Super Pumped has a moment straight out of the social network – Note the battle for Uber’s premiere
Remember this scene in The social network where Sean Parker has a revelation about the Facebook?
“Drop the ‘Le’,” he advises future metaverse lord Mark Zuckerberg. “Just ‘Facebook’.”
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An almost identical moment occurs in the first episode of Showtime Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, which premiered on Sunday. UberCab CEO Travis Kalanick (played here by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) tries to figure out how his fledgling startup will avoid paying fines from the city’s transit commission. It was then that the future Chief Business Officer Emil Michael, whom Kalanick had just met for the first time, presented him with an easy solution, if highly unethical Solution:
“The San Francisco MTA only regulates taxi“, he specifies. “So yes, UberTaxi lives up to the fines and faces an existential threat.
But what if UberCab was no longer classified as a taxi company? What if it was classified as… a “ride-sharing service”?
“UberCab — and all of its corresponding regulatory issues and liabilities — is hereby closed,” Kalanick says. “Inoperative and obsolete.” He turns to his in-house lawyer and tells him to “reinvent ourselves as a new entity called…Uber.”
“Uber… What?” asks one of his lackeys.
“Nothing,” Kalanick replies. “Just ‘Uber.'”
This is where this story really kicks into high gear, moments before the Episode 1 credits roll. So rather than bore you with all the superfluous details, let me give you a short recap:
We flash back to 2011 and see Kalanick strike a deal with venture capitalist Bill Gurley (Friday night lights‘ Kyle Chandler), whose money can only keep the operation afloat for so long. Kalanick has a thorn in his side named Randall Pearson – no, not this Randall Pearson! – an electricity broker for the San Francisco Mass Transit Authority (played by the good doctor‘s Richard Schiff) who is determined to see the insolent entrepreneur fail unless UberCab pays its fair share. A fateful meeting with the mayor ultimately turns Kalanick in favor, but he still has to pay Pearson’s fines – that is, until Michael (Succession‘s Babak Tafti) presents him with an escape, as shown above.
The cast, meanwhile, is positively Stacked. In addition to Levitt, Chandler and Schiff, Episode 1 features Kerry Bishé (Stop and catch fire) as Uber director Austin Geidt, Elisabeth Shue (The boys) as the mother of Kalanick, Bonnie, John Michael Higgins (saved by the bell) as business titan Michael Ovitz and Jon Bass (miracle workers) like Uber true visionary Garrett Camp. The following installments feature Hank Azaria (Brockmire) as Apple CEO Tim Cook, Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live) as Code Enforcement Officer Erich England, Ben Feldman (Hypermarket) as Google co-founder Larry Page, Rob Morrow (North exposure) as Apple manager Eddie Cue and Uma Thurman (pulp Fiction) like Huffington Post Uber co-founder and board member Arianna Huffington. Oh, and did I mention it’s all narrated by Quentin Freaking Tarantino?!? Yeah, if there’s one thing this show is do not lack is star power.
did you get serious Social network atmosphere of the first episode of super pumped? Grade the premiere via the following poll, then drop a comment with your full review.
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