For those young, hip and living in Los Angeles, Entourage can be a fun, mindless show to watch: you recognize all the hot spots Vince and the crew hit, and you catch all the names they effortlessly drop. And thanks to a few funny cameos and some too-true storylines (James Cameron making bank off of a ridiculous movie, what?), the show had its great moments.
But now it's New York City and How to Make It in America's turn. NYC's had a round of I Spy and name-dropping with Sex and the City, but this time we're dealing with the truly in-on-the-know: the twenty-somethings struggling right in the heart of the city, just trying to make it.
How to Make It in America follows Ben, an artist who's given up his big-time dreams to working for the Man (a.k.a. Barneys), and his friend Cam, a dreamer with a lot of talk (and subsequently, heart). They're young and struggling, but getting by on young adrenaline and ambition, and if they just play their cards right, they might have the chance to make something of themselves.
There's no denying the Entourage tone of the series (the shows have the same exec producers): it's Vince and his friends before they hit L.A., before they get caught up in the glitz and glamour and lose their souls to ridiculousness. The characters of How to Make It are what will make or break this show: if they can remain genuine, I think people will want to continue following. So far, Bryan Greenberg as Ben is a good start; he's got a great contemplation to him that beats anything Adrian Grenier has ever tried to do with his hair. And Kid Cudi is a character! Cool artsy parties in huge lofts owned by Nylon writers is pushing things a bit, though.
Decide for yourself when How to Make It in America (ugh, is there any good way to shorten this title? Maybe this is a bad sign) premieres on HBO on Sunday at 10pm. Or, watch the pilot right now.
-- Chau Tu
Photo credit: How to Make It in America