Review: ‘Silicon Valley’ meets the new boss as season 3 begins

A few thoughts on last night's Silicon Valley premiere coming up just as soon as we're living in a post-R.I.G.B.Y. world…

As I noted at the end of last season, Silicon's anti-Entourage qualities are great fuel for both comedy and angst, as my laughter at some point gets consumed by an empathetic panic attack for the latest mess Richard has found himself in. Usually, though, that flip comes near the end of an episode, where the most agita-inducing moments of “Founder Friendly” came at the beginning, as Richard dealt with the aftermath of Laurie firing him as Pied Piper CEO and his terrible lack of options as a result. Never mind that Laurie was probably right to do it – Richard is a great coder, and a terrible manager – I still feel for the poor bastard as he suffers one humiliation after another.

Following the disastrous meeting at Reviga, most of the episode featured the Pied Piper alums trying to make the best of a bad situation, and one by one being seduced by the charms of new CEO “Action” Jack Barker, played wonderfully by character actor and podcaster Stephen Tobolowsky. Jack's clearly good at reading people – all Erlich Bachman needed to change sides was to have someone pronounce “Aviato” correctly – and, in Silicon Valley fashion, will almost certainly prove to be a huge headache for Richard and friends, but this was a promising start.

In particular, Dinesh and Gilfoyle brainstorming is always gold, even if the R.I.G.B.Y. system (“Richard is great, but y'now…”) didn't quite reach the levels of them using the SWOT board to decide whether to save Blaine's life. And our glimpses of other companies – Richard's potential new employer devoting all their resources to a mustache filter, Gavin laying off all the Nucleus staff while making himself seem like the noble leader making a huge sacrifice – was a reminder that things at Pied Piper aren't that much worse than other options in the Valley.

Not sure I'll be writing every week about this or Veep (more on that one later this morning), but glad to have this comedy bloc back, no matter how many antacids I may need to consume to get through it.

What did everybody else think?