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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

How to with John Wilson

Streaming on HBO Max / Film & TV

New York City is a subject so relentlessly written about, photographed, and filmed that it can feel impossible to make it seem new. It’s a testament to the sharp observational eye of John Wilson that his semi-satirical HBO docuseries, which launched its second season last week, has pointed its camera at the city’s most familiar corners and produced a portrait that’s as poignant as it is laugh-out-loud funny. Like a David Attenborough of the concrete jungle, Wilson brings an anthropological lens to everyday occurrences, such as splitting the check, small talk, and navigating scaffolding. The magic lies in the editing; Wilson juxtaposes footage of the city’s bizarre eco-system with his own narration, which is drier than a Bemelmans Bar martini. In the hands of Wilson (and executive producer Nathan Fielder, the comedian behind the TV series Nathan for You), daily banalities are given philosophical treatment. —Sarah Nechamkin

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