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What The ‘High Maintenance’ Creators Watch While High

Four years ago, husband-and-wife team Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld released the first episode of High Maintenance on Vimeo. The low-budget web series, which follows a weed dealer—known only as The Guy—as he visits regular customers around New York City, became a cult hit and eventually drew the attention of HBO, where a new season of the show will debut September 16. At this week’s premiere, The Fresh Toast spoke to Sinclair and Blichfeld about the new season, what they enjoy watching after smoking, their dealer’s opinion of the show, and more.

High Maintenance HBO
Poster courtesy of HBO

The Fresh Toast: Has your dealer seen the show? If so, what do they think?
Sinclair: We’ve had many dealers over the years because we’ve been making the show for more than four years, so we have some of them that know…and it doesn’t get us free weed. You’d be surprised. With our dealers, they’re like, “So, it’s $200 or whatever.”

Blichfeld: But they’re not the boss.

Sinclair: I know, I know. I’m just trying to make a snappy joke about weed.

What are the best shows to watch while high?
Sinclair: The best show to watch while stoned is the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and also their Bedtime Stories. We used to watch Ancient Aliens in like 2011.

Are you worried that if marijuana becomes fully legal, it’ll mean the end of your show?
Sinclair: It seems like the press is really worried that weeds gonna get legal and our show is going to end. We really never had that worry before. We’ll figure it out, like we figure out everything.

The weed users on your show are very normal, everyday people and rarely resemble stereotypical stoners. Was that an intentional decision?

Blichfeld: It was absolutely intentional. It was kind of before we knew we were making a show about pot, I think we were conscious of the fact that we wanted it portrayed in a normal way, to have characters smoking it recreationally like it was no big deal. This is probably because we were feeling insecure about our stonerdom at the time, but we don’t feel that way anymore.

Sinclair: Ever since we were like, “We’re stoners!” people have been like, “Tell me more!” So we’re going to keep doing it.

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