The 15 Best HBO Shows That Make It Worth the Money

HBO is one of the powerhouses of modern television thanks to its contributions to “peak TV” and highly acclaimed original series. From unique comedies to complex dramas, there’s no denying that the best shows on HBO have gripped television and streaming audiences alike.

Whether you’re accessing HBO content via HBO Max or a cable subscription, we have compiled a list of the best HBO shows—including both new HBO shows and classics—that make HBO worth paying for…

1. Westworld

Science Fiction Drama | IMDb: 8.7 | Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

Westworld is a fictional amusement park for the rich, where lifelike robots called hosts play out Wild West scenarios for visitors to take part in. However, with the mistreatment by human guests and malfunctioning in the hosts’ programming showing a greater depth of consciousness than expected, you’ll quickly find yourself questioning what “humanity” really entails.

This incredible show is an expertly crafted crossover of genres: drama, science fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, and more. Not many series can claim to be an experience for viewers, but Westworld is one of the few exceptions.

2. True Detective

Crime Drama | IMDb: 9.0 | Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

True Detective is an anthology crime series, with the first season of True Detective praised as one of the best television shows of the past decade. Additional seasons follow different cases and different detectives within the same universe.

The HBO series grips viewers with the intensity of the gruesome crimes under investigation, but also with its nuanced portrayals of the very flawed characters whose job it is to seek justice.

3. Barry

Dark Comedy | IMDb: 8.3 | Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

Barry is a dark comedy starring Bill Hader that follows a hitman who unexpectedly discovers a love for acting. He tries to end his career as an assassin to pursue an acting class, where he rediscovers the joy and human connection he lost since returning from war.

However, his handler isn’t as keen on Barry’s new career path, and starting a new life isn’t easy when there are so many skeletons in your closet. Barry is a dark, complex, and often absurdly hilarious story thanks to its excellent cast and unusual story.

4. Watchmen

Superhero Drama | IMDb: 8.1 | Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

The HBO Watchmen series is a sequel to the acclaimed DC comic book series of the same name. It takes place in the modern day, several decades after the events of the comics. World War III was avoided, but the effects of the attack on New York continue to affect society in unexpected ways.

In this alternate timeline, attacks on police officers by white supremacists have resulted in officers needing to adopt masked identities to protect their families. They now resemble the very vigilantes that were made illegal.

While the series initially contains only brand new characters, links and involvement from the comics’ characters emerge as the show progresses.

5. Chernobyl

Historical Drama | IMDb: 9.4 | Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

The Chernobyl miniseries on HBO is one of the most gripping series to come out in recent years—made even more poignant by the fact that it is based on a real-life disaster.

While the series takes some liberties with the historical events, it is an eye-opening window into the human toll of nuclear disasters and the consequences of bureaucratic inaction.

6. Silicon Valley

Comedy Drama | IMDb: 8.5 | Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

Silicon Valley is about six young guys who make a technological breakthrough in file compression and decide to start a new company around it. What follows are successes, failures, and a whole lot of hilarity.

The series provides amusing yet all-too-recognizable portrayals of startup culture and the cult of personality around tech company founders. The series is both a parody of and familiar reflection of the cutthroat industry, amoral business practices, and absurd stories found in Silicon Valley.

7. His Dark Materials

Fantasy |IMDb: 7.9 | Rotten Tomatoes: 80%

While Game of Thrones has ended, HBO still offers other great fantasy series. His Dark Materials is one of these, based on the novel series of the same name (which includes The Golden Compass).

The series features a star-studded cast with James McAvoy and Lin Manuel Miranda, as well as a enchanting mystery at its core.

8. Band of Brothers

Historical Drama | IMDb: 9.4 | Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

This miniseries tells the incredible tale of the Easy Company’s training and involvement throughout Europe during World War II. While some parts were adapted for structure and drama, it is based on historic people, events, and accounts.

How good is Band of Brothers? Not only does it sit atop IMDb’s list of Top Rated TV Shows, but it’s been there for years.

9. The Wire

Crime Drama | IMDb: 9.3 | Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

The Wire is a police drama unlike any other. It takes place in the city of Baltimore and follows a massive cast of characters that are so fleshed out that it can feel more like a documentary than a drama at times.

Each season offers a study of the various institutions of Baltimore—police, dockworkers, politicians, schools, the media—and shows how the problems of the city are intertwined and systemic.

For its sheer amount of dramatic depth and breadth, The Wire is one of the most acclaimed series of all time. It’s also available on Amazon Prime, making it one of the best TV shows on Amazon Prime.

10. Curb Your Enthusiasm

Comedy | IMDb: 8.7 | Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

From the creator of Seinfeld comes a more cynical and absurd kind of comedy. Curb Your Enthusiasm follows a retired television writer, his family, and his friends. Like Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm feels very much like a “show about nothing.”

