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Glorious Gilfoyle

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Firstly, could we give the wonderful female writer of the latest episode of Silicon Valley, Meghan Pleticha, just the biggest excitable clap. What a dream – and an inspiration for us female writers. Ok gush over.  Thanks to her sharp and punchy writing this episode was all time. Season 4 is really busting out some oratorical gems. It was full of the most nonsensical but apt phrases and insults. I won’t go into all of them but here’s the top lines:

Jared mentions that Gilfoyle said that he reminded him of  “Frankenstein’s bulimic daughter”

“Until we are dick-up and flat-broke, get to your life.” – Erlich

“I’ll kill them with knives, I’ll kill them with guns. I’ll kill them with my hands. I’ll convince them to commit suicide. It doesn’t matter.” – Jared’s mental break

Whilst there were many moments of comedic brilliance peppered throughout the episode, like the not hotdog app or Jared’s descent into a mental mayhem, apparent separation anxiety and extreme FOMO, it really was Gilfoyle for me that gave me the most giggles and I find his character immensely gratifying. Here’s just a little sampler of the acerbic Gilfoyle doing what he does best x

The relentless bickering between Dinesh and Gifoyle is an ongoing theme within the series. In this episode Gilfoyle delights in letting Dinesh know that he is “sexually disappointing” his current hacker girlfriend.

His comments continue to be cutting when Richard tries to explain why he’s been MIA from the hacker hostel  and Gilfoyle points out that “We all leave the house during the day, Richard. That’s not weird.”

As Richard pursues new employees for his new project, we see a disgruntled Gilfoyle hijacking the list of candidates. Upon first sighting the list he remarks ” this entire list is a shit show of shit heads” and “If Richard wants to saddle himself with mediocrity then go ahead”.  Next to a potential candidate his insights continue on the notes that Richard and Jared take into a meeting with Gavin Belson, the phrase ‘pig faced fucknose’ has been scribbled. Whilst I believe that he doesn’t really want to work for Pied Piper again, he knows he is the best fit and that his skill sets are superior.

If you haven’t watched this show you absolutely must. You may even pick up a handful of useful phrases when you fire out some insults next time.

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Noteworthy Nelson

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” Do you think wearing the name of the college you’re going to to class is the same thing as wearing the name of the band you’re going to to a concert?”

SUCH AN IMPORTANT QUESTION!

YES.YES, I DO.

To some Nelson “Bighead” (Bag head) Bighetti may be an unemployable programmer in the Valley who made an app called nip alert … but to me he has the highest level of EQ out there.  I also have a soft spot for him because of his Big Gulp appreciation. Not everybody has the emotional insight or scope to ask those big life questions. It’s one of the things that irritates me the most. You’re at a Nine Inch Nails concert and half the crowd are wearing NIN T shirts… I was taught my brother who is 9 years older than me and I am an 80s baby – that is a big no no. Social suicide I believe may have been used! My general rule is wear another band t shirt that screams – “look at my other awesome musical tastes ” as well or go completely neutral (black)!

He may be vague AF or so he would have you believe…probably an Aquarian – a little eccentric, off on another planet but let’s take a look at his alleged “bumbling and stumbling”  through life. Erich nearly invested in his App over Pied Piepr,  he became a VP at Hooli and then became an accidental millionaire via redundancy, managed to appear on the cover of Wired magazine and now he is a guest lecturer at  Stanford University but thought he was going to be a student. He ain’t no fool!  Over the years we have seen a consistency with his blatant honesty ” I kinda suck” and ” I really don’t know what I am doing” – being the key theme. Maybe it is all part of his modesty tactic. Who knows! Some people would thoroughly embrace such transparency and awareness of their own flaws!

Some may question his intelligence and place within the Valley… but he had me once he was involved in the potato cannon project at Hooli. Head Co Dreamer and a man after my own heart who has anything to do with potato…this was his response to tackle Pied Piper… creating for the sake of creating and why not! You know what…maybe he is just a really, really nice guy that we can take on face value – he is what he is and you get what you see. AMEN XUntitled

 

Piperchat, prepositions and pant wetting

*spoilers*

coderag_s4_banners_piperchat.jpgOh golly!  Here’s my nonsensical adoration rant for this show. So here is just a little slice of my takeouts I loved from this episode. You know you have watched some quality comedy when the following happen; ( and in no particular order) laughing out loud, snorting(that embarrassing laugh) , beverages consumed whilst watching the show spurting out of your nose, laughing so hard that at 35 you pee yourself a little…and realise that your light bladder control pads now need to be worn whilst watching tv and not just at adult gymnastics classes. I LOVE THIS show. I have written about it all over this blog and did my first spec script on it and it has been a constant source of hilarity. All elements of this show and amazing. Direction, acting, writing – please watch it!  I haven’t laughed so much since the episode where they annihilate and are rude to the VC’s in season 2.

