How to Make It in America (HBO) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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How to Make It in America

HBO, Sundays 10/9 Central

Feb 14, 2010 Web Exclusive
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“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” Frank Sinatra’s statement in “New York, New York,” sums up HBO’s latest show, How to Make It in America, from the producers of Entourage. A group of 20-somethings, led by the lackluster Ben (Unscripted‘s Bryan Greenberg) and the terrier-like Cam (Raising Victor Vargas’ Victor Rasuk), are chasing their dreams, and being tripped by their foibles.

The pessimistic Ben is ready to give up with only one failed dream and one failed relationship. Although, working a dead-end job at Barney’s, he is hooked up with friends, hipster happenings, and club openings. His more optimistic best friend, Cam, has a Peter Pan-esque, never-say-die attitude that has enough optimism to fuel both their dreams. The two are attempting to start a fashion line named Crisp Denim. For every step Cam takes forwardmisguided and incorrect though it may beBen takes an insecure one backward.

Infinitely more colorful and engaging than these two is the supporting cast. Luis Guzman (John From Cincinnati, Out of Sight, Carlito’s Way) is captivatingly authentic as Rene, Cam’s newly sprung from prison cousin. Eddie Kay Thomas (American Pie) offensively portrays David “Kappo” Kaplan, a successful hedge fund manager painfully desperate for the coolness of his financially strapped acquaintances. In his firstunremarkableacting role, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi is Domingo, a character possibly more buoyant than Cam. The femalesall Paper/Nylon Magazine cover material: Shannyn Sossamon, Lake Bell, Samaire Armstrongare more window decoration than fleshed out characters.

America attempts to hide the fact that it is simply uninspired, barely obscuring that fact with its trend-setting music choices (there is already a free mixtape ready to download on the show’s site), anti-fashion clothing, and street talk. All of this is captured by handheld cameras that make the viewer feel like they are imprisoned as an involuntary character on the show. (

Author rating: 5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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January 10th 2011

Two words: Great pilot. Of course, I have to take pilots for what they are (selling points) as should we all… but ‘How to Make It’ shows a promising amount of potential. I just hope that they don’t break that promise “Rolex Prices