High Maintenance

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High Maintenance
The words "High Maintenance" in plain white text on a green background
Genre Comedy
Created by Katja Blichfeld
Ben Sinclair
Starring Ben Sinclair
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6 (web)
1 (TV)
No. of episodes 19 (web)
6 (TV) (list of episodes)
Production company(s) Janky Clown Productions
Release
Original network Vimeo (2012–15)
HBO (2016–present)
Original release November 9, 2012 (2012-11-09) – present
External links
Website

High Maintenance is an American comedy television and web series created by husband and wife team Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld.[1][2] The series originally premiered on Vimeo on November 11, 2012, and began airing on HBO on September 16, 2016.

The show follows a nameless marijuana deliveryman called The Guy (played by Sinclair) as he delivers his product to clients in New York City.[3] Each episode focuses on a new set of characters as they all procure their cannabis from Sinclair's character.[4]

On April 20, 2015, HBO announced that it has ordered six television episodes, to premiere on September 16, 2016.[5] On September 28, 2016, HBO renewed High Maintenance for a second television season.[6]

Story[edit]

Almost all of the episodes in this character-driven web series are named after an unseen peripheral character that someone in the episode mentions (the one exception being "Heidi"). The characters are meant to be relevant, regardless of whether or not the viewer engages in similar activities.[7] This web series is shot throughout various neighborhoods in Brooklyn and occasionally Manhattan. Each episode is between five and twelve minutes in length.[8] "Freed of the constraints of thirty-minute or one-hour formulas, the episodes are luxurious and twisty and humane, radiating new ideas about storytelling," wrote television critic Emily Nussbaum in an article for The New Yorker.[9]

Episodes[edit]


Web series[edit]

Season Episodes Originally released
First aired Last aired Distributor
1 3 November 9, 2012 (2012-11-09) Vimeo
2 4 January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) February 20, 2013 (2013-02-20)
3 3 April 20, 2013
4 3 November 28, 2013 (2013-11-28) March 28, 2014 (2014-03-28)
5 3 November 11, 2014 (2014-11-11)
6 3 February 5, 2015 (2015-02-05)

Television series[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired Distributor
1 6 September 16, 2016 (2016-09-16) October 21, 2016 (2016-10-21) HBO

Production[edit]

Sinclair said that the TV shows Six Feet Under and Party Down were inspirations for the web series.[10]

The talent pool in New York City is rich—and familiar to Blichfeld (who is an Emmy Award-winning casting director of 30 Rock).[11] Each episode cost less than $1,000 to make.[12]

Critical response[edit]

Critical response has been positive.[4][13][14][15][16] The actor Dan Stevens calls it "a brilliant collection of succinct character portraits from a cross-section of New York society".[17] Jenji Kohan said that High Maintenance was one of her favorite recent discoveries, calling the episodes little jewels, "beautiful glimpses into people's lives," "really well crafted," "delicious."[18]

Vimeo partnership[edit]

In June 2014, Vimeo announced that the website will provide financial backing for upcoming episodes[9] of original programming via their Vimeo on Demand platform.[19][20]

Vimeo funded six episodes of High Maintenance before the series was picked up by HBO.[21] Three episodes were released November 11, 2014, and the remaining three on February 5, 2015.

Notable Cast[edit]

  • Ben Sinclair, the co-creator of the web series appears as The Guy, the nameless marijuana delivery man
  • Dan Stevens appears as a cross-dressing screenwriter named Colin in the episode "Rachel"[22]
  • Katja Blichfeld appears as Becky, the wife of Dan Stevens' cross-dressing character in the episode "Rachel", and is the co-creator of the series.
  • Hannibal Buress appears as a comedian in the episode "Jonathan"
  • Max Jenkins and Heléne Yorke appear in several episodes as a pair of loathsome "Assholes" from the fashion world
  • Christopher Caldwell (Bob the Drag Queen) appears as Darnell, a recovering addict in "Meth(od)."
  • Yael Stone appears as one of The Guy's customers, a quirky, mushroom-dealing Australian who lives in Bushwick.
  • Michael Cyril Creighton appears as Patrick, a lonely agoraphobic obsessed with Helen Hunt and secretly in love with The Guy.
  • Gaby Hoffmann appears as a yoga practitioner and attendee of the day rave in season 1 / episode 4 ("Tick").

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eliscu, Jenny (20 June 2013). "The Real-Life High Times of 'High Maintenance'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Davis, Allison P. (12 November 2014). "The Marriage Behind High Maintenance". New York. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Roth, Andrew (7 January 2014). "Interview: Behind 'High Maintenance' with Creators Ben and Katja". Frank151. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Staskiewicz, Keith (10 April 2013). "High Maintenance: A-". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Six-episode season. Begins Sept. 16 on HBO.". Facebook. July 13, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 28, 2016). "'High Maintenance' Renewed By HBO For Second Season". Deadline. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  7. ^ Kelly-Clyne, Luke (30 January 2013). "This Week In Web Videos: 'High Maintenance'". Splitsider. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Galloway, Jordan (18 April 2013). "A Web Series About Weed That Will Have You Rolling". Brooklyn Based. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Nussbaum, Emily (9 June 2014). "Taster's Choice: "High Maintenance" and "My Mad Fat Diary."". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  10. ^ legrandfromage (13 May 2014). "Knotoryus Interview". Knotoryus. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Thompson, Elizabeth; Spaner, Whitney (4 February 2014). "High Maintenance: The Pot Dealer Re-Thought". Paper Magazine. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Christian, Aymar Jean (19 December 2013). "Critic's Picks: 2013's Best Comedy Web Series, and 18 More You Need to Watch Now". Indiewire. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  13. ^ Battan, Carrie (1 May 2014). "In Search of the Next 'Broad City': Five Comedy Web Series That Could Make It to TV". Grantland. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Peele, Anna (31 March 2014). "What to Watch Until 'Louie' Comes Back". Esquire. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Syme, Rachel (9 September 2013). "Why Web TV Series Are Worth Watching". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Corley, Matt (14 May 2014). "The dopey brilliance of High Maintenance isn't just for stoners". The A.V. Club. The Onion, Inc. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Stevens, Dan (30 April 2013). "Dan Stevens on the comforts of comedy in our darkest hours". Telegraph. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  18. ^ Wilson, Stacey; Rose, Lacey (4 June 2014). "Comedy Showrunners Roundtable: Chuck Lorre, Jenji Kohan, Mike Judge on Ejaculation Shots, Awful Pitch Meetings and Salary Negotiations". The Hollywood Reporter. at 54:00 mark. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  19. ^ Jarvey, Natalie (29 May 2014). "Vimeo Finances Web Series 'High Maintenance'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Spangler, Todd (29 May 2014). "Vimeo Invests in First Original Series, Comedy 'High Maintenance'". Variety. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  21. ^ Salovaara, Sarah (29 May 2014). "Vimeo Launches Original Programming with High Maintenance Web Series". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  22. ^ Hauser, Micah (19 May 2014). "Smoking with Strangers: The comic intimacy of 'High Maintenance'". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 

External links[edit]