What To Expect From HBO’s New Stoner Comedy “High Maintenance”
It’s high time we saw this show on the small screen.
This fall, “High Maintenance” will join the ranks of “Broad City,” “Drunk History” and “Childrens Hospital” as one of the many series that began on the web and ended up on your TV.
“High Maintenance” tells the story of “a Brooklyn pot dealer deliver[ing] to clients with neuroses as diverse as his city.” If you missed the 19-episode series, which aired online between 2012 and 2015, go catch up now. Trust me, it’s a good investment of your time.
If you’re already caught up, then you’re eagerly anticipating the show’s HBO debut on Friday, Sept. 16th at 11pm EST. But even the most diehard fans of the cult-classic aren’t entirely sure what to expect when the show makes the jump from DIY passion project to six-episode cable TV show.
Show creators Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair say the new episodes will be “a continuation of the episodes we already made,” but they also warn that “with all of the episodes, we treat them like living, breathing things. You’re not really going to know what to expect.”
So, knowing now that we can’t really expect anything at all, here’s what we’re guessing we’ll see when the show debuts next month.
Expect Longer Episodes: Historically, “High Maintenance” episodes last anywhere between five-20 minutes, with the length of each episode dependent on how long it takes to the tell the character’s story. Blichfeld and Sinclair (both whom will continue to write and direct) must now tailor their content to adhere to standard sitcom length.
But longer episodes don’t necessarily mean the show is changing format—instead, each episode will include multiple storylines as The Guy continues his voyeuristic journeys into his clients’ homes and lives.
Expect Excellent Casting: As a weed delivery person, The Guy encounters an endless parade of eccentric New Yorkers. And one of the series’ highlights is enjoying the talented and nuanced actors who portray these fascinating characters.
When you watch the web series, you don’t ask yourself, “Where have I seen that person before?” but rather, “Why haven’t I seen that person before?” Blichfeld, an Emmy-awarded casting director for “30 Rock” and Sinclair, an actor and editor, assembled a cast of incredibly skilled stage and screen performers for the web series. It will be interesting to see if they lean towards more well-known talent for their HBO venture.
Expect to See Some Familiar Faces: While a full cast list is not currently available, HBO has confirmed Sinclair will be returning as The Guy. Hannibal Buress and Dan Stevens have both signed on to reprise their roles from the web series. And Kether Donohue (whom you may recognize from “Pitch Perfect”) will round out the cast.
Behind-the-scenes interviews indicate that we’ll be seeing more of “Homeless Heidi” (played to whimsical, self-centered perfection by Greta Lee). And Blichfeld promises “resolution for characters in the web series” so get excited to revisit some of your weed-smoking favorites from the first iteration of the show.
Expect Beautiful Writing: “High Maintenance” has long been heralded for its unique approach to storytelling—the episodes are less linear narratives than they are pointed snapshots of the characters’ lives and relationships with pot.
Written by Blichfeld and Sinclair, the episodes draw either on their own experiences, or the experiences of close friends. And some of your favorite writers are big fans (see Jenji Kohan, a writer on “Weeds” and the creator of “Orange Is The New Black”).
While we won’t know exactly what to expect until Sept. 16, we’re pretty confident “High Maintenance” will bring hilarious highs—both for the characters and its viewers.