How to Make It in America
2 Seasons | 16 Episodes | TV-MA
In the bohemian subculture of downtown NYC, two friends plot to achieve the American Dream...on their own terms. Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk star in this HBO comedy series that focuses on aspiring designer Ben and his free-spirited best friend Cam--a would-be future mogul committed to getting Ben back in the game after a bad breakup.
<div class='episode-body-left-aligned' style='text-align: left'><p><b>Written by</b> Ian Edelman & Rob Weiss<br /><b>Directed by</b> Julian Farino</p><p>Ben and Cam take in the scene in Tokyo, where their t-shirts have been blowing up. They buy up as many soft hooded sweatshirts as they can carry and sneak them back through customs in New York City. Lulu D reneges on her offer to place the new Crisp sweatshirts in her boutique's storefront, as she's promised the space to two gritty designers who call themselves the Neanderthals. Trying to give their brand a unique edge, Ben and Cam plan a Japanese-style fetish themed pop-up shop with Kappo and Domingo's help. On the day of the shop, they invite the Neanderthals, and Ben shares a blunt with them. When the train back to Manhattan stops in its tracks, a stoned Ben freaks out and climbs out the back of the subway car. At the shop, Rachel makes her return from Africa and meets Julie, Ben's new girlfriend. Rene brings his new girlfriend Debbie to the event, where he's set up a presence for his burgeoning Rasta Monsta business. One of Rene's men brings a gun, which he accidentally discharges into his own leg. When Ben and Cam finally arrive, the shop's been shut down. A sales rep named Andy Sussman comes by and introduces himself to them. Kappo reveals that they've sold 55 sweatshirts - it's a start.<a></a></p></div>
In or Out
<div class='episode-body-left-aligned' style='text-align: left'><p><p><b>Written by</b> Jill Soloway<br /><b>Directed by</b> Julian Farino</p></p><p>Ben and Cam meet with the sales rep Andy Sussman at his office in the garment district. He doesn't have much experience in the downtown scene, but he promises to work hard for Crisp. Reluctantly, Ben and Cam leave him their samples.</p><p>Rene strong-arms Kevin, a deadbeat ad exec who owes him money. He wants Kevin's company to pitch him a marketing campaign to expand Rasta Monsta's reach to the suburbs. The agency tells Rene that the key to that market is to sponsor an extreme athlete whose stunt videos will go viral. Rene's unhappy with the high price of sponsoring a high-performance athlete, but has another idea instead. He tracks down Wilfredo Gomez, a neighborhood skateboarder who burned out, and convinces him to represent the brand.</p><p>Rachel interviews for a position at <i>Biscuit</i> magazine, meeting a fierce potential boss. Stressed out when she gets the job, she calls Domingo to come over with the wares from his Canines and Cannabis business. They spend the day together w<a></a>alking dogs in a shared high. As they part ways, Rachel kisses him quickly.</p><p>Lulu tells Cam about another sales rep, the legendary Nancy Frankenburg, who has ties to Barneys. Ben retrieves the samples from Andy to give to Nancy, and the young rep is upset. At brunch at Nancy's fancy West Village apartment, Ben makes a good impression, which he ruins by trying to show her his samples. When she catches Ben and Cam play-fighting in her son's bedroom, she asks them to leave.</p><p>Ben realizes he left the samples there and goes back to retrieve them the next day. Before leaving, he makes it clear that he wants to be in business with her.</p></div>
Money, Power, Private School
<div class='episode-body-left-aligned' style='text-align: left'><p><b>Written by</b> Vince Calandra<br><b style="font-size: 0.8125rem;">Directed by</b> Julian Farino</p><p>Sitting at a café with Ben, Julie seems distant as Ben shares the news that he just secured a meeting with Nancy Frankenburg. While waiting for the subway, she asks Ben where their relationship is going, and he tells her not to wait for him. Later, Rachel gives Ben a Louis Vuitton trunk she found at a Paris flea market. Though he's grateful, Ben makes it very clear that he'd like to remain platonic friends, but nothing more.</p><p>Cam has lunch at Lulu's and makes a good impression on her father Felix, a famous artist. Felix shares with him the importance of a good stove, and Cam decides he needs to make more money. After making a lucrative drop-off with a wealthy housewife on the Upper East Side, Cam asks Domingo if he can step out on his own. Though he hasn't made much yet, he finally achieves his dream of getting his own place with a view of the river, even if it's in the projects.</p><p>Rachel, stressed out after Ben makes his feelings towards her clear, calls up Domingo to drop off some weed. After sampling the goods together, they make out in the elevator and go back to her apartment. They wake up the next morning, and though Rachel is awkward at first, she quickly warms up to Domingo.</p><p>Rene plans the Rasta Monsta viral stunt with Wilfredo skating through fire. Debbie's impressed with all Rene's done and invites her daughter, Nilda, to the event. When the moment comes, a well-dressed protestor interrupts the stunt, calling it "a minstrel show." Wilfredo goes after him, brandishing a flaming shirt, and the ramp catches fire. The entire mishap is caught on film. Rene, depressed that the stunt is a failure, goes back to the Rasta Monsta Escalade where he discovers Wilfredo and Nilda fooling around in the back seat. He agrees not to tell her mom, and the next morning, Nilda is especially helpful at breakfast.</p><p>Ben and Cam meet with Nancy, who wants them to design a graduation shirt for her son's middle school, for free. Cam's reluctant, but Ben agrees to turn around something quickly, to get in with Nancy. When Crisp meets with the school's design committee - two hyper-fashionable 13-year-olds named Louis and Tavi -<a></a> they're not taken with Ben's design. Leaving the school, Cam has a flash of inspiration. The new design, emblazoned with the slogan "Rich Kids Run Ish," is a hit. Nancy likes what she sees, in the work and its designer, and tells Crisp she'll have something for them next week.</p></div>
