Mark Rylance recently compared his Don’t Look Up character to Elon Musk, highlighting our society’s increasing fixation on tech culture and its eclectic figureheads. In the last decade, dozens of movies, TV shows, and reality series have scratched that itch, making tech its subject matter.
While many of these attempts have fallen short of grasping what makes the industry so fascinating, these shows stand above the rest as entertaining, complex narratives. These are the best shows about tech companies on television, according to IMDb.
10 WeCrashed (2022) – 7.3
Based on the podcast of the same name, WeCrashed details the rise and demise of the tech company WeWork, one of the world’s highest-valued start-ups, through the lens of the relationship between Adam Neumann (Jared Leto), the company’s co-founder, and his wife Rebekah (Anne Hathaway).
While the mini-series only received mildly positive reviews, critics praised the show’s central relationship and Hathaway’s standout performance. The recurring cast is rounded out by the likes of Anthony Edwards (Top Gun), O-T Fagbenle (Black Widow), and America Ferrara (Superstore).
9 The Dropout (2022) – 7.5
Based on the podcast of the same name, The Dropout documents the origins of and fallout of the disgraced biotech company Theranos, founded by Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried), which claimed it could conduct advanced blood tests with a simple finger prick.
The mini-series was a critical and audience hit, with Seyfried receiving all-around praise for her portrayal. Opposite Seyfried is Naveen Andrews (Lost) as her COO/boyfriend Sunny Balwani, and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Ghosts), William H. Macy (Shameless), and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) appear in recurring roles.
8 Devs (2020) – 7.7
A sci-fi take on the secrecy of Silicon Valley, Devs follows software engineer Lily (Sonoya Mizuno) as she investigates the death of her boyfriend who worked alongside her at the mysterious tech company, Amaya.
With a cast led by Nick Offerman in one of his best roles, the show was praised for its imagination and exploration of the themes of autonomy and destiny. The supporting cast includes Stephen McKinley Henderson (Dune), Cailee Spaeny (Mare Of Easttown), and Alison Pill (The Newsroom).
7 Maniac (2018) – 7.7
Loosely based on the Norwegian show of the same name, Maniac is about two strangers who end up connecting when they find themselves in the middle of a mind-bending pharmaceutical trial that the tech company’s scientists claim will fix their mental problems.
The mini-series was praised for its visual storytelling and the performances of its leads Jonah Hill (Superbad) and Emma Stone (La La Land). Amongst the vast cast, Justin Theroux (The Leftovers), Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects), and Sally Field (Forrest Gump) have supporting roles.
6 StartUp (2016-2018) – 7.8
Set in modern Miami, StartUp tracks the unlikely intersection of a desperate banker, ambitious gang lord, and witty hacker as they reinvent how to commit crimes through GenCoin, a cryptocurrency startup.
The Crackle show was initially dismissed by critics but has found a positive second life with audiences on Netflix. Over the course of its three seasons, the show stars Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), Ron Pearlman (Hellboy), and Adam Brody in one of his best roles.
5 Halt And Catch Fire (2014-2017) – 8.4
Halt And Catch Fire focuses on the personal computer revolution and the emergence of the World Wide Web, beginning through the lens of the fictional company Cardiff Electric, a competitor of IBM, and splintering out as the characters take on different projects.
While the show began with solid reviews, it continued to gain praise with each season, ending with one of the best series finales of the 2010s. The show stars Lee Pace (Foundation), Scoot McNairy (Argo), and Mackenzie Davis (The Martian).
4 Silicon Valley (2014-2019) – 8.5
A parody of the tech culture in Northern California, Silicon Valley tells the story of Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) a programmer who develops his own revolutionary data compression app. As word gets out about his achievement, Richard struggles to ward off competition from larger companies.
Considered one of the best comedies on HBO Max, Silicon Valley was nominated for 5 consecutive Best Comedy Series Emmys and was universally praised for its writing and humor. The rest of the main cast includes Martin Starr (Freaks And Geeks), Zach Woods (The Office), and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick).
3 Mr. Robot (2015-2019) – 8.6
Occurring in present-day New York City, Mr. Robot is narrated by Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a cybersecurity engineer at Allsafe who struggles with social anxiety disorder and clinical depression. The show picks up when Elliot is recruited by a team of hacktivists to take down E Corp, Allsafe’s biggest client.
Malek won an Emmy for his portrayal in Mr. Robot‘s first season, and the show continued to receive critical praise even as the size of its audience dwindled season to season. The main cast includes Christian Slater (True Romance), Portia Doubleday (Her), and BD Wong (Jurassic Park).
2 Severance (2022-) – 8.7
Considered one of the best new shows of 2022, Severance uses its main character Mark Scout (Adam Scott) to illustrate a world in which employees can agree to a ‘severance’ program that separates one’s work memories from their non-work memories. However, Mark begins to question the program from both sides.
Severance was embraced by both critics and audiences alike and got renewed for a second season days before its first season finale. Besides Scott, the main cast includes John Turturro (The Big Lebowski), Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter), and Patricia Arquette (Boyhood).
1 Succession (2018-) – 8.8
Succession revolves around Logan Roy (Brian Cox), the patriarch of the wealthy Roy family and head of fictional tech-media giant Waystar Royco. When uncertainty about Logan’s health arises, his children jockey for control of the company while he doubts if any of them are capable of taking the reigns.
With 9 Emmy wins under its belt, the Shakespearean dark dramedy shows no signs of slowing down going into its fourth season. The main cast includes Kieran Culkin (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World), Sarah Snook (Steve Jobs), and Jeremy Strong (The Big Short), who won an Emmy for his role.
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