Hey, kids! Have you heard about the tech industry? Did you know that it has made a lot of people a whole bunch of money over the past decade? Did you know that many of those people are very young -- some of them still in their teens?
This is, ostensibly, the entire premise for a TV show currently in the works called In the Wild, which promises to chronicle "the almost-adult lives of the industry’s newest recruits as they learn how to live on their own for the first time while navigating the high stakes VC tech world," according to Deadline.
The series is brought to you by showrunner Matthew Reeves -- a co-creator, alongside J.J. Abrams, of the late, great love-triangle-and-drastic-haircut vehicle known as Felicity -- and will be based in part on a story that California Sunday magazine published this past June, titled The Real Teens of Silicon Valley.
Now, that story was well-written, a sharp-eyed look at some of the youngest players in tech -- many of them high-school dropouts -- and the bubble-ensconced, frat-like San Francisco they inhabit. Tech writer Nellie Bowles documented these kids' more noxious behaviors as well as their potential for being taken advantage of and their lack of self-awareness, in many instances, with empathy and understanding. She deftly identified that "There is something odd about this fetishization of teen talent and how far venture capitalists will go to get it, as well as how skeptical they can be of anyone over 25, given the fact that most billion-dollar startups today — Uber, WhatsApp, Slack — were founded by seasoned adults."
It's a good story, but somehow, I'm not seeing that nuance translating so easily into a TV show. For one, doesn't the fact that the entertainment industry even has the demand for yet another show about tech workers smack of fetishization? Amazon's Betas lasted a whopping 11 episodes before getting canned, while the jury's still out on whether or not 94110 is high-concept trolling or an actual show. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley is a success mainly, arguably, because Mike Judge is a genius of a talent, and has crafted a universe that reads to tech outsiders like mockery and to insiders like, well, in-jokes.