It's Not Even Like That
<div class='episode-body-left-aligned' style='text-align: left'><P><B>Written by</B> Seth Zvi Rosenfeld<BR><B>Directed by</B> Julian Farino</P><P>After waking up after another night with Rachel, Domingo meets with Cam and Kappo to show them his new THC spray. He casually asks what they would think about him going out with Rachel, and Cam picks up that something's already happened between them. Cam advises Dom that if he's at all interested in Rachel, he should make sure Ben is cool with it first.</P><P>Ben has lunch with Nancy, who shares plans for Crisp to meet with a buyer the next week. She's unimpressed with the lookbook Ben shows her and suggests they make a new one. Ben asks Cam what he thinks about Domingo modeling, and he's hesitant to say yes. Later, Dom asks Ben if it would be all right if he dated Rachel, and Ben is clearly uncomfortable with the idea, saying that Dom isn't career-minded enough for her.</P><P>Cam asks Lulu if Crisp can shoot their new lookbook at her dad's place. She tells him to ask Felix himself, and when Cam sits down him, the famous artist wants to wrestle him for it. Cam wins the right to use Felix's place, and later that night, his daughter's affections.</P><P>Rene finds out that the Rasta Monsta video with Wilfredo is starting to go viral, and Vert, a chain of New England skateboard stores, wants to stock it. The bottling plant can't fill the order, and they need to come up with cash to produce more. Rene and his men shake down the son of a local Korean convenience store owner who owes them money, but he doesn't have it. Rene tries to give Debbie fake diamonds, so he can sell the real ones he gave her, but she's wise to it and throws him out. Stepping up the muscle, they get the money from the Korean instead.</P><P>Ben and Rachel go together to a high school friend's wedding. At the reception, a nervous Kappo tosses aside his prepared remarks and gives a toast from the heart instead. Ben and Rachel are touched by his words, but when he drops her off at the apartment, she reveals that she's been seeing Domingo. In the car, Kappo tells Ben that's he's going to be investigated by the SEC. Ben assures him that they'll remain friends, no matter what.</P><P>The next day before the shoot, Ben confronts Dom about Rachel, and the model storms off. Ben and Cam improvise and shoot with Felix instead. It looks good.<A></A></P></div>
<div class='episode-body-left-aligned' style='text-align: left'><p><b>Written by</b> Arty Nelson & Donal Lardner Ward<br /><b>Directed by</b> Miguel Arteta</p><p>Ben and Cam wait for Nancy at a Neanderthals event and remind her to set up an appointment to show their new lookbook to the buyer from LA. The LA buyer leaves town before the meeting, but Ben and Cam overhear that a Midwest store named Gadzooks isn't as into the Neanderthals as their buyers were - two hard-partying girls named Kirsten and Christin. They suggest using Crisp to fill the order instead, but Nancy doesn't think they're ready for that kind of scale.</p><p>Domingo has breakfast with Cam and shows him the Rasta Monsta brand spray marijuana he's developed. Cam tells him to shut it down or Rene will kill them both. Rasta Monsta is making inroads in the suburbs, and though business is booming, Rene is distracted by the cold treatment he's been getting from Debbie. When he goes to apologize to her, she tells him she's more concerned about her daughter Nilda, who's been hanging with the wrong crowd and not coming home at night. Rene finds Nilda in the West Village, and she confides in him that that she's gay. They share a connection, and Rene brings her back to Debbie.</p><p>Rachel is bored at work and has seen her spark with Domingo fade, partly because Ben now knows about the relationship. Lulu takes her to a party in Bushwick, where she meets one of the Neanderthals, Tim. Tim shares with her vegetables from his urban garden and his motto, "DIY or die." When Lulu leaves, Rachel joins a parade of hipsters biking through the streets of Brooklyn. She feels alive.</p><p>Ben, Cam and Kappo take Kirsten and Christin out to the Jane hotel, where the girls have a wild time. They spend the night unsuccessfully trying to get the Midwestern buyers to look at the Crisp lookbook. Domingo comes by to apologize to Ben, who reluctantly accepts. And when the girls see Domingo's friend wearing a Crisp sweatshirt, they love it and want to place an order on the spot.</p><p>The girls call Nancy, who joins the group for drinks, but she isn't happy with the boys for ignoring her advice. She picks up the check when Kappo's card is declined but opts not to join the crew back at the hotel room. Ben stays behind in the cab with Nancy, and she brings him back to her apartment.</p></div>
I'm Sorry, Who's Yosi?
