October 3rd, 2011
12:50 PM ET
If we learned anything from last night’s premiere, it’s that the path to success will be littered with Neanderthals, a Japanese fetish dance performance and cigars laced with angel dust.
Yeah, I didn’t see much of this coming, but that made season 2's opener of "How to Make It in America" that much more memorable.
So, let’s catch up with Ben (Bryan Greenberg) and Cam (Victor Rusk):
The denim line they started in season 1, Crisp, is now a T-shirt brand, and it's a hit in Japan. Our great American heroes are over there buying hooded sweatshirts in bulk with hopes of selling them in some of New York City’s trendiest boutiques.
While Ben and Cam are big in Japan, the latter’s cousin Rene is big in the hood. The first Rasta Monsta poster is up and features Rene’s girlfriend, Debbie. Kind of. Turns out Debbie was told she’d be the face of Rasta Monsta, but instead Rene went with a photo-shopped picture of her bottom and she’s pissed.
Speaking of disappointment, Ben and Cam head over to Lulu D’s, where they’re expecting to have their new hoodies in a prominent display space. Except, there’s another T-shirt designing duo out who call themselves the Neanderthals.
Tim and Ivan, junkies turned fashion designers, are what’s hot. In 2011, the back story is sometimes just as important if not more so than the product itself, and our boys are having a hard time selling and promoting their own story.
In the meantime, they could a) ask a friend with a Roc Nation connection to get Jay-Z to show up, according to Kappo (Eddie Kaye Thomas), or b) get some Japanese dancers to do a whole fetish routine at a pop-up shop. They go with option B, courtesy of Domingo (Kid Cudi) who comes through with said dancers.
While everyone is running around prepping for the show, Rachel (Lake Bell) flies back in town under the radar with a fresh new set of bangs. She swings by Lulu D’s and seems very impressed by (and slightly attracted to) the idea of her ex-boyfriend being a hot designer on the come-up.
But their escalating success isn’t pretty. When Ben and Cam swing by East Village Radio to talk about Crisp, Ben seemingly melts down and tries to take the edge off later during sex with his new girlfriend, Julie (Margarita Levieva).
Rene’s still trying to ease the temper of his lady, popping up at her job with flowers and an invitation to cousin Cam’s pop-up shop. It's little moments like these that make you love this character and get excited for more of Luiz Guzman’s performance. Perhaps he could even land an Emmy for playing a flawed, middle-aged man on the comeback trail, and then he and “Entourage’s” Kevin Dillon can pop Rasta Monstas together.
When the event rolls around, everyone's at the pop-up shop but Ben and Cam. Before heading to the show, the two ran into the Neanderthals and tried to befriend them, but in the end Ben just ends up on the ride of his life after smoking a blunt of weed laced with angel dust.
He starts acting high while in transit, but not Dave Chappelle in “Half Baked" high - we’re talking Pookie from “New Jack City” high. Poor Cam is now chasing Ben through the subway tunnels, taking advice from junkies on how to revive his boy.
Meanwhile, we discover what Domingo does for a living: “Canines and Cannabis." Translation: He's a dog walker and marijuana pusher.
The party comes to a halt after one of Rene’s goons pulls a Plaxico and shoots himself, which I’m sure will inadvertently bring the buzz and street cred Crisp was dying to have. Ben and Cam show up having missed their whole event, but luckily they were able to catch the attention of a sales rep who wants to personally work with Crisp.
If this first episode is any indication, season 2 will be edgier and full of new faces. With that said, I’m looking forward to seeing this series grow, and they’re off to a damn good start.
What’d you guys think of the premiere?
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