There’s a reviving thing about the New York John Wilson possesses. In addition to other things, it appears as limitless as Wilson’s own interest.
Wilson, the host and chief maker of HBO’s series “How to With John Wilson,” returning for its second season Nov. 26, takes a man-with-a-camera way to deal with the city’s roads. Meandering aimlessly around and tending to the watcher in ceaselessly pleasant voiceover, Wilson tracks down odd juxtapositions and follows wandering continuous flows. While every scene starts with a basic and practical inquiry — how can one, say, securely discard batteries? — it closes having risen above and transformed the inquiry into an investigation into more excellent things.
To say this show is regarding being human would make it sound forbiddingly grave. To be sure, the finishes of scenes can feel — on occasion — slight in contrast with the thrillingly ludicrous excursions it takes to arrive. Maybe the show is unpretentiously needling our assumption that some enormous illustration will effectively report itself. In any case, there’s a certified interest at the core of “How to” concerning what we owe each other. In his missions to learn and see more, Wilson discloses his activities to the watcher in the second-individual, showing that “you” are gotten together with him at all times. What’s more, his work relies on his kindred New Yorkers, who will more often than not treat the eyewitness in their middle with altruistic glibness, as though they had recently been holding back to open up to somebody when he went along — regardless of whether about the aggravation of an unsettled separation or the merriment of having been permitted to keep an excised body part against medical clinic guidelines. (Regularly these accounts are passed on with Wilson’s own astute mind added in with the general mish-mash, as when the “most fortunate man on the planet” portrays his numerous encounters of being struck by lightning and getting by yet concedes, when asked, that his karma runs out when he wants to observe a parking space.)
In its expansiveness, receptiveness, and peculiarity, the show has a slight likeness to the late, mourned “Nathan for You,” what imparts inventive DNA to “How to.” (Nathan Fielder, the pioneering host of “Nathan for You,” is a chief maker here; like “Nathan for You,” this show is painstakingly molded, with a group of five journalists getting credit for scenes.) But there’s essentially more graciousness to Wilson’s methodology as host, treating his subjects not exclusively as vectors for great satire yet as objects of interest by their own doing. Furthermore, the setting helps, as well: Wilson is supported by a city whose unlovelier points go about as prompts for nothing going idea. The show’s first season finished with a scene about the disconnection and forlornness of the early COVID period, made even more articulated by how much the show had, to that point, relied upon the odd grating created by individuals sharing space. Presently, the city is back, after a style — various shots, of veil wearing people or divided hors d’oeuvre plates at shows Wilson joins in, gesture to the second without the show harping on the reality — and the show has gotten back to its rendition of full-scale New York, boiling with human energy and expected ways to take.
This adaptation of the city isn’t one we’ve much of the time seen on screen. In “How to,” Wilson wanders through stopping worker shows and reusing offices. His work is evidently thorough: A section including New York vehicles’ vanity plates feels as though it probably required hours or long stretches of meandering the roads. Be that as it may, at times, the world comes to him, and containers his universe a piece: When he momentarily experiences the cast of “Sex and the City” shooting in his area, it feels like there’s been an error in the grid. Carrie Bradshaw’s dreamlike jungle gym New York couldn’t really coincide with John Wilson’s.