back and in full swing. And Game of Thrones is as captivating, and confusing (does anyone know what happened to this guy?!) as ever. There are about ten unwatched episodes of the under-appreciated The Americans, a show which had a first season that I found both incredibly entertaining and fascinating, sitting on my TiVo (yes, I still have TiVo). I’m also behind on the new season of VEEP, HBO’s excellent comedy which I have written about before. So yeah, I’ve got a lot on my plate these days.

And now here comes HBO with a new show, Silicon Valley, which, well, through four episodes, has been fantastic. It’s funny, interesting, smart—and you can’t really ask for more from a TV show. Silicon Valley actually reminds me of what Entourage was like, and how much I enjoyed it, when it first came out, that is before it evolved into an unfunny repetitive caricature of itself that made you hate yourself for feeling the need to watch it every Sunday night.

For those who haven’t heard of Silicon Valley, it’s pretty much a typical HBO bromance, like Entourage and How to Make it In America, except instead of trying to “make it” by being a shallow narcissistic movie star or designing a sweet pair of jeans, these characters are all looking to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. I don’t think it’s an accident that Zuckerbeug is who you think of when watching Silicon Valley’s lead, Thomas Middleditch, meander around Silicon Valley as Richard Hendricks, the in-over-his-head code writer who accidentally created what we’re told is the Greatest Algorithm Ever. Why is it so special? Well, I’m not really sure; my understanding of computers and technology pretty much consists of being able to turn things on and send e-mails.

What I do understand is the sum of the plot, and in this case, thanks to the show’s writing, that’s really all that matters. I get the conflict, and the humor—such as jokes at the expense of Steve Jobs and Google—are still funny to me. That’s thanks to Mike Judge, the creator of the show and brilliant mind behind Office Space. 

Anyway, if you’re not already, give it a shot. What’s another 30 minutes of TV in your week?

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New Story on Tony Parker

20 Apr

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A few days late on this, but I got a new story in the latest issue of SLAM Magazine that I figured I’d link to here. It’s on Tony Parker, who is, well, awesome, yet never seems to get all the respect he deserves. Normally I try to stay away from the whole “he’s such an underrated player and here’s why he shouldn’t be” theme in features. But with this one, especially given who Parker is and how he’s not exactly a guy who’s going to open up a lot in an interview over the phone, the underrated thing seemed like a good direction to go in.

I also touched a bit on what makes the Spurs so good, in my opinion, and opinion of others around the league, and I’m pretty proud of how the story came out, so, if you’ve got five minutes go check it out here.