T.J. Miller Talks ‘Silicon Valley’ Departure in Insane Exit Interview
We’ve known for some time that Silicon Valley star and comedian T.J. Miller would be leaving the series behind, as well his esoteric explanations for doing so. Now that the Season 4 finale has come to pass, Miller lets loose on a wide variety of revealing critiques, cementing “I will never be on Silicon Valley again.”
You’re warned of full spoilers for Silicon Valley’s Season 4 finale from here on out, but we finally know what amused Miller so much about the final image of Erlich Bachman. Having followed Gavin Belson to Tibet, the character was subsequently left in an opium den with five years’ worth of credit, never to be seen again. It’s an easy enough exit to come back from, but in a wild interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Miller spared no effort to speak his mind about the writing and his co-stars.
Miller reiterated that HBO had offered him a reduced schedule for Season 5 to alleviate his busy workload, but he’d felt a permanent exit was funnier. In the process, the Emoji Movie star took several shots at producer Alec Berg, noting that Silicon Valley had become repetitive:
They’d written a potential exit — an organic exit — and I just thought it was so funny. I also think it’s interesting to leave a comedy at its height, one that is known for being cyclical. Everybody sort of criticizes [that part of it]. The only thing that you can talk down about the show and about Alec Berg, the showrunner for the first couple years, is that it’s cyclical. If they fail, then they succeed, and then if they succeed, they fail. It’s over and over. That’s an old type of sitcom. That’s Seinfeld, where Alec Berg used to work. It’s recycling, it’s network. This is HBO.
For the most part, Miller described his exit as amicable; having convinced creator Mike Judge that any Season 5 or 6 cameo would undermine the character. Miller also noted the differing, but supportive reactions of his co-stars (taking a few swipes at Thomas Middleditch along the way), as well that Silicon Valley had dealt with comedic loss before:
Christopher Evan Welch, who was 10 times funnier than I am, died. They lost someone to eternity who was much funnier than my character and the show found a way to pivot and find its way. Erlich failed to prove to be meaningful or of any value to Pied Piper, and so he pivoted. That’s what every company in Silicon Valley does. That’s what America is. There is failure, but we pivot. … My departure will do the same. Instead of dying, like everybody in my family would love, I go and make The Emoji Movie. It’s worse for American culture.
Judge has maintained in separate interviews that Silicon Valley is likely to end with a sixth season, as well that no one character will serve as replacement for Erlich Bachman, but does Miller have a point about the series growing in his absence?
Miller’s full interview really is worth a read, but stay tuned for more Silicon Valley news in the meantime.