The 5th season of the hit TV show Silicon Valley recently premiered and with it, came the anticipated updated title sequence. The show revolves around the idiosyncrasies about the valley and how “challenging” startup life can be. As we move into the latest season featuring our favourite fictional Silicon Valley startup company, Pied Piper, the action starts from the get-go.
As is tradition with HBO programmes, the show features an intricate and unique opening sequence. The Silicon Valley opening credits is only 10 seconds long, so blink and you’ll miss most of the good stuff.
The title sequences of the past four season were filled with references to real-world news events and little in-jokes, so it’s safe to say this season’s opener will be no exception. Many of the references have been carried over from the season 4 sequence, but we’ve spotted some brilliant new ones, and here they are!
Facebook gone Russian
This is a big one that you might’ve spotted already, the Facebook logo briefly turning into Cyrillic alphabet spelling out ГДÇЭБФФЖ. The show makes a cheeky jab at the Facebook scandal regarding the Russian interference during the 2016 US Presidential Election, where the social media giant admitted to running Russian propaganda ads to users.
Look again at the top right of the GIF, and you’ll notice a small, ghostly Snapchat logo slowly floating away. This was already in last year’s title sequence, so it might either be a visual pun on the ghost-like figure in Snapchat’s logo, or a reference to the app’s decline after backlash over design changes and criticisms about the app from celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Rihanna.
Apart from these, we see the logos of Pinterest at the top left, Airbnb in front, and Facebook’s famous acquisitions, Whatsapp and Oculus VR.
Ridesharing and Cryptocurrency
Uber and Lyft have progressed from being large balloons to actual buildings, taking over Theranos and Slack from season 4’s intro and indicating the success of both companies. Not all is well though, as you’ll see that a whole lot of green 1’s and 0’s are hurtling out of the Uber building, acknowledging the massive data breach suffered by the ride-sharing firm in 2017.
As a result, people are streaming from the rooftop of Uber to Lyft’s building, jumping ship as Uber faces decline. This is especially apt following news that Uber recently sold its Southeast Asia operations to Grab.
Behind the Lyft building, a yellow tower of coins is constructed with the name coinbase, a digital currency exchange brokering the trade of cryptocurrency. Coins with the logos of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are flying out of the tower, adding to the growing stacks of coin on its left.
In addition, behind coinbase is the futuristic circle of the now-completed Apple Park campus, previously shown as under construction.
The sleek Juicero building gets constructed about as fast as it gets boarded up and abandoned. This startup burst into the Silicon Valley scene in 2016 raising $120 million from investors, but closed down just 16 months after launch. Their product, a $400 machine to squeeze juice from packets, was ridiculed when customers discovered they could simply squeeze the contents out by hand.
Taking over the road from the Soylent trucks of last year are countless Tesla electric semi-trucks unveiled last year, a huge jump from their usual consumer-oriented electric cars.
Alphabet and Chrome
These two are the same as season 4 – Alphabet Inc. taking the spot above Google’s logo referencing their status as Google’s parent company, and the once-dominant Netscape web browser losing out to the Google Chrome browser.
Flying right across your screen is the Amazon drone, representing their plans to deliver parcels by via Amazon Prime Air drones in the future. The change this season is that the drones are carrying a Whole Foods package, signifying the merger between Amazon and the organic foods supermarket chain.
Most of the remaining references are repeated from season 4, but let’s take stock of some of the notable ones.
These few are at the top left of the screen for a split second at the start before disappearing from view – the Snoo logo of reddit, Paypal’s dual blue P’s, and the edge of the “in” in LinkedIn.
On the Intel building there’s Kind Financial (4), which provides financial services for the cannabis industry. (5) is mobile tech company Appcelerator, and (6) is 23andme, the biotech company that provides genetic testing services.
Home automation producer Nest (7) hangs out next to Twitch (8) the popular streaming site acquired by Amazon in 2014.
The group of protesters in (9) are walking the streets holding signs, one of which is discernible as the female gender symbol ♀. This is just a guess, but it might be referencing the Women’s March of 2017.
There are plenty more logos present such as Soylent, YouTube, Blogger, Twitter, Samsung, HP, Oracle, and of course, the fictional company in the show called Hooli.
Are there any that we’ve missed? Watch as season 5 of Silicon Valley continues, with episodes every Sunday on HBO, or if you’re like us in Asia, that’s on Monday mornings.
Joyce is a language nerd whose idea of a good time includes speed-solving Rubik’s cubes and binging Netflix, all fuelled by drinking many, many mugs of tea.