BY PAUL SCHRODT
Zeroing in on what to watch when you’re high often means pushing your non-stoned mind out of the way. All the plot machinations of Game of Thrones? Too much of an ask. Anything truly tragic? Please, no. Cannabis, however, allows you to tap into the smaller details you might’ve otherwise glossed over in seemingly more routine TV programming, from the perfect punchline delivery in a comedy to a red herring in a mystery. Here are six top stoner TV series to try, or revisit, ASAP. Trust us: these small screen gems will provide even more satisfaction with cannabis.
The Great British Baking Show
No one wants a bummer of reality show when they’re in the throes of a great high. The Great British Baking Show (originally known as The Great British Bake Off in its native U.K.), rebranded for the Netflix streaming audience, is the exact opposite of shouting-at-line-cooks competitions. Each season follows amateur bakers brimming with hope as they meticulously assemble gorgeous cakes and pastries. There’s only one winner, but you feel the love of each craftsperson toiling under the now-iconic tent coming off the screen. Any season with judge Mary Berry (yes, that’s her real name) is like tucking into a pillowy eclair.
Seinfeld needs no introduction, of course...unless you’ve never watched it high. The so-called “show about nothing” that now lives on Hulu heightens the minor injustices and awkwardness of living in Manhattan until they become uproarious, and nothing makes them more hilarious than a bit of THC in the bloodstream. Suddenly, a quest for a chocolate babka takes on the dimensions of ancient drama, until it all gets punctured. The circular quality of the episodes, which seem to always tie together something set up at the beginning with an impossibly clever punchline, hits those high-pleasure buttons. Just be sure to skip the stilted first season.
Strangers with Candy
The weirdo improv brigade of Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, and Paul Dinello brought their unique flavor of debauchery to Comedy Central’s Strangers with Candy. Long before they were so famous, this trifecta of stars gave us three brief, genius seasons that twisted the typical moralistic after-school special into something subversive and mischievous. Jerri Blank (Sedaris) is a 46-year-old cretin who goes back to high school with plans to redeem herself, only to fall into the same destructive routines. The show never fails to show us how ugly she really is (inside and out), and yet we’re drawn to her, especially with a weed’s power to induce empathy. The Comedy Central app has made this bizarre gem of a series easier than ever to watch.
Warning: Wonder Showzen is not for everyone. It’s not even for most people. But it is diabolically hilarious. The creators of the MTV2 show, which parodies Sesame Street-style kids’ entertainment, took a sledgehammer to childhood innocence, and paved the way for the likes of Tim and Eric Awesome Show,Great Job! with its public access-level production values and out-there gags. If you delight in the outrageous and subversive, buy this series’ all-too-brief two seasons on Amazon.
Hour-long drama can be exhausting when you’re just trying to enjoy the rush of THC. But Mr. Robot, especially the mind-scrambling first season, is a puzzle you want to solve. So much is left intentionally unclear at the outset of this cyber story about a young hacker (a phenomenal Rami Malek) who’s lured into an attempt to overthrow the global economic system. Teasing the answers is part of the fun; so is gazing at the moody, gray-hued visuals. The current three seasons are streaming on Amazon Prime.
Yes, it’s a cliche, but for good reason. Not yet familiar with one of the finest stoner-friendly television shows around? Our Planet is Netflix’s new series from the team that pulled off the Planet Earthfranchise, and it puts us closer to the wonder of the natural world than we’ve ever been sitting on a couch. The jaw-dropping footage of animals in their natural, breathtaking surroundings, shot in uncannily crisp high definition, will have you recontextualizing your own life amid these lush surroundings.That’sa high thought worth chasing.