High Maintenance Raises The Bar For Portrayal Of Stoners

High Maintenance Raises The Bar For Portrayal Of Stoners

Yes, this is how it’s supposed to be done. This feels right. I think I’m in love.

High Maintenance is web series perfection. Not just because it’s very nicely written and funnier than most things on television, but because it totally exploits the flexibility of the webisode format. Short, simple and edgy it is the most entertaining thing you can do in 20 minutes. And it’s mostly free. And you need to watch it.

High Maintenence is about a weed delivery guy in Brookyln, New York. Each episode’s only consistency is  that each new protagonist decides to call the weed delivery guy (played by creator Ben Sinclair). Their reasons for requiring weed vary in each instance and the customers are each fascinating albeit very short character studies, all lent a little bit of reality and good humour by Sinclair’s chill and charming presence. Whether it’s intolerable, nasty little hipsters calling their dodgy ‘drug dealer’ for some fun, or highly strung career women craving a cone after all their other medications can’t calm her crazy, each episode is complete distinct from the others with few recurring characters and fresh new slate for every new episode.

Forget that stoner cliche that’s been pummelled into your head by Hollywood, too. Like, light that stereotype on fire with bug spray and a zippo and watch it BURN because it’s bullshit, it’s not an accurate portrayal of weed smokers and High Maintenance’s creators agree:

“We don’t really know that [particular] brand of stoner portrayed in movies. The people we know who identify as stoners are actually some of the most productive, successful, creative people we know. High Maintenance looks like the world we live in.”

Actor Sinclair and his wife, former 30 Rock casting director Katja Blichfield, created the series almost out of necessity in 2012 after despairing about how many talented actor mates were missing out on shitty little television roles.  The show has run for five ‘cycles’ and 19 episodes so far. Most of the episodes are available for free on the shows website, but as you get more entangled (you will) you’ll have to pay a little bit for the most recent four episodes via Vimeo (pretty good deal). This April is was revealed that HBO has ordered six television episodes.


High Maintenance from Janky Clown Productions on Vimeo.