It’s not a secret that HBO has produced a lot of iconic shows. Everyone knows about Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Girls, The Wire, and Game of Thrones. And now with the advent of HBOGo, a popular streaming site, these shows are more accessible than ever. But what happens when you’ve already binge-watched these classics? As it turns out, there are plenty of other amazing shows on HBOGo that did not get the attention they deserved. If you’ve been trying to find something new to watch, look no further than these hidden gems that ended way too soon.
1. Bored to Death
Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis, and Ted Danson are three unlikely best friends in this comedy about a young writer who decides to moonlight as an unlicensed private detective (with good rates). With its deadpan humor and weed-laced misadventures, Bored to Death is three seasons of straight up entertainment. With guest stars like Kristin Wiig and Jenny Slate, how could you go wrong?
2. Flight of the Conchords
New Zealand’s fourth-most-popular folk duo stars in this quirky musical comedy about a failing band trying to make it in New York City. Jemaine Clement, Bret Mckenzie, and Rhys Darby are all native kiwis with thick accents, adorably naïve attitudes, and plenty of witty comments. Flight of the Conchords jazz up this show by performing at least two of their own silly songs in every episode. Comedians including Kristen Schaal, Jim Gaffigan, and Eugene Mirman each have their own small parts to play as well.
This British comedy is about the unique experiences of film and television extras. Ricky Gervais and Ashley Jensen are two such characters who have all kinds of strange run-ins on film sets with celebrities that play themselves. Or, at least, they play wonderfully crude versions of themselves. Not only is Extras funny, but it is an interesting, almost poignant, commentary about the world of show biz.
4. Summer Heights High
If the term “Australian mockumentary” piques your interest even a little bit, this is the show for you. It might have had a tragically short run, but every bizarre moment of Summer Heights High is priceless. Chris Lilley plays each of the three main characters who all have separate story lines about life in a public high school. Vulgarity meets satire in this brilliant miniseries.
Another show that ended way too soon was this Western drama about the lawless town of Deadwood, South Dakota in 1876. Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane star amongst a cast of colorful, complicated characters that break the mold of typical Western tropes. Thrilling from start to finish, it also has an authentic feel that will impress any American history buff.
Speaking of authenticity, European history lovers won’t be able to get enough of Rome. Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson are two stars of many in this period drama about the relationships between famous Romans in 50 BC. Amazingly, historical accuracy was not sacrificed for excellent production quality or character depth. Instead, all three are combined in this magnificent short series.
If you find yourself in a post-Sopranos funk, Luck is another captivating show about mobsters. Dustin Hoffman's character is fresh out of jail and ready for his next racket. Conveniently his old friend and driver is willing to help him make a lot of money and get some revenge by manipulating a California race track. Gambling on horses has never been more exciting. Unfortunately, Luck is not on HBOGo, but it can be purchased on DVD or BluRay.
8. How To Make It In America
The title of this comedy-drama is pretty straightforward, but it's not exactly what you think. Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk play two best friends who are trying to make it big in the New York City fashion industry. The show puts a fresh, humorous twist on the idea of achieving the American dream. It's like a modern Friends, except a little more realistic and honest, or Entourage in the Fashion Industry.
9. The Comeback
Speaking of Friends nostalgia, Lisa Kudrow appears in The Comeback as a sitcom star trying to save her career. Don't worry, the show isn't autobiographical. Instead, her character stars in a reality show in an attempt to land a role in a new sitcom. Though this funny and fresh show was canceled way too early, it's making...wait for it...a comeback! Yes, after years off the air, they are reportedly releasing a second season on HBO this fall.