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Startups, tech and IT: 7 TV shows for a geek’s to-watch list

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What’s your favourite way of spending rainy evenings? There’s no need to hide if you’re indulging yourself in TV shows. Here’s a short overview of engaging series featuring startups, tech or IT themes. Careful with overnight binge watching, though!

Before I started working in IT, I used to be a TV show outsider. My first addiction was “Breaking Bad”, which has absolutely nothing to do with tech industry, but showed me how engaging and well-written modern TV series are. After joining the IT community, I started searching for more tech-themed productions. These jumped in quickly: “Black Mirror”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “Mr Robot”… OK, enough about me. Check out the pick of 7 titles that will get you hooked if you’re a tech geek or startup culture enthusiast. Let’s roll!

Silicon Valley

If you’re going to San Francisco (tune playing)… or Palo Alto with your startup – you better watch “Silicon Valley” first. And get ready to put your dreams of becoming a millionaire CEO-founder to a test.

It’s a hilariously funny story of four programmers trying to cut their way to success through co-founders, sales pitches, sneaky competitors and bootstrap budget.Be careful with inviting your non-tech friends to watch, programmer/tech/startup humour might bore them to death. Or, if you’re willing to take the risk, there’s a chance they will get so hooked they’ll start stealing popcorn from you during nightly SV marathons.
Seasons: 3 (28 episodes), new in progress

 

Halt and Catch Fire

This show is about what would happen if you took Silicon Valley 35 years back and moved it to Texas. The mix of punk music, Southern American accent, power outfits and computer games on tapes is absolutely delightful. Joe Macmillan, a former IBM sales representative, challenges the American IT market

by developing a super innovative personal computer. Together with an amazingly talented engineer Gordon Clark and a visionary programmer Cameron Howe, they struggle to create something no one has imagined, meanwhile fighting their personal demons. What I love about AMC’s productions is that people and places look so natural, so normal. You don’t feel like you’re watching some idealised version of the real world, what you see could actually be real world. But, contrary to the real-real world, you’ll never have enough of it.
Seasons: 3 (23 episodes) new in progress

Black Mirror

This one is not exactly about the IT world, but every tech gadget addict should watch this British miniseries. Independent episodes present a rather thrilling scenario of near future and the role technology plays in the everyday life.

Some events could actually take place nowadays already. An excellent, thoughtful production that makes you wonder: where is the boundary between the human soul and technology? How will you deal with the matters of life and death? What justice, crime and punishment are going to look like in the future? A captivating mix of philosophy, action and entertainment.
Seasons: 2 (6 episodes + Christmas special)

 

Mr. Robot

An incredible story of a hacker with two lives, both (un)controlled by schizophrenia. In the world seen with his eyes, you can never be sure what’s real and what’s just imagination. The frightening thing is that sometimes a mental condition helps you see the truth that you try to ignore when living a so-called normal life.

In the day, Elliot Alderson works as a cyber-security expert at All Safe, one of the largest companies in the field of his specialty. At night, he gets involved in the activity of a hacker group whose mysterious leader keeps following him everywhere. When you see Elliot coding, you might even have an impression that the end of the world as we know it is just a few lines of code away… Perfectly crafted plots and outstanding characters give this show a truly special flavour.
Seasons: 2 (19 episodes), new in progress

 

IT Crowd

There’s a dark path in IT careers. If you haven’t been there, you would never imagine the things going on in there. IT Crowd shows the harsh reality of IT help desk in a maze of a corporate fortress.

It’s hard to believe what Maurice Moss and Roy Trenneman need to put up with every day. And what their supervisor Jen Barber has to go through with them… A perfect watch especially for those in favour of British humour. Don’t get discouraged by the fact that this show comes from 2006 (in case you do, just read about “Halt and Catch Fire” again, this should change your perspective).
Seasons: 4 (24 episodes + 1 special)

 

The Big Bang Theory

California Institute of Technology. Two young physicists, aerospace engineer and astrophysicist. Can there be anything more boring? Not at all if you observe their struggles with social life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvI_J7_c6bo

This American sitcom tells a story of Leonard and Sheldon, scientists-flatmates, their equally geeky friends Howard and Raj, and their neighbour – Penny, whose sociability and down-to-earth life attitude create a perfect contrast between her and the four nerds. Pretty addictive if you don’t mind a laugh track in the background. Of course, over 200 episodes make quite a lot of plots, new characters and changes, but I won’t spoil the fun, you just have to see it yourself!
Seasons: 9 (207 episodes)

StartUp

Good news for all of us TV show junkies – there’s another great title coming soon! The title may not be particularly original, but the story sounds really encouraging.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_XSewKQQa0

The main characters of StartUp are quite a bunch of disruptors – they invent and introduce a digital currency to the economy. Of course, the revolutionary idea quickly gets out of control and the solution to help people with no access to bank account turns out to be a financial and cyber-crime scene game changer. Good news – here we go with another show located outside the overused LA/NY! This time you’ll see the sunny beaches of Miami and some gangsta feeling in the air. Looks promising to me. What do you say?
Seasons: Premiere in fall 2016

It’s popcorn time!

I think you’re pretty much covered for this year’s rainy evenings’ season. Do you have any favourite titles you would like to share with us? Or maybe you’ve seen some of the ones I mentioned? Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think about them!

by Kasia Kramnik, Content Manager

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