YouTube isn’t the only shop in town with plans to fund original content. Artsy competitor Vimeo is set to launch its first original comedy series in early November. “High Maintenance” will follow an unnamed pot dealer known simply as “The Guy” as he delivers his product to a revolving cast of New York City characters. Hijinks unfold as “The Guy” gives us a window into the every day lives of neurotic New Yorkers of every stripe.
The series was created by Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair. Sinclair also stars in the unnamed lead role as “The Guy.” The web series original 13-episode run aired on Vimeo in 2012 and proved popular enough that the streaming platform has opted to revive it for six episodes, which it will distribute through its on-demand service. In its first run “High Maintenance” owed much of its success to the cultural fascination with Brooklynite hipster culture, a fascination that hasn’t waned in the intervening years. The series makes good use of its central device, a day in the life of an itinerant weed dealer, to look in on the various quirky and neurotic types that inhabit New York’s recreational cannabis community.
The show is the first to benefit from Vimeo’s $10 million commitment to original content. “High Maintenance” is part of Vimeo’s effort to beef up its on-demand offerings by boosting popular web series that have already found a home on the site’s streaming venue. Vimeo has also reached across the aisle to offer competitive VOD deals to several big name YouTube stars. Joey Graceffa, Taryn Southern, and ComicBookGirl19 are all in line to premier exclusive content on Vimeo — including two feature length films. It may be hard for YouTube to see its stars wander off the reservation, but with multiple platforms competing to fund more original content it’s a good time to be a creator.