All good things must come to an end… even though crappy things sometimes run 10, 12, 15 seasons. Just run it into the ground, really, trotting out vaguely familiar rehashes of long-since-departed character types. TV is weird, is my point, but sometimes storytellers push away from the table when the time is right and for Silicon Valley, it appears that the time is just about right with the sixth and final season debuting Sunday on HBO (at 10pm EST). At least that’s what series creator Mike Judge and showrunner Alec Berg think.
While some may be ready to applaud Judge and Berg’s commitment to safeguarding the story from the bad intentions of an over-extended run, you may have a different view. A view born from how much you’re going to miss the uniquely hilarious (and awkward and absurd and dickish) group of characters that launched from the minds of Judge, Berg, and the show’s writers before being finished off by the likes of actors Thomas Middleditch, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Zach Woods, Matt Ross and others. Tough sh*t? Kinda! But don’t think Judge and Berg aren’t sympathetic, that they aren’t going to miss writing for this group, and that they don’t have their (admittedly very reasonable) reasons for calling it a day. Because they do. And we’ve got proof.
Uproxx spoke with the pair ahead of the season premiere to discuss their reasons for ending it now, whether they’d ever revisit the show, their goals for sticking the landing with their finale, and Silicon Valley‘s place in a world so wholly influenced by morally dubious social media and tech companies.
What prompted the decision to end the show at this point?
Alec Berg: It just felt like it was time. It’s been six seasons and that felt like a good amount. The show is really aspirational and it’s about a group of people who are trying to achieve something and… It always felt like once they achieved it or once they became successful, it wasn’t a show about outsiders anymore. It wasn’t a show about people striving for something that was just out of their grasp. And we just didn’t think that doing a show about successful billionaires was going to feel the same. We had to let them succeed to a certain extent, or the audience would lose faith in them. So, six seasons of giving them a little bit of success but never quite letting them grab the ring, it just felt like that wasn’t a super sustainable premise and it just felt like we got to a place where it’s like, “Okay, we need to wrap it up.”
Ultimately, at the end of it, the question we were asking of each character was, what does success really mean to them, and how would they measure success financially and emotionally and creatively. It just was a satisfying ending.
Are you guys leaving anything on the table? Is there room for revisiting down the road?
Berg: I think it depends on what it pays. [Laughs]
The most honest answer I have ever received.
Berg: No, that’s not… Money is not an issue. Mike pays for everything. It depends on what the idea is, honestly.
Mike Judge: I’m losing money on this. But yeah, there’s probably a way… You know, Silicon Valley Babies. Animated.
Berg: [Laughs] No, I will say, shooting the finale, I kept thinking there’s got to be a way we can figure out a way to do this… some version of this again. Because each one of these actors has really, really figured their character out on an atomic level. And they all just inhabit them so thoroughly that to get to this level of kind of mastery and ownership of those characters and to not let them continue to do that would be a shame.