For decades, HBO has enjoyed an esteemed reputation as the premium network for high-quality television programming. They made extensive use of talented creatives to direct their projects and gave them great creative freedom to create something special.
The tastes of game of thrones are among the more obvious favorites given the stunning cultural impact it has had, but others, including crime dramas The Sopranos and real detective always hold high praise. Fans on Reddit have listed a variety of shows over the years that they believe are some of the most powerful originals HBO has ever produced.
ten The Sopranos
When it comes to gangster crime dramas, HBO The Sopranos is one of the biggest stars of the genre. Many have hailed the series as one of the greatest television shows of all time, with James Gandolfini’s performance as Tony Soprano often considered the biggest highlight. Redditor wooztheweb feels that “it not only laid the foundation for many classic HBO dramas to follow, but it reinvented the TV drama genre as a whole.”
This became a gold standard for the height that television dramas should at least aim for, as the series was groundbreaking for its relentless exploration of controversial social topics and gripping character-driven stories. The Sopranos is known for exciting and unexpected revelations in television series.
9 game of thrones
Few could have seen what a titan and pop culture phenomenon coming game of thrones would. The series was a live-action adaptation of author George RR Martin’s work in progress A song of ice and fire series of books and was a big part of how the fantasy genre returned to the mainstream.
This dark fantasy epic featured sprawling stories, lore, and world-building, with game of thrones‘ A compelling cast of characters giving gripping character arcs throughout. Of course, the disastrous eighth and final season understandably ruined the show for many, but Redditor Rikimaru555 still includes it in his list of HBO greats. The IP is set to make a big comeback as a spinoff, with the prequel series Dragon House being the first of them to premiere on August 21.
8 dead wood
HBO gave birth to arguably television’s most iconic western series in the form of dead wood, even over a concise three-season run. The show chronicled the rise of the 1870s camping colony of Deadwood, South Dakota into an annexed town. A puzzled Redditor included the show in their two-entry shortlist of what they believe to be HBO’s best work, with several others sharing the same sentiment.
Getting only three seasons seems to have been the only minor criticism of dead woodhowever, much of the studded ensemble cast returned for the lauded 2019 HBO film. dead wood received consistent praise throughout its lifetime, with critics and audiences praising the compelling cast led by lead actors Timothy Olyphant (Seth Bullock) and Ian McShane (Al Swearengen).
While not a fantasy or detective series, the corporate dark comedy Succession is one of HBO’s most recent shows that has captivated audiences. Throughout its (so far) three seasons, Succession has amassed a die-hard fan base thanks to the series’ entertaining and addictive characters.
Redditor MaximusMMIV admits they’re “I’m totally addicted to Succession right now, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.” The show centers on a deeply dysfunctional family that owns media company Waystar RoyCo, with the dark and hilarious yet colorful cast of characters ruthlessly vying for control of the company once their patriarch passes on his role.
6 real detective
Crime thrillers are some of the best serialized stories on television, and the anthology series real detective has become a modern icon for the genre and HBO. The consensus seems to be that the show faltered noticeably in its second season, but overall the show is one of the best on the network.
Redditor Fuzzikopf thought “True Detective Season 1 was also close to perfect IMO” in response to Chernobyl receive a worthy cry. real detective has a vibrant cast of characters, namely the captivating duo of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in season 1 to widespread critical acclaim, and Mahershala Ali headlining his third with Stephen Dorff in the most recent season was praised for bringing the show back to form.
Thread is a classic crime procedural drama that comes up frequently when discussing HBO’s best TV shows. The series presented a gripping and brutal look at police bureaucracy and systematic oppression in downtrodden neighborhoods. Redditor optiplex9000 said comparing it to the above real detective that “Overall, as a series, I think The Wire is better, though.”
Thread ran for five seasons, and while it didn’t get the stardom it deserved at the time, it gained more recognition over the years. It was so much so that its retrospective success put it in the category of the greatest television shows of all time, regardless of network.
To venture further into science fiction, Westworld is one of the most recent HBO series to gain traction. The show was created by Lisa Joy and The Dark Knight Trilogy co-writer Jonathan Nolan and rebooted based on the 1973 film of the same name by Michael Crichton. The series explores a Western theme park filled with realistic android “hosts”, delving into themes of obsessions with media violence and human autonomy.
Redditor lightsongtheold mentions it as one of HBO’s dramas they say are “all worth a watch”, with Season 1 being by far the most acclaimed by audiences. The show continued to be positively received in its second and third seasons, although it lost some of its elements when expanding beyond the park.
Although it is a historical drama series, Rome is one of HBO’s shows among the network’s other original shows – like game of thrones – with large production areas. The show garnered massive acclaim in just two seasons, spanning a massive cast of characters set in the early Roman Empire.
Redditor Thefishlord said they “think HBO’s Rome is amazing and sets the stage for larger-than-life series like GoT.” This is a common opinion among the many who praise the show, as RomeThe extensive roster of characters well tells the rich stories of historical figures from different walks of life in the sprawling empire, including the infamous Caesar.
Although it may take several years to see how opinions sink, Chernobyl could argue that this is HBO’s best historical drama series. This five-episode miniseries was a historically dramatic take on the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Russia during the time of the Soviet Union.
Redditor AgentofSPYRAL lists it alongside Thread for the greatest HBO series of all time “maybe if we count the minis”. The resounding welcome from Chernobyl was particularly impressive given its short run and simultaneous release, as the show was praised for its tragic and gripping portrayal of this disaster.
1 Calm your enthusiasm
In a completely different change of pace, Calm your enthusiasm is a raunchy comedy that has proven to be one of HBO’s most enduring shows. The show started off as a cult hit, but has become a mainstream success with an impressive level of critical acclaim since its premiere in October 2000.
Puzzled Redditor also included it alongside dead wood as their favorite HBO series. Larry David’s series is praised for its unapologetic embrace of dark comedy and “grinding its teeth,” paired with an outstanding execution of improv comedy. Calm your enthusiasmThe success of continues even after recently wrapping up its 11th season.
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