High Maintenance is the Best Show on TV

Have you seen High Maintenance? I can’t think about it without laughing. It’s the new HBO series adapted straight from online. Initially launched on Vimeo, HBO swooped in and bought the series and has now agreed to another new season after a stunning response from the audience.

High Maintenance is about a pot dealer in New York City who is called the Guy. In each episode the Guy is called by a person in need, where he eventually shows up. Episodes are very character-driven and tend to focus on the circumstance and lives of those who have called the Guy. As a result of this, in most episodes the Guy is actually a cameo actor who shows amidst a story that is not his own where he either becomes a part of the fabric or flees back to the solitude of the streets and his delivery bike.

It is eccentric and kooky and gives you the sense of being a fly on the wall within other people’s lives. It puts on display people’s motivations for calling the Guy in the first place, maybe it is anxiety, depression, escapism, boredom or someone is very ill. There is always a reason.

But the surprising thing about High Maintenance is that marijuana is not the central focus. The real focus is about a sense of immediacy and intimacy within story telling that draws you close to the cast of characters and whatever it is that life is dealing them in that moment.

The Guy is the one who is most compassionate and most often the one who can not say “No” to those in need, but when pushed is happy to tell someone to F**ck off. The show is also a great magnifier into the intensity and anxiety of life in the big city. Maybe that’s why they named it what they did, High Maintenance.

Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfield, a husband and wife team created the show. They also produce and direct each episode which to date runs anywhere between 2-10 minutes. Each episode starts with them talking about the latest episode, the characters involved and the friends they often employ to play them.

A montage of shows High Maintenance reminds me of would be Flight of the Conchords, Louis CK, Arrested Development and Little Britain. If you have not watched all of these shows, get to it!

The show goes at a quick clip and the more you watch the more you want to watch. If all shows were as inventive, entertaining and free spirited I would never stop watching TV. I’d sit in bed with chips, dip, duvet up to my chin with my Bloom Farms Electra Tsu vape pen and never get up.

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