15 greatest HBO series of all time

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Image: HBO

9. The Leftovers

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show as constantly emotionally fraught as The Leftovers. And in an HBO series where one-tenth of the world’s population suddenly and inexplicably disappears one day, its no wonder.

Mothers are left without their children, children are left orphaned, people are constantly fighting guilt and grief without ever knowing why it happened or where they went. Everyone is searching for answers and meaning in a world where there isn’t any.

It’s incredibly tragic and as much as people hurt each other just trying to survive their own demons, they also come together and find meaning in each other.

New families are formed, a new way of life is forged, cults are created, religions are founded, some move on and some don’t. It’s awkwardness and pain but it’s also love and beauty.

In the end, nothing is answered and everything is answered. Don’t expect closure.

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Image: HBO

8. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

When John Oliver took over as temporary host of The Daily Show, not only did he prove that there was life after Jon Stewart, but that the world had been missing out on John Oliver.

After his guest-hosting run, it wasn’t long before Oliver acquired a politically slanted comedy news show of his own. And since it was on HBO, it gave him the flexibility to run wild with his content and vent his frustrations.

And what makes Oliver so great to watch — aside from his intelligent and hilarious socio-political commentary and his brilliantly structured arguments — is that his frustrations are our frustrations.

His scathing takedowns of everything that drives us crazy about the world — from bigoted politicians to climate change deniers to unsustainable food practices — help us articulate our own frustrations.

John Oliver helps us vent our anger while giving us the tools to communicate intelligently with others.