The Struggle Is Real

Early into the second season of Silicon Valley (10 p.m. Sundays, HBO), data compression startup Pied Piper is experiencing growing pains.

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Silicon Valley

Early into the second season of Silicon Valley (10 p.m. Sundays, HBO), data compression startup Pied Piper is experiencing growing pains. While the company had a brush with success following a solid performance at TechCrunch Disrupt in last season’s finale, the guys are presented with an entirely new set of issues this time around. Could an investor’s nine-figure valuation actually be too high to live up to? Does a fledgling startup stand a chance against a Google-esque giant intent on shutting them down? How will the nerdy frat house adapt after growing to the point of needing a sexual harassment policy? All of these problems weigh on Pied Piper creator and human ball of nerds, Richard (in a breakthrough performance by Thomas Middleditch).

The Mike Judge-spawned comedy is a satire of the tech world for sure, but there is plenty of general workplace hilarity à la Judge’s Office Space, too. It helps when “the office” here is actually a live-in incubator, forcing the guys to spend nearly every moment together. It’s in these moments that the rest of the Pied Piper crew — increasingly frequent comedy sidekicks T.J. Miller, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani and Zach Woods — shines.

In this week’s episode, mounting pressure and anxiety takes its toll on Richard when he starts experiencing night sweats. Pied Piper’s expansion hits roadblocks thanks to Gavin and a nosey neighbor. 


Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – When Alex and rival Sanjay are both named valedictorian, the tiebreaker is every geek’s nightmare: completing the mile run for gym class. Meanwhile, Gloria studies for her citizenship test and Mitch and Cam protest a restaurant they actually really like.

Blackish (9:30 p.m., ABC) – When Dre’s sister Rhonda (Raven-Symoné) comes to visit for Mother’s Day, Bow thinks he should reveal to his mom something everyone else already knows — Rhonda is gay. Elsewhere, Zoey helps Junior with his gaydar. Yikes.


The Comedians (10 p.m., FX) – A movie-casting rumor goes to Josh’s head, which makes Billy mad. 

Louie (10:30 p.m., FX) – Jane goes to the doctor; Lilly watches A Clockwork Orange.


Grace and Frankie (Premieres on Netflix) – This new comedy follows the titular women (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, respectively) after their law partner husbands (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) leave them … for each other.


Saturday Night Live (11:29 p.m., NBC) – Reese Witherspoon hosts; Florence and the Machine perform.


Game of Thrones (9 p.m., HBO) – Daenerys is faced with a tough decision in Meereen; Jon finds assistance from an unexpected source; Brienne tracks down Sansa; Theon is still … Reek. How will Sansa react if and when she discovers the guy who was essentially her brother is now a shell of his former self?

Mad Men (10 p.m., AMC) – Only two episodes left! Don can’t sleep; Pete gets blindsided; Henry hosts a family reunion.

Veep (10:30 p.m., HBO) – Selina and the gang race to solve an internal snafu; Amy butts heads with Selina’s new advisor, who helps Catherine with her First Daughter speech


RuPaul’s Drag Race (9 p.m., Logo) – The queens throw shade via puppets and show off their personal style on the runway using Hello Kitty swag.

Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop (Premiere, 9 p.m., HBO) – What’s the difference between expressing a dark fantasy that will never come to fruition and conspiring to commit a very real crime? Filmmaker Erin Lee Carr explores this idea through the case of former NYPD officer Gilberto Valle, whose online posts landed him a conviction for conspiring to kidnap and cannibalize.


Inside Amy Schumer (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – Pizza, gigolos, apologies.

CONTACT JAC KERN: [email protected] or @jackern

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