While HBO wasn’t always known as the producers of quality television it is now, it has managed to become the home of some of the greatest and most influential shows of all time.
Some of them even changed television as we know it. Here are fifteen of the best.
From the creator of The Wire, David Simon and Eric Overmyer produced another show that intelligently and sensitively focuses on a single city and its residents and communities.
Treme delves into post-Katrina New Orleans with the same single-minded intensity as The Wire does with Baltimore or that Show Me a Hero does with Yonkers. Its kind of Simon’s style and he works wonders with it.
Originally there was some trepidation from locals about a television show based on New Orleans, particularly after Katrina. Simon and Overmyer took the opportunity to examine issues that the community struggles with every day — everything from political corruption to police brutality against the Mardis Gras Indians to reviving tourism — making the show authentic and loving as much as critical.
Locals also appreciated the bump in the economy when the HBO series filmed on location, using local talent whenever possible.Image: HBO
14. Sex and the City
No matter how you feel about Sex and the City (and no, it isn’t and never was called Sex IN the City) you can’t deny that it was a groundbreaking HBO series in the genre of female lead drama.
While it focused on a certain socio-economic class of women that I personally cannot identify with and personally don’t know anyone who can, it was rare to have women’s issues and perspectives so openly explored on television.
And no matter what class you’re in, there are some issues that all women share. It also inspired shows like Gossip Girl and Lena Dunham’s Girls.
At the same time, modern viewers watching the show might feel that this HBO series is somewhat dated in its idea of feminism and that the constant emphasis on romantic relationships undermines the value of the women as individuals.