In addition to being awkwardly hilarious, it maintains a consistent quality over the course of its seasons. Taken in small doses, Curb Your Enthusiasm can be, and often is, laugh-out-loud funny.

11. Insecure

Comedy Drama | IMDb: 7.8 | Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

Insecure has all the hilarity and cringe-worthiness of watching its leading lady try to navigate adulthood while refusing to grow up—but it also provides a fresh take on contemporary life.

The show stars Issa Rae, who also co-created the series, as she drifts through life in Los Angeles with her best friend. Between awkward hilarity, the series also provides a frank look at the social and racial issues faced by black women in America.

12. The Night Of

Crime Drama | IMDb: 8.5 | Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

This miniseries follows the story of a Muslim college student who is accused of murdering an acquaintance in New York City. The premise may sound rather run-of-the-mill, but The Night Of is packed with suspense.

What’s to love about this show? Many things, but its commitment to realism is something that’s rare in modern television. This realism amplifies the stakes and makes the story that much more meaningful.

13. Sharp Objects

Psychological Thriller | IMDb: 8.2 | Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Sharp Objects is a tense, dark miniseries with Amy Adams in the starring role. The story follows a crime reporter who is sent to cover a developing crime story in her hometown.

Not only does she need to grapple with the mystery surrounding the disappearance of two girls, but also her own mental health issues and alcoholism stemming from abuse during childhood. The series features twists and turns that unravel the facade of a sleepy, quiet town.

14. Big Little Lies

Drama | IMDb: 8.5 | Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

What goes on behind the closed doors of the wealthy homes in Monterey Bay? Much more than what the community thought, it turns out, when five women become embroiled in a murder investigation.

The series switches back and forth between past events and the police interrogation room during the first season, slowly revealing what took place. Meanwhile, the second season further explores the fallout that follows the events of the first.

The show quickly deconstructs the vapid charade put on by its characters to unearth compelling explorations of trauma, abuse, and the complexities of relationships.

15. Gentleman Jack

Period Drama | IMDb: 8.2 | Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

Gentleman Jack has many of the typical aspects of a classic period drama—family politics, business rivalries, and a lovable rogue who charms the ladies. However, this lovable rogue isn’t an English gentleman, but Anne Lister—a real-life landowner whose detailed diaries recounted her business dealings and romances with other women.

The series follows Lister as she returns to her home of Shibden Hall. Recently heartbroken, she spends her time trying to revive her family’s business and find a wife who she can settle down with.

Are These the Best Shows on HBO?

While there are ways to watch HBO for free by utilizing free trials and limited offers, at $15/month, HBO Max is a bargain, quite honestly. Especially if you don’t have cable TV. And these shows, which we consider to be the best HBO shows ever made, are the reason why. Do you agree? If not, let us know in the comments below.

Read the full article: The 15 Best HBO Shows That Make It Worth the Money


Apple TV+ series ‘Dickinson’ secures a Peabody Award for entertainment

Apple TV+ comedy series "Dickinson" has won a Peabody Award.

HBO Max vs. HBO Now vs. HBO Go: What Are the Differences?

WarnerMedia has launched the much-hyped HBO Max, promising a large catalog of exclusive and original streaming content. But how is HBO Max different from the HBO Now and HBO Go?

With so many HBO-branded packages, it can get confusing for the average consumer. So, in this article, we look at HBO Max vs. HBO Now vs. HBO Go to help you decide which service to choose.

What Is HBO Now?

hbo now streaming service

HBO Now is HBO’s standalone streaming service for the United States. It is similar to Netflix in that users stream directly from HBO and therefore do not require a third-party site, service, or cable package.

HBO Now costs $14.99/month, excluding tax. Since the service does not form part of a cable package, you are billed monthly and can cancel your subscription at any time without being locked into a longer contract period.

HBO Now includes the full catalog of HBO content, including popular HBO series, but not content from other WarnerMedia properties.

What Is HBO Go?

hbo go streaming website

HBO Go is the streaming app for customers in the United States who have a cable TV package subscription to HBO. Unlike HBO Now, HBO Go is part of a TV package and is not a standalone service. Without a cable account with an HBO subscription, you can’t log into the HBO Go app.

The price of HBO Go varies according to the channel subscription prices for different cable providers.

However, it provides access to the exact same content and catalog as HBO Now.

What Is HBO Max?

hbo max streaming service

HBO Max is also a streaming platform for HBO movies and series. However, rather than only featuring HBO content, it also offers content from across WarnerMedia’s catalog. The platform will also host original content specific to HBO Max called Max Originals.

