How to Make It in America : Season 1

  • Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 14, 2010
Season #: 1, 2
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. 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.
  2. 60
    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.
  3. 60
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    40
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 40
    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.
  10. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    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.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. Feb 20, 2011
    10
    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 actorslove 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
    8
    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 secondThis 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
    9
    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
    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 »