The Hater: Failure to Start-up

The Hater takes on Bravo's new Silicon Valley based realidrama. 


Jordan Valinsky

Internet Culture

Published Nov 15, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 7:20 am CDT

We love the Internet. Except when we hate it. Every week, Jordan Valinsky bottles the angst of his Millennial generation and finds something to despise about the Web.

Last week, a new series that so very lightly involved the Internet premiered on Bravo, a community-access channel for Chelsea accidentally broadcasted nationwide: Start-ups: Silicon Valley.

Like all Bravo products, the show features the most intolerable people; thrives on alcohol-fueled and manufactured drama; and most appalling, has an egregious grammatical error in the title.

The cast of Start-ups: Silicon Valley consists of a group of anemic looking “entrepreneurs” walking and talking, bitching and moaning about their moronic app ideas and stupid, vapid lives. Created by Bravo’s CGI factory of deplorable, plastic humans, the hour-long series showcases these six aspiring Bravolebrities doing a whole lot of nothing (so it doesn’t swing too differently from all the other Bravo shows).

Sarah Austin is so exhausted from “lifecasting” that her day consists entirely of lying by the pool, sounding out words. David Murray is a gay brogrammer which is a new subset of species that apparently exists. Recovering NBA cheerleader Kim Taylor’s job is to walk between her desk and the office building roof while continuously complaining. I have no fucking idea what David Crow does (he’s totally the Keri of the show). And then there’s the British narcoleptic brother-and-sister duo, Ben and Hermione Way who, I think, have been exiled from their home country since the UK wanted to disown the world’s ugliest Powerpoint presentation.

The show takes place in Silicon “The Valley” Valley. When they’re not having pool parties in 60-degree weather at “The Villa,” their white-bricked, White Castle-resembling residence, the show’s B-roll footage oddly highlights an entirely different area that isn’t the show’s namesake locale: San Francisco. I guess constantly highlighting the exterior of the Chili’s in Mountain View can get monotonous after awhile.

Essentially, we are watching a terrible Kickstarter pitch stretched out over an hour. Every single week. The cast, devoid of any sense of the word “reality,” decided Code Academy was just too hard. They dropped out after the first hour of class, saw the show’s posting on Craigslist, and thought this would be the route to riding elephants in Thailand because the Internet is hard. Moving hammerhead-shark Andy Cohen begrudgingly green-lighted it because he needed something in the Monday at 10pm slot since, quelle tragédie, Gallery Girls can’t air year round.

In some ways, the premise of Start-ups: Silicon Valley is similar to another of MTV’s authoritative and entirely accurate shows about my generation: The Hills. Both feature white people in California struggling to “make it,” incessant mumbling, house parties, small dogs, tiara peace offerings, and integral scenes filmed at workout studios.

But that comparison would be an insult to Lauren Conrad. Of all of those California girls, she’s the real startupreneur. Conrad is cashing in on her various “brand extensions”—six books, a website, and Kohls’ clothing line that isn’t half terrible considering it’s from the brain of a girl who only wears flowy white shirts and black jeggings.

Nonetheless, I’ll still watch pale, vapid little Start-ups. I don’t have a whole lot of other things going for me as Revenge‘s second season is just so boring. Judging by his slew of other hits, Cohen has trained his wine-addled underclass not to deviate too far from the network’s gold mine of realidrama.

I think the real reality is Cohen’s secret plan to expand Watch What Happens Live into a never-ending program, broadcasting on every television in existence. One day soon, the show will evolve to be just Cohen himself, looking at the mirror telling us what’s on his mind. And I will have no choice not to watch. The Rapture, by Bravo.

Photo via Paolo Privitera/YouTube

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*First Published: Nov 15, 2012, 2:54 pm CST