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HBO's "How To With John Wilson" Is A Clever And Wacky Delight

When I first saw the previews for "How To With John Wilson", I was intrigued. I'm always down for a docu-series, especially one with an oddball comedic element. Still, I wasn't sure what to expect with this one when I fired up the first ep, "How To Make Small Talk".

But within a minute or so, I was hooked. As best I can tell, Wilson shoots a voluminous amount of seemingly random video and some 'person in the street' interviews in NYC and wherever else his adventures take him. He decides on a topic then edits the footage and adds his voiceover to the images in clever, ironic, and/or brilliant ways. The side trips from the main topic provide some funny and/or interesting interludes (like bringing a bag of chips to higher and higher altitudes).

The second ep, "How To Put Up Scaffolding", is hilariously informative about how and why NYC continues to sustain various scaffolding companies. 

Giphy Images.

The other eps are titled "How To Improve Your Memory", "How To Cover Your Furniture", "How To Split The Check" (this ep should come with a trigger warning for those offended by tightwads), and "How To Cook The Perfect Risotto". Despite the disparate titles, there is a connective tissue throughout the six-episode season. At just 25 minutes an ep, it's a remarkably quick and highly entertaining binge. It also has moments of sadness and humanity and hopefulness to show that it's not strictly a comic venture.


This is the type of show you should discover by watching and not reading more about. A show seemingly about the mundane is anything but. It actually has quite a bit to say in its unique, sometimes indecisive voice. "How To With John Wilson" also serves as a quirky paean to both NYC and the unpredictable grind of life. A second season was recently announced and I can't wait for it.