The service includes all of HBO’s catalog, as well as titles from other WarnerMedia networks and franchises. This includes content from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes Cartoons, and select TCM classic films.

An HBO Max subscription costs $14.99/month (excluding tax) if purchased directly from However, WarnerMedia states that if you buy it as part of a package or from another provider, prices may vary.

For example, if you purchase HBO Max access via Hulu, YouTube TV, or your cable provider, prices may differ. AT&T and other internet providers also include access to HBO Max as a part of certain packages.

HBO Max Vs. HBO Now Vs. HBO Go: The Main Differences

With so many HBO-branded streaming apps, it’s no wonder that people are confused about which service to use and subscribe to. So what’s the difference between HBO Go, HBO Now, and HBO Max?

HBO Now and HBO Go differ in terms of how you access HBO content: either as a standalone streaming service for the former, or through a cable TV package for the latter.

HBO Max, on the other hand, is essentially the replacement for HBO Now and HBO Go. It offers a central platform through which HBO subscribers can access content, with a bigger catalog of series and movies thanks to the inclusion of WarnerMedia properties. HBO Max also includes Max Originals, which will be exclusive content that can’t be streamed on any other platforms.

While HBO Go and HBO Now still remain functional, this appears to be for the benefit of devices and providers that don’t yet support HBO Max. HBO Max is essentially the future of streaming HBO content thanks to its more centralized login process and larger catalog.

How to Get HBO Max

HBO Max is only available to customers in the United States and select US territories. The streaming platform cannot be accessed from outside the US. But how do you subscribe to the service if you want the expanded catalog on offer?

The process differs slightly depending on whether you already have an HBO subscription or are a new customer.

Existing HBO Subscribers

Existing direct-billed subscribers for HBO Now are automatically upgraded to HBO Max at no extra cost, so long as the update is supported by your device. The subscription plans are the same price when billed directly by HBO, making the transition seamless.

However, customers billed through Apple, Google Play, Samsung, Optimum, and Verizon Fios Internet can also upgrade their HBO Now app to HBO Max without paying extra.

HBO Go users are able to move to HBO Max, but this will depend on cable provider support for the new platform.

According to WarnerMedia, HBO Go users direct-billed through AT&T, AT&T TV, DIRECTV, U-Verse TV, Cox, Hulu, Optimum, Spectrum, Suddenlink, Verizon Fios TV, or select independent providers can also access HBO Max at no extra cost.

If your cable provider supports HBO Max, you will be able to use your cable account details to log into HBO Max. But if you get the error message “Currently Unavailable” when you open HBO Max, this means your provider doesn’t currently support the service.

New HBO Subscribers

If you don’t already subscribe to HBO through one of its older services or a third party, you can get HBO Max by signing up on the HBO Max website. This is the most direct way to access the service.

You can also sign up via the HBO Max app on Android, iOS, or Samsung smart TVs.

Other providers who offer HBO Max access include:

  • Apple TV Channels
  • Hulu
  • YouTube TV

Alternatively, you can sign up for HBO Max via your cable provider.

HBO Max is also available through certain internet providers, including:

  • AT&T
  • Consolidated Communications
  • Liberty
  • Optimum
  • Verizon

You will have to check which packages and plans include HBO Max access as part of their bundled services.

Which HBO Service Should You Subscribe To?

If you’re not currently subscribed to a streaming service for HBO content, HBO Max is the way to go. It’s the same price as HBO Now and offers more content. Of course, you might still use HBO Go if your cable provider doesn’t provide access to HBO Max yet.

However, if you’re looking for an alternative streaming service, there are many others you can choose from. Take a look at our list of the best TV streaming services for more options.

Read the full article: HBO Max vs. HBO Now vs. HBO Go: What Are the Differences?


How to Watch HBO for Free

If you’ve been feeling left out from your friends’ conversations about Game of Thrones or Westworld, you might be looking for ways to watch HBO. For years, HBO has been producing binge-worthy content that’s only accessible to paid subscribers and people who pay for TV packages.

While HBO doesn’t come free (at least by legitimate means), there are still several ways you can sign up (and even stack) free trials. Not to mention that you can still watch some HBO shows and movies online for free, and some services even offer a complimentary subscription to HBO.

Do you want to start watching HBO for free? Then read on to find out the many ways you can get a free trial to HBO, and other ways to get HBO free.

1. Sign Up for a Free Trial on

HBO Free Trial HBO Website

HBO offers a seven-day free trial of HBO Now right on its website. That means one whole week of streaming free content to your phone, tablet, computer, or TV before you have to start paying $15/month.

