Guys, can we talk about HBO’s How To Make It In America for a second? I think it might be the most incredible show of our time. Interpret the word “incredible” as you will. I didn’t watch the first season because back then Entourage was still on the air, so if I wanted to hate-watch something I could just hate-watch that. And also it basically IS Entourage but about jeans? One Entourage at a time, please. But Entourage is dead now (at least until that movie comes out about Ari Gold being the CEO of GloboChem) so the hate docket has an opening, and How To Make It In America fits perfectly. I’ve watched the first two episodes of the second season, so it’s time for us to talk about it! (Right On Time Gum.) It’s not even that I hate it. It’s so much more complicated than that. How To Make It In America contains multitudes! First, let’s talk about the positives: it has a very good opening credits sequence–as do all HBO shows, incidentally, which is a thing you should write a paper on for your college–that makes New York look so fun and cool, just like the New York we all wanted to move to before we all did move here (and congrats to ALL of us on living here, by the way, and it’s so crazy that not a single person reads this website who doesn’t live in New York, but whatever, who needs them, just kidding). And all of the actors are perfectly fine in it. They say their lines and everything. But if Entourage was a wish-fulfillment show with zero stakes, and How To Make It In America follows the Entourage model, then I have a few questions about what you guys are all wishing for and some exciting news about the discovery of NEGATIVE ZERO REVERSE STAKES!
So, Ben and Cam are launching their own streetwear label. BOOM! YOU’RE ALREADY HOOKED ON THIS SHOW! They’ve got a single duffel bag full of sweatshirts. They didn’t even make the sweatshirts, by the way. They bought blank sweatshirts in Japan (?!) and then they silk-screened their company’s logo onto the sweatshirts. OK. Their company is called Crisp. OK. But, so, like, the main plot arc of the first episode (of the second season) was that they were only able to get a hip boutique to carry two (TWO) sweatshirts. And they are also competing with an “evil” streetwear label. And then Ben smoked weed in front of a cafe with the evil label and had to dip his head in a fountain and Cam said “this is it! This is our creation myth.” Congrats, guys, on your creation myth. They had a pop up shop, which everyone on the show kept saying with the same mystified reverent tones that people used to say “food truck” six years ago. Yeah, we get it, a pop up shop. They sold 30 t-shirts or something. A 14 year old gave them his business card. Also, Kid Cudi is a dog-walker slash pot dealer and Luis Guzman is trying to launch an energy drink? His story is probably the most difficult to follow from the middle. I don’t really get what’s going on, although in the second episode he does try to hire a skateboarder to sponsor Rasta Monster (energy drink) and there is also an appearance by Bubbles from The Wire as a down on his luck advertising executive. It’s basically Mad Men, this show.
Cut To: Episode 2. Here is seriously what this episode is about: “We should go to that brunch even though we weren’t invited because we might meet a lady there who knows buyers at Macy’s.” Unbelievable!
Everyone on this show keeps talking about how they want “in.” But it’s like, in WHAT? People will say things like “I can’t believe Ben has his own line.” Why? Why can’t you believe it? It seems like all he does is try to have a line, and also it seems like having a line is NOT very hard since mostly you just need a single duffel bag full of hoodies that you bought on vacation. It just doesn’t seem CRAZY that Ben has a line. He also might not have one? It’s weirdly hard to tell whether or not anyone has a line. I think they’re saving that for the DVD commentary? When they do crash the brunch it is at this woman’s West Village brownstone where she has a Basquiat hanging in her child’s bedroom, and I guess this is supposed to be the dream that we are all pursuing, which, sure, I mean, yes, we are, who doesn’t want a beautiful brownstone in the West Village filled with fancy art, but while you could understand how Vince getting Aquaman could lead to Turtle driving a Maserati off a cliff, it isn’t clear how selling a hoodie gets you a $14 million dollar historic property. I mean, I know Mark Ecko is rich, but COME ON. So many questions this season. Will they get “in”? Will that 13 year old get to be their sales rep for his bar mitzvah? What does their friend in the necktie actually DO?
I don’t know. I love this show. You guys watching this show? Let’s talk about this show! It’s time. (Season 2, Episode 3: AND SO IT BEGINS.)