By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

The recent series finale of Succession has triggered a debate over how the dysfunctional family drama compares to the greatest shows ever on HBO. Is Succession the best HBO show of all time? We present our list for the 10 best HBO shows ever made, and where you can stream them. (As if you didn’t know.) Enjoy.

1. The Wire (2002-2008)
With its realistic portrayal of crime, politics, and societal decay in urban Baltimore, The Wire set a new standard for television dramas, blending intricate storytelling with powerful social commentary. The ensemble cast, including Dominic West, Idris Elba, Wood Harris, Michael B. Jordan, Lance Reddick, and Michael K. Williams, to name just a few, delivered memorable performances so authentic that some fans thought it was a documentary.
Now streaming on Max.

2. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
Revolutionizing television with its complex characters and morally ambiguous storytelling, The Sopranos introduced us to Tony Soprano and his troubled world, making it a timeless masterpiece. While the show certainly borrowed from its inspired forefathers such as Goodfellas and The Godfather, David Chase’s crime drama was unique and special thanks to James Gandolfini’s Tony.
Now streaming on Max.

3. Succession (2018-2023)
Succession portrays the power struggles within a wealthy and dysfunctional family that controls a global media conglomerate. With its sharp writing, compelling performances, and darkly comedic tone, the series dissects the complexities of wealth, ambition, and familial relationships.
Now streaming on Max.

4. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-present)
Created by and starring Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm offers an unapologetically hilarious and cringe-worthy glimpse into the life of a fictionalized version of David himself. This improvisational comedy series thrives on its awkward situations, biting humor, and Larry’s unfiltered observations on everyday life.
Now streaming on Max.

5. Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
Based on George R.R. Martin’s epic novels, this fantasy series captivated millions with its intricate plotlines, complex characters, and shocking twists, becoming a cultural phenomenon.
Now streaming on Max.

6. Deadwood (2004-2006)
Set in the lawless town of Deadwood during the 1870s, this Western drama showcases a masterful ensemble cast and a gritty depiction of the American frontier. Deadwood expertly blends historical events with fictionalized characters, offering a compelling exploration of power, morality, and survival.
Now streaming on Max.

7. The Leftovers (2014-2017)
Exploring the aftermath of a global event where 2 percent of the world’s population mysteriously disappears, The Leftovers tackles profound existential questions. This emotionally charged series delves into grief, faith, and the human search for meaning in a world that defies explanation.
Streaming now on Max.

8. Band of Brothers (2001)
Based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s non-fiction book, Band of Brothers follows the journey of Easy Company, a parachute infantry regiment, during World War II. This Emmy-winning miniseries stands as a powerful testament to the sacrifices, camaraderie, and heroism of those who served.
Streaming now on Max.

9. Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014)
Set during the Prohibition era, Boardwalk Empire chronicles the rise and fall of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, a corrupt politician and bootlegger, played with great verve by the great Steve Buscemi. With its impeccable period detail, intricate storytelling, and stellar performances, the series offers a gripping and immersive look into the criminal underworld of the 1920s.
Now streaming on Max.

10. True Detective (2014-present)
Each season of True Detective stands as a standalone masterpiece, with intricate narratives and unforgettable performances. From the atmospheric mystery of the first season to the haunting exploration of corruption and trauma in subsequent seasons, this anthology series showcases the dark underbelly of human nature.
Now streaming on Max.

Honorable mentions go to Six Feet Under, Westworld, Oz, Big Little Lies, Veep and Oz.

The show selections and article were compiled by the TV Answer Man team and ChatGPT.

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