HBO and the creators of High Maintenance picked a conspicuous date to announce that the fantastic weed-centric web series has been picked up for a six-episode season on the premium cable network. Happy 420! The best show on the internet is coming to your TV.
High Maintenance, about a bearded and sagacious pot dealer named “The Guy” and the neurotic New Yorkers to whom he delivers the goods, spent its first several seasons in free streaming before moving to Vimeo on Demand for $1.99 an episode last year. Each short episode revolves around a different customer; old characters will occasionally turn up in the periphery of new storylines, but The Guy is the only real through-line from episode to episode.
In the beginning, High Maintenance episodes were five or six minutes long and often took place entirely inside a single apartment. Two years after its debut, and the show is different in nearly every way: episodes are twice or three times the original length, they feature more characters, more locations, and more complex and emotionally rich storylines. With the move to HBO, which presumably means even longer episodes, we’ll likely see more of that increased ambition.
When I spoke to Blichfeld and Sinclair in February, however, they were adamant that the show would not lose its sense of intimacy. “In the next episodes, we’re hoping to get back to letting the apartment speak more for the character than the actual events in the character’s life,” Sinclair said. “We’re good at tone. That’s the thing we excel at, and that’s the thing we feel comfortable continuing to do.”