TV

Mike Judge Argues That Steve Jobs “Didn’t Build Anything”

“Silicon Valley” co-creator looks back at the show and the industry it satirized

Mike Judge
Mike Judge in 2011.
Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / December 2, 2019 7:02 am

When Silicon Valley debuted in 2014, it seemed like an ideal match: Mike Judge, whose satirical films include Office Space and Idiocracy, taking on the foibles and flaws of the tech world. Now in its sixth and final season, the show has accrued plenty of acclaim, launched a few careers and helped further Judge’s reputation as one of the sharpest humorists working in film and television.

The show is approaching its final episode, set to air later this month. In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Post, Judge spoke about the challenges of satirizing an industry that rapidly grew to monolithic proportions.

In the interview, Judge focuses his ire on some of the mythologizing that Silicon Valley has created around itself. “Steve Jobs didn’t build anything,” Judge said. “The fact that an iPhone right now is what a Cray supercomputer was in 1993, and it’s all due to some hardware innovations.”

He knows the industry well, having worked in Silicon Valley when he was younger. “I’d briefly been an engineer in Silicon Valley, when I was 23, and I used to get so frustrated any time there was an engineer or programmer character in a movie or TV show,” Judge told the Post

Judge singles out a handful of works that preceded the show for accurately depicting the world of startups: namely, David Fincher’s Facebook origin story The Social Network and Shane Carruth’s cult classic science fiction film Primer

That reference to Primer also ties in with what’s next for him: a foray into science fiction. Specifically, a series called QualityLand, announced earlier this year as one of Judge’s next projects. As next steps from telling tales of technological and corporate misadventures go, it seems like a perfect fit. 

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