It may seem trivial – but prepositions are important. This is stressed by Richard who explains to Dinesh that he once threw up IN his pants… that’s right, IN not ON. The description of this made me cry with laughter. The nightmarish manifestations of Richard’s anxiety know no limits and it is relatable to those of us who embody some of these nervous traits. The snappy comments that Richard and Dinesh fire at each other is so childishly funny…

An ongoing tScreen Shot 2017-05-01 at 9.45.37 PMheme is the continual hope of success that sticks in the valley. It is fleeting, short lived and seemingly unattainable. The episode largely focuses on Piperchat – the only workable component of Pied Piper that remains. And so ensues the rise and fall of the CEO – and whilst I won’t ruin the enjoyment of this playing out it is interesting to see similar situations that happened to Ricahrd being mirrored with Dinesh. I often wonder how many new start up CEO’s crawl into a bathtub and want to cry! (or even script writer wannabes..or anyone for that matter!)

The living room has been the stage for a lot of funny moments in the show. I will sum up another fave scene with this picture :

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A final visual. This shot is fantastic – Mike Judge is a dream director.

Laboured Love

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Hooray it was pouring rain on Sunday which was the ideal environment for Netflix, diet coke and binge watching the original series, LOVE.  I watch so much TV and work in TV – the reason why I get attached to certain shows is that I seem to be drawn more and more to shows that make me laugh but also allow me to examine and question some of the bigger topics in life in a non confrontational way. For this reason, I am loving watching LOVE.

( It would be remiss of me to not mention at this point the  wonderful acting by Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs and the superb minds who created the show, Judd Apatow, Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin . Needless to say Paul Rust is sensational and he could bump Thomas Middleditch/Richard Hendricks from Silicon Valley as my number 1 onscreen nerd crush…)

I gave it a good, solid attempt and have a few eps left to go but still wanted to chatter about one or two points. Yes, LOVE is a somewhat huge, all encompassing title for a show. For me, I am enjoying how it explores the heightened states of anxiety surrounding hook up/meeting people culture. It delves into the emotional make up of the characters which is intriguing for me as it takes a more psychological approach which I was not expecting. It’s like a backlash to all those Hollywood romance genres and notions we hold.

The main characters, Gus and Mickey, are not overly appealing however they are real. If we were going to stereotype or categorise them then perhaps we could say that Gus is a nerdy, intellectual good guy and Mickey is a sassy but wounded soul, carrying addiction issues.

Anyway you can watch it and draw your own conclusions but I wanted to focus on this state we get into after we meet someone – and it terrifies me. I think the show has brilliantly captured this dance we do  when we meet someone. From over analysing texts, to obsessively stalking on social media  – the show really examines our behaviours (mostly unhealthy) when we meet someone new. I liked the scene where Gus is texting Mickey and deletes several messages – rather than being himself and writing a small thesis (something I can identify with) he has several attempts at being succinct and what he assumes will be of the “ playing it cool” tone. As highlighted by Gus’s colleague, ‘nothing dries up a girls vagina more than a paragraph of text.’ So many assumptions! I always liked the expression that like attracts like. Personally, intellectual stimulation floats my boat so I welcome a mini thesis on text . How else can you capture your audience and who knows how long you will maintain their interest for?! I found this whole episode a great commentary on why we censor ourselves more and more. It seems social media has created certain rules within rules and it’s hard to just let yourself be. I think some deeper ideas behind that episode pose the question –  Does that constant censoring/adapting/modifying of yourself effect who you end up with and how does that unfold in your relationship? No one can keep that behavioural pattern up?! It’s effort all the time. There is so much dialogue around social media, hook up culture and its impact on your relationship out there now that it really is its own character within shows.

A particularly dark and interesting scene was where Mickey is feeling rejected/abandoned and is obsessively looking at Gus’s facebook post. We can so easily lose ourselves and feel a true connection via nothing but images. We assume we know a person from these mediums.

Perhaps at its core of the show,  is this concept: when you meet a potential partner are they being themselves or is there so much set up and false pretense that the relationship breakdown is inevitable – no one can keep up appearances that well before the cracks of their past relationships, behavioural patterns and bad habits leak out or erupt. Can people truly just be and accept each other for light and dark ? This concept really challenges me – there’s so much vulnerability involved these days. The pressure of having to look good and being completely judged and swiped on any social media is enough to do your heads in.  It’s pretty rare to connect genuinely these days from the get go. Sometimes the simplicity of the Austen novels is beyond appealing. Dropping expectations of ourselves and others seem key to successful relationships be it romantic or otherwise and I found myself thinking deeply on these topics after episodes 7 and 8. Authenticity is a question this show is asking its viewers. Are we authentic to ourselves  and others or are we drowning in perceived reality and projected highlights of social media?

