Submitted by Apprehensive-Pack309 t3_10i6m2o in television

I know that HBO is long well received by fans and critics alike. My parents never paid for it, and I always thought Max was so expensive, but I wanted to watch VEEP and my friends wanted me to watch GoT and I had an amex offer so I got the yearly in July. I planned to cancel after July.

I feel like I am just not understanding the hype of this channel. Everything I put on, feels so heavy. Do I not like dramas? Am I watching the wrong things? I like to have characters to root for.

Things I’ve loved:

  • The Night Of
  • Sharp Objects
  • Big Little Lies

Things I like but can only watch in small doses:

  • Six Feet Under
  • Veep

Things I’ve tried and could not get into:

  • Westworld
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Sopranos

Some of my favorite shows that I rewatch:

  • Stranger Things
  • Parenthood
  • Parks and Rec
  • Friday Night Lights
  • American Crime Story

Things I really like but don’t feel the need to watch again:

  • Breaking Bad
  • Community
  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel
  • When They See Us
  • The West Wing
  • Arrested Development
  • The Boys
  • The Crown

Plus, it seems like all of their non HBO stuff are also available on other services, particularly hulu or prime. Everytime I go to pick a movie, I search to make sure it’s a max only movie, and it’s not. I know that’s silly, but I wanna get my worth out of HBO specific things while I have it.

Thanks all. Any comments and recommendations welcome.



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QuintoBlanco t1_j5cunr1 wrote

I don't think HBO shows are for you.

Most HBO shows have a a heavy feel to them and feature morally grey main characters.

Try to watch a few first episodes.


EggheadWill t1_j5cmfda wrote

Since you like "The Boys", perhaps you should try "Watchmen". it definitely more drama than the Boys but it does have Super Hero types doing bad things.


okeh_dude t1_j5dnuwz wrote

I was also going to mention Peacemaker. It was definitely entertaining.


EggheadWill t1_j5en83a wrote

yes. great call!. heck, just watch the intro over and over again. lol


SteelmanINC t1_j5d0709 wrote

Ugh you mean that show that pretended to be the watchmen but actually wasn’t at all?


DnDonuts t1_j5dfle9 wrote

I'm a fan of the original comic and don't care for Zack Snyder's take on it. He really missed the forest for the trees, and I think the tv show was able to capture the spirit of Watchmen while telling an original story. Absolutely loved the show.


AnxietyTsunami t1_j5cvhk3 wrote

If you like comedies, Danny McBride has a few different shows East Bound and Down, Vice Principals and Righteous Gemstones.


mbcook t1_j5cp51i wrote

Try Avenue 5. Just a comedy, lots of fun.

Veep is fantastic. It always has a dark edge of cynicism. But it reads very different now due to world events. Still love it though.

But HBO is really known for their big dramas. It’s not everything they do, but it’s a lot of what’s famous.


Mentoman72 t1_j5cwtu4 wrote

Lowkey feel like Avenue 5 isn't coming back. Three years between seasons, not much buzz and hbo is dead quiet about it.


mbcook t1_j5cy1wi wrote

I’m sure Covid was part of that but honestly it wouldn’t surprise me. I think it’s a fun show but it doesn’t seem like it’s been very big for them.


Mentoman72 t1_j5cybqs wrote

Oh yeah Covid was a huge part I'm sure. It premiered right around the time of the US lock downs if I remember correctly.


Extra_Elderberry867 t1_j5d1h3u wrote

I thought it was confirmed season 2 was the last.


Mentoman72 t1_j5d4uwx wrote

I read that as well but then the creator said they had more. The casts contracts expired.

It also doesn't really end imo. It's not a cliffhangers but there's no resolution. If it doesn't come back it's because it wasn't renewed.


GeekdomCentral t1_j5dtdo4 wrote

I liked Veep a lot, but like OP I could only watch one or two episodes at a time. It was so stressful to watch


TheNerdChaplain t1_j5db7yj wrote

Seconding Silicon Valley and Barry. Also check out Joe Pera Talks with You, it's a very light, easy comedy.


rbarton812 t1_j5cmgq6 wrote

Try episode 1 of The Last of Us (episode 2 is Sunday night/Monday depending on time zones).


robotreads t1_j5cmp5h wrote

It's not exactly light but judging by what you listed that you liked try True Detective.


StuffonBookshelfs t1_j5cn6pz wrote

Mare of Easttown might be a good watch for you.


egorre t1_j5d2l52 wrote

That is heavy which op doesn't like


StuffonBookshelfs t1_j5d2whd wrote

The Night Of is probably the heaviest show I’ve ever seen on HBO. Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies are also heavy shows. So I’m not sure if we’re on the same page.


