TV has often been viewed as an inferior form of entertainment compared to film, but one network has dramatically helped alter this narrative more than any other in the past 25 years. HBO has always been willing to take risks, employ star actors, and provide a budget for showrunners that’s unrivaled in television. And while HBO gets the reputation for swaying toward more adult content, it has plenty of diversity in genres and content.
Comedy, drama, high fantasy, the zombie apocalypse, and the White House are all occupants of the network’s prestigious stories and characters. We’re here to celebrate all of the greatness that has taken place on the airwaves of HBO by ranking the top 10 HBO shows ever. Did your favorite HBO series make the list?
Deadwood isn’t for everyone. The dialogue is dense and filled with expletives (genital referring in particular.) The setting is as Western as it gets, and the story is based on a historical site that is little known outside of history books. Still, this series knows exactly what it’s trying to accomplish, and it does so with aplomb. Ian McShane gives a legendary performance as Al Swearengen, the pimp who runs the settlement of Deadwood by default. He also sports one of the best beards in TV history!
Comedian Larry David is an all-time performer due to the fact that he was able to find an almost equally successful follow-up to Seinfeld: Curb Your Enthusiasm. The show that premiered in 2000 is still going strong almost 25 years later with the same massive dose of self-referential humor and tremendous guest star acting. The series seems to always know exactly what jokes it’s trying to make, with writing that has gone unfortunately mostly unrecognized by the awards bodies.
Political satire is a subject that is easy to attempt, but nearly impossible to master. With Veep, HBO found a way to completely redefine what it means to be successful in the world of political humor. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Selina Meyer, the fictional Vice President and President of the United States. The show has a deep understanding of what makes the government a frequent laughingstock of the American people, and they aren’t afraid to poke holes into the powerful and the mighty.
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