I binge watch a lot of TV! I recently set out to complete the mission of compiling the very best of HBO. The idea was to rank the shows definitively, eat some pizza, and basically chill. With HBO putting out new shows, the work seemed to be more difficult than I initially thought it to be. The shows are ranked on overall quality, dialogue, originality, and my subjective preferences. Not included in this list are HBO films (like Angels in America), sketch and topical shows (e.g., Mr. Show with Bob and David, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver), and anthology series (Tales From the Crypt, etc.) only series who have completed at least one full season by April 17, 2017.
Notifications on. Click to turn notifications off.
Notifications off. Click to turn notifications on.
Drag and drop to sort list. Click to browse.
Set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, Game of Thrones has several plot lines and a large ensemble cast but centers on three primary story arcs. The first story arc centers on the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms and follows a web of alliances and conflicts among the dynastic noble families either vying to claim the throne or fighting for independence from the throne. The second story arc focuses on the last descendant of the realm's deposed ruling dynasty, exiled and plotting a return to the throne. The third story arc centers on the longstanding brotherhood charged with defending the realm against the ancient threats of the fierce peoples and legendary creatures that lie far north, and an impending winter that threatens the realm.
Each season of The Wire introduces a different institution in the city of Baltimore and its relationship to law enforcement while retaining characters and advancing storylines from previous seasons. The five subjects are, in chronological order: the illegal drug trade, the seaport system, the city government and bureaucracy, education and schools, and the print news media. The large cast consists mainly of actors who are little known for their other roles, as well as numerous real-life Baltimore and Maryland figures in guest and recurring roles. Simon has said that despite its framing as a crime drama, the show is "really about the American city, and about how we live together. It's about how institutions have an effect on individuals. Whether one is a cop, a longshoreman, a drug dealer, a politician, a judge or a lawyer, all are ultimately compromised and must contend with whatever institution to which they are committed."
The story revolves around fictional New Jersey-based, Italian American mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini). The series portrays the difficulties that he faces as he tries to balance his home life and his criminal organization. These are often highlighted during his therapy sessions with psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco). The series features Tony's family members, mafia colleagues, and rivals in prominent roles and story arcs, most notably his wife Carmela (Edie Falco) and protégé Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli).
The story takes place in the fictional Westworld, a technologically advanced Wild West-themed amusement park populated by android hosts. Westworld caters to high-paying guests, who may indulge in whatever they wish within the park, without fear of retaliation from the hosts.
The Larry Sanders Show is an American television sitcom set in the office and studio of a fictional late-night talk show. The series stars Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, and Rip Torn and features celebrities playing exaggerated, self-parodying versions of themselves. The show has its roots in Shandling's stand-up comedy background, his experience as a guest host on The Tonight Show and his earlier sitcom It's Garry Shandling's Show. The program has had a marked and long-lasting influence on HBO as well as on television shows in the US and Britain such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock and The Office. The supporting cast includes Janeane Garofalo, Wallace Langham, Penny Johnson, Linda Doucett, Scott Thompson and Jeremy Piven.
"Oz" is the nickname for the Oswald State Correctional Facility, formerly Oswald State Penitentiary, a fictional level 4 maximum-security state prison. The nickname "Oz" is also a reference to the classic film The Wizard of Oz (1939), which popularized the phrase "There's no place like home." In contrast, a poster for the series uses the tagline: "It's no place like home". Moreover, most of the series' story arcs are set in "Emerald City", a setting from the fictional Land of Oz in L. Frank Baum's Oz books, first described in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900).
The series, set in the 1870s in Deadwood, South Dakota, before and after the area's annexation by the Dakota Territory, charts Deadwood's growth from camp to town, incorporating themes including the formation of communities. The show features a large ensemble cast, and many historical figures appear as characters, such as Seth Bullock, George Crook, Wyatt Earp, E. B. Farnum, George Hearst, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Jack McCall, Sol Star, Al Swearengen, and Charlie Utter. The plot lines involving these characters include historical truths as well as substantial fictional elements. Milch used actual diaries and newspapers from 1870s Deadwood residents as reference points for characters, events, and the look and feel of the show. Some of the characters are fully fictional, although they may have been based on actual persons.
Silicon Valley is an American comedy television series created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky. The series focuses on five young men who founded a startup company in Silicon Valley. The series premiered on April 6, 2014 on HBO, and the fifth season premiered on March 25, 2018. On April 12, 2018, it was announced that HBO had renewed the series for a sixth season.
On one level, the show is a conventional family drama, dealing with such issues as interpersonal relationships, infidelity, and religion. At the same time, the show is distinguished by its unblinking focus on the topic of death, which it explores on multiple levels (personal, religious, and philosophical). Each episode begins with a death – the cause of which ranges from heart attack or murder to sudden infant death syndrome – and that death usually sets the thematic tone for each episode, allowing the characters to reflect on their current fortunes and misfortunes in a way that is illuminated by the death and its aftermath. The show also utilises dark humor and surrealism throughout its seasons.
Veep is an American political satire comedy television series, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The series was created by Scottish writer Armando Iannucci as an adaptation of his British sitcom The Thick of It. Veep is set in the office of Selina Meyer, a fictional vice president (and, later, president) of the United States. The series follows Meyer and her team as they attempt to make their mark and leave a legacy without getting tripped up in the day-to-day political games that define the American government.
Submit to make your ranking count.