• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 14, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Pleasurable, amusing, well conceived and written, though perhaps just a little shy on character development (New York excepted). Give this one time - these guys feel like they're worth getting to know, and the show as well.
  2. Everyone in "How to Make It" isn't a winner. But the show looks to be just that.
  3. Creator Ian Edelman keeps his characters on the right side of caricature and avoids the kind of melodramatic confrontations their relations might typically suggest.
  4. Even without the Hollywood glamour, though, the New York series may turn out to be the superior product, grounded as it is in Mr. Greenberg's compelling, layered character, with a strong mind and vulnerable heart.
  5. 75
    The authentic New York locales and voices really make this new half-hour dramedy fly.
  6. "How to Make It in America" is, like "Entourage," more entertaining than actually funny. You're not going to burst out laughing at anything, but there are plenty of comic moments.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    With a strong assist from Luis Guzmán as Cam's loan-shark cousin, Make It doesn't have a lotta laughs, but it's got charm and a feel for the atmosphere of downtown art galleries, parties, and business hustling.
  8. The series takes off when secondary characters fill in the blank spots.
  9. 70
    I think How to Make It in America has a lot going for it, if show creator Ian Edelman can keep from indulging in New York hipster cliches.
  10. While HBO’s new "How to Make It in America" is light on plot, characterization and humor, it’s got atmosphere to spare. And for a few episodes, that may be enough.
  11. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    while I can't say that it's a great HBO comedy yet--it is not, really, even strictly a comedy in the ha-ha-hilarious sense--it's likeable and absorbing and made me want to stick around for more.
  12. Reviewed by: Adam Keleman
    As a portrait of struggling Manhattanites, How to Make It effectively hones in on that hope-filled effervescence historically associated with the idealized American dream.
  13. Reviewed by: Lesley Smith
    How To Make It delivers a conventional story with uncommon panache. It’s fun, especially for guys, but it’s aiming for boutique liquor and only tastes like high-end latte.
  14. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    I've seen the first four and, although each was more compelling than the last, the series contains a repellent amount of hipitude, which distracts from its tale.
  15. 50
    There isn't much of a story, though. The best thing is the terrific song in the opening credits: Aloe Blacc's "I Need a Dollar." It has the sort of itchy desperation that should have driven the whole show.
  16. How to Make It in America grows more interesting in episodes after the pilot as Ben's world expands and connections among the characters form. But to get that far viewers may need to be: a) Living Ben's lifestyle, b) Remembering their immature years fondly or, c) Have a high tolerance for slackers whose ambition outpaces their drive and/or intellect.
  17. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Created by Ian Edelman, none of these threads really add up to much. And while there's a serialized arc to the storytelling, after four episodes it's still difficult to identify what the principal hook is supposed to be.
  18. Reviewed by: Randee Dawn
    There are flashes of light--Rene (Luis Guzman), the ex-con Our Heroes go into debt with is a menacing delight with his own delusions of grandeur, and Cam's frenetic, audacious ambition blasts the plodding story line along in most unexpected ways. But Ben, sans direction or real ambition, is a black hole in every scene and fails in convincing the audience that he knows what he wants for dinner, much less out of life.
  19. This one has an “Entourage” pedigree (Mark Wahlberg is a producer) and is technically billed as a comedy, though it has neither the witty banter nor satisfying ending of one.
  20. 40
    If this were a show about creative passion, then maybe Ben and Cam would be a little more interesting than the glossy professional yuppies on every other channel, straining to make that promotion and bag that babe. Unfortunately, as Ben and Cam demonstrate, more often than not the desire to "make it" is exactly as vague and empty as those two words imply.
  21. Like "Entourage," whose laughs often are found in its secondary characters, "How to Make It in America" boasts some irresistible ones, including ....Martha Plimpton as Edie, the very funny interior-designer boss of Ben's ex-girlfriend Rachel (Lake Bell). Indeed, Plimpton has a speech in Episode 3 that kind of made me wish the whole series was about her. Instead of, well, about two twentysomething guys who so far seem unlikely to make it anywhere, including HBO.
  22. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    The show isn’t as self-important and whiny as Hung, or as precious and smug as Bored to Death, or as repulsive as Eastbound and Down (to name a few of HBO’s recent comedy misfires, all of which were renewed). Sadly, this one’s just a bit threadbare.
  23. 25
    Rather than art re-creating and explicating reality, How to is art mimicking reality shows, with all their annoyances and posing.
  24. This sad sack of a show plays like an East Coast, economically challenged version of his HBO hit “Entourage.”
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 55 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. Feb 20, 2011
    love how to make it in america! it has a fantastic visual style! i also like the music! story is great and the characters and their actors very convincing!
    and i can't wait for season two to air!!
    Full Review »
  2. Feb 12, 2011
    This ia a great show! I'm so glad it's being shown on a HBO cos if this was on a huge American network it would of been axed by the second episode!!! I'm kind of surprised a lot of people are comparing this show to Entourage cos I hate Entourage lol.........I would recommend this show to anyone who likes a dialogue driven slow burner!!! The writing in this show is fantastic. Full Review »
  3. Jun 30, 2013
    Luckily I'm still young and ex-art school student enough to enjoy this show.
    It's a shame that its third season was cancelled but it is
    understandable because the target audience is very specific and small. Full Review »