Ed: Unlike most of my peers in tech, I liked Bravo’s Start-Ups Silicon Valley. When I gave recaps at lunch, everyone seemed interested, so… I’ll be posting a series of blog posts on characters, themes, and general responses. Too busy to do recaps, sorry.
Dwight is the engineer formerly from Google who is the archetype: young, white, male, nice, and smart. His Achilles’ heel and dramatic tension would either be his inability to admit his undying love for his friend Kim OR his intermittent abusive social drinking that leaves him blacked out and wondering what the f**k he did the night before. Besides that… he lives and works in a 2-bedroom in a 60s dilapidated apartment complex in Mountain View, sharing this with some of my other single male friends down there. I know a few Dwights, and they know each other, actually too. Note: I will stop playing the Name Game since it really doesn’t say much more than: it’s a small town & I’m in tech.
His storyline was the most realistic to me, and probably because of this, the least fit for drama. Because successful engineer-entrepreneurs are working all the time. Sitting at their computer, working. It’s boring. Which makes this series somewhat ill-fated. The sad part of the story was the end (spoiler). His startup, a way of finding a car on the internet “Carsabi” is bought by Facebook. Facebook kills innovation again, because honestly, have you seen the car search on Facebook? I haven’t. Will we ever see it? We do know that Facebook got a good entrepreneur-engineer (among their leagues). How much does he get for it? He doesn’t say, but he does buy a nicer car, get a real bed. And, he works now at Facebook. Is that a good outcome, for him (the 9-5) or for us, deprived of new way of searching for cars? Note: in other articles, turns out Craigslist blocked him which prevented his startup’s success.
Acquisition versus taking it on yourself- that’s an interesting conversation to explore with our characters (which we never hear them saying more than a soundbyte, over and over before and after commercials, Bravo-reality-show-style). But real business conversations aren’t in this show, I’m not sure why. Because we wouldn’t be interested? We’re watching a show about Start-ups, we’ve already “gone there.” OK back to Dwight. He works hard, he’s scrappy and lives very low maintenance, and we all know he’s the one we would invest in. Why? Because he works hard and got shit done. His low maintenance lifestyle shows that he makes good decisions. He works well with his partner, he seems pleasant to work with, and nothing ridiculously stupid has come out of his mouth. Toga parties and algorithms? That looks really staged, but perhaps is supposed to spice up the life of the average viewer, or show that it’s not all sitting in front of your computer (when it really is). The best quote, as usual, comes from Kim-of-the-vocal-fry says, “It’s funny because Dwight is always in front of his computer.”
Technical review: two points at which we hear Dwight actually discuss programming: he turns to his business partner, and asks him how long the Android app will take. The guy says, “I don’t know, I just started today.” That was awesome. Another good quote (of 2 tech quotes, I’m serious, there’s less tech in here than in [insert Bravo series I don’t watch]) … another good quote is: “What’s the jQuery for __?” Partner: “___.” Dwight: “Thanks.” As I said, realistic, and probably not good TV. Up there with Warhol’s Sleep.
Dwight Crow’s life is unreal on Bravo’s ‘Silicon Valley’ and off LA Times