Season 1, Episode 1
This is a first look review of HBO’s High Maintenance starring Ben Sinclair.
A show that has a main character that’s not about the main character is refreshing. Plain and simple. Where does that leave story? It focuses on the populace with which our hero interacts. The series, created by Katja Blichfeld and star Ben Sinclair manages to keep the same heart as the web series while using the greater production value provided by HBO.
Sinclair stars as The Guy, a no name friendly drug dealer who, unfortunately, runs into some pretty quirky people. The first episode alone features two men who are not as good as they initially come off. But with The Guy, we don’t know anything else about him except for the fact that he sells drugs. It’s just like real life (if you’re into that sort of thing).
“Meth(od)” takes place in two parts. The first is about The Guy dealing with selling to a friends’ overly butch, katana-wielding douche. The Guy is ultimately guilted into smoking with the other guy and his weird friend. As we’re led down this path, the bulked up katana man is soon revealed at the end to be a British man playing a character. It’s this 180 degree turn that gives insight into the story. Who was the woman that left at the beginning? Is he playing her too or is she a part of the performance? It’s subtle nuances there that warrant a second watch to catch the man’s acting prowess.
Conversely, with the second story from which the episode is titled, a gay man must overcome his overbearing and admittedly bitchy female friend. She’s selfish and rude and the only way he can escape her gravity is by pretending to be an ex-addict at a gay self-help group. He finally finds people that he fits in with but it’s all undone in one swift motion after the girl follows him and confronts him. When the gay guy decides to do meth, and subsequently tries to extort weed and money from The Guy, she attacks him. In the end, the gay guy gets nothing. He has no boyfriend, is paralyzed off of pain pills and must suffer in his eternal hell that is the blonde bitch.
Should you watch High Maintenance?
If you’re a fan of the Vimeo version of the show, you’ll love this one. For those that like character pieces, definitely give it a shot. Every episode is going to be different and it’ll be cool to see how The Guy plays a role (or doesn’t in some cases) in the narrative of each character.