High Maintenance – A Perfect 8 minutes of television

Complete episodes of High Maintenance are shorter then the commercial breaks of some network T.V. shows. Episodes of High Maintenance are perfect little vignettes in the surreal life of a drug dealer and his upscale New York clientele. Originally made for the web, High Maintenance is now on HBO. We give it our highest rating of Five Stars.

Forget all about the stereotype of a drug dealer  standing on a dirty street corner selling to passing motorists. That was 25 years ago.  Marijuana has  become so mainstream that you can now have it delivered to your apartment just like getting a pizza.

Ben Sinclair is “the guy” – the laid back fellow who bicycles through New York City delivering marijuana. The term “High Maintenance” refers to his clients, most of whom are so high strung it is immediately obvious why they desperately need his product.

Brenna Palughi tries to drown out mouse screams on High Maintenance

Brenna Palughi tries to drown out mouse screams on High Maintenance

Whether he wants to or not, The Guy ends up getting involved in his clients lives. In the episode Jaime, Molly Knefel and Brenna Palughi are two very sensitive women who have caught a mouse in a sticky trap in their apartment. (Jamie is what they have named the mouse).

Molly Knefel on High Maintenace

Molly Knefel on High Maintenance

When The Guy arrives to deliver pot, the women are semi-hysterical from the screaming of the mouse. Of course, they immediately enlist The Guy to take care of the situation. He solves the problem by putting the mouse in a bag and all 3 puff marijuana smoke into the bag until the mouse is calm and stops screaming. Then the episode ends with a jolt. Just when the women have calmed down and are happy with this “kinder & gentler” solution, The Guy smashes the bag with a cast iron skillet and flattens the mouse.

Greta Lee as Homeless Hedi on High Maintenance

Greta Lee as Homeless Heidi on High Maintenance

The pot Guy sometimes inadvertently let out secrets. One client is enchanted with a beautiful woman he met the night before and who has slept over with him. The Guy inadvertently blurts out that this is “Homeless Heidi” (Greta Lee) who has no apartment and just lives from man to man. The Guy leaves, not realizing he has crushed the client.

Ben Sinclair & Katja Blichfeld

Ben Sinclair & Katja Blichfeld

Each episode is introduced by Ben Sinclair and the casting director/co-creator Katja Blicjfeld. This married couple obviously loves the show and the people on it.

Any writer will tell you that creating a perfect  short story is actually more difficult than doing a novel. Likewise, a perfect  8 or ten minute show is in many ways more difficult to bring off than an hour long series. High Maintenance has been able to produce an entire series of perfect shorts. Take 10 minutes and give High Maintenance a look You won’t be disappointed.

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