Entries in HBO (2)

Thursday
Aug022012

Loving HBO Right Now

I've been a subscriber of the premium network for many years now, and I used to hold that the '90s were the heyday for the company. After all you had The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Larry Sanders Show, etc. But then came the 2000s with really serious and acclaimed fare, which gave rise to a flock of new stars. We're talking shows like Six Feet Under, The Wire, Deadwood, and Rome--talk about an eclectic mix of genres and a unique range of storytelling. Within these wonderful and creative eras, there were many duds and mishaps, and only recently has the network returned to its vaunted position where it enjoys critical acclaim and commercial success.

Its miniseries have been unparallel, whether we're talking From the Earth to the Moon, the WWII epics Band of Brothers and the Pacific, and the stellar and wonderfully acted John Adams. But what I really look forward to are the shows that make me long for the week to lapse so I can return to imagined worlds to which I've grown so accustomed, worlds like those of Game of Thrones, new series The Newsroom, which features Jeff Daniels at his absolute best, and Boardwalk Empire. Comedies are something to look forward to as well, and I'm really enjoying Ricky Gervais' and Stephen Merchant's Life's Too Short, which was co-conceived by the show’s star, Warwick Davis, a true delight to watch, and quite hilarious. The political comedy Veep took some getting used to, but I've since warmed up to it, and Girls is not quite suited to my generation (can't quite see the appeal), but the network, on a whole is on the rise, despite the competition it inspired from the likes of Showtime, as well as a slew of basic cable powerhouses (FX, AMC, TBS, etc.). After all these years, and all its many shows, HBO still stands on the pinnacle of success, while other networks gaze up at it from secondary and tertiary perches. That says a lot.

Thanks to HBO GO, viewing all my favorites happens on demand, so I guess I'll keep watching.

Saturday
May262012

HBO's Game of Thrones

I think HBO is doing wonders for the fantasy genre. Not only have they taken source material and lifted the possibilities of the storytelling to new heights, but they've done so through the medium of television, perhaps eclipsing what has been done on the big screen (my apologies, Peter Jackson). Game of Thrones is high art in my view. The show manages to capture the essence of George R. R. Martin's books while adding a unique flavor to the mix each week. Characters are a bit different in the show and chart a slightly different course than their literary counterparts but ultimately they share the same fate, thus far anyway. We're nearing the end of season two and it is getting HOT!!!

I love Tyrion and the loyal and fearless Brienne; Arya is a rare treat and Daenerys is wonderfully portrayed, but her blasted dragons aren't in the show enough (blame it on the budget). For those who haven't read the books (I have yet to complete the newest books myself) you're in for major surprises and more shocking deaths, but I say, bring 'em on!

I gotta tell you too, this show has me pining for Ronald Coleborn's Legends of the Dread Realm series, which launches in August, supposedly. I've only read bits and pieces of it thus far, thanks to monthly meetings, but what I've seen has surely whetted my appetite.

You can tell by now that, though a sci-fi writer I am, I have a strong affinity for fantasy. Love the stuff!