Blink and you’d miss it — but once you see it, the significance isn’t difficult to grasp.
Fans of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” the tech startup satire that has remained spot-on into its fifth season, know to keep an eye out for the rise and fall of tech giants in the show’s opening sequence. As an aerial shot passes through an animated version of the tech mecca, symbolism abounds in the rise and fall of various signs and buildings representing the evolving tech landscape specific to that season’s economic climate.
In previous seasons’ intros, we’ve seen the balloons representing rival ride-booking platforms Lyft and Uber inflate and deflate as the companies jockey for supremacy over their industry’s space. We also saw the logo for the video app Vine wind up in a dumpster after its sudden shutdown.
On the show’s fifth-season premiere, the intro sequence continued to offer a dynamic look at the drama among Silicon Valley firms, but what stood out to many fans (and tech insiders who delight in their representations) was the show’s treatment of the Facebook logo.
Embroiled in controversy following mounting evidence of the company’s role in election tampering through Russian fake news sources, Facebook found its animated logo on the show briefly flickering to Russian characters in a nod to the charges surrounding CEO Mark Zuckerburg and others.
These Easter eggs aren’t isolated to the current season either. To celebrate the finale of season four, YouTuber Shots Fired created a seven-minute clip breaking down the significance of the intro graphics from all of season four, so that even non-techies could keep up with the brimming references and innuendo.
For many companies, being lampooned on “Silicon Valley” might be a fun nod toward relevance, but it’s a safe bet that Facebook would much rather exist in relative silence than have the show remind the world of the profound, negative impact the social media site made on American politics.