One year. I had to wait for my favourite TV comedy Silicon Valley to come back with a new season for an entire year. And that Monday, when episode one of season 5 was added to the stack of the show’s streaming episodes online, it was the Best. Monday. Ever. I played the episode and saw those goofball characters I so love: “Ah, Richard’s as geeky as ever, what a mess haha”; “Jared… man! Jared is the soul of this show, we need to talk about him more!”; “how freaking awesome it would be to get to hang out with Dinesh and Gilfoyle lololol”; “I actually don’t even miss Erlich and Jian-Yang is kinda killing it!”; “I LOVE THIS SHOW AND NEVER WANT IT TO END!”
Then, of course, Richard puked again as a throwback to season one, and the episode ended, and I had this huge smile on my face. “Richard, Richard, Richard.. classic Richard haha, he never changes,” I first thought. “It’s so good to see these guys back – they never change, the story also never changes. In fact, it’s kind of like it has all gone back to square one and I obviously love that I’m watching the same thing over and over again, I love it love it love it,” I immediately told myself next. And then… as the high of the hit started fading, and reality set back in… it was almost as if I could see things clearly again. Outside of maybe three great jokes, the story of the show was pretty much exactly what’s been peddled to us the whole series.
Let’s be honest for a second here and talk about Silicon Valley. There’s virtually been zero character growth, everyone’s still as dysfunctional as always, even the story beats are repetitive now (oh Gavin is going to screw Richard over AGAIN, Dinesh is jealous of Gilfoyle AGAIN, Richard’s got what he wanted but he can’t handle it AGAIN, no woman character has any role of significance AGAIN) and somehow, the dramedy anti-dote to the annoyingly stagnant sitcom The Big Bang Theory, has become its worst enemy: The Big Bang Theory.
It’s not easy to admit that my favourite show has started sucking, of course it isn’t. It happened last year when sometime, during watching another favourite comedy, Veep, I had to admit to myself that Selina Meyer had turned into a terrible, terrible person and I don’t like her anymore! It happened with the last two seasons of Entourage (pains me to think of it), it happened with Dexter, it’s happened with the The Flash this season, Suits has been on the same path since a bit, and let’s be honest, we only hate-watch most of Shonda Rhimes’ shows beyond a point. And yet, we continue to publicly shower love on these shows, watch their new episodes the second they are out, and we pick up angry fights with anyone online says that they’ve gone bad (P.S. I can’t wait for the comments on this piece).
I have thought about this long and hard and here’s what I think: these shows are our comfort food. We probably discovered them before everyone else co-opted them (ugh), they’ve been with us through our ups and downs all these years, they’ve given us laughter and tears and so many feels, they’ve been our BFFs when our BFFs were cheating on us with other shows, they’ve just… been around, you know? So how can we now turn on them simply when they are going through a rough phase? Every relationship has ups and downs… you don’t left swipe on love, do you? Of course not!
So even though, deep down, we know that our favourite show isn’t what it used to be, we’d rather not think about it because it opens us up to pain. Plus, we now have to find a new favourite show and frankly, we already have so many daunting choices to make in life, that THIS is where we draw the line. Don’t you dare take away my favourite show from me! (Plus, will we really be able to deal with the FOMO when others continue watching and talking and tweeting about them?)
And who knows.. maybe they become better again? Like Homeland, that has rewarded us with a couple of terrific seasons after a couple of completely shitty ones; or when The Good Fight turned into a completely new show when Alicia decided to start her own firm (WHAT A REMARKABLE SEASON THAT WAS!), or when How I Met Your Mother finally introducing the mother and become the most beautiful, heartbreaking sitcom we never knew we wanted!
But just like our real relationships, we shouldn’t treat our favourite shows with kid gloves either. We need to call them out when the writing is lazy, when the characters stop growing, when you have seen everything they have to offer… so they can now do better! #SorryNotSorry Silicon Valley, we love you, but you need to DO BETTER (We’ll keep hate-watching anyway, but is that what you really want?)