So, did you catch HBO’s new show How to Make It in America this Sunday? Surprisingly, it wasn’t half bad! It’s being billed as a New York prequel version of Entourage — the two main characters are struggling to get a denim line off the ground, all while working crappy day jobs and partying with Nylon writers at gallery openings — but is actually way less grating than that makes it sound (the show shares producers with Entourage, but the creator, Ian Edelman, is a newbie). The reviewers are all sweating Luis Guzmán as an ex-con, but we think Victor Rasuk (whom we loved in Raising Victor Vargas but totally forgot about for most of this decade) could break out as the rascally Cam. Despite a few clunker lines like “fuck the man,” it’s a pleasant surprise. (And we’re not just saying that because the nice people over at HBO paid good money for these here banner ads.)
But that is not the only reason that we are bringing it to your attention! Like 30 Rock, Gossip Girl, Bored to Death, and about a million other shows before it, How to Make It has a bonus appeal specifically for snooty New Yorkers who love to judge television programs solely on the basis of their authenticity. The pilot’s a bonanza of references: There’s a kid selling Peanut M&M’s on the subway “not for no basketball team but for my damn self”; Eddie Kaye Thomas plays a hedge-fund guy who can’t get past the door guy at Avenue; and at one point Kid Cudi actually says “We’re going to get some grub at the Blue Ribbon courtesy of Harold’s Condé Nast expense account.” Check out the full first episode over at YouTube, then leave your snooty New York judgments in the comments below.