Stream Police: HBO GO Edition

Posted in The Screening Room by - April 26, 2016

Hello friendly readers, I’m back. It’s been quite a while since I stepped into the saddle for Stream Police but this week all that changes. We’ve covered a large variety of streaming platforms in the last year and a half but somehow haven’t managed to touch on HBO GO. HBO GO is HBO’s streaming platform for all of their original content, movies, and other content that they play on the normally paid channel. Let’s take a look at what HBO GO has to offer and see what kind of trouble we can get into.

And yes, I know I’ve left a fair amount of really awesome stuff off this Stream Police but hey, that’s why we do this every week. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Last Week Tonight is the best show featuring a Daily Show alum, and frankly, it overshadows the current iteration of Comedy Central’s show. Hosted by John Oliver, the show talks the week in the news for the first half of the show, and in the second half, Oliver looks at one particular topic that is often overlooked or misunderstood like televangelists or patents. The show blends comedy and serious takes with a deft hand along with creating some truly inspired running gags such as the Dog Supreme Court. If Oliver’s look at televangelists doesn’t convince you to check out the show, then I’m sorry.

Real Time with Bill Maher

Real Time is similar to Last Week Tonight but with a decidedly more political angle to the entire show with a clearly liberal stance. Host Bill Maher starts each show with an opening monolog then segues to his weekly panel comprised of a wide array of guests including Killer Mike of Run the Jewels, Ariana Huffington, and Thomas Middleditch. They talk politics, the week’s headlines, and anything else from the week in news. Bill Maher is a sharp-tongued host that keeps the jokes coming along with on-point commentary on anything that draws his ire. The fact that he’s on HBO allows for the obscenities and jokes to fly as well.

Game of Thrones

With the sixth season of the show kicking off last night, Game of Thrones is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows on television right now. Taking place in the medieval land of Westeros, the show focuses on the struggle for the Iron Throne by several warring families. Each episode of the show travels between various stunning locals in the world, focusing on several different main characters and their current often life-threatening situations. Sometimes even, unlike a fair number of current cable shows, those main characters don’t make it out of the season, which is a refreshing change from shows that love to toy with the audience. The show also takes full advantage of the fact that it is on HBO with enough nudity and gore to make even myself blush sometimes. It’s a one of a kind show that draws you in from the first scene and keeps you wanting more. 

Silicon Valley

Mike Judge is a comedic genius with his various projects from King of the Hill to Idiocracy, but Silicon Valley may be his masterwork. Following the exploits of the Pied Piper development team, the show takes place in the eponymous Silicon Valley as the team attempts to get their start-up off the ground. They run into a number of humorous road blocks along the way from deleting entire servers from a porn website to live-streaming a trapped mountain climber along with being sued by their competition Houli aka fake Google. The cast is also amazing with T.J. Miller and Kumail Nanjiani delivering some of the show’s funniest lines. It’s like Office Space for the 21st century but much funnier and on the nose. 

The Sopranos

The Sopranos is one of the best shows in the history of television bar none and HBO’s best original show. It was a landmark show that took a played out genre and turned it into not only a gripping family drama but also a psychological profile on a mafia crime boss. While the end of the show has always been a divisive topic for fans of the show, the show as a whole stands as a true triumph of television. The performances, writing, and direction set the standard for years of HBO and cable programming to come and really allowed HBO to be taken seriously as a place not just for movies. 

This post was written by
Chris Stachiw is the Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the Kulturecast. He's a native Californian with a penchant for sarcasm and a taste for the cinematic bizarre. You'll often find him wandering the wasteland of Nebraska searching for the meaning of life and possibly another rare Pokemon.
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