In Awe of Mike Judge's Writing / by Christian Tizya

I've always been a huge fan of Mike Judge's work, as a teen I would watch Beavis and Butthead everyday after school on Canada's Muchmusic.

Two metalheads giving a running commentary on music videos, intercut with day to day hijinks in high school. It was like an ironic mirror of my own life. Teens on a couch watching music videos watching teens on a couch watching music videos. I thought it was a hilarious comment by its creator.

Then, Office Space came out, which has become one of my all time favourite comedies. But it also introduced a few phrases into popular culture that years later still live.

When I saw it in the theatre, there was pockets of people absolutely keeling over laughing as they recognized all the jokes people in office work would get. I also found the jokes mocking attitudes towards race relations very sharp (as seen in the Michael Bolton rapping scene). 

I admit I didn't get a chance to get into King of the Hill as much as I wanted to so I can't comment on that. As well as Extract (which I haven't seen yet)

BUT, one of my picks for one of the best movies of the decade was Idiocracy.

It was such a scatching comment on modern society that was magnified in the future. Starbucks turns into brothels, box office hits consist of fart jokes. The most popular TV show is called "Ow My Balls". People cheer on police shooting up an empty car. 

I thought it was hysterical but for some reason, the final product went straight to DVD. It was around the time of an oncoming financial crisis, which is too bad because I think the studio did not give it the chance it deserved.

NOW, Silicon Valley's first season just wrapped up, and once again I feel in awe of Judge's ability to point out subtle social ironies to the point you almost miss them (the satanic priest giving rave reviews for Chick Fil-A). He himself was a Silicon Valley engineer during the 80s, so he knows a thing or two about the subject at hand. But to me, he's an irony engineer (if there was such a thing). Each episode had at least one moment that actually made me laugh out loud, so clearly he has not lost his touch. 

Links below is an interview about the making of SV and the effect Office Space had on society and a TechCrunch panel.

Mike Judge on Making Silicon Valley and Office Space's Effect on "Flair"

Hurry Up and Wait Link