HBO’s Silicon Valley, which won a Critics’ Choice Television Award for best comedy series, ** is set in a company town—one ruled by geeks-turned-billionaires. It’s a weird, insular, paranoid culture that hasn’t been adroitly satirized until now. “Some things are exaggerated for comedic effect, but I’ve had interactions with bona fide programmers and felt like I was living in the TV show,” says Thomas Middleditch, who stars as Richard Hendricks, the creator of an algorithm that might just put him, in the show’s parlance, in the “three-comma club.” Still, his path is littered with sharklike corporations, sacrificed ideals, and a parade of techies blessed with big brains but zero social skills. “I don’t want to generalize this inability to be socially normal to all of Silicon Valley,” says Middleditch, who admits to a more traditional nerdiness (video games, Renaissance fairs). “But some of the guys are shockingly bizarre.”
Hair by Dennis Gots for Oribe Hair Care at the Wall Group; makeup by Jo Strettell at the Magnet Agency; photography assistants: Amy Moore, Andrew Hallinan, Braden Moran; fashion assistant: Hester Hodde; set design by Juliet Jernigan.