Watch High Maintenance: A Critically-Acclaimed Web Series About Life & Cannabis

Web series might have a rep­u­ta­tion for being ama­teur­ish, but that’s not entire­ly fair. High Main­te­nance, cre­at­ed by hus­band and wife team Ben Sin­clair and Kat­ja Blich­feld, for instance, is a high­ly pol­ished web series, fea­tur­ing sub­tle char­ac­ter­i­za­tions, wry humor and some of the tight­est writ­ing this side of Louis C.K.’s series Louie.

Each episode, which gen­er­al­ly runs between five and fif­teen min­utes, is about a new char­ac­ter — gen­er­al­ly a young pro­fes­sion­al Brook­lynite — who is wrestling with life’s small prob­lems. The one com­mon denom­i­na­tor is their name­less put-upon pot deal­er, played by Sin­clair. The show oper­ates on the same world of neu­ro­sis, self-absorp­tion and lone­li­ness as does Louie and Lena Dunham’s Girls. Mar­i­jua­na is the thing that makes their urban woes a lit­tle more palat­able.

Sin­clair recent­ly described his series to the New York­er:

The thing about weed is, we didn’t want to use it as a punch line. Instead, it’s this sub­stance that, like choco­late, caus­es peo­ple to expose their own foibles. Peo­ple become so human in pur­suit of this thing. And the inter­ac­tion they have with the per­son bring­ing it is often trag­ic, because there are a lot of lone­ly peo­ple out there who order it and then that is their human inter­ac­tion for the day.

The sto­ry of each episode hinges on the character’s inter­ac­tion with the deal­er. In the episode titled “Hei­di” (above) – one of my favorites – the deal­er tells a guy that the viva­cious lass he has fall­en for after meet­ing her on OK Cupid has a dark secret.

The episode “Brad Pitts” oper­ates in an entire­ly dif­fer­ent tone. A woman suf­fer­ing from can­cer is feel­ing too nau­se­at­ed to eat until her mid­dle-aged friend calls up Sin­clair. The results are not quite what any­one expect­ed.

In “Rachel,” an author, played by Down­ton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, strug­gles with both cre­ative and iden­ti­ty issues.

And final­ly, “Olivia” is about two of the most awful, tox­ic twits you would ever care to (not) meet:

You can watch all of the episodes here. And at some point this month (prob­a­bly 4/20) three new episodes are slat­ed to pre­miere.

H/T @sheerly

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Carl Sagan Extols the Virtues of Cannabis (1969)

Alice B. Tok­las Talks About Her Famous Recipe for Hashish Fudge

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow.

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  • Alan Drabke says:

    How dis­gust­ing! A cel­e­bra­tion of drug addic­tion. I sup­pose you can tell I’m a baby boomer, so here’s the straight stuff. In the 1960’s the ille­git­i­mate birth rate was 5%. Just now the ille­git­i­mate birth rate is 50%. 35% in white women (trail­er park­ers). 70% in metro blacks anf browns. Worse, ‘sin­gle moms’ of all race and col­ors are drop­ping bas­tards on the ground afflict­ed with fetal alco­hol syn­drome and neona­tal crack addic­ti­ion. The end isn’t near, as my hero Fred Phelps used to say, the end is now!

  • Post-Baby Boomer Baby? says:

    Oh hel­lo most glo­ri­ous and iras­ci­ble Mr. Troll.
    I know I should­n’t feed you, but you have dan­gled so many tan­ta­liz­ing morsels in your com­men­tary upon which to pounce!
    Well per­haps I’ll give you cred­it for one thing; the end most sure­ly *has* come for that most ter­ri­ble troll of them all to whom you refer…

    Per­haps you, too, day­dream about hav­ing that high­ly estimable rag, TIME, eulo­gize you as a “colos­sal jerk?”
    Oh. Oh, but was that a taste­less, “dis­gust­ing” com­ment as well?
    Please accept my apolo­gies. I am sure that that oth­er fic­tion­al “straight talk­ing baby-boomer” might con­clude that, (just like stu­pid­i­ty,) his “mom­ma always said that dis­gust­ing is as dis­gust­ing does.”

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