In the past three seasons of HBO's High Maintenance, The Guy (co-creator Ben Sinclair) has encountered people from all walks of life. The series was first imagined as a web series, which aired from 2012-2015, which Sinclair created with his then-wife, Katja Blichfeld. The series functions as a series of poignant vignettes, with The Guy intersecting with various characters in New York as he rides around on his bike, selling weed. Since the series premiered on HBO in 2016, the series has shown a diverse cast of characters struggling with all manner of problems. And while its third season concludes Sunday, March 17, it's still unclear whether High Maintenance will return for Season 4.
Before creating High Maintenance, Blichfield worked as a casting director, winning an Emmy for her work on 30 Rock. According to an interview she and Sinclair did with Vanity Fair, the couple met at a barbecue in 2009. And although they decided to divorce right after the 2016 election, per the same interview, they're still collaborators on the show. "I think sometimes when people break up and they're absent from each other’s lives, there are all sorts of these mental machinations that happen afterward, where they're wondering if they're happy or what they're doing, or 'oh they're probably happier than I am.'" Sinclair told Entertainment Weekly. "We didn't have to do any of that."
Season 3 of High Maintenance has shown The Guy as he contemplates his future — potentially outside of the weed business. The series also grapples with the concept of loneliness, with the protagonist buying a camper van and heading upstate. And while Blichfield and Sinclair told Vice in an interview that weed can help quell loneliness, even marijuana loses its effect after a while. "At its best, [weed] temporarily relieves you from those negative feelings or absolves you from weird guilt and shame you have for not doing X, Y, or Z. But I do think we both come around to this fact that when it wears off, you are still stuck with yourself," Blichfield said. "The way to get through something is to actually go through it, and you have to be willing to feel discomfort for a little while."
So what would High Maintenance be if either its creators and/or its main character stopped smoking weed? It remains to be seen — at least for now. High Maintenance was renewed for Season 3 in February 2018, per Variety — right after its Season 2 premiere, and nearly a year before it would return for a third time. So even if the series does return, it likely wouldn't air until 2020.
However, Pete Holmes's semi-autobiographical comedy, Crashing, was recently cancelled by HBO, so perhaps High Maintenance is also on the chopping block. But while it's unclear whether HBO will renew the series or not, Sinclair expressed in the same Vanity Fair interview that he wants the series to continue. And since Season 3 has been received favorably by critics, it would come as no surprise if High Maintenance were to return for Season 4. But if not, the series has been on the air — in some iteration or other — since 2012, so perhaps it's time for the smoke to clear and for The Guy to ride his fixed-gear bike off into the sunset.