5 Random Thoughts About The Current State of HBO


In a world full of AMCs, FXs, and Pirate Bays, HBO reigns as king. It currently possesses TV’s alpha show (Game Of Thrones), alpha male (The Rock), and alpha immigrant (John Oliver). Even in the summertime, when everyone forgoes hours of television in exchange for hours of day beers, HBO still manages to stay in the news.

Let’s take a quick look at five things we currently think about HBO and give them an arbitrary score of 1-to-5. For scoring purposes, we will pay homage to HBO smash hit Silicon Valley and grade everything on a scale from 1 comma to 5 commas.

5. Ballers Startin’ to Ball

Quick Ballers recap:

-Denzel Washington’s son is currently shacking up with his teammate’s mom
-Denzel Washington’s son owns a house called ‘The Fun House’ where, to quote him indirectly, he has “[produced] about 1,000 [orgasms]” in the 30-foot swimming pool that takes up most of the backyard
-Denzel Washington’s son had an interview on national TV and chose to rock a beige suit with a white t-shirt underneath. Surprisingly, he did not look horrible.
-No actual football has been played yet on this show and the season is almost over

Ballers be ballin’ on HBO and we think this deserves cuatro commas (4 commas).


4. HBO and the NFL Make For Awkward Bedfellows

HBO owns the rights to the marginally gratifying series Hard Knocks, which means they’re knocking boots with the NFL. The reason this comes up is because it appears HBO is taking the tried and tested approach that it doesn’t matter who you sleep with, just as long as they don’t spend the night.

First, in the aforementioned show Ballers, HBO is blatantly using NFL logos and jerseys without actual any permission from the league. Second, they recently hired former ESPN employee and noted Roger Goodell critic Bill Simmons and gave him his own weeknight TV show. Simmons was fired from ESPN, for amongst many reasons, his genuine discontent towards the NFL and specifically, its commissioner.

At this rate, the only thing left for HBO to do is to have Tyrion Lannister take a giant dump on the NFL Shield during the next season of GOT.

It’s fun seeing the NFL get publicly trashed, so we think this deserves trés commas (3 commas).


3. What Happened To True Detective?

If you enjoyed season one, you have no reason to watch season two. If you didn’t enjoy season one, you have even less reason to watch season two. If you have an hour to kill on Sunday and you think passing the time by watching True Detective is a good use of your time, you are sadly, sadly mistaken.

It’s one thing for the show to be moving at a glacial pace, but it’s another for it to be moving this slowly and still have everyone who is watching it more or less confused about what exactly is going down. I think this is all one giant, convoluted storyline that is unfolding before our eyes, but then again there are so many moving parts and changes in facial hair that I can’t really keep up.

There are only two more episodes left before Vince Vaughn goes back to crashing weddings, Colin Farrell goes back to chilling in phone booths, and Rachel McAdams goes back to doing whatever Rachel McAdams does in 2015.

It’s a shame what has happened to such a great show. Watching a borderline train wreck on a weekly basis says just as much about the show as it does about all of us who continue to watch it.

We think season two of True Detective deserves uno coma (1 comma). Via

2. John Oliver Is America’s Best Import

To think John Oliver just fell right into HBO’s lap is absolutely astounding. Oliver was originally at Comedy Central working with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Everyone knew Oliver was due for big things and was more than deserving of his own show, sort of like, you know, Jon Stewart. But with Stewart’s ass firmly planted in The Daily Show’s anchor seat, Oliver was forced to look elsewhere for work and HBO pounced.

Oliver has since become the most popular late night news host in America and has taken on everyone and everything from FIFA to Little Caesars Pizza. You can’t go anywhere on the internet come Monday morning and not see a clip or an article about John Oliver’s latest rant against [insert victim here].

John Oliver is living life so large, he might as well have a permanent role on Ballers. We are partial to guys who hate old white dudes with money and power, so we think John Oliver deserves quarto comas (4 commas).


1. 122 Million Is A Big Number

From the Time Warner website:

HBO and its sister station, Cinemax, which are owned by Time Warner, count approximately 122 million subscribers worldwide, against Netflix’s 62 million

122 million is an absurdly high number. That’s the population of Canada… times four.

The craziest thing about this number is that it’s still growing. With the aforementioned John Oliver locked in for four more years, GOT signed on for at least two more seasons, and other hit shows such as Veep and Silicon Valley already being extended beyond their current seasons, HBO has a good thing going and they ain’t slowing down.

In a world full of AMCs, FXs, and Pirate Bays, there’s only one king.

And for that, we think HBO deserves cinco comas (five commas).


Jamil A. Karim