Review: The 'High Maintenance' Lighter Episode

The highly underrated HBO series High Maintenance is currently in its fourth season. Starring Ben Sinclair as a pot dealer who traverses the streets of Brooklyn on bicycle, each episode has a completely new storyline and characters. The latest episode, "Backflash," about the life of a lighter, is pure genius.

Spoiler Alert

It starts with two sisters cleaning out the family house after their mother dies. One of them finds an old lighter, which sparks memories of its first use. The lighter gets inadvertantly passed around like a joint. It ends up in someone's drawer for awhile. The camera view inside the drawer shows how many times it's opened and closed and the lighter is jostled around and finally taken. 

An aunt and her niece are the next recipients of the lighter. The girl gives it a new coat of paint. It's so cool-looking now that a street vendor (photo above) who asks for a light stares at it and exclaims, "This is tight!"

Finally, a man sits in an outdoor plaza listening to a female friend playing guitar and raises the lighter skyward, like at concert, and clicks it on. The light eventually goes out. No fluid is left in this very popular disposable lighter. Its life has finally been extinguished.

That's High Maintenance, a terrific show that captures the minatue of stoner living.

FYI: If you have problems holding onto your lighter, there's always the Lighter Leash.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.