So after one week of HBO NOW…

I said I would do it, and I wasn’t joking around.

Last week, I ordered HBO NOW, the Home Box Office standalone service, through my AppleTV device.  Maybe it’s the first step towards my personal a la carte television service, and if that’s the case, then great for me – at least I know that my $15/month toward HBO is paying for exactly what I want, and not to pay for some bundled channels for which I have no interest.

First off – can I watch Game of Thrones on HBO NOW?  Oh yes I can watch it; in fact, I was able to watch the premiere of the show’s fifth season in nearly real-time with its premiere on cable (well, I started watching the 9:00 start at 9:02, so that’s sorta real time).  And at the end of the episode, there was a little five-minute recap with the show’s writers and producers about the important parts of the episode and how they were filmed and written.  Nice.

Let’s see… what else have I enjoyed by watching HBO NOW?

I saw a new episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, without having to wait until Oliver’s people uploaded the commentary onto YouTube.  That was nice.

As per recommendations by some of my friends, either on Facebook or through my blog, I began watching season runs of Veep (wow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus could appear in an infomercial for kitchen utensils and still be funnier than most of today’s sitcom actresses), The Comeback (it’s official – Lisa Kudrow has more talent than she ever displayed on Friends), and The Wire (started with the first episode, still working my way through it).

Now there are other shows that I can binge-watch – HBO has put over 95% of its legacy library of dramas, sitcoms and documentaries on the HBO NOW service.  For example, I can now watch those old Autopsy episodes where Dr. Michael Baden is interviewed about grisly and salacious murders and deaths.  It’s like watching Forensic Files – heck, I would suspect that Forensic Files was totally influenced by Autopsy.  And the first episode of Autopsy featured recaps of such Capital District murders as the Joan Bent story, the Marybeth Tinning story, and the Donna Payant / Lemuel Smith story.  Wow.

There were a few omissions from the HBO library – no First and 10, the football drama that starred Delta Burke and O.J. Simpson; and no The Kids in the Hall, either.  Maybe I should find the HBO executive who left that show off the list and crush his head.  Ha ha ha…

But yeah, now I can catch up on what everybody else has seen.  Maybe I should check out that drama about the church choir, something called The Sopranos.  Or that program about the subway workers called Six Feet Under.

We shall see.

But if there’s any other HBO classics that you would recommend I watch on this HBO NOW service, by all means, fill me in with your blog comments.  I’m definitely open to new ideas and new concepts.

Oh yeah… and not having to wait until Game of Thrones comes out on DVD is a plus, as well. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “So after one week of HBO NOW…”

  1. As part of a new package I got this month, I got HBO for first time ever and caught the Game of Thrones Season 4 marathon leading up to the Season 5 opener – I never saw it before and got hooked immediately.

    Unrelated, but just started watching Daredevil on Netflix – noir awesomeness.

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  2. My all-time favorite series on HBO is Rome. It only lasted two seasons, but it was fantastic. If you are into westerns, Deadwood is also well worth watching. Boardwalk Empire and Big Love also come to mind as series that were well done by HBO. I still have HBO through my cable TV provider, but I will probably switch to HBO NOW eventually. My cable bill is way out of control and I think it’s time to start exploring options for television. For now, the biggest obstacle is sports programming, but that is starting to change as more sports are available in streaming format. If NFL Sunday Ticket ever becomes available online that will probably be the decider for us.

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  3. Unfortunately, HBO Now continues the execrable practice of changing the aspect ratio on films to fit the TV screen, zooming in on scope films (2.35:1 ratio) and mutilating the filmmaker’s intention. This detracts from the value, as Netflix (for the most part) does not do this and neither does Showtime (who will have a standalone option soon). Please sign my petition to change this practice: https://www.change.org/p/hbo-present-all-films-in-their-original-aspect-ratio-to-honor-the-director-s-artistic-intention

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