The story is simple: Two "hustler" types named Ben and Cam try to "make it" in NYC by illegally selling pleather jackets on the street, making illegal denim fabric deals down at "the docks" (they're going to make their own jeans?) and hopping from media/art industry party to party, trying to sell their ingenious business ideas (one of which is a restaurant called "Build-a-Nut," described as a "Cold Stone for donuts") to potential investors who rightly laugh in their face.
They also for some indecipherable reason know every charming New York child in town, from a Jewish eight-year-old who gives Cam a ride on the back of his bike after a one-night-stand (with an of-age woman, not the kid) in the opening scene, to one of those candy-selling subway kids who trades quips with them as they ride over to "the docks." The whole thing is a little boring, and pretty humorless, but like the jackasses in Entourage, people like this do actually exist in this town (except for the odd knowing-all-those-kids part), which is the sole saving grace of the show.
They're caricatures, but there is a truth to Ben and Cam. The show mercilessly mocks these guys (and there are thousands of them) who've just taken every Jay-Z song far too literally and tried and failed to apply them to their lives instead of getting real jobs. The guys they went to high school with who did get real jobs? That's who they borrow money from, as well as the guys they went to high school with who became real criminals, not just illegal street vendors. Ben and Cam are struggling to walk this line of do-right and self-destructiveness because they're not very smart, they're not actually very ambitious (despite all their talk) and they're extremely immature. And, of course, the "hustla life" is gangsta, and they want it. It's not brilliantly done on the part of the show, or even particularly original, but there is something effective about it all the same.
Aside from Ben and Cam the cast is a little schizophrenic, with Shannyn Sossamon -- who is somehow even more gorgeous now than she was almost a decade ago, though still just as terrible an actress -- Lake Bell (yawn) as the lost love of Ben's life, the always hilarious Luis Guzman as Cam's fresh-out-of-jail cousin and an awesome cameo from The Wire's ill-fated Ziggy Sobotka as a fellow hustler, which is about the only thing in the world that could make me watch this show on a regular basis. Oh, but if you're tuning in just because Kid Cudi's involvement in it has gotten a little bit of fanfare, he's sadly not in the premiere very much. He may very well play a larger part later on in the season, but I wouldn't sit through 28 minutes just to see his 20 seconds of screentime in the premiere if I were you.
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