Season one of the HBO comedy docudrama How To With John Wilson ends on November 27 and its creator, the titular New York-based filmmaker, refuses to let either the COVID-19 pandemic or the lack of a confirmation of a second season prevent him from filming more content for the show, according to a recent interview with Mic. Wilson (Escape From Park City) told Mic that the finale was actually shot during lockdown. TV Line describes the story of the finale as Wilson’s “attempt to make… risotto” as a way of expressing his gratitude to his landlady. Allison Shoemaker, writing for The A.V. Club, calls “How to Make the Perfect Risotto” the program’s “best episode by far.” The show’s official Twitter account posted a brief teaser, which you can watch below.
— How To with John Wilson (@howtojohnwilson) November 27, 2020
Wilson’s HBO series is an extension of a set of short films he directed a few years ago, which similarly used the loose format of a tutorial as a jumping-off point for what he referred to in a VCR Party Live! interview as “street safari stuff.” As he explained to Newsday, “the tutorial is something that everyone’s familiar with, so [as a viewer] you think you know what you’re getting yourself into.”
According to his conversation on VCR Party Live!, it used to take about a year for Wilson to put together a ten-minute video. He told Mic that he has not taken a break from filming, even as season one of How To has been airing: “I never stopped filming, even though we’re formally wrapped and I haven’t been green-lit for a season two yet. I still film every single day. That’s just my resting state. And now I have a whole new list of episodes that I’ve just been shooting, even though I don’t have permission to yet. I just don’t want there to be any gaps in the timeline.”
Wilson revealed to Newsday that a meeting to discuss a potential second season will take place on November 30. He explained to Newsday why he still endeavors to collect new footage amid New York City’s pandemic panic: “I want to keep doing this for as long as I can. I was upset we needed to stop production right when the pandemic began because New York is more visually interesting now than it has been my entire life… My worst fear is that all of this stuff is going to disappear and no one will have documented it properly. That’s what drives me to film– this fear of forgetting, or these kinds of precious things disappearing forever and there being no record of it.”
The season one finale of How To With John Wilson, “How to Make the Perfect Risotto,” premieres on November 27 on HBO at 11 P.M. Eastern.