Tag Archives: HBO

HBO Best Characters List, Ranked: 50th Anniversary | TVLine

By Team TVLine

Screenshot of video…

Across the past five decades, what was once a simple catchphrase has become an unassailable fact: “It’s not TV. It’s HBO. ”Home Box Office first began broadcasting as a pay-cable network 50 years ago today, and what used to be just a channel for old movies and boxing matches has grown into arguably the single greatest producer of quality programming in television history.

HBO’s original programming ambitions started out small with raunchy comedies like 1st & Ten and Dream On, but the arrival of The Larry Sanders Show in 1992 announced it as a serious player in the TV content wars. Then with the debut of The Sopranos in 1999, HBO blasted off into an era of massive success, with a tidal wave of critical acclaim (it regularly tops all networks in Emmy wins each year) and a flurry of buzzy watercooler hits from Sex and the City to Game of Thrones.

HBO’s pay-cable status allows its original series to push the established boundaries around sex, violence and subject matter, resulting in an offbeat, thought-provoking and often groundbreaking lineup of shows. And those shows have introduced us to a host of unforgettable characters over the years: heroes and villains, superstars and sidekicks, kings and court jesters.

To celebrate HBO’s 50th birthday, we’re naming the 50 greatest characters ever to appear on its original series and ranking them, based on how fascinating, complicated, and original they were. Now HBO’s exemplary output over the years did make this a truly daunting task, but we debated, we voted — and we’re happy with the results.

Read on to see how we ranked the 50 best characters HBO ever gave us — and of course, we want to hear from you, too: Hit the comments to tell us your favorite characters we left off and who you’d rank in your personal Top 5.

Editor’s Note: My Top 5:

40, 23, 14, 24, 1

Source: HBO Best Characters List, Ranked: 50th Anniversary | TVLine

Farewell to Westworld | EW.com

HBO has ended the futuristic epic years after the original inspiration got lost in ludicrous twists and shaky concepts.

By Darren Franich, November 04, 2022 at 08:33 PM EDT


The delightful first season of Westworld established two distinct science-fiction worlds. Above was the West, a fake frontier full of fake people whose fake adventures were better than life for their human guests.

Beneath that phony past lay a familiar future: Corporate drones staring at screens, juggling customer expectations and manager directives. The robots had no freedom but all the fun, firing six-shooters and falling into tragic love while dying over and over again. The humans were all outrageous workplace monsters: Wannabe deities, preening creatives, ambitious executives.

Source: Farewell to Westworld | EW.com

The Zen Teachings of George Carlin, a Comedian Who Pointed the Way | Los Angeles Magazine

Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio’s new HBO documentary ”George Carlin’s American Dream” takes viewers on a tour through the life and career of one of the greatest comedians of all time, whose legend will only grow as humanity continues to digest the lessons he left behind.

By Greg Gilman, June 6, 2022

Photograph by Courtesy of George Carlin’s Estate/HBO

George Carlin may have despised organized religion, but the new HBO documentary about the comedian’s life and career makes it very clear he was, in fact, a very spiritual being.

It’s a side of the comic that directors Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio explore throughout George Carlin’s American Dream, contrasting his harshest criticisms of the Church, ferociously spewed at audiences during stand-up specials, with gentler interview or behind-the-scenes footage of Carlin discussing the subject.

The filmmakers of the fantastic two-part doc—a must watch for all the comedic and philosophically inclined—even included a revealing interview with the icon from Rosanne Barr’s short-lived daytime talk show. “I think you really are the guy who believes all the good of humanity,” Barr says to a then 61-year-old Carlin. “I think you are a very high spiritual person.”

Source: The Zen Teachings of George Carlin, a Comedian Who Pointed the Way

American Business History in “The Gilded Age” | Inside Adams: Science, Technology & Business | Library of Congress

February 24, 2022 by Ellen Terrell

Given its underlying business themes, The Gilded Age, which premiered on HBO in January 2022, quickly caught my attention.

The show’s first season, which is set in 1882 in the rapidly changing New York City landscape, revolves around the clash between the mores of old New York society and the emerging world of newly rich industrialists and financiers.

The Central Bank, 1910. Frank A. Nankivell, artist.

The show’s title, Gilded Age, references the period in American history from approximately 1870-1900, but where did the phrase itself come from, and what is so special about this time in American history?

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item… see video at link…

Source: American Business History in “The Gilded Age” | Inside Adams: Science, Technology & Business

Harry Potter reunion: First look at Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint | EW.com

The three Gryffindors are going back to school for Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.

Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe on ‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts’
| Credit: HBO Max

Three of Hogwarts’ most famous alums are heading back to the school’s hallowed halls for a 20th anniversary reunion, and we’ve finally got our first look at them together again.

HBO Max just released a photo of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint — who famously played the intrepid young wizards Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley in the blockbuster Harry Potter film franchise — on the set of Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.

The photo finds the trio in good spirits, catching up in what appears to be the Gryffindor common room.

Streaming Jan. 1, the retrospective special will look back at the making of the eight Harry Potter movies via in-depth interviews and conversations with cast and crew.

It will arrive some two decades after the release of the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and about 10 years after the concluding installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2.

Source: Harry Potter reunion: First look at Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint | EW.com

“Exterminate All the Brutes,” Reviewed: A Vast, Agonizing History of White Supremacy | The New Yorker

Raoul Peck’s four-hour documentary on HBO Max reveals the racist underpinnings of American national mythology and European society.

Drawing on archival material and the work of historians, the film distills the legacies of colonialism and racism.Photograph courtesy HBO

By Richard Brody, April 9, 2021

The new four-part series by Raoul Peck, “Exterminate All the Brutes,” that’s streaming on HBO Max belongs to an exceptional genre: it is, in effect, an illustrated lecture, or a cinematic podcast.

Which is to say that it’s an essay-film, a film of ideas, that are for the most part expressed by Peck himself, in his own voice-over, which nearly fills the movie’s soundtrack from start to finish.

The four-hour film is in the vein of Peck’s previous essay-film, “I Am Not Your Negro,” which focuses on James Baldwin’s work. “Exterminate All the Brutes” is similarly an intellectual effort.

And, like “I Am Not Your Negro,” it introduces and distills, from Peck’s own perspective, extant writings, this time by three historians who study colonialism and racism. Unlike the earlier film, though, the new one doesn’t offer much in the way of film clips from the writers themselves, and doesn’t (at least, doesn’t claim to) quote directly from their work. It is literally a film in Peck’s voice, and that strength, and that audacity, also gives rise to its artistic peculiarities.

Source: “Exterminate All the Brutes,” Reviewed: A Vast, Agonizing History of White Supremacy | The New Yorker