Every once in a while you catch a repeat of Friends on television, and you’ve just started longing for the mid-90s when chunky shoes were still acceptable when suddenly – BAM – it hits you – I am now in the same age bracket as these twentyandearlythirtysomethings and this is nothing like my life.
In my free time I hang out in bars, not coffeeshops, and I work way more hours, and how do they always have a new relationship? But then you remember it’s tv and you aren’t supposed to really be living the same life.
But then there comes a show like HBO’s How To Make It In America, the anti-Entourage about a mess of acquaintances, friends, and hookups, stuck at boring parties, scouring thrift shops, having dinner reservations at 10pm and worrying about your maybe-relationship with a drug dealer/dog walker. And then you realize, hey! They put my life on tv! Kind of.
Okay, their life is a little more sexy and well-dressed, yet these characters vacillate between running this town and feeling like complete failures on a daily basis. In the second season, friends Ben and Cam are finally getting their failed-jeans-now-hooded-sweatshirt line on to the streets of New York City. The action has definitely upped since the crawl of first season.
Luis Guzman’s Rasta Monsta energy drink is making it big while being pressured from the East Flatbush Caribbean League for defamation, Ben’s ex is now sleeping with his friend (the aforementioned dogwalker/drug dealer) played with brilliant subtlety by the rapper Kid Cudi, Cam actually gets the girl, and the boys might even make it if their fashion rep, played by Gina Gershon, doesn’t take Ben’s balls.
The best episode so far had Ben designing a t-shirt for a posh high school and being told by a 14-year-old girl (a possible reference to the all-knowing/freaking awesome Tavi Gevinson) that his design lacked inspiration.
After signing with a merchandiser, Cam is asked by his new, and older business partner if he agrees that “young men have ideas but no money and old men have money but no ideas.” It’s a poignant moment because we know Cam wants both; he’s the only character on the show who wants to believe that the old American dream can still happen.
Everyone else can ride bikes in a critical mass, get pancake tattoos, and hate their bosses because they know it will get better, but why not enjoy it all now? With only one episode left, shit is about to hit the fan, but catch up on the first few episodes purely to enjoy a rich hipster saying he doesn’t want his Brooklyn neighborhood gentrified.
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How To Make It In America Trailer