Recently, The New Yorker described shows like Emily in Paris as "ambient TV" -- shows distracted viewers can half-watch while surfing the web on their phones. "You can ignore this content for long stretches and not miss much," says Miles Klee. "The trend, I realized, could help to explain why even in a year I’ve largely been stuck at home, I can’t give a sh*t about 99 percent of TV. Nothing had hooked me, and the shows I went deeper on eventually turned frustrating. That changed when I discovered HBO’s How To with John Wilson over Thanksgiving week. Premiering only a few weeks after Emily in Paris, you might initially mistake it for another low-investment proposition: a bare-bones title, quiet music, cinéma vérité aesthetic, no conventional cast besides our host, and Wilson’s voice has a meek or hesitant timbre, almost like he’s embarrassed to be taking up any space. (It will remind you of Nathan Fielder from the docu-comedy series Nathan for You, who happens to be an executive producer here.) But, very quickly — should you keep the phone out of reach — you discover that How To is not really like any TV you’ve experienced before. It is a fascinating record of New York City in the 21st century, of human behavior generally and how the mundane commingles with the profound. When I recommend the show to friends, I tell them to learn as little as possible about it beforehand and dive right in — it’s that immersive. Should you need further encouragement, however, I’ll add that How To’s most radical choice is to eliminate the slack for an audience’s unfocused, wandering gaze. You cannot take your eyes away for a second, lest you miss an incredible piece of footage spliced into the episode."