HBO screened the the first two episodes of Mike Judge’s new comedy Silicon Valley for a collection of Hollywood bigwigs and tech industry muckety-mucks outside of San Francisco last night. While it was generally received very well, there was one notable critic: Billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk, who was SUPER pissed about the show for a reason I didn’t see coming at all, but am so very, very happy to be aware of now.
After a brief warm-up complaint about how the characters on the show weren’t accurate depictions of software engineers, he got to the heart of his issues with the show, which, summarized, could be best described as “Bro, do you even party?”
“I really feel like Mike Judge has never been to Burning Man, which is Silicon Valley,” Musk said. “If you haven’t been, you just don’t get it. You could take the craziest L.A. party and multiply it by a thousand, and it doesn’t even get f*cking close to what’s in Silicon Valley. The show didn’t have any of that.”
Please. Go on.
“The parties in Silicon Valley are amazing because people don’t care about how they’re perceived socially, which I don’t think Mike [Judge] got. Hollywood is a place where people always care about what the public will think of them, and it’s f*cking sad, and the show felt more like that,” he said. “I’ve lived in Hollywood 12 years, and I’ve never been to a f*cking good party.”
Elon Musk is one of the world’s most important thinkers and inventors. For all I know he’s making an excellent point that raises serious credibility issues within the show. I just love — LOVE — that the hill he’s willing to die on here is whether the creator of a TV show has been to Burning Man. It’s beautiful, and I’m leaning toward stealing it in the future for my own critical reviews of shows, regardless of context. “After watching the season premiere of Mad Men, I really feel like Matthew Weiner has never been to Burning Man.” Boom. Roasted. I think.