Right, so my title might be a bold statement as everyone’s got that one show they’re watching and no-one else is. I understand the frustration when sat with friends talking about TV. You’re desperate to talk about this amazing thing you’ve been watching only to be met with the usual “sounds good” or “I’ll check it out at some point” comments.
These are words I’ve often uttered myself – it’s fair to say we’ve all got our own hidden gems. The purpose of my article is to tell you about mine and no doubt, once you’ve read it, you’ll likely think the above comments. And that’s fine, but you do really need to watch this show.
Because I said so.
Just about to start its third season on HBO, is High Maintenance, from Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair. It’s a show really deserving of your time as no two episodes are alike. There is no overarching plot, you don’t need to watch it in order and every episode serves as a nice fresh reset. That description might not have made the sale, as none of that sounds like essential binge TV. However, if I were to tell you that every episode is hilarious, unique, touching, surreal and to use a word I don’t like using much, lovely! Now, I hope I’ve got your attention.
Based on the web series of the same name, High Maintenance follows one main character ‘The Guy’ (also Ben Sinclair) as he embarks on a series of pot deliveries across New York. He is the only character to appear in every episode and his appearances are not essential to the episode plot; he is just there as the common link. Essentially he is the embodiment of us, in this crazy world of New York through which we navigate. Most episodes consist of two short stories. They put us into the heart of modern hypercity life in New York, making it feel more like a series of short films.
The shorts (as I will now call them) often focus on characters dealing with love, racism, family, work and life itself. It’s all done with a real human touch and you can genuinely relate to what you’re seeing on screen. The majority, if not all, of the cast of actors is local talent, theatre actors, people who would normally be extras. We do see some famous faces crop up such as Dan Stevens (Legion), Amy Ryan (The Office, Birdman), Hannibal Buress (Broad City) and Lena Dunham (Girls), however, it’s a show that doesn’t rely on guest stars to sell itself.
I don’t know if my words will convince you to give it a go. High Maintenance is one of the best shows HBO is producing right now. Every episode leaves you feeling good, looking forward to the next slice of New York life. Whilst the lack of continuity between episodes or ongoing plot might be a turn off for some viewers, those who do watch will be treated to beautiful and creative shorts in a city where people seem to like to get high.
Check it Out
I hope from what I’ve said about the show “sounds good” and that “you’ll check it out out at some point”. Recommending a show is so easy to do; getting around to watching is the hard part. Maybe it’s time we all started digging into what’s been suggested to us…
…and what’s not to love about a show that has one episode where a dog is the main character you follow?
High Maintenance returns to HBO in the US for a third season on 20th January and will be shown on Sky Atlantic at a later date.
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