High Maintenance

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High Maintenance
The words "High Maintenance" in plain white text on a green background
Genre Comedy
Created by Katja Blichfeld
Ben Sinclair
Starring Ben Sinclair
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6 (Vimeo)
2 (HBO)
No. of episodes 19 (Vimeo)
16 (HBO) (list of episodes)
Production company(s) Janky Clown Productions
Original network Vimeo (2012–15)
HBO (2016–present)
Original release November 9, 2012 (2012-11-09) – present
External links

High Maintenance is an American comedy-drama television and web series created by ex-husband and wife team Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld.[1][2] The show follows a nameless marijuana deliveryman called The Guy (played by Sinclair) as he delivers his product to clients in New York City.[3] Each episode focuses on a new set of characters as they all procure their cannabis from Sinclair's character.[4]

High Maintenance originally premiered as a web series on Vimeo on November 11, 2012 and began airing as a television series on HBO on September 16, 2016.[5] The show's second HBO season premiered on January 19, 2018.

On February 21, 2018, HBO renewed the series for a third season.[6]


Almost all of the episodes in this character-driven series are named after an unseen peripheral character that someone in the episode mentions (the one exception being "Heidi"). The characters are meant to be relevant, regardless of whether or not the viewer engages in similar activities.[7] This web series is shot throughout various neighborhoods in Brooklyn and occasionally Manhattan. Each episode is between five and twelve minutes in length.[8] "Freed of the constraints of thirty-minute or one-hour formulas, the episodes are luxurious and twisty and humane, radiating new ideas about storytelling," wrote television critic Emily Nussbaum in an article for The New Yorker.[9]


Web series[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast releasedNetwork
13November 9, 2012 (2012-11-09)Vimeo
24January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17)February 20, 2013 (2013-02-20)
33April 20, 2013
43November 28, 2013 (2013-11-28)March 28, 2014 (2014-03-28)
53November 11, 2014 (2014-11-11)
63February 5, 2015 (2015-02-05)

Television series[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
16September 16, 2016 (2016-09-16)October 21, 2016 (2016-10-21)HBO
210[10]January 19, 2018 (2018-01-19)March 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)[11]


Sinclair said that the TV shows Six Feet Under and Party Down were inspirations for the web series.[12]

The talent pool in New York City is rich—and familiar to Blichfeld (who is an Emmy Award-winning casting director of 30 Rock).[13] Each episode cost less than $1,000 to make.[14]

In June 2014, Vimeo announced that the website would provide financial backing for upcoming episodes[9] of original programming via their Vimeo on Demand platform.[15][16]

Vimeo funded six episodes of High Maintenance before the series was picked up by HBO.[17] Three episodes were released November 11, 2014, and the remaining three on February 5, 2015.

Critical response[edit]

Critical response has been positive.[4][18][19][20][21] The actor Dan Stevens calls it "a brilliant collection of succinct character portraits from a cross-section of New York society".[22] Jenji Kohan said that High Maintenance was one of her favorite recent discoveries, calling the episodes little jewels, "beautiful glimpses into people's lives," "really well crafted," "delicious."[23]

Notable cast[edit]

  • Ben Sinclair, the co-creator of the web series appears as The Guy, the nameless marijuana delivery man
  • Dan Stevens appears as a cross-dressing screenwriter named Colin in the episode "Rachel"[24]
  • Katja Blichfeld appears as Becky, the wife of Dan Stevens' cross-dressing character in the episode "Rachel", and is the co-creator of the series.
  • Hannibal Buress appears as a comedian in the episode "Jonathan" and as himself in "Selfie".
  • Max Jenkins and Heléne Yorke appear in several episodes as a pair of loathsome "Assholes" from the fashion world
  • Christopher Caldwell (Bob the Drag Queen) appears as Darnell, a recovering addict in "Meth(od)."
  • Yael Stone appears as one of The Guy's customers and budding romantic partner, a quirky, mushroom-dealing Australian who lives in Bushwick.
  • Michael Cyril Creighton appears as Patrick, a lonely agoraphobic obsessed with Helen Hunt and secretly in love with The Guy.
  • Gaby Hoffmann appears as a yoga practitioner and attendee of the day rave in season 1 / episode 4 ("Tick").
  • Lena Dunham appears as herself filming an episode of Girls in "Selfie".


  1. ^ Eliscu, Jenny (June 20, 2013). "The Real-Life High Times of 'High Maintenance'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  2. ^ Davis, Allison P. (November 12, 2014). "The Marriage Behind High Maintenance". New York. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  3. ^ Roth, Andrew (January 7, 2014). "Interview: Behind 'High Maintenance' with Creators Ben and Katja". Frank151. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Staskiewicz, Keith (April 10, 2013). "High Maintenance: A-". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  5. ^ "Six-episode season. Begins Sept. 16 on HBO". Facebook. July 13, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  6. ^ Roots, Kimberly (February 21, 2018). "Crashing and High Maintenance Renewed for Season 3 at HBO". TVLine. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Kelly-Clyne, Luke (January 30, 2013). "This Week In Web Videos: 'High Maintenance'". Splitsider. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  8. ^ Galloway, Jordan (April 18, 2013). "A Web Series About Weed That Will Have You Rolling". Brooklyn Based. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Nussbaum, Emily (June 9, 2014). "Taster's Choice: "High Maintenance" and "My Mad Fat Diary."". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  10. ^ "Comedy Series High Maintenance, Created by Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, Returns for Second Season Jan. 19 on HBO". HBO. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  11. ^ "High Maintenance – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  12. ^ legrandfromage (May 13, 2014). "Knotoryus Interview". Knotoryus. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  13. ^ Thompson, Elizabeth; Spaner, Whitney (February 4, 2014). "High Maintenance: The Pot Dealer Re-Thought". Paper Magazine. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  14. ^ Christian, Aymar Jean (December 19, 2013). "Critic's Picks: 2013's Best Comedy Web Series, and 18 More You Need to Watch Now". Indiewire. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  15. ^ Jarvey, Natalie (May 29, 2014). "Vimeo Finances Web Series 'High Maintenance'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  16. ^ Spangler, Todd (May 29, 2014). "Vimeo Invests in First Original Series, Comedy 'High Maintenance'". Variety. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  17. ^ Salovaara, Sarah (May 29, 2014). "Vimeo Launches Original Programming with High Maintenance Web Series". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  18. ^ Battan, Carrie (May 1, 2014). "In Search of the Next 'Broad City': Five Comedy Web Series That Could Make It to TV". Grantland. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  19. ^ Peele, Anna (March 31, 2014). "What to Watch Until 'Louie' Comes Back". Esquire. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  20. ^ Syme, Rachel (September 9, 2013). "Why Web TV Series Are Worth Watching". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  21. ^ Corley, Matt (May 14, 2014). "The dopey brilliance of High Maintenance isn't just for stoners". The A.V. Club. The Onion, Inc. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  22. ^ Stevens, Dan (April 30, 2013). "Dan Stevens on the comforts of comedy in our darkest hours". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  23. ^ Wilson, Stacey; Rose, Lacey (June 4, 2014). "Comedy Showrunners Roundtable: Chuck Lorre, Jenji Kohan, Mike Judge on Ejaculation Shots, Awful Pitch Meetings and Salary Negotiations". The Hollywood Reporter. at 54:00 mark. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  24. ^ Hauser, Micah (May 19, 2014). "Smoking with Strangers: The comic intimacy of 'High Maintenance'". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved June 9, 2014.

External links[edit]