If you don’t cancel your subscription at least 24 hours before your trial ends, HBO will charge you the price of the subscription. You should also keep in mind that the free trial is for new customers only, so you won’t get to start a trial twice.

Get: An HBO Now Free Trial on

2. Get an HBO Free Trial on Hulu

Hulu HBO Free Trial

Already have Hulu? You’re in luck—Hulu offers a week-long HBO free trial for its subscribers.

Once you sign up for the trial, you can start watching HBO alongside all of your favorite shows on Hulu. When the trial ends, you’ll have to pay for the price of the Hulu subscription, as well as the $15/month HBO add-on.

Get: An HBO Free Trial on Hulu

3. Get an HBO Free Trial on Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime HBO Free Trial

Like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video also offers an HBO add-on for current subscribers. You can start a seven-day free trial of HBO through Amazon Prime, giving you access to HBO’s library of movies, TV shows, and documentaries.

If you decide to keep your HBO subscription, you’ll have to pay $15/month in addition to your Amazon Prime subscription. It’s also worth mentioning that Prime Video already comes with a handful of HBO shows that don’t require the Amazon Prime HBO add-on. That said, make sure you’ve exhausted the existing HBO options before starting the free trial.

Get: An HBO Free Trial on Amazon Prime

4. Get an HBO Free Trial on The Roku Channel

HBO Free Trial Roku Channel

Although The Roku Channel has tons of movies and TV shows available for free, you’ll have to pay to stream any HBO content. The only way to access HBO for free on Roku is with a seven-day free trial.

Once the trial ends, you’re subject to a monthly fee of $15. The free trial through Roku is the way to go if you don’t want to pay extra for Hulu or Amazon Prime, and if you want access to a library of hundreds of free content.

Get: An HBO Free Trial on The Roku Channel

5. Take Advantage of Free HBO Max With AT&T

Watch HBO Max AT&T

HBO is bundling its newest streaming service, HBO Max, with any AT&T plan. With HBO Max’s library of popular HBO shows, Max Originals, and other WarnerMedia content, HBO Max is set to become one of the best TV streaming services out there.

If you already have any of these AT&T services (or plan to get one), you can stream HBO Max free of charge:

  • DirecTV Premier
  • DirecTV Lo Maximo
  • AT&T TV Now Max
  • U400 and U450 TV
  • AT&T Unlimited Elite wireless plan
  • AT&T Internet 1000

To access your complimentary HBO Max subscription, simply sign into HBO Max with your AT&T login information. Without an AT&T plan, you’ll have to pay $15/month for an HBO Max subscription.

Get: HBO Max

6. Watch Free Episodes on the HBO Website

Watch Free Episodes HBO Website

There are a ton of amazing shows to watch on HBO. If you’re not ready to make the commitment (or just want to see what HBO has to offer), you can watch free episodes and documentaries on the HBO website.

Although the site gives you access to several full-length documentaries, most of the free episodes are just pilots—you’ll have to get a free trial or a paid HBO subscription if you want to see more. That aside, it’s still a great way to get a feel for some of HBO’s best series, such as The Wire, Game of Thrones, and The Sopranos.

Watch: Free Episodes on HBO

7. Watch Clips from HBO Shows on YouTube

Watch HBO Clips Free on YouTube

Not comfortable getting an HBO free trial? Luckily, you can always watch clips and trailers of HBO shows and movies on YouTube. The short videos from shows like Westworld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Big Little Lies can help you decide whether you want to pay for a full-fledged HBO subscription or not.

For the largest collection of clips and trailers, head to HBO’s own YouTube channel. Otherwise, searching for videos of an HBO show or movie you’re interested in will yield tons of results from third-party channels.

Watch: HBO Clips on YouTube

8. Check With Your Cable or Satellite Company

HBO Free Online With TV Package

If you haven’t ditched cable yet, you might be able to get HBO for free or at a discounted price. Several popular cable companies like Verizon FiOS, DirectTV, Comcast, and Cox include HBO in certain packages.

For example, with the DirecTV Choice package, you’ll get HBO included with the price for one year, and that’s in addition to an HBO Max subscription. Even if your cable or satellite plan doesn’t include HBO, it doesn’t hurt to call up your service provider to see if they’re offering any special HBO deals or free trials.

The Best Ways to Watch HBO Free Online

Once you run out of free HBO trials, you’ll have to pay the price of the subscription. The monthly price of HBO isn’t cheap, so taking advantage of any introductory free trials, free HBO videos online, and special offers for cable customers is a good idea before you commit.

Now that so many TV shows and movies are available online, it’s the perfect time to consider getting rid of costly cable and satellite TV. And these awesome live TV streaming services might just convince you to cut the cord.

Read the full article: How to Watch HBO for Free


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