Fans have watched a variety of characters on Silicon Valley find themselves in or at least flirting with romantic entanglements in the first two-plus seasons of the show, but that’s never really been a major focus for T.J. Miller’s Erlich Bachman. Sure, the founder of Aviato has had a handful of sexual encounters, but there’s never been any talk on his end of actually getting serious with someone. Some might argue that this is because the guy can be such an off-putting asshole, but Miller sees a very different reason for it: he’s too much of a one-track mind, focused on becoming an icon in the tech industry.
It was while recently interviewing T.J. Miller over the phone that the subject of our conversation turned to Erlich Bachman and the potential for him to ever have a real romantic relationship. The comedian agreed that it would be pretty amazing if the brash, stubborn, and egotistical Erlich could ever find his significant other, but added that it wouldn’t necessarily be realistic to the world that Silicon Valley is portraying. Said Miller,
I would love that, but what’s interesting is that for Erlich, the only thing that matters is becoming an icon, and some of the icons that I’ve met, there isn’t room for a relationship within that.
Of course, that didn’t stop T.J. Miller from thinking aloud about the kind of woman that would not only be a potentially great fit for Erlich, but would also provide plenty of mileage comedy wise. Noting that Silicon Valley writer/producer/director Alec Berg has a penchant for being inspired by real stories, events and relationships in episodes of the show, Miller offered that it would be funny to give Erlich a significant other that makes everyone question why she’s with him – a.k.a. the relationship he has with his own wife. Said Miller,
I’m more optimistic that I sort of, I would hope that maybe he could find someone like my wife, make it like it is when people see us in real life, it’s just like, ‘How did this happen? This cultured gorgeous woman with this schlubby toddler-bodied weirdo.’ I kind of would love that, and that would also bolster his ridiculous confidence about what a badass he is, and so that would create more opportunity for comedy. So I’m hoping he sort of happens upon this, beautiful, non-tech person, who is all about arts and then sort of in my real life, the same way. Kate is the actual icon, like I’m the one that’s conning America into believing that I’m an icon, but she like really, she is an icon and I kind of, that’s where I draw a lot of my inspiration.
While that could happen in future seasons of Silicon Valley, for now fans will probably just have to settle for the love-hate relationship that’s formed between Erlich and Jimmy O. Yang’s Jian Yang (though that’s certainly more emphasis on the hate than the love).
Silicon Valley is now in the midst of its third season, with new episodes airing Sundays at 7:00pm ET/PT on HBO.