HBO may gotten its start in movies and sports broadcasts, but the cable giant has now aired more than 100 series and 20 miniseries in its 42-year history. And looking at that lineup of shows, it's not anoverstatement to say the channel helped usher in the current golden age of television. We took a look at four decades of HBO shows (not miniseries) and picked our favorite 20.
20. Boardwalk Empire
It's this wide-ranging spotlight, drifting from the highest levels of political office down to lowlybootleggers and prostitutes, that makes the show something special, offering up morality plays that hold the lives of millions at stake, while putting an actual face on those being affected.
Certainly a "water cooler show" if there ever was one, Oz made waves with its violence and sexual content early on and its equally deep and disturbing storytelling once people got over the fact that it was set in a maximum security prison.
18. Sex and the City
It remains a phenomenon, and as cliché as it may sound, it opened the door for more complex narratives about women and sex, and it did so unapologetically thanks in large part to Kim Cattrall's role as Samantha Jones.
它已经成为一种文化现象，虽然听起来像老生常谈，但这部剧的确开了一个先河，让人们可以用更复杂的方式来描述女人和性，而这毫无疑问很大一部分得益于金·凯特罗尔(Kim Cattrall)扮演的萨曼莎·琼斯(Samantha Jones)一角。
17. Mr. Show with Bob and David
Before alternative comedy was a recognized thing, there was Mr. Show with Bob and David, a geniussketch comedy show that had a criminally short run on HBO from 1995 to 1998.
16. Eastbound & Down
It's one of the few comedies I can think of where I was often afraid of what was about to happen, like I was watching a horror film or thriller.
15. The Leftovers
Few shows have ever achieved such intoxicating sensations of pure hopefulness and near-simultaneous hopelessness in its plots and themes.
The one thing I really love about Girls is that it refuses to conform to identity politics.
13. Flight of the Conchords
This is a show that you sink into, and that sweeps you along in its own relaxed rhythms, dispensing the sort of calm, surprising laughs that feels almost therapeutic.
12. The Larry Sanders Show
It blurred the line between reality and TV show, with real-life actors playing themselves on the talk show within the show, and often sending up their public personas.
11. Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley isn't crincringe ge comedy, but it has the same level of antipathy towards much of its cast, which makes the show feel real in a way that sets it apart from other sitcoms.