One in the series of critically acclaimed High Maintenance shorts, Rachel focuses on Colin (Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey), a husband, stay-at-home father and writer. When he starts to ...
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One in the series of critically acclaimed High Maintenance shorts, Rachel focuses on Colin (Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey), a husband, stay-at-home father and writer. When he starts to fixate on his insecurities about past success and his secret tendencies to dress up in his wife's designer clothing, writer's block sets in. Procrastination, pot and fashion fill his days until he gets some needed encouragement from an unlikely source. This witty short is a beautiful portrait of acceptance from outside and in.
Cycle 4: Some odder territory but very well done to be comedic, touching, interesting and engaging
Season 4 sees the guy delivering to: an author struggling with writer's block while his wife is out working each day; a woman spending the evening with an extreme fitness buff; and a few customers while trying to hang out with his teenage niece who is in NYC from out of town for a few days. Although being honest I watched all four seasons over the course of a week, it is hard not to do since they are so accessible and easy to watch. The fourth season continues the increase in quality – which is good in and of itself, but additionally impressive when you consider than the bottom end of that journey was also a very good place.
This fourth season really does feel like it expands on the promise of previous seasons. Most obviously, all of the episodes are longer (around the 10-14 minute mark) and the episodes use this time well, to do more of everything and to do it in a more bedded in way. For me Matilda (the niece episode) was a good one for the guy, because we got to see more of him, and I enjoyed the character of his niece a great deal – a good chemistry between them too, and a good structure of other characters built around them. Qasim (the exercise buff) was a very nice episode for where it took us; my perspective on the people changed during that one and I liked the extremes it went to in the end. Rachel (the author) was by far the most rewarding for me. I really felt the people – in particular the author, and I really loved how my assumptions were wrong about where the plot was heading, and wrong in a wonderful way which I found quite touching and cheering. If I had to say one episode from season 4 to say 'more of this please' then it would be that one – although really the standard is high and consistent across all of the episodes.
The series continues to look great – you really do have to remind yourself that this is something made for the web and it is a reminder of how much great stuff is out there in the new world outside of traditional media (although finding the good stuff from the sheer volume of stuff is not always as easy as it was when I was growing up with 4 channels (one of which had terrible reception) and no internet (hard to believe that world was only about 20-25 years ago). I'm almost glad I didn't find this show till now, because I have really enjoyed having them all available at my own pace – plus I only have a month or so till the next cycle comes round, which I am really looking forward to.
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