On April 22, 2018, HBO premieres Season 2 of its award-winning sci-fi mystery series "Westworld," which stars Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy, a host in a digital amusement park where rich patrons can live out their most bizarre fantasies. In honor of the show's return, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at all the best series to come from the acclaimed network. Keep reading for more…
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"Game of Thrones"
Perhaps HBO's most popular series ever is "Game of Thrones," the fantasy-drama show based on George R. R. Martin's books which stars Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow. The award-winning show about the epic fight for control over the seven kingdoms of Westeros and the survival of their people premiered in 2011. Its eighth and final season is set to debut in 2019.
"Big Little Lies"
Another award-winning series from HBO is our new favorite crime drama, "Big Little Lies" starring Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern (not pictured). The incredible series focuses on the seemingly perfect lives of a group of mothers and how their alliances and choices connect them to a horrific murder. Meryl Streep will join the cast for Season 2.
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Can we even talk about HBO shows without mentioning "The Sopranos"? The epic gangster series premiered in 1999 starring the late James Gandolfini (center) as Tony Soprano, the boss of the DiMeo crime family. The drama — which won numerous awards including multiple Golden Globes and Primetime Emmys — ran for six epic seasons, finally coming to a close in 2007.
"Sex and the City"
From 1998 to 2004, HBO made our lives a little more fantastic with the comedy-romance series "Sex and the City" starring Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristen Davis and Sarah Jessica Parker. The series focused on the women's romantic lives as well as their enduring friendships, all set against the backdrop of New York City. In 2006, "SATC" came to an end, but thankfully in 2008, it returned in the first of two major motion pictures.
In 2016, Sarah Jessica Parker returned to HBO in the Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated series "Divorce" opposite Thomas Haden Church. The comedy is about the painfully slow dissolution of one couple's marriage and the aftermath of their breakup. Season 2 debuted in January 2018 and there's talk of a potential Season 3.
Let us count the ways we love Issa Rae on the comedy series "Insecure," which she also created and executive produces. Arriving on HBO in 2016, her Golden Globe-nominated show is a beautifully real look at the lives of two black female friends focused on living their best lives while also exploring social and racial issues relevant to people of color today. Season 3 of "Insecure" is set to premiere sometime in 2018.
This award-winning HBO comedy debuted 2012 and quickly became a fan favorite. Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, a former senator who winds up becoming the next vice president of the United States (and, later, president), "Veep" is both satire and a hilarious look at the underbelly of American politics. The seventh and final season of "Veep" is set to premiere in 2019, giving Julia time to recover after an arduous chemotherapy regimen in her breast cancer battle.
"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"
It was only a matter of time before comedian and former "The Daily Show" correspondent John Oliver got his own show. In 2014, HBO premiered his weekly comedy news series, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," where John puts his hilarious (and poignant) spin on current events happening around the world. Less than four years after its debut, the show had won an impressive eight Primetime Emmys.
One of the newer arrivals to HBO's lineup is the quirky comedy "Barry" starring "Saturday Night Live" alum Bill Hader. The hilarious series is about a military veteran-turned-hitman who, while on assignment in Hollywood to kill a mark for the Chechen mafia, winds up in an acting class where he discovers a new passion.
It's hard to believe "True Blood" has been off the air since 2014. The dark horror-fantasy series starred Oscar-winning actress Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress with the power of telepathy who discovers an entire supernatural world full of vampires, werewolves, fairies and more hiding in plain sight. The series ran for seven magical seasons, winning a Golden Globe along the way.
For those of us who love gritty dramas, then look no further than HBO's "The Deuce." Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco (not pictured), "The Deuce" is a seedy exploration of Manhattan's prostitution and porn industry during the '70s and '80s. Season 2 of this sensational drama is set to premiere on Sept. 2, 2018.
HBO's heart-pounding crime-drama "True Detective" is one of our favorites thanks in part to incredible storylines each season and a rotating cast of major stars. Season 1 debuted in 2014 starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two former detectives who uncover details of a complex murder case spanning a 17-year period. Season 3 of this anthology is set to premiere in 2019 after nearly four years off the air.
Betting on our fascination with polygamy, HBO debuted its award-winning series "Big Love" starring Jeanne Tripplehorn, the late Bill Paxton, Chloe Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin in 2006. The series, about a fundamentalist Mormon family in Salt Lake City, Utah, made up of one husband and three wives, ran for five seasons before coming to an end in 2011.
Tackling the fast-paced life of NFL football stars, HBO's "Ballers" starring Dwayne Johnson is an electric, exciting sports dramedy we can't help but love. Dwayne plays Spencer Strasmore, a former professional football star whose second act is as a financial manager for some of the league's greatest talents. Season 4 of the series will premiere in 2018.
"The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"
Just because HBO's crime-dramedy "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" only survived one season on the network doesn't mean it wasn't incredible (and worth a mention on our list). The show — which starred Jill Scott as Precious Ramotswe, a woman from Botswana who opens her own private investigation firm — aired in 2009 and was nominated for three Primetime Emmys. It also featured guest stars like one very handsome Idris Elba (seen here).
