Movies & TV Series

33 Best HBO Shows of All Time

Best or not, HBO has always maintained to be one of the great entertainers of all time with a list of movies and shows. With more than 100 series and 20 miniseries in the past 42 years, HBO has proved to be one of the favourite channels among all the people around the world. Now here we present some of the best TV shows of all time by HBO—

The Leftovers (2014-2017)

The Leftovers (2014-2017)Created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perotta, this thriller/drama series is actually based on a novel written by Perotta himself. Featuring an ensemble cast that includes Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler, Chris Zylka, and others; this show has spawned 3 seasons and 28 episodes in total. This show chronicles the events of the world after a mysterious event called “Sudden Departure” takes place.

Veep (2012-)

Veep (2012-)An adaptation of the British TV series, The Thick of It, by Armando Iannucci, Veep is a political satire and comedy series. So far there have been 6 seasons and 58 episodes released. The show revolves around the daily life and struggles of a female Vice-President of the United States and how she, later on, becomes the President.

VICE (2013-)

VICE (2013-)VICE is a documentary series that follows two of its journalists as they go about the world and conduct interviews on sensitive political and socio-cultural topics. It has 5 seasons to date and a total of 56 episodes. VICE also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series.

Vinyl (2016)

Vinyl (2016)Produced by Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, Terrence Winter, and Rich Cohen, Vinyl is a crime drama consisting of an equally bewitching cast with Olivia Wilde and Bobby Cannavale. The show aired 1 season with 10 episodes. For period drama and crime drama lovers, this show is going to be an absolute feast.

Treme (2010-2013)

Treme (2010-2013)Treme is a drama series following how the residents of Treme, a suburb of New Orleans, rebuilt their lives, homes, and community following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The series has 4 seasons and 36 episodes.
It has received critical praise for the realistic portrayal and the musical cast.

True Blood (2008-2014)

True Blood (2008-2014)True Blood is the perfect feast for dark paranormal fiction lovers. Based on the novels of the same name written by Charlaine Harris, the series paced over 7 seasons and 80 episodes, follows the life of a small-town waitress as she falls in love with an ancient 100-year old vampire.

Westworld (2016-)

Westworld (2016-)This critically acclaimed show is based on the film Westworld, released in 1973. It opened to great viewer ratings and is praised for its cinematography, acting and plots. The show has aired 1 season of 10 episodes and is slated for another season. It is a sci-fi and drama series and revolves around the fictional town of Westworld.

In Treatment (2008-2010)

In Treatment (2008-2010)In treatment is perhaps a rather curious series produced by Rodrigo Garcia. It documents a psychologist and his treatment sessions with his patients on a weekly basis. What is curious is that at the end of every week, he visits his own psychologist for his treatment. Spanning 3 seasons and 106 episodes, tune in to this show to find out this curious setup.

The Young Pope (2016-)

The Young Pope (2016-)The Young is a drama series set in Italy, starring well-known actors such as Jude Law Na Diane Keaton. The series has 1 season and 10 episodes so far and is slated for another season. This is also the first Italian-based English series to have been nominated for Emmy Awards.

Vice Principals (2016-2017)

Vice principalsA comedy series, co-created by Danny McBride and Jody Hill, this show focuses on a much disliked high school vice-principal who schemes to be the next principal. However, things do not go according to plan and another principal is elected. Hilarity ensues as he then proceeds to get the current principal fired.

Show Me A Hero (2015)

Show Me A Hero (2015)Although a mini-series of 6 episodes, Show Me A Hero is a poignant show that highlights the battles of racial segregation and other similar issues and tensions encountered at that time. Originally written as a book Lisa Belkin in 1999, it has been adapted for the silver screen by David Simon and William Zorzi.

Silicon Valley (2014-)

Silicon Valley (2014-)Silicon Valley is a comedy show based on the trials and tribulations of a start-up founded by 5 young, aspiring entrepreneurs. For those of you wishing to go down the same path or are looking for some light-hearted entertainment, this show is one you should definitely not miss. Up to date, there are 4 seasons and 38 episodes released and a fifth season is slated for production in 2018.

