High with Delivery kicks off on HBO and Amediatek - the TV version of the web series about a marijuana seller. However, you should not be guided by the name - this is not a stoner comedy at all, but rather a TV version of the project "Humans of New York": a set of stories about people who live in Brooklyn, giving probably the most accurate impression of the city that you can find on today's television screen.
If you walk along the residential streets of Brooklyn in the evening, you can smell marijuana literally every fifty meters. It's funny that you can not meet people at the same time: the smell will still be as if they were just here. It seems that you scared off, judging by the density of the smoke and its amount, a rather large company, although it is not very clear why: marijuana is decriminalized in New York.
For use and storage, you can get off with an administrative fine, and most likely, nothing at all. The cops have long turned a blind eye to her, realizing that if they register every smoker, then there will be no time left for the real criminals. And although New York has not yet become one of the states where marijuana is legalized, in fact it is in the "gray" zone: it is prohibited only de jure, and de facto is almost more popular than alcohol. It is such a local open secret, an integral part of local life and local culture that has simply not yet been officially recognized. And this is exactly what "Kaif with delivery" is about. In terms of culture, and only in a very small part - about marijuana.
Prior to being on HBO, Get High was a web series on Vimeo for three years. Now you can't watch the old episodes on Vimeo, they have moved to HBO Go, and in Russia, if you're lucky, they will be sheltered by Amediateka. In each episode, the comedian Ben Sinclair, a good-natured bearded man with sparse curls (in his track record, mostly the role of either homeless people or hipsters - this gives a pretty accurate idea of his role), played an unnamed grass merchant riding a bicycle around Brooklyn. His hero did not even have a name, in the credits he appears simply as Chel (in the sense, The Guy), but he does not need a name.
As in another famous HBO almanac (Tales from the Crypt) at the beginning of each episode, the cute skeleton announced a new story, so in High Delivery, Chel's task is simply to arrive at the right address in Brooklyn and show the people who live there. "High with delivery" is not about high and not about delivery at all - it is about those who order this delivery. Any typical New Yorker can be in this role - all that remains is to disassemble the types and tell about each separately.
Not surprisingly, with Vimeo, the show was picked up by HBO, for whom having a true series about modern New York in their arsenal has always been one of the most important tasks. "Girls" at that time not only ended, but more and more lost touch with reality (at some point, Dunham simply stopped trying to explain how the heroines could afford to live in Greenpoint). "High with delivery" here, of course, turned out to be very useful. And Sinclair himself and his co-author Katya Blichfeld were lucky to be on HBO, where no one tried to remake their show for big TV. The new episodes do not differ from the web series even in timing, it is just that now Sinclair and Blichfeld tell two stories at a time instead of one.
In general, much more than any other TV series, High Delivery is similar to the Humans of New York project - these are also stories of very different people who are united by life in one city narrowed to only one borough. In the web version "High with Delivery" managed to talk about an asexual magician; about a typical hikikomori; people who rent one room in their apartment on Airbnb to cope with the rent; about the Hasidim who have to lure a stranger to their home, because on a hot Shabbat they cannot turn on the fan themselves; about people who move deeper into Brooklyn to Prospect Park, because for the price of a dirty kopeck piece in Bushwick, you can rent a whole house there, but they soon understand where exactly this price came from - there is not a single bar nearby, friends refuse to come to visit and even people especially eager to bring goods there.In these stories there was no morality and author's judgment, they sincerely revel in the city, its diversity and the fact that such different people get along in it.
The HBO version continues this parade of personalities and at the same time goes a little deeper. In the first episode, we again see Max, a completely intolerable gay man, who has appeared a couple of times in the web series. In Chela's phone, Max is deservedly recorded as "asshole": he talks a lot and very stupidly, he has a correspondingly loud and stupid girlfriend, he always scandals and personifies for Chela a client who, contrary to the well-known rule, is never right.
The appearance of Max is no coincidence - the old character is remembered here to show which road the show will go on. Through Max, Delivered Highs debunk the gay friend myth and show how harmful this stereotype can be. For Helen, his girlfriend and roommate, Max is the kind of Stanford to her Carrie Bradshaw, a male girlfriend with whom you can share secrets and discuss your sex life. For Max, this friendship and his role in it is a curse. He becomes a victim of a stereotype and is forced to play a certain role that he does not like in a relationship that is poisonous to him.
The rest of the plots in the two episodes that have already been released pick up the idea: here is Iisha, a Muslim American who combines life according to the Koran in a family with parties and drugs with her peers, and here is a couple of swingers, not at all like the mysterious bohemian from Eyes Wide Shut. So, from just observers of people, Sinclair and Blichfeld turn on HBO into observers of changes in the city, for new norms. They catch what is poorly hidden - like the smell that you can't dodge if you walk through the residential streets of Brooklyn in the evening - and transfer it to the screen without embarrassment or contempt, but with pride for their city. In the end, there is no smoke without fire, and although there is smoke in the title and the plot of the series, the people in it - both in the frame and off the frame - are fire.