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One of the most innovative shows on TV today


HBO has a history of highly publicized and well-regarded original television shows that have been associated with quality television for over two decades. Since The Sopranos for true blood for The iron Throne, these are series that have become pop culture phenomena. One of their latest series, How To With John Wilsonis very different from some of HBO’s most famous series, but it’s a unique show that costs a fraction of those other series and yet has managed to gain a passionate following.

Produced by Nathan Fielder of Nat for you Fame, How To With John Wilson is a comedy documentary series. The show follows filmmaker John Wilson as he attempts to offer advice on personal issues in the form of tutorials, filmed and cut with footage he acquired while walking around New York or other areas. that he visits. The series is generally off topic from the original tutorial, but returns at the end, and while the audience never actually learns to deal with the topic the episode is named after, they can learn a bit more about themselves and the human. condition or understanding of the world.

Although not the flashiest show on HBO, the series has been critically acclaimed since its premiere in 2020 and after airing season two in 2021, was renewed for season three, which is likely to to air in 2022. The show has captivated audiences for its incredibly unique take on the world that is both profound and hilarious. Here is what makes How To With John Wilson such an innovative show, and one of the best on television right now.

A familiar style made with a new vision

The series is a nifty send-off of two familiar videos that audiences are very familiar with: popular nature documentaries and video tutorials. Even if someone doesn’t quite know the language to describe them, the audience probably understands the rhythm and configurations of each, and How To With John Wilson plays beautifully with both.

As for the video tutorials, each episode is framed around a question. While the tutorials primarily answer questions, the series uses them as a starting point to explore other concepts. For example, episode five of season two, “How to Appreciate Wine,” begins as the title suggests, trying to figure out wines, but ends up (somehow) moving organically. to Wilson covering his own personal encounter with controversial cult band NXIVM and its founder Keith Raniere and Smallville star Allison Mack while in college as part of an acapella group.

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That’s not even the only detour in this wine episode, as eventually the filmmaker finds himself throwing a party for Jack Owoc, the founder of Vital Pharmaceuticals and owner of energy drink brand Bang. This strange rabbit hole through elitism, wealth, and sense of belonging may seem random, but it captures the kind of way the human mind ponders simple questions about larger issues and ultimately finds a way to tie everything together. In a way, it’s the perfect representation of the hyperlinked stream of consciousness that many people inhabit in the digital age, jumping from website to website and thought to thought.

The other format of the show is the traditional documentary, in particular the anthropological and nature documentaries, more precisely that of Earth. Earth is known for its incredibly stunning visuals framing the beauty and wonder of what the Earth has to offer, all told through the soothing yet commanding voice of David Attenborough. How To With John Wilson uses Wilson’s soft, humorous voice from the weird and absurd videos he captures in New York City to create a humorous juxtaposition. While the contrast between the two is hugely funny, it also shows the power of exposed cinema, as image and storytelling always find a way to create meaning. He finds beauty in the absurd, and how there’s still a wonderful world outside his front door even though it doesn’t seem like it at first glance.

John Wilson discovers the beauty of human relationships

The central premise at the heart of every How To With John Wilson The episode is all about finding a way to connect with other people, so much so that the title of the first episode of the series is “How To Make Small Talk”. In each episode, John Wilson interviews people from different backgrounds and understands them better, showing how many different types of people there are.

For John Wilson and the audience, it’s about finding a way to understand and connect with people. From the romantic relationship he has with his elderly landlady (one of the most touching relationships on TV right now), who insists he call her “Mom”, to a young loner he meets and who he bonds with on vacation, the series features a number of interactions that you can’t expect to tug at the heartstrings, but do.

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No more evident than in episode five of season two, “How to Remember Your Dreams,” which sees the series creator join a fan base for the 2009 film. Avatar released on Christmas Eve. While Avatar was the highest-grossing film, there has been much discussion about its lasting impact and why James Cameron would want to make four sequels. However, the episode features a small but extremely passionate fanbase who found the message of Avatar to be genuinely, without irony, moving, and how this film created a bond between a small group of people who feel isolated.

For many, this movie helped them find others like them and saved their lives. That’s the beauty of the show, finding ways, however small, for people to come together and not feel alone, to be Avatar fans, referees, supporters of the Mandela effect and many others.

How To With John Wilson is perfect for a post-COVID world

How To With John Wilson premiered on HBO in October 2020, six months after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Although each episode stands on its own, viewers watching the first season may notice a pattern around certain key events taking place in the background. The series began filming in 2019 and early 2020. In the final episode of the first season, COVID-19 enters the storyline and the five episodes leading up to it were lessons on issues that, a once the pandemic hit, now seemed impossible, like “How to make small talk” and “How to split a check.”

John Wilson’s smooth voice provides the perfect comfort for audiences who needed something heartwarming, funny, thoughtful and beautiful in a rather dark time. While everyone was stuck at home, with the idea of ​​vaccination still months away and an uncertain future, How To With John Wilson has become a snapshot of what it was like before the world stopped and what it could be back to with some useful lessons that hopefully can make everyone feel a little better.

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