HBO is associated with top-level original entertainment. The new subscription service, HBO Max, is offering the best of the best. Skip obvious hits like The Wire, Watchmen, and Game of Thrones, here are the best original HBO series, new and old.
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The Righteous Gemstones
Starring, producing, and developing by Danny McBride with other HBO hits like Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals. The Righteous Gemstones is the kind of smart yet raunchy comedy that’s quite deliberately not for everyone. Whether you love the series, or you don’t, after seeing its first cold open, where a 24-hour baptism marathon in Chengdu goes horribly wrong under the leadership of a family of American megachurch televangelists led by McBride, Adam Devine, and the inimitable John Goodman.
The first season of nine episodes premiered at the end of 2019, with ambitious intentions to continue the series well into its reported second season.
A Black Lady Sketch Show
It’s met with universal acclaim and features some of today’s most talented comedians and writers, including Quinta Brunson, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis, Amber Ruffin, and more. The Black Lady Sketch Show gives us the entertainment that no one else would like the Basic Ball fashion show that portrays troubled women (“Eeyore in Dior”) at their finest. Its sketches are full of surprises that go way beyond the initial cracks, offering miles of glorious shade to bad and all right bitches alike.
Created by Robin Thede and executive produced by Issa Rae, the only downside being that there will be just six episodes before the second season being released sometime at some stage in the future.
Flight of the Conchords
Part musical, part sketch comedy, part story of two New Zealand folk musicians struggling to make it in New York City, the Emmy-winning Flight of the Conchords is a two-season sitcom that aired from 2007 to 2009. This chronicles the miserable lives of fictionalized versions of the real-life Conchords, played by the real-life Kiwis, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie.
Since there are no plans for a Conchords tour in the immediate future, make sure you don’t skip their 2018 reunion show at HBO Max, Flight of the Conchords: Live in London.
Keep on to your hair, lads, and lasses, because HBO Max is putting on a beautiful performance that might rival the queen of queer entertainment, Ru Paul’s Drag Race. The New Reality Contest shows Legendary groups performing in houses competing in dance, fashion, and voguing.
The series focuses less on drama and confrontation and more on art and community, but sadly only two episodes have been published at the time of writing.
It is the best original HBO series.
Brutal but poetic, deliberate yet fragile, Oz is a classic prison drama that ran from 1997 to 2003 and consists of a talented cast that includes Harold Perrineau, Ernie Hudson, Rita Morena and the spine-chilling J. K. Simmons, guy. Oz, short for the Oswald State Correctional Facility, is a maximum-security prison where an experimental facility is set up to concentrate on recovery.
Its six seasons of hour-long episodes make Oz totally binge-worthy for those who can tolerate his claustrophobic life-shattering storylines.
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Barry, an award-winning dark comedy starring Bill Hader, tells the story of a modern hitman who is disenchanted with his current career as he discovers a new passion for acting. Hader himself was the first to doubt his ability to play the former Marine, but his performance and the fantastic writing behind the show blended comedic genius with poignant intimate moments.
Band of Brothers
Based on the experiences of the 101st Airborne during the Second World War, Band of Brothers is still one of the most powerful and powerful war dramas of all time, almost two decades after its initial publication. After working with Saving Private Ryan, producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg worked closely with the survivors of the “Simple” Business to ensure that the freedoms they took from the source material were in line with the horrors experienced across Europe.
Don’t miss The Pacific, the 2010 follow-up to the tragedy of World War II Pacific Theatre. It is the best original HBO series.
The seven-episode 2008 mini-series focuses on the life of the second U.S. President though offering an accurate look at the historical conditions that contributed to the American Revolution. John Adams is not always the most historically accurate series, but he excels in capturing the fragmented style and hard-working spirit of colonial America.
Set in the midst of the American gold rush in a lawless South Dakota settlement that gradually develops into a community. Deadwood uses historical figures and tools to create one of the most engrossing views of the very narrow time of history of the Old West. The ensemble is led by the great Ian McShane in a career-defining role as the real-life Deadwood brothel owner, Al Swearengen.
Precisely hailed as one of the greatest television shows of all time. Its life was sadly shortened when HBO abruptly canceled the fourth season in the middle of the third season’s production. It quickly forced the authors to tie up some very loose ends in just one short finale. Fortunately, the cast and crew were reassembled in 2019 to properly end the show with Deadwood: The Movie, which is also available on HBO Max. It is the best original HBO series.
Todd McFarlane’s Spawn
It’s one of the most critically praised but least successful superhero cartoons of the 1990s. Spawn is a former assassin, Voiced by one-and-one Keith David, who was betrayed and sent to hell where he made a deal with the devil in exchange for a chance to reunite with his wife.
At a time when superhero movies were about to be a thing of the past in Hollywood, HBO produced three short but beautifully crafted seasons of grim hell-bound action.
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