[HIDEMI] Late 20s to late 30s, a Japanese taste-maker fashion king, he works with up and coming designers and selects which trends he’ll break in Japan. The kind of man who visits Manhattan every six months and can make or break a career…
[HIPSTER DESIGNER #1 & #2] A pair of hipster designers with fashions to market…
[HENRY] Male (20s). Williamsburg artist. He silkscreens t-shirts. Hip and cool in appearance but slightly unsure of his work.
The above listed roles come live and direct to you from the casting calls for the high anticipated HBO show How to Make it in America, which will premiere on the pay-cable network on Sunday, February 14th. Brainchild of Entourage mastermind Mark Wahlberg, the show centers on a group of three twenty-somethings trying to pursue their own versions of the American dream in downtown New York. Producer Rob Weiss promises that How to Make it in America is HBO’s attempt to “examine the cross section of people in NYC”. As nice as that whole “cross section” thing sounds, let’s keep it real–the “bros n hos” market is a dying, so, to quote Jigga, it’s on to the next one!
And the next one, in this case, happens to be the loathsome but completely lovable downtown New York hipster! What started in the early part of the previous decade as a small cluster of influential cultural movers and shakers has now spread to a near worldwide phenomena– don’t try and tell me there isn’t an Urban Outfitters within at least 25 miles of where you live! The hipster, in all their no-showering, indie-rock-listening, ironic-glasses-and neon-color-wearing glory, is here to stay, which is why when you tune in on Valentines Day to HBO, you’ll see a show chock full of headlining hipsters like Kid Cudi and Shannyn Sossamon in lead roles. Nothing’s wrong with a little exposure, and I’m dying to see the emo rapper of the new decade get his act on, but when names like Aaron ” A-Ron” Bondaroff start popping up on the cast list, I feel the need to jump up on my soapbox for a rant!
I know it’s inevitable, but as a 20-something “hipster” (ok, I admit it, I’m a total hipster!) living in New York for the past 5 years, it’s upsetting to see everything that was/is cool about the concrete jungle being whored out to corporate execs! I’ve seen the scripts, and they’re ripped straight from the headlines of your favorite blog! With story lines about a high-end Japanese clothing lines that bare more than a passing similarity to BAPE, and a visionary wild child artist “based” on Dash Snow, I can’t help but feel a little upset that every little secret artist, show, musician, club, or even that bodega that plays bachata at an awesomely loud volume at 3am on a Thursdays, is being broadcast to the world at large! Seriously! Japanther playing in the trailer?! I remember going to see Japanather at a dirty basement show when I was a senior in college, and now they’re plastered all over the trailer?! Basically, everything I held on to for dear life to make me feel cool, is crumbling thanks to corporate entertainment.
My chief beef centers around the fact that the show seems intent on simply replicating the downtown culture without providing any valuable insight or commentary on it. Of course it’s fun to see your favorite spots on the tizzube, or wonder if that hipster in the back of the club scene is really your homegirl who had nothing better to do than make a couple hundred working background for the day. But I’m worried that they show will make the youth subculture appear as an even bigger waste of time than what people already believe it to be. “Hipsters” are constantly accused of replication without appreciation (there is probably a group of hipsters being photographed at some party right this super second donning Slick Rick T-shirts yet who have no idea that he’s the man behind “Children’s Story”!), and it seems like the show is headed down the same track. As neato as “those crazy hipster kids” appear to the rest of the world, this culture does have meaning to a lot of us who aren’t in it just for the parties! Dash Snow made art with a purpose, A-Ron revolutionized the way a streetwear company could truly represent a lifestyle to the fullest, and music like ghettotech is actually going places beyond just getting girls to bootypop at parties!
With a barrage of cattle casting calls and a crew that took over the trendiest blocks of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, the motto of How to Make it in America should be “hipsters! get em’ while they’re hot!” I guess it’s just time for me to face the fact that downtown New York culture is no longer obscure and closeted, it’s the newest trend! Can we say LE SIGH? I guess my only consolation in this whole mess is that when I tune in to watch the show on Feb 14th is that with all the work they went through to recruit “real life hispters”, there’ll be plenty of eye candy for me to crush on this season!
Check out the trailer for the show below, which premiers on HBO after Big Love on Sun, Feb 14th.
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