Local News

“Makin’ Friends With Ryan Miller” launches second season featuring “high-functioning weirdos” from around the state

Vermont PBS’ web-original series, “Makin’ Friends With Ryan Miller,” announces Season Two on vermontpbs.org.

The series, which launched its first season in May, shadows Miller, a noted film composer and lead singer of the band Guster, in his quest to make friends in his newly adopted home of Vermont. After relocating from New York City three years ago, Miller found himself missing his group of affectionately termed “high-functioning weirdo” friends. In the online series, Miller hits the road (mostly back roads) to meet some of Vermont’s vibrantly creative and entrepreneurial folk.

With boundless curiosity and an irreverent sense of humor, Miller introduces us to some gifted and creative Vermonters whom viewers might not ordinarily meet.

Five new episodes have begun to roll out over successive weeks, which began Oct. 29.

Season two features hot air balloon pioneer Brian Boland of Post Mills; professional wild edible gatherers Nova Kim and Les Hook of Fairlee; Rob Mermin, founder of the internationally acclaimed, Circus Smirkus, in Greensboro; multi-talented Panton homesteaders and artists Eben Markowski and Heidi Mahoney; and Burlington’s Paul Budnitz, the visionary entrepreneur behind Kidrobot, Budnitz Bicycles and the social platform Ello.

Season one is also viewable online. Its four episodes feature: Jaimie Mantzel of So. Royalton, inventor of Attacknid toys and the Giant Robot Project, along with other home-grown endeavors; Bruce Duncan and Bina48 of the Terasem Movement Foundation in Lincoln, Vt., which is working on a futuristic project to create computerized “conscious analogs” of real human beings; design automation wizard, prolific patent holder and IBM Fellow John Cohn of Jonesville, Vt.; and noted architect David Sellers, forward-thinking designer and builder of the Archie Bunker, a concrete house in Warren, Vt.

Guster fans, Ryan Miller followers, and anyone with a curiosity about visionary and unconventional trendsetters will enjoy these short, creative and humor-tinged profiles.

“Makin’ Friends With Ryan Miller” is produced by Hilary Hess of Vermont PBS in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios as part of a nationwide initiative to expand PBS’ national and local online presence, and to better connect with an online audience

Watch the series at vermontpbs.org/makinfriends.

Photo courtesy of Vermont PBS

Ryan Miller makes friends with wild edible gatherers Nova Kim and Les Hook of Fairlee.

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