quality TV, and then there's HBO. The American PPV powerhouse has been the number one name in searing drama, gratuitous
violence, and boundary-pushing nudity on the small screen for two
decades now. Although the competition is more fierce than ever, it's still the content producer to beat.
slogan may be “It's not TV, it's HBO”, but it's the network's
commitment to long form, patient, classical storytelling that truly
sets it apart. With no commercial breaks and no sponsors to appease,
they have the time and the freedom to develop characters over many
episodes, and explore the darker faucets of humanity that other
networks may balk at.
didn't invent the antihero, of course, but the recent glut of
televised bad men doing bad things who you can't help but root for
takes its cue from HBO's ability to conjure characters you ought to
loathe, but simply can't. From hard drinking detectives to faded
sports stars to magical unburnable dragon ladies, you'd be hard
pushed to find a more successful and influential run of creations - and these are the absolute best of them.