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Why You Need to be Watching HBO NOW!

May 4, 2015

A few weeks ago HBO added their newest internet streaming service to costumers, HBO NOW. As a sister app to cable subscriber platform HBO GO, HBO NOW caters to the burgeoning television watchers of the new millennium. The ones that are slowly making cable obsolete opting instead to watch television series through inexpensive platforms like Netflix and Hulu. These days a simple streaming device, like Apple TV or Roku, is counteracting cable’s expensive wages and its less than impressive entertainment. Now, you can receive all the pleasures of watching the latest shows and films unedited and mostly commercial free. HBO just sweetened the deal by adding HBO NOW for $14.99 a month which includes unlimited access to every show produced by the company along with a slew of movies to match.

Frankly, HBO has been killing it in the past few years with their programming that feature cinematic marvels, intimate personal stories, and new ways of viewing the world; elements that are owed to the company’s hands-off approach and artistic stronghold for its directors and creators. If you haven’t been watching HBO in the past year you are truly missing out and here are a few reasons why:


 

game-of-thrones-season-5Game of Thrones: If you have only heard of “Games of Thrones”, you are truly depriving yourself of one of the best television shows airing right now. My lack of time and pure laziness has prevented me from reading George R. .R. Martin’s epic novels, which “Game of Thrones” fans swear is better than the show, but in that same breath they are quick to discuss what happened on the previous week’s episodes with unabated excitement. “Game of Thrones” mixes historical epic with fantasy driven science fiction, then throws in lots of blood and steamy sex for an opulent, entrancing hour of some of the greatest character development and story shifts since “The Wire”. Stop meaning to watch it and start!

The Jinx: the-jinx-the-life-and-deaths-of-robert-durstIt was incredibly difficult for me to believe that “The Jinx” wasn’t staged when I first watched the miniseries. After the impressive documentary Capturing the Friedmans, director Andrew Jarecki received his bearings with the not so impressive film, All Good Things, which follows the case of enigmatic billionaire Robert Durst and his missing wife. The film’s only redeeming quality was its lead star Ryan Gosling as Durst. But, a couple of years later HBO granted Jarecki with the freedom to film a six-part documentary about Durst. What unfolds is a brilliant spectacle of mind-blowing interviews with Durst along with powerful investigative work carefully showcased through a gorgeously filmed lens in which Jarecki’s visual eye seamlessly blends reenactment with real life footage to tell a chilling story or Durst’s past and the actions that define his future.

Going Clear: going-clear-1024Scientology gets deconstructed in the best way possible thanks to Alex Gibney’s documentary based on Lawrence Wright’s expose novel of the same name. “Going Clear” presents the horrific, manipulating deeds of the organization who exist under the guise of a church. For two hours, Gibney uses a series of interviews from former Scientologists and facts and figures to divulge into the web of sci-fi oriented mumbo-jumbo that managed to become a religion and one of the more profitable businesses in the world. “Going Clear” actually makes you feel sorry for John Travolta and Tom Cruise as it reveals the tools of manipulation and blackmail that are implemented to keep those who drink the Kool-Aid coming back for more.

Girls:GirlsofGIRLS “Girls” just might be one of the most significant television shows about women since “Golden Girls”. Sure, the women who are the focus of Lena Dunham’s new wave feminism brain child are at times vapid, spoiled, and downright annoying boils on society, but that’s just sometimes. Most of the times they are self-assured, intelligent women struggling in a world with very set rules on how a lady should act. These women are their own individuals given the freedom to make their own mistakes and room to breathe in hysterical ways like real human beings. This is what makes “Girls” so empowering and brilliant. I don’t necessarily like all the women featured on “Girls,” but I care about each one’s well beings and want to see them evolve and succeed, a daunting task to perfect as a writer, but Dunham does it so well.

Vice: tumblr_mnoliqImR91qzikspo1_1280Speaking of things I don’t like, but care about: “Vice.” As an alternative to mainstream news and topics of interest, “Vice” has always had a way of inciting, but disgusting me as well. Though their online articles can be intriguing, they sometimes come off distastefully arrogant. However, I can’t deny the tenacity of their series and the importance in information that they choose to relay to viewers. “Vice” tackles real issues of the world that mainstream news programs refuse to cover because doing so could affect the pockets of those in charge. “Vice” is the punk rocker of the news networks, and though sometime I’m agitated at their piss poor attitudes, I can’t help but to respect the gonads that hangs on them.

Silicon Valley: silicon-valley-hbo-show-promo-1-750x500Nerd chic is in these days. For some reason it’s become hip to think of oneself as nerdy, or awkward, or strange. “Silicon” Valley reminds us all what true nerds look like. “Silicon Valley” is a product of the times; a world where Apple and Google are the forerunners of innovation. “Silicon Valley” is an imagined idea of what happens to a start-up company that finds itself as the little fish in a big pond of the tech world. The brilliance of “Silicon Valley” isn’t just creator Mike Judge’s pension for dry humor and biting social commentary, but it’s more so the cast’s brilliant comedic timing and chemistry that perfectly captures their awkward moments, selfish blunders, and how brutal the growing tech world can be.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: last-week-tonight-with-john-oliver-16x9-1I enjoyed “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” when they dominated the comic news circuit. However, there was always something missing that prevented me from finding fanatical dedication to either program. Former Daily Show alum, John Oliver, picked up the slack to create a solid, hilariously informative news program that picks apart the unstable foundations of the country and the world around us. Unlike “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”, Oliver’s focus is on tackling issues through in-depth pieces that allow his team of writers to investigate their with fine toothed combs, presenting the issues and offering solutions in humorously poignant ways. Oliver could change the world if he continues his work through HBO and as an avid supporter I’ll be right there when he does.

Six Feet Under: six-feet-under-familyBefore I had “The Wire” in my life, there was “Six Feet Under”. Thought it doesn’t tackle the ills of American society, “Six Feet Under” focuses on the darkest, least sought out topic of humanity: death. Through a family business running a morgue a series of personal tales gets explored making for one of the absolutely best written shows to hit television.

True Detective: Matthew-McConaughey-and-Woody-Harrelson-in-True-Detective-Season-1-Episode-1If you weren’t on last year’s bandwagon for “True Detective,” then you truly missed an amazing ride, even if the end was a major let down. There was booze, crime, and a green-eared spaghetti monster! “True Detective” warped so much of our minds that discussion parties took place to simply figure out what it all meant. Although a series, “True Detective’s” major strengths were its astounding performances and incredible cinematic feats that caused viewers to analyze every scene in order to break apart the elements of creator Nic Pizzolatto’s direction to understand its deeper meaning. Basically, it was my wet dream that everyone I that knew was part of. I can only hope the upcoming 2nd season can match the brilliance of season 1.

The Wire: TheWire32I don’t just love this show. That word is too simple, too cheap. I’m vexed, inspired, and devoted to “The Wire.” Easily the best show to ever grace television and one of the simplest ways to understand the social issues of American society. “The Wire” should be watched by anyone running for president. Only then can they truly help America.

Honorable Mentions:

Montage of Heck

“True Blood”

“Band of Brothers”

“Eastbound and Down”

“Life’s Too Short”

“Togetherness”

Go watch HBO now!!

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