You know things are bubbling over in Silicon Valley when the TV cameras arrive — and now they’re turning out in force. First there was a “reality” show from Bravo; then a CNBC documentary about billionaire investor, Stanford grad and teacher Peter Thiel’s program encouraging people to drop out of college; now there’s a satire.
British arch-satirist Armando Iannucci has announced that his target will be the hubris and hilarity in California’s technology scene. Talking to the UK Observer, he explained that his next project would not focus on his usual political playground:
“I’m thinking about the power of the internet,” said Iannucci. “Microsoft, Google, Facebook; you have these twentysomethings who have a way into billions of households. Where’s the power gone? The power is gravitating towards these companies.”
“I’m also interested in that personal thing of what it does to you when you’re 25 and you’re a multibillionaire and everyone in the world knows who you are,” said Iannucci.
For anyone worried about a series of hackneyed jokes about poking your friends or uncovering , don’t worry! Iannucci has good form.
He’s best known for The Thick Of It — a highly acclaimed, tremendously smart series that exposes the inner machinations of British government — and has recently transferred that to America with a run of Veep, his series starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, on HBO.
According to the report, he’s already written a pilot of his show about the world of technology and social media, and is in discussions with the network about it.
In truth, Iannucci’s job should be fairly easy, because Silicon Valley has enough excesses and idiocies that it effectively satirizes itself.
From ostentatious parties to the increasing fixation with celebrity investors, there is no lack of material. Oh, and then there’s the hypocrisy. What about the likes of Eric Schmidt, who says only people with something to hide require privacy — and yet demands his girlfriends stay quiet? Or Mark Zuckerberg, who says most people don’t care that privacy no longer exists — yet makes billions from encouraging that shift in opinion.
All ripe for a slam or two, don’t you think? I’m sure you can think of more.
But even though a week in the Valley may provide him enough material for a 17 season run, Iannucci says his reason for targeting the technology industry isn’t because it’s easy — but because it’s real. Forget Westminster, or even the West Wing: the power today lies on the companies who command the net, he argues.
“Where’s the power gone?” he told The Observer. “The power is gravitating towards these companies.”