Everyone gives Vimeo a hard time. Even I have been known to refer to it as “YouTube’s artsy cousin,” but the truth is the platform has been striving to craft its own brand of original content and it’s doing a great job. Over the last year Vimeo has played host to projects by some of YouTube’s biggest names including an excellent feature film by Taryn Southern. The platform recently announced that it would pick up two pilots from New Form Digital’s YouTuber development program and to take to series. On top of all that they announced last year that they would back the return of critically acclaimed web series High Maintenance, which finally makes its second season premiere today.
You’ve probably heard of High Maintenance since it’s made every listicle you can imagine from “Best Show’s You’re Not Watching” to “Best of the Web.” People who rank things on lists agree that this show is amazing and I’m going to go ahead and agree. Vimeo hosted the show’s first season and recently invested in a second as part of their original content strategy, proving once again that they’ve got great taste. Depsite the subject matter, this is far from a standard stoner comedy. The weed dealer conceit is used primarily as a vehicle to tell stories about different types of New Yorkers. The pot opens the door to a believable level of candidness, and the protagonist’s role as a dealer and deliveryman is the perfect way to introduce a constant string of new characters and situations.
High Maintenance is a web series that is at least nominally about pot and it comes at a time when Americans are reevaluating their relationship with both weed and web content. Twenty-three states have legalized at least some marijuana and many more states are considering measures to legalize or ease penalties. Weed culture is becoming more mainstream and with that comes stories that are less marginal and outsider-oriented than they might have been. High Maintenance deftly moves between the stories of classic slackers and high strung housewives with ease. Many outlets have described the show as “television quality,” a nod to both the production values and the caliber of storytelling. However, just as the boundaries between smokers and non smokers are slowly dissolving, so too are the lines between television and web content. High Maintenance is a web show that looks and feels like TV and it’s well worth your time.
Three new episodes of High Maintenance are available on Vimeo on-demand. You can check out the trailer for the new season above.
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