Netflix and HBO Fully Embrace Marijuana Culture With New Scripted Shows

5

Now that the stigma of smoking marijuana has disappeared almost entirely, it’s high time our pop culture reflect that societal shift. As a community of marijuana aficionados, we deserve better than the lazy ways Hollywood has portrayed stoners for decades. The writing in every weed movie, or at least for most “stoner” characters, feels unbearably forced. Screenwriters have been using the same retread marijuana stereotypes for decades, and it’s really got to stop.

Thankfully in 2016, we have Netflix and HBO to make up for the traditional entertainment industry’s shortcomings. Both networks are leaders in the original content department, always pushing the envelope thematically and stylistically. It should come as no surprise then that these two trailblazers are at the forefront of Hollywood’s next obsession — marijuana subculture.

From budtenders to growers to delivery drivers, more people than ever view marijuana as a way of life rather than just something to smoke on. Two new scripted shows will explore that very subculture, showing that not every stoner has to be a tie-dye-wearing Dead fan than ends every sentence with a stretched out “mannnn” (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

HBO is picking up High Maintenance, a successful web series that had been airing on Vimeo for six three-episode seasons. The New York City-based show follows the day-to-day life of a bicycle riding weed dealer and the interactions he endures with his electric lineup of clientele. The premium cable giant will make all eighteen existing episodes available on their HBO Go and HBO Now streaming apps, as well as produce an entirely new six-episode season to debut September 16.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzSgxHd0MKo]

As you can see in the above trailer, High Maintenance will explore how weed can act as a unifying bond for people from all walks of life. Plus, it looks really funny.

While HBO takes to the streets, Netflix is getting their med card and hitting the dispensary in their new comedy Disjointed. The new series from multi-camera comedy titan Chuck Lorre, who penned such smash hits for CBS as Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, originally shopped Disjointed to the networks before rewriting it for the less restrictive, binge-friendly Netflix.

Courtesy of Deadline

Courtesy of Deadline

Disjointed will star Oscar winner Kathy Bates as a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization that finally realizes her aspiration of running a dispensary. The sitcom will focus on the daily operations of the pot shop, including the interactions between Bates’ character and her twenty-something son, a few budtenders, and a security guard. For viewers living in certain pockets of the country, the show’s dispensary setting will feel commonplace, but many Americans have never experienced legal marijuana sales. Because of the cultural divide between the coasts, there will be an added element of intrigue for a large number of curious Netflixers.

Netflix ordered twenty episodes of the smoked-out comedy, which Lorre co-created with Dave Javerbaum, the former head writer for Comedy Central’s Daily Show. Besides Kathy Bates, no other casting announcements have been made, and no release date has been set.

About Author

Used to write about music for XXL, Elevator, Complex, Genius, and a few other outlets. Follow @LongLiveTheDuke on Twitter if you'd like to read way fewer words by me.

5 Comments

  1. Once again it’s about time that we actually either through episodic ways or film we start actually show what cannabis life is all about? Just as you said it’s a lifestyle and not just that same retread about the same stoner character. I think it becomes a little monotonous don’t you think? Anyway haven’t caught any of the episodes you spoke of yet but I definitely can’t wait!?

  2. Why do we the people put up with some of the laws of the land. We all know that booze and tobacco are way more detrimental. When is the last time you heard of someone being under the influence of Cannabis being violent in any way? Then there is all the ‘legal’ drugs like prozak etc…. Horrible horrible stuff when maybe all one needs to do is just chill out with a few tokes with no fear of any sort of law enforcement retaliation.

    • The answer is to find the voting record of your elected representative, and fire those that do not support your interests, serving only their corporate master. We must do this soon, before they allow non citizens the vote, illegal aliens are actually holding public office while being in our nation illegally. This is done to water down the effect of real citizens ability to representative government.

  3. Good article. It’s great to see more mature and educated portrayals of cannabis smokers. However, I must disagree with your opening statement. From my experience (living in Colorado!) we still have a long way to go in dissolving the negative stigma around marijuana. It’s still alive and well, but shows like the above will help to whittle away such perceptions–one viewer at a time.

  4. OK, but why does the media think the only thing pot smokers do is sell pot? I do like how the delivery driver (actually, biker) in High Maintenance is a bit of a shaman/counselor to his customers, which touches on the deeper potential of marijuana in a world where it’s legal. And I’m glad that Disjointed will be about a woman (although written by two men).

Leave A Reply