As the name suggests, “High Maintenance” is a web series that follows the escapades of a high-end marijuana dealer through the hubbub of New York City. Averaging about 10 minutes each episode, the show succeeds in capturing the metropolis and subcultures of the city on a microcosmic level. The show does a great job of displaying the many different social enclaves that exist in the Big Apple. A main motif is the sharing of universal personal stories—every character introduced has their own unique background and storyline.
Although the show focuses on people purchasing and smoking marijuana, the humor is not quite of the stoner culture. Instead, the show capitalizes on reasons why characters use marijuana regularly and how the drug has morphed conceptually into the 21st century.
Co-creator and star Ben Sinclair’s character is never named. Instead, he is always referred to as “The Guy.” As viewers, we watch the identity-less bourgeois delivery boy make his rounds to various parts of the city, each episode focusing on a different person or group of people.
Sinclair and wife Katja Blichfield have both worked previously on “30 Rock,” and bring a similar subtle comedic coloring to their own show. The show does seem to poke fun at the “hipster” culture that now pervades New York—one episode takes place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the so-called pioneering hipster capital of the nation.
Sinclair serves as the main star of the show as well as the producer, director and editor. “High Maintenance” started off as his own personal project purely for fun, and has now exploded onto the scene with overwhelmingly positive feedback. The production has always been on the simple side. The crew is small and they use inexpensive DSLR cameras for filming, yet the cinematography is breathtaking.
Recently, video-sharing site Vimeo announced that it would be funding the next few episodes of the web series and that they would be available for purchase sometime in November, though the cost of each episode is yet to be announced. It will be interesting to see if there are any noticeable changes in the new episodes now that the production team is backed by Vimeo. Fans of the show are eagerly awaiting the new development.
All of the past episodes can be accessed online at vimeo.com/channels/highmaintenance.