'Start-Ups: Silicon Valley' episode 3: A glass totally empty

Amid falling audiences, could last night's episode hope to create excitement? Of course it could. An ending straight from Hollywood. Circa 1965.

Chris Matyszczyk
4 min read
Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I spent a little time last week trying to persuade my colleague Shara Tibken to audition for the second, New York series of "Start-Ups: Silicon Valley."

She seemed reluctant. I'm not sure whether it was the compulsory bikini shots or having to access a vast egotistical madness within that seemed to put her off.

Worryingly, viewers seem to be increasingly put off too. The Bravo Ratings site, which monitors performance, suggested that a fulsome 50,000 fewer bright young things cared to watch last week's second episode.

This led to Randi Zuckerberg, the show's executive producer, to tweet: "@BravoRatings folks in SV don't even own TV :) Do you ever publish live+3 & live+8s? Guessing a techie show does well adding in online views."

Last week, Kim (driven brunette) wondered whether she should have an engineering co-founder.

Her skill is: "I understand how to make money."

Hermione (English blonde) still hasn't made up with Sarah (fake blonde lifecaster). But Hermione's brother, Ben (pretty short, pretty), wants to take Sarah out.

He wants to "complete the deal."

It's lovely when business and romance have that certain confluence.

Does he love her mind? "Damn, she's got a good body on her," Ben elucidates.

The gall of it all
David (gay) is in debt. He used to work for Google. He has pale bowel movements. He may have gallstones. He tells Sarah. Then he asks her for money.

The gall of it. She turns him down. He only wanted $3,000. Sarah is from Tiburon, Calif. where $3,000 is the amount you tip your garbage collector at Xmas.

Meanwhile, Hermione has a date with Jay. Jay is pretty like Ben, but a lot taller. Wait, isn't this the same Jay who dated Sarah last week? This week, he doesn't wear a beanie to dinner. Well, Hermione is English and therefore more of a traditional lady.

Then Jay asks Hermione about Sarah. Hermione asks Jay about his date with Sarah (which she, naturally, lifecast.) Hermione's getting tipsy. She's less pretty when she's tipsy, but more frisky.

Is this the point at which they go and dance and begin to snog (as they say in Hermione's native land)? It certainly is.

Jay, however, is playing it too slow for Hermione's taste. On the other hand, this makes her want him more. Yes, her frustration at trying to get into Jay's undergarments is very much like Myspace's in trying to hire a Google engineer.

Next morning, Hermione shares her frustrations with Ben. Jay is "deeper and more interesting" than she had thought. Of course he is.

And now for business (briefly)
But, wait. They have a really important meeting with industrial design company Lunar.

Meanwhile, broke David really needs to focus. So he goes line dancing. The word "Homo-klahoma" is uttered. But first he shops for cowboy gear with his friend Marcus.

Lunar shows Ben and Hermione some lovely designs for the bathroom scale thing they need for life expectancy startup, Ignite.

We've seen nothing of Dwight, who has a very hairy body. His company is called Carsabi. But that's not interesting. What's interesting is who we can get Dwight to share spittle with.

So he's going on a date with Kim. Because, well, who's left? There's only 6 of them on this show and one is a gay man.

The drama of this show, you see, isn't whether any of these startups will fly. It's whether any of the cast members will undo one of the other's flies.

Kim wants to underline this is just two friends out to dinner. Dwight finds her "bootylicious." Kim refuses to order food and drinks at the same time. Kim has principles.

Kim wants to pick Dwight's brain, rather than the cheese pieces that might drop into his chest hair. Kim is all business.

She wants to do a startup in fashion. She makes for a very dull dinner companion.

The end of the line (dancing)
Back to the line dancing. Did I mention it's gay line dancing? Straight people are allowed, however. So Sarah and Jay are there.

Sarah wonders why Jay hasn't asked her out again. Could it be something to do with the fact that she live-tweeted and lifecast their first date? Surely not. Everyone wants to be vacuous. I mean, famous.

They all pause to take a drink. David asks how Jay's date with Hermione went. Sarah's mouth opens wide. Which is quite a natural look for Sarah, but this time she is acting upset.

I emphasize the word "acting."

"So you went on a date?" Sarah demands. Jay confirms. She ripostes: "Are you date-cheating on me?"

Oh, no. This, in Hollywood, they call conflict.

Jay attempts to underline his feelings. "When did we go on a real date?" he asks.

At this, Sarah's emotions are lifecast asunder. She throws her drink in his face.

David runs after Sarah.

"You can't treat me like that," she insists, referring to Jay, not David. She just got out of a relationship. She doesn't want to be a doormat.

"I don't stand for players," she declares. "And I don't think women should."

Some might suspect that all of these fine, beautiful people are playing. Perhaps they shouldn't.

"I don't want to be, like, 36 and getting married," sobs Sarah, as we ponder the huge pressures involved in getting a startup (relationship) off the ground.

How about stinking rich, 36 and getting married? Would that be any better?