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.
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.