<div class='episode-body-left-aligned' style='text-align: left'><p><b>Written by</b> Ariel Schrag<br /><b>Directed by</b> Simon Cellan Jones</p><p>The aftermath of the night before: Ben wakes up with Nancy, Rachel with a bike in her room, and the buyers Kirsten and Christen extremely hungover. At Nancy's office, the girls announce they want to place an order of 5500 Crisp sweatshirts for their store Gadzooks. They suggest using Nancy's husband Yosi as the manufacturer. Cam is shocked at the size of the order; Ben is shocked that Nancy's married.</p><p>Ben and Cam meet with Yosi, who turns out to be a rough Israeli who loves Crisp. He wants to front all of the production costs of their Gadzooks order and split the profits 50-50. Crisp stands to take in roughly $250,000. He gives them each a $10,000 advance as they decide and invites them to a birthday party on his yacht. Ben and Cam review Yosi's contract with Kapo. After Kapo gives the deal his blessing, two FBI agents enter the room and take him in for questioning.</p><p>At Rachel's office, she pitches a story about the New York Neanderthals, but her boss isn't interested in it. Instead, Rachel's assigned to write 500 words about a local caterer. She decides to go out to Bushwick to profile Tim anyway. Later that night, she shows Domingo the tattoo she got with Tim, and asks if he thinks Ben would be upset about her hanging out with his rival. Domingo asks Rachel if everything she does is centered around Ben.</p><p>Rene's been getting phone calls and other threats from Everton Thompson of the East Flatbush Caribbean League, the man who interrupted Wilfredo's stunt, because of what he calls "the insensitivity to the Caribbean community Rasta Monsta demonstrates with each sale." After Thompson exerts pressure to keep Wilfredo out of a Vert skating event, Rene organizes a sit-down. Everton suggests they donate an Escalade and 10 percent of their profits to his organization. When Rene gets up to leave, Everton shows him the Rasta Monsta weed spray that Domingo has been selling and threatens to call his parole officer.</p><p>Ben comes clean about Nancy to Cam, who makes him swear he'll break it off. When Ben meets with Nancy they agree it was a one-time thing never to happen again. At Yosi's birthday party on his yacht, Ben and Cam deliver the signed contract. Later Cam and Yosi toast to Crisp's success and look for Ben, who's in the engine room having sex with Nancy.</p></div>
<div class='episode-body-left-aligned' style='text-align: left'><P><B>Written by</B> Jill Soloway<BR><B>Directed by</B> Danny Leiner</P><P>Ben and Cam meet with Yosi in a raw warehouse space. He's already spoken to another store about filling another order-twice the size of Gadzooks. The guys are excited, until Yosi delivers the catch: He wants them to license Crisp to him and work for him at "Crisp by Yosi." Shocked, they agree to think it over, but Yosi warns them that if they say no, it's a deal-breaker for their order with Gadzooks.</P><P>Ben goes to complain to Nancy about Yosi's bait and switch, but she actually thinks it's a good idea. She pushes Ben to accept the offer and not let Cam influence his decision. Ben's conflicted about the whole thing, but not enough to keep from having sex with Nancy at the office.</P><P>Rene gets a call from Scott at Vert. He's ready to place an order with Rasta Monsta for all 35 stores, but before he does, he needs to make sure that Rasta Monsta isn't a front for weed spray.</P><P>Kappo prepares to go off to medium-security prison. He asks Cam to set him up with Rene and give him advice about handling life behind bars. When they meet, Rene and his men scare him, telling him he's going to be very popular. When Kappo calms himself with Domingo's weed spray, Rene demands to know where he got it, and Kappo blows Cam's cover. Rene goes over to Cam's place, but he's nowhere to be found. Returning home, Rene finds Debbie waiting for him. She reveals that she's pregnant.</P><P>Rachel meets with her boss after delivering the Neanderthal story which she had been told to kill. With a smile on her face, Robin tells Rachel to meet with the legal department. She's been fired. Depressed, she goes over to Tim's with the article, and he suggests they do mushrooms together. They wander the streets, tripping, and end up at a local wet sauna. Tim's girlfriend finds them there, yells at Tim and pushes Rachel to the ground. Still wet from the shvitz and high from the 'shrooms, Rachel samples the soup at a local bodega and gets yelled at by the cashier.