One of the few blessings in our lives remains HBO max as it brings all the series under one platform. We can stream the best of the HBO Original series anytime and anywhere. And boy, is there some amazing stuff to binge!
Did you know the HBO television channel ushered in the era of satellite TV as it was the first channel in the world to use satellite transmission?
Now, speaking of what it transmits, HBO series has always been popular for hosting a slew of critically acclaimed shows of starkly different flavors. There is the all-time classic Game of Thrones in the fantasy period drama genre, then Euphoria, a series dealing with drug addiction and about a group of teens wading through drugs, sex, and trauma, an anthology of crime drama called True Detective, etc.
HBO’s Original Show That is Currently Streaming
However, before we begin, the currently ongoing first season of the period drama – House of the Dragon (a prequel to Game of Thrones) deserves mention. It has drama, dragons, and the shock factor! GoT fans would not be disappointed. The cast, especially Matt Smith, is phenomenal in their roles.
Now that we have gotten the dragons out of the way, let us focus on the original series that can boast the most unique and never done before plotlines. The ratings show that they are even executed with perfection.
HBO Original Series List
Read on to find the carefully researched list of the 8 best tv series under HBO originals (in no particular order).
1. The White Lotus
- Director: Mike White
- Cast: Murray Bartlett, Jennifer Coolidge, Connie Britton
- IMDb rating: 7.6
The White Lotus Plot:
This drama series takes place in a high-end tropical resort over seven days. It focuses on two families with deep-seated dysfunction and the forced cheerfulness of the staff.
The stark contrast between the lives of the uber-rich and the middle class is a satirical commentary on social climbing. Due to its high acclaim, a second season is slated to release by the end of this year.
Did you know the cast stayed in the same hotel while filming and had meals together, just like the vacationers in the show?
2. The Larry Sanders Show
- Director: Dennis Klein
- Cast: Jeffrey Tambor, Garry Shandling
- IMDb rating: 8.5
It revolves around a talk show host Larry Sanders of a fictional late-night talk show and his daily life. It also features the producer, writers, talent bookers, etc., and the amalgamation of their professional and personal lives. This fictional show was used to satirize show business and all its shenanigans.
Did you know that a real-life audience was used in the talk show scenes in the initial season? But later, it was stopped as the long hours of filming became too grueling for the audience.
3. The Veep
- Director: Armando Lannucci
- Cast: Julia Louis Dreyfus, Tony Hale
- IMDb rating: 8.3
The Veep Plot:
This comedy political drama chronicles the life of the Vice President of the United States and the awkward situations she gets into. She and her well-meaning team try to wade through the day-to-day political problems.
The running gag throughout the series is that the President, not shown on screen, ignores the VP! To not alienate any viewer base, the series never revealed the actual political affiliations of the Veep.
Did you know the titular character Selina is seen to be wearing red in the first scene of every episode?
4. The Wire
- Director: David Simon
- Cast: Dominic West, Lance Reddick
- IMDb rating: 9.3
The Wire Review:
This series about the Baltimore drug scene is one of the best shows about drug cartels in tv history. We see it from the point of view of law enforcement as well as the ones embroiled in the drug business. This crime drama has incorporated elements of humor to stop it from being too dark.
Did you know that actual police officers and former criminals were cast in some of the minor roles in this long-running series? And guess what? The same officers in this show even arrested some of those criminals!
5. Sharp Objects
- Director: Marti Noxon
- Cast: Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson
- IMDb rating: 8.1
This beautifully heartbreaking series remains one of the best shows if you love thrillers.
Sharp Objects Plot:
Adams portrays an alcoholic but honest and gutsy reporter who returns to her hometown to face her past demons. Only it turns out the demons were not only in her head! If you watch it, remember to catch the end credits scene for a twist.
Did you know author Stephen King was a self-acclaimed fan of the book (by the same name on which it is based) long before it became famous?
- Director: David Chase
- Cast: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco
- IMDb rating: 9.2
Set in a New Jersey background, it is about an Italian mob boss Tony Soprano of the DiMeo crime family, and him taking therapy sessions. He suffers from panic attacks while failing to balance his work-life drama. The show swept up more than twenty Primetime Emmys in awards season and even had a video game!
Gandolfini went to extreme heights to nail his role as a mobster, and he succeeded! He used to put a stone in his shoe as he walked to get an angry and annoyed look. He also stayed up on the nights before the scenes where he had to act tired during breakfast.
- Director: Bill Hader, Alec Berg
- Cast: Bill Hader, Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg
- IMDb rating: 8.4
This one has one of the most unique plotlines where a hitman becomes disillusioned with his life, moves to LA, and becomes attracted to the theatre scene. He tries to maintain a precarious balance between his professional life as a murderer and his budding friendship with a class of aspiring actors. The incredulity of the story makes it an engaging watch.
Did you know when Bill Hader first put forward the concept of this series, he had no idea he would go on to play the titular character? He later said in interviews that playing such a serious character was quite daunting as he was more comfortable with comedic parts.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) June 6, 2022
- Director: Lisa Joy, Jonathan Nolan
- Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright
- IMDb rating: 8.5
This dystopian science fiction series is based on a 70s film of the same name. It is set in the mid-twenty-first century. There exists a theme park-like concept where biomechanical robots create something similar to an Augmented Reality through which guests can fulfill their every desire.
A phrase uttered quite a few times in the first season is – These violent delights have violent ends. This Shakespeare quote is from Romeo and Juliet and sits quite apt with Westworld content matter!
These wildly different series from different genres are all a must-watch. There is one for every type of binge-watcher. Open HBO max and stream your pick!