Blu-ray Review: Silicon Valley: The Complete Second Season

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Boasting one of the most perfect ensemble casts on TV, HBO's Silicon Valley doesn't miss a beat throughout its second season. Now available on Blu-ray, creator Mike Judge's chronicle of enterprising computer geeks is uproarious in the most surprising of ways: it's by turns broad and nuanced—bawdy humor brushes shoulders with subtle character moments.

The untimely passing of season one co-star Christopher Evan Welch left a big hole in the series, even though he was used sparingly. Welch played the ultra-rich businessman Peter Gregory, chief investor in the data compression-oriented Pied Piper. His passing was written into the show, with Peter's death serving as a focal point in the season two premiere. Suzanne Cryer (Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place) ably steps in as Raviga Capital's replacement CEO Laurie Bream. She wisely doesn't try to replicate or out-do Peter's idiosyncrasies. 

silicon valley season 2 a (380x253).jpg Thomas Middleditch never hits a false note as Pied Piper CEO Richard Hendricks. Constantly put-upon and often underestimated, Richard is a true hero for anyone with a mild-mannered disposition. He's not an aggressive leader, but he stands up for himself when the occasion demands he do so. Season one charted the creation of his computer start-up. Season two tracks all the setbacks he and his team experience, especially while facing off against competitors Hooli, led by Gavin Belson (Matt Ross, nailing corporate narcissism with ease). Every bit of progress is met with some kind of corresponding obstacle.

One needn't have any knowledge of the world of computer programming to follow Silicon, but I suspect there are plenty of inside jokes that only the most computer-savvy viewers will get. The characters, especially T.J. Miller as Pied Piper partner Erlich Bachman, are well drawn enough to keep even the most computer illiterate among us (like me) completely on board.
 
silicon valley season 2 b (380x253).jpg HBO Home Entertainment has a great track record with excellent Blu-ray presentations of their original programming. Silicon Valley: The Complete Second Season really is no exception, with solid 1080p transfers of each episode. The audio isn't flashy (no need to be with this type of show), but the lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mixes present no cause for concern of any kind.

Special features—hope you like commentaries, that's about all I can say. While there are deleted scenes from six of the ten episodes (about ten minutes worth) and a short featurette ("Reality Bytes"; three minutes), the bulk of the features are commentaries. Three of each disc's five episodes have one, with a variety of cast and crew participants (including show creator Mike Judge).

The third season of Silicon Valley premiere on HBO on April 24 and will run until June 26, 2016.

 
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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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