I recently walked in on one of my roommates committing a heinous act. He was sitting alone, on our living room couch, with the lights turned off, staring at our living-room television screen. He was using his HBO GO subscription to watch â€œBatman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice.â€ With some of the best shows and movies at his fingertips, he chose a film with 27% on Rotten Tomatoes?The worst part is that he agreed how bad it was, and kept watching. I was absolutely disgusted, and found myself unable to look him in the eyes for the few following days, until I realized that he made this awful mistake not from bad taste, but out of laziness. Even though all Trinity students have an HBO GO subscription, it can be hard to know what to watch on the platform. After all, its default sorting is alphabetical order. Seriously? You can do better, HBO.
So, in preparation of winter break (itâ€™s real close, so hold on tight,) hereâ€™s a run-down with a few shows to enjoy on the popular HBO streaming platform.
Game of Thrones
Gotta get it out of the way: Blah blah blah, itâ€™s so good, blah blah, best show on television in the past decade, blah blah â€“ youâ€™ve heard it all before. I get it: itâ€™s a ton of commitment. At six seasons, with 60 hourlong episodes, the show is a behemoth. But hereâ€™s a thought: the two final seasons are coming soon, and with them come the watch parties. Think of the fun you could have when youâ€™re finally not the weirdo who just came to hang out. You donâ€™t want to be that person.
You have probably already been nagged by someone about Westworld, so I wonâ€™t mention how itâ€™s an amazingly well-crafted, genre-bending, escapist sci-fi bundle of fun. All I will say is that itâ€™s a great time to jump on the bandwagon. With the series finale coming this weekend, youâ€™ll be able to watch the whole series in a gulp and spend winter break pretending that you were hip to it all along.
Come on. You gotta watch Silicon Valley. Itâ€™s entertaining, itâ€™s funny, itâ€™s an easy watch, and itâ€™s easily one of the best sitcoms of the past couple of years. The show follows a group of tech nerds as their app takes them into the money-driven, socially-inept world of big tech. At 23 minutes per-episode, it is the height of bingeability, so youâ€™ve got no excuse.
Band of Brothers, The Pacific,
Saving Private Ryan
Iâ€™m bundling these two series and movie together because they are three of a kind â€“ a sort of trilogy on the American effort in World War II. After collaborating on â€œSaving Private Ryanâ€ in 1998, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks went on to co-Executive Produce â€œBand of Brothersâ€ and â€œThe Pacific.â€ The resulting bundle covers operations like D-Day to the taking of the Eagleâ€™s Nest and the often-overlooked Pacific theater of operations. Good if youâ€™re looking for a (very pro-American) crash-course in World War II, or if you just want to enjoy some proper storytelling.
The Wire & The Sopranos
If you truly want to go old school, and watch two of the shows that begun the so-called â€œGolden Age of Television,â€ look no further than these two. â€œThe Sopranosâ€ tells the story of New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano, and his family. The show became an instant sensation, and the finale is among the most-viewed broadcasts in television history.
The Wire is one of the most ambitious series ever made, insofar its core is not about a group of characters or a singular story, but a city: Baltimore. The showâ€™s seasons center around different aspects of the cityâ€™s culture, such as police and criminal life, the school system, and the political arena. Creator David Simon spent years embedded with police units and sitting at ghetto street corners, and made HBO shoot the show in Baltimore, with mostly local actors. The Wire is ethnography-turned-drama.
Hopefully this run-down helps you stay away from Adam Sandler movies, and prompts you to take advantage of the service the Trinity gods have given us. During this winter solstice, letâ€™s all join in worship at the altar of Good TV.