HBO has been known to air some of the most groundbreaking series in television history. From hilarious comedies to riveting dramas along with everything in between, HBO has something for everyone, no matter how acquired your tastes may be.
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By looking at each show's ratings on IMDb, the world's most popular movie and TV database, along with the world-famous review site Rotten Tomatoes, we have compiled a list of HBO's finest television series since 2008 that have blown away audience members and TV critics alike.
Following the trials and tribulations of actor Vincent Chase's life and career, along with the lives of those closest to him, Entourage gave viewers an inside look at the life of a celebrity. Throughout the show's eight season run, fans were treated to tons of guest appearances from some of Hollywood's finest, which may be one of the many reasons why the show garnered such a cult following.
Whilst panned by critics, the show achieved an 82% Audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes as well as an impressive 8.5 stars from IMDb. With such a decent audience reception, the show-runners decided to follow up by the series with the Entourage movie in 2015.
In what is probably one of the most unique storylines out there, Westworld centers on an Old West theme park where visitors can live out their wildest dreams, no matter the consequences. Although sometimes a little complicated for some fans to follow, this show has received much praise for its visual effects, storyline and cast members' performances.
8. The Pacific
Whilst only a mini-series, this 2010 release remains one of HBO's highest-rated shows of all time. The story focuses on the lives of three US Marines fighting in World War II, each of whom finds themselves in different regiments and geographic locations. Rami Malek also featured in the series.
The Pacific received a 91% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes' critics and 87% from audiences, along with 8.3 stars from IMDb. Furthermore, for its outstanding cast, characters, makeup and storyline, the miniseries was rewarded with eight Emmy awards, including that for Outstanding Miniseries.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus shines in this politically-charged comedy as Selina Meyer, who begins the series as Vice President of the United States. Her antics whilst in this role, along with her brief stint as President of the United States, have had audiences in stitches for six seasons, and with a dynamic and hilariously unpredictable ensemble cast, its no wonder that this series has been awarded the Emmy for Best Comedy for the past two years.
This ever-amusing comedy has received 91% ratings from Rotten Tomatoes' critics and audience members alike, as well as 8.2 stars from IMDb, and looks set for a strong finish when the curtain reigns down on its seventh season.
6. Boardwalk Empire
This series centered on how corrupt politicians and criminals made their fortunes during the prohibition in the 1920s. Apart from starring A-list actor Steve Buscemi, the series also had its pilot directed by Martin Scorsese while talented guest stars such as Christopher McDonald and Patricia Arquette also featured over the course of the show's five seasons.
Praised for its excellent casting, costumes, and visual effects, Boardwalk Empire won numerous accolades including a Golden Globe for best drama series and along with multiple Emmys. The show received a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes along with a 95% audience approval rating, as well as 8.6 stars on IMDb.
5. Curb Your Enthusiasm
Debuting back in 2000, this long-running sitcom stars Larry David as a fictionalized version of himself. With central themes being the social conventions of daily American life, as well as Larry's many issues with them, this show has made for some hilariously awkward encounters that have caused audiences to split their sides, while at the same time feel a little embarrassed for Larry.
With guest stars often appearing on the show as fictionalized versions of themselves, such as Salman Rushdie and Ricky Gervais, audience approval ratings have been through the roof, as is evident with the 95% Rotten Tomatoes rating. The show has also received 8.7 stars on IMDb.
4. Silicon Valley
Centered on the exploits of Richard Hendricks, the socially-awkward engineer and CEO of Pied Piper, this series has been met with critical acclaim. Probably at its all-time peak, season 3 of the show got a 100% Tomatometer rating from Rotten Tomatoes critics.
This series has been nominated for an array of Emmy awards and gone on to win two of them, and with what is expected to be its final season airing in 2020, it may be up for a few more.
3. Game Of Thrones
This epic fantasy is widely known for its enormous cast, long list of intertwining plots and high volume of character deaths. In addition to this, its breathtaking locations, convincing costumes, and well-executed use of CGI have allowed it to amass a worldwide following. Not only has Game of Thrones exceeded expectations with audiences worldwide (having broken the Guinness World Record for most "in demand" show) but it has also won a jaw-dropping 47 Emmy Awards, making it the fantasy series and drama series with the most awards in Emmy history. With one of the most enormous budgets in television production history, one could surely expect such a warm reception for this instant HBO classic.
2. The Wire
Having aired its final season in 2008, this show narrowly makes the cut to appear on this list, which is great considering that it is one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time. Giving viewers an inside look at the American drug trade on all hierarchical levels, this show has an outstanding cast including Dominic West and Idris Elba.
Its no wonder that this show achieved the near-impossible score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and fans alike, along with 9.3 stars from IMDb. While the fact that this series never won a Primetime Emmy award will always be a mystery, the series still remains ingrained in the memories of all the dedicated fans who watched it.
1. The Sopranos
Although this show ended in 2007, it would be a crime not to mention it on a list of HBO's greatest shows. Constantly named as "one of the most impactful and influential television dramas ever produced", the series revolved around Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the struggles he faced when trying to balance his family life with that of his criminal enterprise.
This show won 21 Emmy awards and 5 Golden Globes, while Rolling Stone magazine even named this series as the "Greatest TV Show of All Time". The Sopranos received a 97% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, along with 9.2 stars on IMDb.