The Comeback (2014-)

The ComebackThe Comeback originally aired for a single season of 13 episodes before being restarted once again for consequent series in 2014 after 9 years. The show stars Lisa Kudrow, of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, who is a sitcom actress. This series has comedy and satire rolled into one epic package and mocks the entertainment and television industry. Kudrow stars as a struggling actor attempting to stay relevant and employable as she finds work in an industry being dominated by younger actresses.

The Casual Vacancy (2015)

The Casual Vacancy (2015)Yep, you’ve guessed it right! The Casual Vacancy a British mini-series, directed by Jonny Campbell, is in fact based on, arguably, one of the most famous authors ever, J. K. Rowling’s novel of the same name. There are 3 episodes, each of them being roughly an hour. The series has been well received by critiques, many praising the cast and the acting.

Carnivale (2003-2005)

Carnivale (2003-2005)This show created by Daniel Knauf is among some of the truly brilliant series produced. Receiving 5 Emmys and various other awards and accolades, Carnivale is an intrinsic show of dark fantasy and mystery. Showcasing the age-old dichotomy of good vs. evil, the Carnivale poses some really thought-provoking questions in the way it inspires those questions. Set during the Great Depression, this series consists of 24 episodes for 2 seasons.

Mildred Pierce (2011)

Mildred Pierce (2011)Mildred Pierce is originally a novel written by James M. Cain and was adapted into a miniseries by Todd Haynes. Starring the celebrity superstar Kate Winslet as the titular protagonist, this show records the journey of Pierce as she attempts to recover from a divorce, set up a new business, and more. There are altogether 5 episodes in the series, but despite its length, Mildred Pierce has received good reviews and praiseworthy acclaim.

Entourage (2004-2011)

Entourage (2004-2011)Entourage is another highly successful comedy series, running 8 seasons and a whopping 96 episodes. Co-Created by Doug Ellin, this series focuses on the growth and life of a famous actor as he navigates through a new city, new life, and a career for himself. The show is also perhaps most known for having several celebrities playing guest roles, often as fictitious versions of themselves.

Eastbound & Down (2010-2013)

Eastbound & Down (2010-2013)Featuring Danny McBride as a former sportsman who returns to his hometown to teach physical education classes at the local high school, Eastbound & Down was produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Consisting of 4 seasons and 29 episodes, this show has received largely positive reviews, despite its seemingly obnoxious and toxic humor.

Enlightened (2011-2013)

Enlightened (2011-2013)Enlightened is a comedy and drama series, produced and written by Mike White and Laura Dern. Dern also, incidentally, happens to play the lead role in the show, of an executive who after a series of self-debilitating mishaps tries to get her life together. Dern also won a Golden Globe Award for the Best Actress category.

Generation Kill (2008)

Generation Kill (2008)Generation Kill is a war-based miniseries, based on the book having the same name by Evan Wright. Adapted by Wright himself for television series, along with others, the series chronicles the incidents and encounters experienced by the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of the Marine Corps during the American Invasion of Iraq in the year 2003. This 7-part series has also won 3 Emmy Awards for Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, and Sound Editing

Rome (2005-2007)

Rome (2005-2007)A historical drama adventure series set in Rome in the 1st century BC, Rome stars an ensemble cast, featuring Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson. Based largely on historically correct events, Rome follows 2 soldiers in their life. There are 2 seasons and 22 episodes so far released.

Girls (2012-2017)

Girls (2012-2017)Girls is a cringe comedy show that follows four women and their lives in the big city of New York, the series contains 6 seasons and 62 episodes. It is created by Lena Dunham, who also plays the main protagonist. Slices of Dunham’s real-life events are also included in the plot.

