Releasing from HBO today is the premiere season of this brilliant comedy from Mike Judge, the creator of the cult classic, much-loved and oft-quoted, Office Space. The 8 episode first season is available today on DVD and Blu-Ray, just in time for the start of Season 2, which debuts April 12. You can honestly get through the entire first season in one sitting, though I don’t recommend it, as you’ll only end up craving more. NOW.
The series follows a group of programmers who want success, but are nowhere near ready for it. Rallying around the app of Richard (Thomas Middleditch), which can do some dazzling things with compression, they try to navigate computer code, crashes, dealing with CEOs, failed start-up companies, ridiculous apps, trying to deal with women, and each other. Richard is aided by wanna-be alpha male, Erlich (T.J. Miller), who will quick to talk, and quite the showman, seems to be as confused by things as everyone else. The group is rounded out by Canadian, and Satanist, Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), the hilarious Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) and their aide, assistant, and all-around goof (even more so than the other four), Jared (Zach Woods).
Not only do they have to deal with their own problems, but their ex-boss, Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) may have his own compression program in the works, and may be able to get it to market before Richard’s so-called Pied Piper app. They don’t receive much in the way of help from their potential financier, Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), who seems more interested in creating his own island, his driverless cars, and anything else that may cross his mind.
The comedy (though the dialogue plays a huge part of it) comes from the situations and the characters. It’s not always about the zinger, it’s about the way the story grows and the messes these characters find themselves in.
Now, if you’re like me, you may not know what some of the characters are talking about sometimes when it comes to the coding and whatnot, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from watching the series, because it never overruns the show, it just grounds it in the reality of everything that is going on.
Usually in a comedy series one character becomes the breakout character and you can see a shift as stories tend to focus more on them. Not here (at least not in the first season) everyone is given great moments, hilarious dialogue, and the stuff that happens in the final episode of the season is pure comedy gold.
As always, HBO has done a fantastic job on the Blu-Ray set (which also comes with a Digital copy of the series to watch on whatever device you prefer). The picture is sharp and bright, bringing this one corner of California to vibrant life. There are only a few extras on the set, but I would call this one a must for comedy fans, and I am now a confirmed fan, and cannot wait to see what happens next to this schmucks who are nowhere near ready for the success that seems to be heading their way.