How to Make It in America

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How to Make It in America
HTMIIA title.jpg
Format Comedy-drama
Created by Ian Edelman
Starring Bryan Greenberg
Victor Rasuk
Scott Mescudi
Lake Bell
Luis Guzmán
Eddie Kaye Thomas
Shannyn Sossamon
Opening theme "I Need a Dollar" by Aloe Blacc
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 16 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Mark Wahlberg
Stephen Levinson
Rob Weiss
Julian Farino
Jada Miranda
Ian Edelman
Running time 24-30 minutes
Original channel HBO
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original run February 14, 2010 (2010-02-14) – November 20, 2011 (2011-11-20)
External links

How to Make It in America is an American comedy-drama television series that ran on HBO from February 14, 2010, to November 20, 2011. The series follows the lives of Ben Epstein (Bryan Greenberg) and his friend Cam Calderon (Victor Rasuk) as they try to succeed in New York City's fashion scene. The show's second season premiered on October 2, 2011.[1]

On December 20, 2011, HBO announced the cancellation of the show citing failure to generate a large audience and buzz.[2] Executive producer Mark Wahlberg said in an interview for GQ magazine in January 2012 that the show may return on another network.[3]


How to Make It in America followed two enterprising twenty-somethings hustling their way through New York City's fashion scene, determined to achieve their vision of the American Dream. Trying to make a name for themselves in the city's competitive fashion scene, Ben Epstein and his friend and business partner Cam Calderon use their street knowledge and connections to make their way up. With the help of their well-connected friend Domingo and Cam's cousin Rene, who has ambitions of his own—a new energy drink called Rasta-Monsta—the burgeoning entrepreneurs set out to make it big. They experience success and challenges.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]


Ian Edelman wrote the pilot, which the Entourage crew of Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Rob Weiss and Julian Farino executive produced. Edelman and Jada Miranda were also executive producers.[4] "This show is a fun ride through the downtown scene, examining the cross section of people and how they relate to the relevant subcultures in NYC," Weiss, who was executive producing the pilot, told the Hollywood Reporter.[5]

HBO made a free early online-only premiere available on various video sites including iTunes and YouTube.[6] Season 2 premiered on HBO on October 2, 2011.

Title sequence[edit]

The opening title sequence was created by Isaac Lobe and directing duo Josh & Xander and produced by The theme song, "I Need a Dollar", was performed by Aloe Blacc of Stones Throw Records.[7] Shot in New York City, the sequence comprises a video and photography montage, bringing together the show's underlying themes of "grit, hunger, ambition, the multicultural whirl of New York and the culture-transcending pursuit of the almighty dollar".[8]


The first season received mixed reviews. It currently has a score of 59/100 on review aggregator Metacritic. David Hinkley of the New York Daily News gave the show a positive review, giving the show 4/5 stars, and calling it a "winner".[9] Brian Lowry of Variety was doubtful of the series, stating "barring a dramatic leap in quality" it probably wouldn't last on pay cable.[10] Mark Perigard of the Boston Herald wrote critically, saying "this sad sack of a show plays like an East Coast, economically challenged version of his HBO hit Entourage.”[11] Randee Dawn of The Hollywood Reporter said the show "isn't as textured and riveting as it thinks it is".[12] Other reviews, however, favored the show in comparison to Entourage.[13]

The second season opened to much more positive reviews and currently holds a Metascore of 79/100. [14] Maureen Ryan of Huffington Post wrote the show has "a little more discipline and focus than they did in season 1." [15] Phillip Maciak of Slant Magazine also added that the show is "anchored by gorgeous production design and the pop naturalism of its performances, How to Make It in America dramatizes this particular cultural moment with uncommon style and a little grace as well." [16]


  1. ^ Kurtz, Rod (September 30, 2011). "How To Make It In America: Dream Big Or Go Home". Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  2. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (December 20, 2011). "HBO Renews ‘Enlightened’ But Cancels Three Other Shows". Variety. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ Hyman, Dan (2012-01-11). "Mark Wahlberg Interview on Contraband: Movies + TV". GQ. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  4. ^ "HBO will "Make It" on Valentine's Day". Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  5. ^ Reagan, Gillian. "HBO Ready to Show ''How to Make It in America''". Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  6. ^ Ehrlich, Brenna (2010-02-11). "HBO’s "How to Make it in America" Premieres Free on YouTube". Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  7. ^ Stanley, Alessandra. TELEVISION REVIEW | 'HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA'; The Dream, Without The Drive. The New York Times. February 12, 2010.
  8. ^ Poniewozik, James. TV Weekend: I Could Review 'How to Make It in America'…. "Time." February 12, 2010.
  9. ^ Hinckley, David (February 12, 2010). "Hustlers try to design a dream on 'How to Make It in America'". Daily News (New York). 
  10. ^ Lowry, Brian (February 11, 2010). "How to Make It in America TV Show Review". Variety. 
  11. ^ "‘How to Make’ a bad sitcom ‘in America’". 2010-02-14. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  12. ^ Dawn, Randee. "Critic Reviews for 'How to Make It in America': Season 1". 
  13. ^ Monez, Mindy (2010-02-12). "How to Make It in America: Better Than Entourage These Days, at Least - The Telefile Blog - TV Shows & TV News - TV Reviews | TWoP". Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  14. ^ "How to Make It in America: Season 2". Metacritic (New York). 
  15. ^ Ryan, Maureen (September 30, 2011). "Review: 'How to Make It in America' Brings a Scruffy Energy to Season 2". Huffington Post (New York). 
  16. ^ Maciak, Philip (September 30, 2011). "'How to Make It in America' Season 2". Slant Magazine (New York). 

External links[edit]