</P><P>Cam confronts Domingo about selling the Rasta Monsta spray. Dom has produced an entire closet full of it and needs to unload it away from Rene. Cam suggests selling the whole lot to a friend at UMASS, then using the profits to pull off the Gadzooks order without Yosi's help. As they prepare to drive up to Massachusetts, the Rasta Monsta Escalade is rear-ended by men from Everton's East Flatbush Caribbean League. They hi-jack the goods at gunpoint and tell them Rene can get it back from Everton himself.</P><P>Cam tells Ben he didn't get the money they need to fill the Gadzooks order themselves. Ben tries to sell him on licensing the brand to Yosi, saying he'd rather have half of something than all of nothing. Cam doesn't want to work for anyone but himself. He tells Ben to do whatever he wants with Nancy and Yosi, just to leave Crisp out of it. Later, Ben gets a call from Kirsten and Christen. He realizes that Nancy had masterminded the entire thing in order to get them to sell the brand to Yosi.</P></div>
What's in a Name?
<div class='episode-body-left-aligned' style='text-align: left'><p><b>Written by</b> Ian Eldelman <br /><b>Directed by</b> Simon Cellan-Jones</p><p>Ben takes a meeting with Yosi, who doesn't mind Cam's absence. He asks Ben to create the logo for Crisp by Yosi overnight and has some design ideas that include old an English font and a serpent. Ben agrees to do it, well aware of what he's signed up for.</p><p>Meanwhile, Cam meets with an angry Rene. Cam tells his cousin about Everton hijacking the weed spray but says he can fix everything. Rene screams at him, "You can't fix sh*t." Desperate to prove himself, Cam has Domingo take him over to the East Flatbush Caribbean League to meet with Everton. Everton pulls a gun on them and asks for a good reason not to use it. Cam says he can get them $20,000 the next day if he gives back the weed spray.</p><p>Rachel meets with her old boss, Edie. As soon as she sees the interior decorator, she breaks down crying. Rachel asks for her old job back, but it's already been filled. Instead, Edie tells her to go out there and find her passion. Later at Rachel's apartment, Tim from the Neanderthals comes by to apologize for how their last meeting ended, and for Rachel losing her job because of the article she wrote about them. He compliments her on making the Neanderthals sound important and offers her a job to work as the Neanderthals' publicist as they continue to blow up. She accepts.</p><p>Ben gets advice from Kappo, who's preparing to go off to jail for 53 days. He tells him that making money isn't as important as the people you do business with, and asks Ben to invite hot girls to his going-away party. Ben walks by a nearby Barney's, which has a giant Neanderthals display in the window. Tim sees him, and addressing Ben as Cam, asks how "Crunch" is going.</p><p>Ben returns to Yosi's office and bonds with the tailor Enzo over Yosi's clueless demands. They spend all night working together, and in the morning Ben shows Yosi the logo. Yosi is annoyed when he sees that Ben has changed the name to Crunch by Yosi. He offers Ben all $200,000 of his advance to solidify their business relationship. Ben turns it down, and a miffed Yosi accuses Ben of taking something from him right under his nose. Panicked, Ben admits to sleeping with Nancy, but Yosi had been talking about Ben working with Enzo. Now he wants to talk about Nancy. Yosi tells Ben to leave, but not before punching him in the face.</p><p>After getting caught in a lie about visiting a Rasta Monsta plant in Atlanta, Rene tells Debbie that he has to take care of some unpleasant business. Rene and his men break into Everton's house and kidnap a man out of Everton's bed. He's shocked to find that the man isn't Everton but his assistant Malik, who'd been waiting for him in bed. They call Everton, who's driving Cam, Domingo and the weed spray up to Massachusetts. They meet up in New York and Everton agrees to trade Malik for the drugs. He also promises not to make any more trouble for Rasta Monsta's Vert order, so long as Rene keeps his mouth shut about where they found Malik.</p><p>Ben confronts Nancy about her elaborate plan to get Crisp to work for Yosi. She cops to it<a></a> but tells Ben that maybe his future isn't in fashion. She showed Crisp to some important buyers, and they said it was "unevolved, juvenile, and unfocused." Ben doesn't seem to care about her opinion.</p></div>