The general consensus ahead of Sunday's big HBO debut is positive: geeks and geek detractors are both excited for Silicon Valley. But Recode's Nellie Bowles attended the show's San Francisco premiere, and tech's favorite billionaire electric car baron has nothing nice to say. He also seems like sort of a prick!
During the first two 30-minute episodes at Redwood City's Fox Theatre, the audience of around 400 locals responded with laughs and sighs as the characters enacted the constant pitching, striving and inanity that felt familiar to those in the recent tech boom.
Afterward, the audience and cast filed uneasily together down Broadway to an after-party at the Fox Forum banquet hall, where a group of Silicon Valley lawyers and venture capitalists formed a tight circle.
Who wouldn't enjoy that? Musk, valued at around $9 billion in personal wealth, was having a rotten time, and was vocal about it:
"None of those characters were software engineers," he continued, building up steam. "Software engineers are more helpful, thoughtful, and smarter. They're weird, but not in the same way. I was just having a meeting with my information security team, and they're great but they're pretty fucking weird — one used to be a dude, one's super small, one's hyper-smart — that's actually what it is."
Record scratch, coffee spit, monocle pop—super small? Like how small are we talking here, the size of a mouse? And a software engineer who used to be a dude, but is not not a dude? This is a guy who wants live on a giant oceanic platform and build a giant magical tube between San Francisco and Los Angeles—but a gender change in 2014 is "pretty fucking weird."
Musk continued by saying Mike Judge has clearly never been to Burning Man, which, using Billionaire Logic™, means he knows not of what he speaks:
"I really feel like Mike Judge has never been to Burning Man, which is Silicon Valley," Musk said. "If you haven't been, you just don't get it. You could take the craziest L.A. party and multiply it by a thousand, and it doesn't even get fucking close to what's in Silicon Valley. The show didn't have any of that."
If only HBO had included more scenes of half-socialized Stanford dropouts on ketamine in the middle of the desert, the satire might've landed a bit more evenly, says Musk, I guess. I think there's a reason why some people are better at writing comedy, and some people are better trying to build a private space flight corporation.
Even though Elon Musk is clearly threatened by the first terrific skewering of his skewer-worthy world, his rage didn't last long:
A coterie of millennial women, waiting for him to break away from the group, circled him. Musk stayed till the end of the party.
So at least it wasn't a total drag.