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Mike Judge on 'Silicon Valley' Emmy nods and dreams that (thankfully) don't come true

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Before creating Silicon Valley— the new HBO comedy that Thursday morning garnered five Emmy nominations—Mike Judge says he “hadn’t had a hit in awhile.” Specifically, he was referring to a pair of high-profile 2009 projects: the ABC animated series The Goode Family and the Jason Bateman-led feature film Extract, both of which were received unenthusiastically by audiences. Despite those hiccups, flops have been the exception rather than the rule for the creator of Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill, Office Space, and Idiocracy. So when it was announced that Silicon Valley was up for Emmys in Best Comedy, Best Directing and Best Writing (as well as Art Direction and Main Title Design), it wasn’t just appropriate recognition for a deserving show: It was a restoration of order. Shortly after the nominations were announced, Judge spoke with EW about his latest hit.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congratulations on the nominations. Where were you when you got word?
MIKE JUDGE: I was in bed, and I had just had a very realistic dream that we got zero nominations. In it, I was in the office and we were all kind of bummed but not really talking about it. Then I woke up—my son was laughing hysterically in his sleep—and I remembered someone saying they were announcing the nominees at 5:30a.m. [PST]. I looked at the clock and it was around 5. I went back to sleep and had another dream that we’d lost. I woke up from that dream and it was 5:45, but that was actually just a dream about waking up. Then I woke up for real at 5:40, and there were a bunch of messages on my phone. READ FULL STORY

Is 'True Detective' worthy? 'Modern Family,' again? The critics react to 2014's Emmy nods

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MELISSA MAERZ: Jeff,

When the Emmy nominations were announced this morning, I was sitting at my desk, shouting, “Hodor! Hodor! Hodor!” Game of Thrones dominated with 19 nominations! Hot pie for everyone! I’d quibble with the fact that Noah Hawley’s fantastic update of Fargo didn’t get a best drama nod, especially since it was the runner-up with 18 nominations, and The Good Wife was unjustly ignored in that category, coming off its best season ever—it might be the only network drama that I truly loved—but the rest of the list was pretty solid. Among the smartest choices made in the best drama category: refusing to forget that Breaking Bad was and will always be one of the best TV shows of all time; leaving that mess of a Homeland season off that list (somewhere, Dana Brody is furrowing her brow); recognizing that House of Cards just keeps getting better and better as Frank Underwood gets worse and worse; and picking the right underdog, PBS, to fight in the battle against cable with Downton Abbey.

Here is my only real complaint, and I know I’m in the minority here: I was really, deeply disappointed by True Detective and don’t think it deserves a best drama nod. Don’t get me wrong: I was totally captivated by the first four episodes, and Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey both deserve their acting nods. Plus, the show deserves some kind of diamond-encrusted, deer-antler trophy for that spectacular six-minute tracking shot alone. But am I the only one who thought the story completely fell apart in the second half? The unreliable narrator device—which could’ve made for real suspense and second-guessing about who these two detectives really are and what their motives might be—ultimately  lead nowhere beyond one police cover-up. The central mystery was solved in a way that felt random. Too many Easter eggs ended up being MacGuffins. And I know people are really going to throw tomatoes at me here, but that final speech about the lying there and gazing up at the stars? So corny. Leave the cosmos-pondering to Neil deGrasse Tyson, guys.

What did you think of the drama nominations?

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Emmy Watch: Mike Judge on Christopher Evan Welch and one of his final 'Silicon Valley' scenes

In the third episode of HBO comedy Silicon Valley, titled “Articles of Incorporation,” eccentric tech billionaire and angel investor Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch) demonstrated exactly how brainy and zany he can be. Ignoring the pleas for emergency funds from two executives running a business on the verge of shutdown, he orders up and then studies every item on the Burger King menu with alien-like curiosity. But just when the stressed-out pair reach their flame-broiling point with Gregory and his seemingly disassociated contemplation, he snaps into focus and offers a cropload of comic relief: He coolly delivers a connect-the-dots speech that involves cicada cycles in Myanmar and Brazil and underpriced Indonesian sesame seed futures, things that will help him score a $68 million profit with which he can provide them a $15 million bridge loan. It’s a signature moment of the show, earning the No. 22 spot of our 50 Best Scenes of the TV season in the current issue of EW.  Sadly, it also would be one of the last that Welch ever filmed. At the age of 48, he died of lung cancer in December. Here, co-creator/executive producer Mike Judge reflects on the “one of a kind” character actor (whose credits include Lincoln, Rubicon, Law & Order, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and his standout performance in this scene. READ FULL STORY

'Silicon Valley': Mike Judge on the finale's NSFW 'tip-to-tip' scene, plus the academic paper it inspired

Warning: Spoilers — and math — follow!

In the climactic scene of Silicon Valley‘s season 1 finale, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) saves the day at the TechCrunch Disrupt competition by unveiling Pied Piper’s bold new compression algorithm, which earns a Weissman score heretofore unseen. But the boys really scored with the hotel-room scene before the big presentation, which begat one of the longest and finest dick jokes in TV history.

When Erlich (T.J. Miller) vows to his Pied Piper partners that “we’re going to win, even if I have to go into the auditorium and personally jerk off every guy in the audience,” Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani), Gilfoye (Martin Starr), and Jared (Zach Woods) plunge down an R-rated rabbit hole and begin swapping hardcore equations and penile postulations while trying to figure out how they could possibly pleasure 800 guys in the 10-minute time alotted. All of this bawdy babble — which involves the straight-faced delivery of such terms as “mean jerk time” and “dick to floor” ratio — leads Richard toward his valuable company-rescuing epiphany. READ FULL STORY

HBO puts 'Silicon Valley' premiere on YouTube -- VIDEO

Mike Judge’s new HBO comedy Silicon Valley premiered last night. But just in case you didn’t get a chance to watch it — possibly thanks to HBO Go crashing once again – the entire episode is now available on YouTube.
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HBO premieres first 'Silicon Valley' trailer -- VIDEO

You may know Mike Judge as the creator of classics like King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-head, and Office Space – and now the successful showrunner is bringing a Silicon Valley-based comedy to our TVs.

Along with John Altschuler and Davis Krinsky, Judge created a sitcom — which, appropriately enough, is called Silicon Valley — about on six predictably nerdy programmers trying to figure out how to navigate success. The first trailer for the show features the main programmer (Thomas Middleditch) stressing over whether to keep his company or take a hefty offer.

While he’s trying to decide, a doctor casually tells him about a patient who faced a similar dilemma — and ended up shooting himself (non-fatally, it appears) because he couldn’t handle the decision. Since Middleditch also gets slapped by a kid half his size, so looks like his character might just have a comically hard time with life in general. T.J. Miller, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, and Josh Brener play the rest of Silicon Valley‘s programming crew.

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