Apprehensive-Pack309 OP t1_j5d3z8i wrote

Thank you yea like I feel like I don’t mind heavy things but I think I need spots of lightness or someone to root for? The Night Of, it was so captivating trying to figure out who did it and what would happen to him. I liked the mystery in Big Little Lies as well and the ensemble and the dry humor. Sharp Objects had a similar feel for me.


StuffonBookshelfs t1_j5d455x wrote

Mare is someone to root for. She absolutely has flaws. But you want her to succeed. And it’s a great setting. Same with all the others you picked. They’re also great underdog stories.


JakeSnake88 t1_j5cmswy wrote

You definitely need to give The Wire a go. It's one of the definitive HBO series.

DEADWOOD is another solid classic.


DnDonuts t1_j5dg0tp wrote

No one is mentioning some of their comedies. Check out Righteous Gemstones, Vice Principals, Bored to Death, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Those are all more half hour comedies that might catch your interest. Bored to Death is a really great time if you like Ted Danson or Zach Galifianakis.


Mattyzooks t1_j5dv0ol wrote

If you liked Seinfeld at all, go with Curb. The middle seasons have a laugh per minute ratio up there with Community. But if you didn't feel Veep, sorta mean humor might not be your cup of tea.


Czarcasm21 t1_j5dxc8z wrote

True Blood, The Newsroom, Family Tree, Flight of the Conchords, The Brink, Bored To Death, Entourage, How To Make It in America, High Maintenance, John Adams, Somebody Somewhere, Girls, Olive Kitteridge, The Gilded Age, etc. - plenty of "lighter" fare on HBO, if you're not into heavier shows.


ghotier t1_j5cu75i wrote

HBO spent decades cultivating its audience. Yes, some show like GOT reached the wider audience, but like I do have an expectation of what an HBO show just is. I'm not always in the mood for it. But I remember the first time I watched Rome, the Sopranos, and Deadwood I didn't get any of the emotional beats that they were going for me. Everything just seemed super cruel to me and I gave up. Eventually Deadwood did click for, and at the point I could go watch Rome and enjoy it and got more into HBO shows in general. But if it's not for you it isn't for you.


Apprehensive-Pack309 OP t1_j5d49nw wrote

Thank you for your perspective! I am fairly young (26) but I was always allowed to watch more mature stuff when I was young and I think that if my parents had it and liked it, I would’ve been caught up in the madness but since they didn’t, the first time I head about HBO was for game of thrones and I was like woah what, People pay $15 a month for this channel?


Nodonutsforbaxter44 t1_j5df65z wrote

I'll second the person who recommended the Danny McBride shows, all of them are great! I'd watch them in the order they came out, Eastbound, Vice Principals, then Gemstones


KhausTO t1_j5djxvq wrote

In addition to silicon valley and Barry, I'd also recommend the rehearsal, and how to with John Wilson. (I think both of those are HBO)


The_Meemeli t1_j5ehtce wrote

Six Feet Under is an essential classic, and it has a good dose if humor and relatability to balance out the serious and dramatic aspects.


Apprehensive-Pack309 OP t1_j5gmnxs wrote

I definitely think it’s well done I just don’t feel the need to binge it if that makes sense? Like shows I really love I am on the edge of my seat for the next episode.


Jwishaw t1_j5gdwmi wrote

watch the leftovers


Successful_Gate84 t1_j5gksqx wrote

I am kinda confused here on one hand you complain about HBO shows feeling heavy and on the other hand you list Sharp Objects and The Night of as shows you like which are both incredibly heavy shows.


Apprehensive-Pack309 OP t1_j5gmufv wrote

Those were both super captivating for me because of the mystery and the central characters being seriously stuck in shit situations who you want to see get better on the other side.


Vestalmin t1_j5kar3i wrote

It sounds like you enjoy sum, but not all of HBO’s catalogue. I’m not sure what you were expecting? Sounds like you watched a decent amount and liked some stuff.

Like I don’t know many people that like everything on HBO no matter what. They have a wide net of shows.


pchadrow t1_j5kqnwa wrote

Might I recommend Silicon Valley as a fantastic comedy and also The Rehearsel as a...documentary? Haha The Rehearsel is hard to explain but such amazing television


Sharkus1 t1_j5q1fpe wrote

The UK version of Ghosts is on HBO. There are tons of movies too. Check out some of the Studio Ghibli movies before you lose the service. It’s basically the Japanese Disney.


beall49 t1_j5czlf7 wrote

It’s really expensive now too.


urgasmic t1_j5d7pqo wrote

HBO is great but i don't think they are necessarily that much better, at least for what i've enjoyed.