After months of teasing us with the horrible idea of representing the tech world on reality television, Bravo finally premiered the Randi Zuckerberg-produced Start-Ups: Silicon Valley last night. It was every bit as awful as you might imagine it to be, mostly because it focuses way too much on the drama between the leading blondes, and not on what they’re actually doing in the epicenter of technology. Then again, this is a Bravo show and it was naive of me to expect any different.
Start-Ups opens with a semi-creepy montage of our 6 stars getting dressed. Dwight, a geeky programmer who works out of a shared apartment with his startup co-founder, claims “dyslexia is the best thing that ever happened to him” and that he dreams in code. Hermione and Ben, London siblings who share an oddly incestuous vibe, live together while collaborating on Ben’s 44th product: Ignite. Kim, a marketer who moved from Chicago, notes that her history as a Milwaukee Bucks dancer is actually a dumb thing to have in Silicon Valley. Sarah, an Internet personality and lifecaster, lives in the Four Seasons and says her tweets are worth $10,000. Lastly is David, the token gay former fatty who has already experienced some success and spent it all on plastic surgery to feel better about past insecurities. Every single one of these self-proclaimed “nerds” have their look down pat, own expensive-looking clothes, and are completely full of themselves. It’s getting real already.
Since it’s the pilot, there aren’t very many plot developments, but one of the highlights include the siblings throwing a toga party at which Sarah shows up in a leaf-covered bikini and stirs up drama. During SXSW, Sarah allegedly sent out a nasty email about Hermione and bad mouthed to some CEOs, her even though Hermione paid for Sarah’s ticket to the event. Sarah claims Hermione is jealous because she can’t handle Sarah being a better producer, and possibly because she made out with her brother, Ben. The next day Hermione and Ben discuss this fight while cleaning their apartment, all while Hermione wears a hot pink top with her nipples clearly very visible. It’s so obviously uncomfortable that clearly Start-Ups is playing up the interbreeding hunch on purpose.
Later that day, the siblings prepare for a $500,000 pitch meeting with angel investor Dave McClure. Ben wears a freshly-ironed collar shirt while Hermione throws on Tetris leggings – you know, because she’s lived in Silicon Valley for a while and Tetris is super techy. “I’m so hungover,” she says as she puts on her make up. Unprofessional, you say? This is the same girl who landed the meeting with Dave McClure, a venture capitalist who’s invested in Bit.ly, Mint, SlideShare, and Simply Hired, by sending him a picture text of her middle finger. Guys, you heard the girl; she totally knows what she’s doing.
At McClure’s office, Hermione is running on three hours of sleep so she decides to take a nap under a random conference room table before the meeting. Dave finds her and embarrassment ensues, but they get right to pitching Ignite. Which, by the way, sounds like the worst thing in the history of things. It’s an app that tells you your weight and a “real-time life expectancy” based on your lifestyle choices. Basically, a ticking death clock. Who the hell wants a ticking death clock as an app? Dave is not impressed, saying Ben’s 43 other projects seem like a huge distraction, and takes Ben’s laptop to go through the slides himself. Ben throws a hissy fit and says it was disrespectful, although his own sister just took a damn nap under the potential client’s table. The siblings walk out empty-handed.
No air time love for Kim, Dwight, and David other than a dingy party where Kim and Dwight discuss math algorithms and derivatives while chugging Jameson, and a spray tan that David gets to build his superficial self esteem. Still to come: Sarah live blogs her date, Ben continues to get his pitch rejected, David works out so he can stay lookin’ good. I’ll understand if you have absolutely no interest in watching in show, but I won’t lie, I’d party with Dwight and crew.