Big Love (2006-2011)

bigloveBig Love is an American drama series revolving around the Mormon faith and polygamy. Starring Bill Paxton, Chloe Sevigny, Big Love has achieved universal acclaim for its interesting and complex take on the dynamics of the American family. The show has 5 seasons and has a total of 53 episodes. Not to be fooled by its controversial nature, the show has actually been very popular for HBO and won many awards for both the show itself and the actors.

Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014)

Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014)This crime drama was created by Terence Winter and the first episode aired in the year 2010. After its success, it continued with 11 more episodes and completed its five-season in the year 2014. The drama series is not as energetic as other dramas but it does have a different type of depth in it.

The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998)

The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998)This late-night talk-show was created by Garry Shandling and Dennis Klein. The best thing about the show is Shandling’s stand-up comedies and the celebrities portraying their true selves, talking about their lives, and making fun of themselves. The series ranked 38 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

Deadwood (2004-2006)

Deadwood (2004-2006)With three seasons and 36 episodes, this American TV series is definitely one of the great shows of all time. The series is set on historical grounds in the year the 1870s in Deadwood, South Dakota. It tells us what happened before and after the annexation of “Deadwood” by South Dakota. The series ran for two years from 2004-2006.

Bored to Death (2009-2011)

Bored to Death (2009-2011)Bored to Death is another good show that ran on HBO from the year 2009-2011. The show has a total number of 3 seasons with a total number of 24 episodes. The story tells us about Jonathan Ames who works as a writer in the daylight and a detective in the dark nights. This comedy thriller is definitely one of the best HBO shows.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014- Present)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014- Present)“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” is a late-night talk and news satire show. The creator and host of the show is the comedian John Oliver. There have been 3 seasons as of now with a total number of 82 episodes. With a lot of humor and satire, the show manages to be one of the best shows on HBO.

The Wire (2002-2008)

The Wire (2002-2008)The Wire is an American crime drama written and created by former police reporter and author David Simon. The Wire first premiered on June 2, 2002, and it ended on March 9, 2008, with a total number of 60 episodes in 5 seasons. The story revolves around the city of Baltimore and its relationship with law enforcement.

The Sopranos (1999-2007)

This show ran for a pretty long time on HBO. This American crime drama is created by David Chase and tells us the story of the Italian American Mobster Tony Soprano. With a total number of 86 episodes in the whole 6 seasons, “The Sopranos” is widely regarded as one of the best TV shows of all time. it has won lots of awards including 21 Emmy Awards and 5 Golden Globe Awards.

True Detective (2014- Present)

True Detective (2014- Present)True Detective is an American crime drama created by Nic Pizzolatto. The first premier of True Detective was aired in the year 2014. the show is based on detective stories and it focuses on three detectives from three cooperating police departments and a businessman who used to be a criminal. They investigate a series of crimes linked with the murder of a corrupt politician. There have been two seasons with a total number of 16 episodes as of now.

Six Feet Under (2001-2005)

Six Feet Under (2001-2005)Created by Alan Ball,” Six Feet Under” is a black comedy that is one of the highest rating HBO shows of all time. “Six Feet Under” ran for 4 years with 5 seasons with a total number of 63 episodes. The show is regarded as one of the greatest TV dramas of all time. It also won numerous awards including 9 Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards.

Game of Thrones (2011- Present)

Game of Thrones (2011- Present)“Game of Thrones” is known as one of the most popular shows on HBO around the globe. Based on George R.R. Martin’s fictional novel “A Song of Ice and Fire”, this popular fantasy drama is created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. There have been 6 seasons as of now with a total number of 60 episodes. It is one of the best TV shows of all time and it has won numerous awards such as 38 Primetime Emmy Awards, the Peabody Award, and lots others.

So here we have given you a list of some of the best HBO shows of all time. If you think I have missed any, feel free to add them to the list. Do not forget to comment!

EDIT (Sept 26th, 2017): List of +23 shows added by Shraddha Anala with 10 by the original author.

By Daisy Mali

An accidental writer, who loves to share her thoughts in her own way; soon to be a blogger, a food enthusiast, and a book worm.