A few more episodes to go and we will see how it unfolds. Can they stay grounded and rooted, be themselves and be in a relationship or is compromise just too hard these days?! One thing that seems a constant these days is that love actually seems more like this …

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and less like this…

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Silicon Valley spec script

If you would like to check out my interview and watch my spec script on silicon valley links are below. To celebrate I have pasted some of my fave snippets of the show! Yay and thanks x

http://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/2015/10/25/watch-tv-spec-reading-of-the-silicon-valley-tv-show-by-jennifer-mcauliffe/

and some favourite moments…

Spec Script Writing

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That is where I have been ! Alive, just writing. Fallen into the writing hole of time suckage…but it was worth it!

Anyway,my spec script on Silicon Valley will be performed soon thanks to the wildsound festival guys  (GREAT little organisation) and you can all see it but here’s a sneak peek on Instagram https://instagram.com/p/8_2uMNOOiV/

Enjoy! I can’t wait for the table read x

Carpal Tunnel, Coding & Condors

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“I don’t code anymore…carpal tunnel”
Last night we saw Erlich Bachman throw on his carpal tunnel wrist support braces, pin his curly locks out of his face , sit on an exercise ball to get comfortable and commence coding in an “all hands on deck” situation for Pied Piper team.
The former carpal tunnel sufferer joined the Pied Piper team in an attempt keep the stream of the Condor egg up and running on their homemade servers ( as it was receiving a lot of traffic) until the rescue team arrive and cut the feed.
Jared takes a mindful moment and revels in the teamwork being witnessed, expressing it as ‘magical’ and ‘ intoxicating’. He rejoices in knowing that Erlich couldn’t deny his call to action when the team needed him most. Erlich’s reponse to this is a little less magical where he cuts the moment short by saying: “Jared, respectfully, shut the fuck up. I’m working.”

I would like to take a moment and deep dive into the true cause behind Erlich’s carpal tunnel syndrome. For those of you unfamiliar with such a condition, it where a nerve is compressed in the wrist which causes pain in the hands/wrists, numbness, pins and needles and movement restriction. There is a common belief that it occurs and effects those who work on computers for extended hours at a time. Overuse injuries are common for anyone who works on a computer and I suspect it resonates with RSI (repetitive strain injury).

Now, if anyone was going to suffer such a condition it would be those who work in IT. However we recently had a workplace health and safety lady assess us at my workplace and she mentioned that were a whole host of reasons as to why someone would suffer this.Take a look at this article here about it being a workplace myth 
That leads me to suspect that this type of overuse injury is from Erlich’s, shall we say, co-curricular activities and interests…

tumblr_nq00s0H8ck1ttqf8xo5_250I think we all know just how annoying it can be to get a lighter to work.Your fingers can turn red from the flicking action. This movement and pressure on the hands and fingers is abnormal. Then, there are the angles. The way in which your hand grips the apparatus and then holds it there for extended periods of time certainly couldn’t help the carpal tunnel cause.

Not to mention that ‘gardening’ in general would no doubt be another factor in his diagnosis…all that pruning, planting,digging,cutting…

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I also suspect his noodle obsession and use of chopsticks would also be something that contributed to his carpal tunnel. That scissoring motion of the hands is surely jarring.
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Back to the show…

The conclusion of the episode pulled at my heart strings because I can’t endure any more grief thrown at Richard.

After he gets off the phone with Monica and tells the guys “I just got fired,” – Erlich then follows on from this with . “And what about me?

Exactly…what about Erlich?  Erlich for CEO?

This ending left me thinking about this comment made by Erlich at an earlier time.
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As much as I love Richard maybe he just doesn’t have the asshole factor needed for the harsh realities of Silicon Valley…

Is there truth to this statement by Erlich?

Time will tell…

Just like Jared

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“He’s the most cheerful person I’ve ever heard quote Hitler’ –  Dinesh.

And doesn’t that just embody who Jared is at this core?

What I found most pleasing about last night’s episode (apart from Richard in a suit which was just tantalising) was the ever wonderful Jared Dunn and his eternal optimism.

