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The 5 Best HBO Series

The 5 Best HBO Series

FYI

“It’s not TV. It’s HBO!” The premium cable network’s famed slogan, from an era predating “peak TV,” projected an air of authority, of class, that defied the medium’s reputation as a lowbrow form. Whether you’re in the mood for a re-watch or still need to see Game of Thrones for the first time, you’re sure to find something to stir your interest on Check In Jakarta’s list of the 5 best HBO series you should watch.

1. Game of Thrones
The geopolitical drama that unfolds in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series is so epic in scope. Even after it’s been pared down for television, nearly every hour-long episode can only cover stories from a portion of the key characters.

 
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The show has garnered its fair share of criticism for its gratuitous nudity and its depiction of a couple of brutal rape scenes, but it also has featured some of the strongest female characters on TV. And it’s the characters, the quick wit of Tyrion and Varys, the master conniving of Little Finger, the defiant spunk of Arya, the quick nobility of Jon Snow, the heartless villainy of Tywin Lannister, the complicated redemption of Jaime, that make the show great. Game of Thrones has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series.

2. Sharp Objects
Sharp Objects is a limited series based on Gillian Flynn's debut novel of the same name that premiered on July 8, 2018. The series stars Amy Adams as Camille Preaker, an emotionally troubled reporter who returns to her hometown to cover the murders of two young girls. The assignment takes her back to her childhood home under the critical eye of her mother, Adora, a small-town socialite, which forces Preaker to confront some personal demons.


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3. Big Litlle Lies
Big Little Lies looked to be a miniseries when it premiered in 2017 on HBO, but the enormously successful show has been picked up for a second season. Based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies follows three mothers in the idyllic beachfront town of Monterey, California, who discover that “perfect” lives are rarely what they seem when you scratch the surface.


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The series boasted an all-star cast, including Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott and many more. Having already won multiple prestigious awards, Big Little Lies is likely to keep up its momentum, with Meryl Streep joining the cast in season two.

4. Silicon Valley
Looking for an HBO series that isn’t all doom and gloom? Silicon Valley is a satirical look at the ultra-competitive startup culture in the Bay Area. It brings to the fore the unfortunate fact that the struggle is very real, and a dozen failures lie in the wake of every success story.

While some of these situations are exaggerated for comedy, anyone who has ever tried to get their tech company off the ground will easily relate to the trials and tribulations suffered by this group of engineers as they navigate world of tech forums, fundraising, and more, all in the face of intense competition.


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There are currently five seasons of the show available on HBO and HBO GO. While the departure of series star T.J. Miller left a question mark on later seasons, HBO has already announced a sixth season.

5. Barry
In Barry, SNL alum Bill Hader plays a depressed, low-rent hitman from the Midwest. The dark comedy follows Barry to L.A., where he has reluctantly agreed to take out an aspiring actor. Things take a turn when Barry follows his mark into an acting class, where he finds a community of supportive, like-minded people.


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Barry’s criminal past obviously makes it tricky to jump into this new career, especially when he’s supposed to murder a member of his new cohort. Barry has been another hit for HBO, with a 98 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was recently renewed for a second season.