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#pounditThursday, August 13, 2020

Erlich Bachman selling his Pied Piper shares is a storyline I cannot get behind

Erlich Bachman

“Silicon Valley” is among my favorite shows on TV right now, along with its HBO partner, “Veep.” The third season has been good so far, delivering compelling storylines in the development of Pied Piper while, more importantly, entertaining us with their great jokes. But there is one storyline that came out in episode 8 of season 3 that just really bothers me: Erlich Bachman selling his shares in Pied Piper.

I cannot believe that the writers/directors/producers/creators of this show really expected us viewers to believe that Erlich would methodically drive 99 yards, four yards at a time, eating up 10 minutes of clock time, only to punt once reaching the 1-yard line by selling his shares in Pied Piper right before the product release. Seriously. It’s like Erlich hit the first 14 games on a 15-team parlay — winning one leg of the parlay each week of the show — and instead of waiting to see if he hits the 15th and wins a huge $800,000 payout, he decides the risk is too great and sells the ticket for $100,000.

Not only was this storyline frustrating because Lucy is pulling the football away at the worst possible time, but also because it is so inconsistent with Erlich’s character.

Over three seasons, we’ve learned that Erlich is not just funny, but also wise. He’s like an eccentric Yoda of sorts. He is the most knowledgeable of the crew in terms of starting and selling a business in Silicon Valley. He tends to have good ideas and recognize things before the other characters do. He’s even a bit of a master manipulator who can see angles others cannot. He already sold one business — Aviato — which enabled him to buy his home and start his incubator. If there’s one thing he values, it’s his ownership stake in his startups. That’s why he started the incubator!!!

Sure, watching Erlich throw a million dollar party on Alcatraz only to find out that night that his company was broke was hilarious, and somewhat a dose of Karma for the way he took advantage of Big Head. But there is no way Erlich would have been foolish enough to sell any of his shares of Pied Piper right before the company released its product.

His outstanding bills to party vendors came out to around $750,000. This was money owed to party vendors, nothing else. If they had already waited a few weeks to be paid, why couldn’t he have asked for another month or two extension until after Pied Piper’s product release? After that point, he could have possibly cashed out on them with more negotiating leverage with Laurie rather than desperation. Or — and this is more likely — why didn’t he just seek out a loan using his Pied Piper shares as collateral? That would have satisfied his immediate debts while allowing him to keep his grand prize. It’s just not believable that Erlich’s last resort would have been to sell his 10 percent stake for $700K just to cover party bills.

Oh yeah, and you’re telling me his large house in Silicon Valley is only worth $500-something thousand? No way that house is not worth at least a million in today’s real estate climate. That alone should have covered his party bills.

I understand that they could do some funny things storyline-wise by making Erlich Richard’s employee and a PR guy, but the way they went about doing it was such a betrayal of Erlich’s character, not to mention a huge disappointment. Big Head had been set up on the show all along as an idiot. Had a character like him sold his entire stake in Pied Piper before release because of the party, that would have made sense. Just not Erlich. He’s way too smart for that.

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