HBO is hands down one of the most sought after television networks out there, with a cult following of its own. Its original programming is lauded by industry experts and audiences alike for being daring, thought-provoking, and genuinely entertaining. To help you get the most out of your HBO subscription, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best shows HBO has to offer, available across their various platforms including HBO Max, HBO Now, and HBO Go.
1. Game of Thrones
No conversation about HBO shows can start without mentioning Game of Thrones. Based on George R.R. Martin’s seminal book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” the fantasy epic quickly became the biggest phenomenon on television, propelling the careers of its ensemble cast and winning countless Emmys in the process. With the show’s exploration of themes such as power, politics, war, and beauty, it’s no surprise that it will be remembered for a long time to come.
2. The Sopranos
The godfather of modern television, The Sopranos follows the life of Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), a New Jersey mob boss trying to balance his personal and professional life while dealing with mental health issues. The Sopranos set the bar high for all subsequent dramas and put HBO on the map as a serious player in the premium TV game.
Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s mind-bending sci-fi series is an absolute must-watch for fans of puzzle-like narratives, complex character arcs, and immersive world-building. Set in a highly advanced Wild West theme park where guests can live out their wildest fantasies with lifelike robots, Westworld challenges viewers to question their own morality and understanding of humanity in the face of technological advancement.
One of the most recent HBO hits, Chernobyl tells the harrowing story of the 1986 nuclear disaster that rocked the Soviet Union (now Ukraine) and reverberated around the world. The show is a hard and often uncomfortable watch, but its commitment to historical detail and emotional resonance make it one of the most valuable TV events of recent years.
5. The Wire
Often referred to as the “best TV show of all time,” The Wire is a decades-spanning examination of the drug trade, law enforcement, politics, and urban decay in Baltimore, Maryland. Its sprawling ensemble cast is virtually unparalleled in television history, and its willingness to shed light on the grey areas of both sides of the law makes it a must-watch for anyone interested in the complexities of modern society.
For those more interested in comedy, Veep is a political satire that takes a razor-sharp wit to D.C. politics with belly-aching results. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the perfect leading lady in this show, which is filled with sarcastic comebacks, biting criticism of politics, and just the right amount of absurdity to lighten the mood of a highly serious and politically charged show.
7. Six Feet Under
Another classic from HBO’s early days, Alan Ball’s Six Feet Under is a family drama centered around a Los Angeles funeral home and the Fisher family that operates it. The show’s introspective writing, impactful performances, and eclectic mix of themes make it an unforgettable experience.
A recent addition to the roster, Euphoria pulls no punches when it comes to exploring the lives of modern teens and the massive, often insurmountable challenges they face. Starring Zendaya as a young woman struggling with addiction, mental illness, and social anxiety, Euphoria can be a tough watch, but is one of the most accomplished examinations of Generation Z we have seen in a long time.
9. Curb Your Enthusiasm
From the mind of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm satirizes the minute details of everyday life in a way that is both hilarious and often brutally honest. David uses his own experiences as fodder for the show’s jokes, creating a uniquely relatable experience for anyone who has ever found themselves in an awkward or embarrassing situation.
Damon Lindelof’s adaptation of the seminal graphic novel Watchmen picks up several decades after the events of the graphic novel, presenting a world where superheroes have become outlaws and a new vigilante seeks to expose a vast conspiracy. Combining powerful social commentary, hard-hitting action, and a stellar cast, Watchmen is the kind of show that leaves audiences talking for days.
1. How can I access HBO shows?
You can access HBO shows through HBO Max, HBO Now, or HBO Go. All three services offer access to HBO’s original programming, premium movies, and a variety of content from partner networks.
2. Which HBO show should I start with?
If you’re looking for an easy introduction to the world of HBO, we’d suggest starting with something like Veep or Curb Your Enthusiasm, which are both comedy-focused and easy to digest. If you’re looking for something more hard-hitting, consider shows like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, or The Wire.
3. Are there any upcoming HBO shows to watch out for?
HBO has several exciting shows slated for release over the next few months, including limited series The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, and the drama series Lovecraft Country, from Misha Green and Jordan Peele.
1. Budget your time: With so many great shows to watch, it can be easy to fall into the rabbit hole of binge-watching. Make sure to budget your time and avoid burnout by taking breaks between episodes.
2. Try something new: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try shows that aren’t typically your go-to. There’s a reason HBO is known for its groundbreaking programming.
3. Take advantage of HBO’s additional content: Beyond original programming, HBO also offers a vast array of documentaries, comedy specials, and movies that can expand your media diet and offer you a break from one single genre or type of show.
In summary, if you’re looking for premium TV programming you can’t go wrong with HBO. With great content that spans multiple genres and decades, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Remember to budget your time, try something new, and take advantage of HBO’s vast catalog to ensure you get the most out of your subscription.