What's not to love about HBO's comedy series "Silicon Valley"? The show, which was co-created by Mike Judge, follows Thomas Middleditch's socially awkward entrepreneur and engineer Richard Hendricks as he tries to save his struggling tech company, Pied Piper. Season 5 of the series, which also stars Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr and Zach Woods, debuted in March 2018.
Danny McBride (right) always knew "Vice Principals" would be a two-season deal. The HBO dark comedy first aired in 2016 and for 18 hilarious episodes, we got to watch his character, bumbling administrator Neal Gamby, in his epic struggle to take on the mantle of high school principal. Sheaun McKinney (left) co-starred as cafeteria worker Dayshawn.
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Larry David is both the creator and star of the hit HBO comedy series "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which first aired in 2000. The show follows Larry as a fictionalized version of himself in a post-"Seinfeld" world where he meets up with famous friends and gets into hilariously compromising positions. In 2011, the award-winning series went off the air, but it was rebooted in 2017. Season 10 is set to premiere sometime in 2018.
"Here and Now"
Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter team up in one of HBO's newest dramedies, "Here and Now," which is about a family with four children who are struggling to make sense of a strange, supernatural gift one of the kids seems to possess. The first episode aired on Feb. 11, 2018.
On "Entourage," Adrian Grenier (center) played Vincent Chase, a rising young movie star from New York who brings his tight-knit group of friends along with him as he encounters life as a nouveau riche Hollywood actor. The series, which was executive produced by Mark Wahlberg and loosely based on his experiences as a young star, debuted in 2004 and ran for eight seasons before ending in 2011. In 2015, the show's stars (including Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly and Kevin Dillon) reprised their roles for a film version of the popular show.
"Six Feet Under"
Before Michael C. Hall (left) became our favorite fictional serial killer on Showtime's "Dexter," he was taking a dip in the wonderfully morbid world of the dead in the HBO dramedy "Six Feet Under." The series, about a mortuary run by a quirky California family, first aired in 2001 and ran for five seasons before ending in 2005.
The reason we loved HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" wasn't just because of its compelling seedy storyline about a dirty Atlantic City politician working both sides of the law during Prohibition. We also loved how its stars, like Steve Buscemi (right, as Nucky Thompson), delivered stellar performances for all five seasons. The series, which aired from 2010 to 2014, won 64 awards during its run including two Golden Globes and several Primetime Emmys.
Although "Treme" (pronounced "treh-may") is often described as a musical drama, the HBO series was so much more. Starring Rob Brown as jazz trumpeter Delmond Lambreaux, the show explored the post-Hurricane Katrina lives of several New Orleans residents as they fought for power, justice, redemption and truth. The Primetime Emmy-winning series first aired in 2010 and ran for four seasons.
Bob Odenkirk and David Cross did something magical on their comedy sketch series "Mr. Show." The HBO original debuted in 1995 and featured both comedic stars in a seemingly random (but incredibly funny) series of sketches that were actually all linked together by one common theme. The show, which was nominated for four Primetime Emmys, went off the air in 1998 but still remains one of our favorites.
On the groundbreaking HBO prison series "Oz," fans got an intimate and often horrific look at the lives of the inmates on Level 4 (coined "The Emerald City") of Oswald Maximum Security Correctional Facility, a rehabilitative-centered experimental prison housing some of the worst offenders. The fictional series starred Harold Perrineau (seen here) among a cast of several major stars (including Christopher Meloni, J.K. Simmons and Ernie Hudson) in a gripping and gritty drama that ran from 1997 to 2003.
"Bored to Death"
When a struggling crime writer decides to go undercover as a private investigator in "Bored to Death," he gets a chance to live out the adventures of his imaginary characters with the help of his friends. The comedy series, which ran from 2009 to 2011, starred Jason Schwartzman (not pictured) as phony detective Jonathan Ames and Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson as his partners in crime-sleuthing.
"Girls" was a millennial take on "Sex and the City" and clearly, it worked. Created by and starring Lena Dunham, as well as Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams and Zosia Mamet, the Golden Globe-winning series examined the lives and loves of four New York women as they navigated personal friendships, failed romances, career struggles and independence. "Girls" first aired in 2012 and ended in 2017 after six seasons.
From 2002 to 2008, HBO gifted viewers with the heart-pounding crime thriller "The Wire" starring Dominic West as Det. Jimmy McNulty. Set in Baltimore, the fictional series explored the city's deadly drug scene and the undercover agents working to stop it. "The Wire" earned two Primetime Emmy nods and 14 awards over the five seasons it aired.
HBO's documentary news series "VICE" first aired in 2013 and continues to startle, inspire and inform audiences around the world. Exploring endless topics like poverty, crime, war, addiction and more, the Primetime Emmy-winning series is unlike anything on TV today, giving viewers a chance to learn about issues affecting people, up close and personal. Season 6 of "VICE" debuted in April 2018 and featured former "The Wire" star Michael Kenneth Williams (seen here) reporting on children who are raised in the criminal justice system.