A Dollar and a Dream

American dreams take flight in the newest HBO series How to Make It in America. Made by the executive producers of the hit show Entourage, viewers follow the story of two friends and business partners, Ben Epstein (played by Bryan Greenberg) and Cam Calderon (played by Victor Rasuk), who try to make a name for themselves in the highly competitive New York fashion scene.

The 30-minute pilot episode, which premiered on Feb. 14, showed Epstein and Calderon going through many adventures quicker than a New York minute. The two characters work well together, balancing each other out in personality though identical in ambition. Epstein is a Fashion Institute of Technology dropout, who works a miserable job at the upscale department store, Barney’s. Calderon plays his polar opposite as the freelance businessman who tries to sell whatever falls into his hands. Epstein also plays the calm and laid-back individual who is in denial about reality, while Cam is the free-spirited go-getter who enjoys chasing success as much as he does achieving it.

The show’s unrealistic (yet somewhat reasonable) perspective on hard work wins over viewers with its outlandish scenarios.

The comedy-drama also depicts the lazy pursuit of success as a situation that many can relate to, especially in New York City.

Aside from Epstein and Calderon, the supporting actors fit their roles as rapper, Kid Cudi (real name Scott Mescudi) makes his acting debut as the popular Domingo, a well-connected hip-hop recording artist. Luis Guzman also co-stars as Calderon’s ex-convict cousin who introduces a new energy drink imported from the islands called “Rasta-Monsta.”

“Everybody has ideas, but nobody wants to put in the work” is a memorable line said by the rich father of Calderon’s friend that summarizes the mind-set of each character. Trying to find the shortcut to success through their individual street smarts and special connections, the cast of How To Make It in America possesses their own unique flavor that collectively makes for good television.

Overall, How To Make It in America is not meant to be an Entourage remake, but has the formula to gain a mass following: talented actors, humor, a New York setting and a gang of pals who try to redefine success without the hard work. Viewers will be glued to their television sets every Sunday night, anticipating what these guys will think of next to make it in the city of big dreams.