Last night we saw  Pied Piper team be delivered copious amounts of paperwork for their legal case – a “classic document dump” .  They have the painstaking task of going through all emails in case they discover anything for their case. On arrival of the documents we hear Jared quote Nazi propaganda film maker Leni Riefenstahl (an ongoing joke about his character) “Everybody get to work,”  “Work will set you free! It’s a triumph of the will.” This then results in the above quote by Dinesh about him being the happiest person to quote Hitler…

With Season 2 sadly drawing to a close, I have now had ample time to conclude that Jared is in fact the best employee at Pied Piper. Companies need to start hiring people that are just like Jared. I would go so far as to say he is the one true constant, the voice of reason, the backbone of the company if you will. He is without a doubt, Pied Piper’s true north as he tirelessly steers the Pied Piper gang back on course.

So what are my reasons for this?

Jared  formerly assisted CEO/tech giant Gavin Belson but gave this up as he saw promise in Pied Piper’s algorithm and was inspired by Richard’s actions in turning down the  $10 million acquisition offer. This movitated Jared to leave Hooli and work for Pied Piper.

What the group dismiss about Jared are the traits I embrace and I suspect that any hiring manager would welcome these. He is beyond polite. Perhaps this acts as a detriment as he often is not assertive enough but this has shifted throughout season 2. Politeness coupled with a sincere and innocent honesty are the traits that shine from Jared.

Such traits are depicted here in his intuitive comments on observing and understanding their CEO.
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One of my favourite moments of Jared is where he  expresses his concern towards Richard in regards to his escalating stress and night sweats

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Jared is both interesting and interested.

He has a wealth of knowledge on a huge spectrum of topics and is incredibly resourceful. Most episodes are sprinkled with gems from Jared where he tactfully corrects or provides additional information and facts.

It is hard to find an employee that displays such empathy and has a thoughtful and considerate approach to the welfare of his colleagues.

I also feel that Jared is excessively hard on himself – a trait most high achievers have!

His ever evolving approach to Pied Piper’s business plan and strategy is commendable.He is constantly working and reworking  processes and systems to assist the team.The best example of this was in a recent episode of implementing the business tool S.W.O.T

another attempt to utilise a business tool was SCRUM

You can apply these methods to so many things – give it a whirl. It’s one way to kill an afternoon at work…

A wonderful extension of his character is his blog which he maintains for Pied Piper which you can enjoy here http://www.piedpiper.com/blog/2015/6/7/were-headed-for-arbitration

I urge all of you to be a little bit more like Jared or at least be tolerant of these types. Jared may not be the most liked or respected in the group but he is without a doubt the necessary glue that holds the group together.

Go on try it – be like Jared – Imagine the difference it could make to your workplace…

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Gilfoyle the Great

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aka “ Fucking Ninja”

It has been remiss of me that I haven’t blogged about Gilfoyle. This will just be a short note but an important one nonetheless.

It’s no secret that I am an avid Silicon Valley fan. I took an instant liking to Richard, my feelings there are undeniable however misplaced they may be. My affections are strong and ever growing for Erlich and more so Erlich and Richard as a duo. A true partnership indeed.

Gilfoyle is what I would describe as …an acquired taste.

Our resident LaVeyan Satanist holds the role of System Architecture/Networking and Security at Pied Piper. It is probably best surmised here by Gilfoyle himself and provides a nice introduction to his personality.

Sure he’s self proclaimed and oozes sarcasm almost always delivers most sentences in a deadpan manner – but I felt that there was turning point in episode 7 of this season. Perhaps it was the encroaching darkness surrounding Pied Piper, the string of bad luck that now saw them at odds with EndFrame – everything seemed dire for the team. Only in this type of an environment could the dark prince of the gang rise and thrive. And rise he did.

Morals for Gilfoyle would at best be classed as “loose”.This approach meant Gilfoyle had no ethical dilemma taking the CEO of EndFrame’s password during a meeting that was a complete disaster. He was able to acquire the necessary information that would potentially save their backsides, regardless of the manner in which he was able to do so being questionable. (but hey if you are stupid enough to leave company intel on display…)

Up until this point I thought he was rather self serving and I believe that status still remains ,however he was definitely on team Richard and team Pied Piper. Yay

I viewed his actions as risky but someone in a start up business has to take risks and it certainly isn’t going to be Richard or Jared. He stepped up and it only cements his value to the group.

He may wear a black hat but someone has to. Go forth and continue your greatness Gilfoyle.

As a side note  – I totally would get on with everyone in that hacker hostel… I could listen to my heavy metal music with Gifloyle. Richard and I could encourage each other’s neurosis and all things anxiety and IBS. Dinesh and I could discuss our general lack of awareness in regards to the opposite sex. Jared and I could plan until the cows come home, making processes and SWOT-ing  all day and as for Erlich..well… how could any lady resist such a striking man.

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