When cable television arrived in the United States in 1975, the only channel available was HBO ( Home Box Office ). They aired their first film, The Terry Fox (1983), and their first series, Phillip Marlowe, Private Eye, in that same year. Since then he has produced multiple audiovisual proposals that do not disappoint. This television system, which has reinvented itself in the last couple of years, will soon be celebrating its 49th anniversary. For this reason, Infobae has chosen 11 of the most successful classics in the history of HBO.
11. Watchmen (2019)
This production changed the television landscape in late 2019. By combining the talents of Damon Lindelof and Regina King, expectations were high for the miniseries. And Watchmen overcame them. By skewing conversations about race and the LGBTQ + community, the television adaptation of the graphic novel overshadowed the fanfare of the first film and left viewers wanting more. In an unusual move, Lindelof retired, leaving us with just one iconic season, but what a great season.
Based on the celebrated graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the gripping and dark Watchmen takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 34 years after the original story. Following a white supremacist attack on the local police department, which leaves only two survivors in the round, laws are passed allowing police officers to hide their identities behind masks. One of these agents, Angela Abar, adopts the identity of Sister Night and fights against racists while dealing with the decades-long legacy of the vigilantes.
10. Deadwood (2004)
Deadwood is the kind of period play that seems to belong on HBO. The drama, set in a lawless mining town in post-Civil War North America, is one of the producer’s most recognizable exports. Anyone wishing to flee their past secures their one-way ticket to a destination capable of hiding their convictions; Deadwood is the best deal.
Deadwood is set in a mining town that was not part of any US state or territory in the years after the Civil War and therefore was literally lawless. Deadwood attracts people who want to get rich after a big gold find, as well as those looking to cash in on the city’s organized lawlessness, built on land stolen from the Sioux.
9. Control Your Enthusiasm (2000)
Improvisation on television? It seems like a straightforward recipe for how to make a mess. And perhaps, only some veterans would risk going off script. But the old co-creator of Seinfeld, Larry David, managed to create one of the most hilarious comedies simply basing television comedy in it. Plus, you’ll never hear the theme song without knowing exactly what kind of humor it provokes. It deserves to enter this list just for the fact of “getting out of the box”. Spontaneity and narrative freedom define this production.
8. Chernobyl (2019)
HBO seems to be a specialist in reflecting raw stories. And Chernobyl is the vile portrait of one of the worst tragedies in history, which occurred in 1986. Its axis is centered when a nuclear power plant explodes after the overheating of one of the reactors, leaving a major environmental impact. A well-sequenced narrative is a reflection of a reality that few young people today know. It could be said that it is one of the series that has caused the most commotion, after the end of Game of Thrones.
7. Veep (2012)
Selina Meyer ( Julia Louis Dreyfus ) predicted an event that no one ever imagined: what happens when someone absolutely banal ends up in the highest office in the country. But more than that, Julia created a character that set her apart a lot from her Seinfeld years, proving to be one of the most iconic comedic performers. This production uncovers, from fiction, some political events that are hidden behind certain speeches.
6. The Larry Sanders Show (1992)
Garry Shandling broke the mold when it comes to The Larry Sanders Show. The series may have been a fictional talk show, but there’s something about the way Shandling infused his natural host talent with the (fictional) Larry Sanders vibe that is a magic that hasn’t been recreated. It is arguably the best comedy HBO has released, so much so that Rotten Tomatoes gave a high approval rating, with 100%. Perhaps it is the only one that has achieved such a score.
5. Sex and the City (1998)
Revolutionary for its time, it can’t help but wonder: could this list leave Sex and the City out of the top 5? It is a resounding no. The adventures of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte defined a generation and established the idea that a series about women could be as risky as anything else on television. Although it generated some stir among fans, critics considered that it was not a diverse series and Rotten Tomatoes scored it with 70%. Still, it makes the list of must-see classics on HBO. His reboot is right around the corner on HBO Max.
A sex columnist, Carrie Bradshaw, and her three friends – Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda – explore the Manhattan dating scene, chronicling the mating habits of single New Yorkers. It’s no wonder the girls have multiple suitors throughout the series.
4. Game of Thrones (2011)
Placing Game of Thrones is difficult because it is a phenomenon in its own right. If The Sopranos defined this genre of high-end television, Game of Thrones should be given credit for reinventing it. The series has a number of followers that is unlike anything that is remembered in recent times. And is not for less. With intense scenes, which in a long time were not seen on television, sex, revenge, fire, and blood, he captured his audience, and in what way.
The book series A Song of Ice and Fire, by George RR Martin, is brought to the screen when HBO sinks its teeth into a considerable narrative in epic medieval fantasy. It is about the representation of two powerful families – kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and honest – who play a deadly game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and to sit on top of the Iron Throne. Martin is listed as a co-executive producer and is one of the writers for the series, whose filming locations include Northern Ireland, Malta, Croatia, and Spain.
3. The Sopranos (1999)
Never has a cut to black caused so much controversy. But beyond its surprising and ambivalent ending, the mob series set the tone for modern, elevated television. The Sopranos is responsible for television as we know it and, ultimately, no other series on this list would be what it is, without their guidance.
2. The Leftovers (2014)
A controversial choice: The Leftovers end up on top because they dared to be adventurous in a way that many shows avoid. Damon Lindelof’s series had all the makings of great television: great mysteries, a controversial ending, and a crash course in how good Carrie Coon is.
In a world cataclysm, The Sudden Departure, 140 million people disappeared without a trace. Three years later, the residents of Mapleton, New York, are trying to keep their balance when the notion of normalcy no longer applies. Intense grief has divided families and turned faith into cynicism, paranoia, and insanity, prompting some of the traumatized to join the Guilty Remnant, a cult-like group.
Kevin Garvey, a troubled police chief, must keep the peace between the townspeople and the cult, a task made more difficult by concern for his children. His daughter alternates between apathy and rebellion, and his wayward son befriend a charismatic prophet.
1. The Wire (2002)
At the top of all HBO lists, are one of the culprits: The Sopranos or The wire. Even though The Leftovers may have surpassed The Sopranos, it’s impossible to beat The Wire: a series that captures the gravity of the Baltimore drug scene in a way that’s hard to describe. This production not only tops the list of HBO but perhaps, of all the lists of television series.
The wire examines the narcotics landscape in Baltimore through the eyes of law enforcement officers and drug dealers and users. Other facets of the city that are explored in the plot are the government and the bureaucracy, schools, and the media. The series was created by former police reporter David Simon, who also wrote many of the episodes.