High Maintenance is a true independant vision at its glory. Simple and delightful, High Maintenance understands that it is a simple web series and strives to prove it can be much more than that. High Maintenance uses it simplicity to expose problems ad themes in our current society in the most unbiased way they could possibly be presented. It never dumbs anything down but presents us with the simple truth each time. It never imposes on reality and always shows things like they are without ever being judgmental.
The basics of High Maintenance is that its an anthology series revolving around The Guy’s (Pot Dealer) encounters with his various clients. Throughout the series we shuffle around New York and are introduced to a wide range of New York personalities, whether that be the asexual magician, the cross-dressing dad suffering from writer’s block or the homeless chick who enamors guys in search of a place to stay. While you might read this and think that all sound insane, when you’re watching the series although there’s that obvious glint of the creator’s whimsical vision of New York, The Guy never confronts anyone for wearing a dress or trying to flirt with him, but simply goes with the flow, talks with his client for a while in a very nonchalant way and by the time the episode’s over you understand what that person is going through and even start to question why society views people under certain stigmas.
With each episode you’re always meeting someone new although certain characters might reappear and guide a different storyline five episodes down the line. Some great cameos are also weaved in there, especially Dan Stevens’s turn as a cross-dresser. Most characters are constructed in an intelligent way that makes them look cool and unique in the eyes of the viewer. There are some throw-away characters here and there but for the most part every character has a special something to show off that makes every episode worth the watch.
While I’ve gone on and on about the great slew of characters this series has, I haven’t really talked about how great of a job Sinclair does as The Guy. His work is calm and subtle, never going beyond the limits of a pot dealer and always keeping it real. He gives off an amiable warmth you’d want from whomever is dealing your drugs. He’s always in touch with his clients and almost feels like an urban legend that goes around solving people’s problem with each visit. Not only does Ben Sinclair have a great presence on-screen, but he also does a great job behind the scenes writing and directing alongside his wife Katja who serves as the creative mine behind the show.
If you plan on watching HBO’s High Maintenance, just go back and watch the web series because its equally amazing and will give you insight into what the series is like. Full of real, relatable characters and performances, High Maintenance not only humanizes the radical nature of New York, but also erases lots of prejudices we might have labeled certain groups of people with. High Maintenance is a delightful ride through the streets of New York that proves both informative and fun in the best of ways.