High Maintenance Series Premiere

High Maintenance: HBO's Potent New Comedy Delivers More Than Laughs

With a runtime of 33 minutes, HBO’s High Maintenance premiere is roughly four times longer than any of the episodes in the web series from which it spawned — and we’re happy to report that it’s time well spent.

Unlike the webseries, which focused on one customer per episode, HBO sends the show’s leading man — an unnamed pot dealer played by Ben Sinclair, who also writes and directs the episodes with Katja Blichfeld — on multiple deliveries, as seen in Friday’s “series” premiere.

As always, the episode introduced us to the guy’s customers via little vignettes of their day-to-day lives before throwing him into the mix. And as always, his clients have a penchant for being the absolute worst. First up was a Vin Diesel wannabe named Johnny who collects samurai swords and offers unsolicited exercise advice, though it was Johnny’s attempt to pay his $200 free in coins(!) that finally sent the guy running. (It’s a shame, too. If he’d stuck around for a few more minutes, he might have learned that “Johnny” is actually a British actor attempting to live in a new character. Maybe next time.)

But it was the second half of Friday’s premiere that’s bound to leave a more lasting impression — and not just because of that surprisingly graphic sex scene between returning-character Max (Max Jenkins) and real-life gay porn star Colby Keller. Tired of living under the oppressive thumb of his best “friend,” a vapid garbage human, Max found solace in attending 12-step meetings, pretending that his emotionally abusive friendship was actually an addiction to crystal meth.

Despite the inherent reprehension of someone lying about having an addiction, it was hard not to feel for Max in his darkest hour, as he finally accepted that he couldn’t continue living that way. Things only got worse when his roommate exposed his lies — mid-meeting in front of all his new “friends,” mind you — thus sending him on a downward spiral that ended with him actually doing crystal meth for the first time. (I’m trying to figure out what’s more of a bitch, Max’s post-meth comedown, or his roommate, who managed to suck him back into her dark void under the guise of nursing him back to health.)

The delivery guy is barely seen in the second half of the episode, but as seasoned High Maintenance fans already know, it’s not really about him. Like us, he’s just along for the ride.

Your thoughts on Friday’s premiere? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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10 Comments
  1. Tarantella says:

    I’ve never seen the webseries but if it’s anything like this episode, I’m obsessed. About to binge them all. Max Jenkins was incredible.

    • gort says:

      Jenkins was very good, but that’s it, there is no regular characters except the pot guy. every week there are two new stories, two vignettes, and that’s not enough, it’s too random.

  2. Dwiseen says:

    TV is really going way too far with male homosexuality. First half was something I thought I could watch for the long haul. But second half…. No way. I will not watch this show again.

    • gort says:

      There was one scene, and that’s all. The 2nd episode about a muslim girl, and a group of swingers, no homosexuality. If you leave the show, you literally just watched the episode with the male homosexuality, and nothing else. And what does it tell about you?

    • sunshine says:

      I turn off a show for good if they show same sex lovemaking of any kind. I am tolerant of the lifestyle but never went in for porn in my life, and let there be no mistake this stuff was behind the porn curtain until just recently. Some show runners these days have no restraint and that’s fine but they lose audience too, they have to decide if showing a level of sexual exploitation is worth it or not. Now I don’t trust the taste level of this show and do not want to be surprised like that again so I stop watching.

      • Barrio says:

        How nice that you’re tolerant of the “lifestyle”. I’ll be tolerant of your ignorance. As long as your type of thinking continues to exist, you can expect to continue to see more depictions of this “lifestyle” on tv.

  3. K Money says:

    I watched a few episodes when this was a web series, and it was funny. So I taped this episode and didn’t laugh at all. It was like HBO is bringing back “Looking?” Sad, cause this used to be a funny show.

  4. Juliea says:

    Loved the web series – shorter and highly entertaining. I wasn’t so crazy about this 1st HBO episode. The guy/girl duo were my least favorite characters from the web series so having the focus on them most of the time wasn’t any fun. I hope the series moves on from them soon. I had high hopes for this…am sticking around nonetheless.

  5. GLORY says:

    Hey sunshine your homophia is shining though. First being gay isn’t a lifestyle is who you are. Second having a same sex love scene isn’t porn if it was then all the straight sex scenes should be considered porn also.Third it not true that a show that does show a gay love scene doesn’t do well in the ratings. I have two examples How to get away with murder and networks number 1 drama Empire.

  6. roblarge says:

    That 2nd half didn’t seem like the same series. I’ll give the next episode a chance, but I don’t much care about anyone but delivery guy.