In the spring of 2013, HBO conducted a sly experiment on the “elite” TV-viewing public. It aired two new shows—both buddy dramas—back to back. Each was conceived as a short self-contained season, limited by design to a small number of episodes. Each had a single talented and idiosyncratic director for the entire season, and each dispensed with the writers’ room in favor of a unified authorial vision.
The week before it closes for good, High Bridge Arms feels both cluttered and bare. The rifles and shotguns that once lined a wall like ribs are gone, sold. So are the T-shirts (“SAN FRANCISCO’S LAST GUN SHOP”), which sold out within days [...]