Home Box Office: The Best Shows on HBO
Founded by what would eventually become Time Warner, Home Box Office (HBO) started as a pipeline for unedited, commercial-free movies when it launched in 1972. It’s safe to say that HBO has evolved over the years. That evolution can be traced back to the 1980s, when the network began producing their own original series. And what a brilliant decision that would turn out to be.
Decades later, HBO is synonymous with top-shelf, serialized entertainment. Ground breaking ideas, A-list talent, captivating characters … HBO pioneered the TV-drama revolution. They set the bar (very high) for what audiences can expect from writers and actors. And we, for one, are grateful.
It was very difficult to whittle the HBO canon down to anything less than a top-100. And we are not about to list them in order of importance because, well … there’s never a right answer. All you need to know is that if there is a show on this list that you haven’t seen, you should probably cancel your weekend plans and get on it!
So, without further ado, FilthyRich presents the very best of HBO. Let’s go!
12. The Sopranos
It’s only fitting that we start this list with the show that started it all: The Sopranos. This legendary TV series follows mafia kingpin Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) as he struggles to strike a balance between his family life, his violent way of life, and his troubled past.
The show’s popularity inspired a surge of spiritual successors, many of which you’ll find on this list. Widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time, The Sopranos won countless awards and made millions of dollars. If you’ve never seen it, close your browser right now and turn on your television. You won’t regret it.
11. Game of Thrones
What can we say about Game of Thrones that hasn’t already been said? Game of Thrones is world building at its finest. Based on the epic George R.R. Martin series A Song of Ice and Fire, it is a fantastical journey of magic, war, sex, and intrigue.
The characters are authentic and diverse. The scale of the world is unparalleled. The various twists and turns are heartbreaking, shocking, and raw. It transcends television, with marvelous set pieces and a seemingly limitless budget. We mean, there’s a reason that everyone and your mother is talking about it come Monday morning.
10. The Wire
The hits just keep coming. The Wire acts as a walking tour of Baltimore, Maryland’s dark criminal underworld. On the left, an underfunded, hand-cuffed police department tasked with cleaning up the streets. On the right, gangs, drugs, and deadly weapons.
Through five dense seasons, The Wire deconstructs the various ways in which our society’s institutions are designed to keep the poor, poor, the rich, rich, and the guns and drugs abundant. It’s charming, funny, gripping, raw, and incredibly frustrating all at the same time.