HBO Max is coming to several European countries this fall. On this occasion, we return to the formidable saga of its parent channel, HBO, which will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary next year, shining the spotlight on some of its most emblematic series. Home Box Office (HBO) is the oldest and longest running pay television service in the United States. Once known primarily for its theatrical theatrical releases and comedy and concert specials, today the service is home to some of the most respected original television series ever created.

When you ask someone for their top best series, an HBO production is always one of them. And it’s not surprising: the American channel revolutionized series a few years ago, bringing them scriptwriting complexity, an ultra-slick level of production and often a prestigious cast. Since then, this guideline has never changed, they continue to produce high quality content. Read down below and see which are the best HBO series of all time.

HBO series

The Great

At the end of 2019, we discovered Catherine the Great, a mini-series born from the collaboration between HBO and Sky Atlantic and broadcast on Canal+. For four episodes, the show introduces Empress Catherine II, in power after her coup against her husband. Helen Mirren embodies it brilliantly, but the overall result isn’t all that memorable. In any case, the Empress continues to inspire as she is again at the center of a series with The Great (from a play by Tom McNamara ), which this time focuses on her youth in beginning of her marriage to Pierre III, but in a much lighter and more modern tone – specific to Tom McNamara, also screenwriter of La Favorite. Elle Fanning  embodies it in turn. And this choice quickly turns out to be wise as the actress embodies a certain naivety and innocence – making the opposite of her development all the more clever. Opposite her, Nicholas Hoult is Pierre III, who quickly disillusioned her by being contemptuous, immature, macho, sexist. 

A Discovery of Witches

Deep in the stacks of the Bodleian Library in Oxford, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly conjures up an enchanted alchemical manuscript during her research. Descended from an ancient and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with witchcraft; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld in motion, and a horde of demons, witches, and vampires soon descend upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries and she is the only creature capable of breaking its spell.

The Undoing

Based on Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel  You Should Have Known, The Undoing marks Nicole Kidman’s reunion with  Big Little Lies screenwriter David E. Kelley. In front of her, we will find the British Hugh Grant. Both play Grace and Jonathan Fraser, a powerful Manhattan couple whose idyllic life is about to change. They will be directed by filmmaker Susanne Bier. Originally broadcast on HBO and now on TF1, The Undoing is a six-episode mini-series that immerses viewers in the descent into hell of Grace, a New York therapist specializing in relationships.

Big Little Lies

Speaking of Big Little Lies, HBO’s shiny new melodrama starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern, an HBO executive said: We’re not doing ‘Desperate Housewives’ here. Maybe they should have thought about it better. Whatever superficial advantage Big Little Lies may have in sophistication and seriousness over Desperate Housewives, it may have learned a few lessons from that longtime ABC potboiler on how to tell a story and entertain audiences. Like Desperate Housewives in its first season, Big Little Lies (which starts on Sunday and is based on a novel by Australian writer Liane Moriarty) juxtaposes the mystery of a suspicious death with the seemingly perfect everyday life of a group of mostly affluent women. The main characters, all suspected of the mystery, are linked because their children attend the same progressive elementary school in Monterey, California, which is said to be a private school at a public school price.

True Detective

True Detective’s Louisiana is a sort of swampy purgatory: stagnant marshes, straight lines of incandescent asphalt, a leaden sky that weighs on your head. The still and unbreathable air radiates from the screen, together with the unhealthy fascination for spaces that are, at the same time, revolting and seductive. Equal, the two protagonists, Rustin Cohle and Martin Hart: the first mumbles nihilistic sentences, marching on the border that divides the mad raving from the epiphany; the second struggles, suffocating himself in a cage of bourgeois appearances that cannot contain him.

Best HBO series

The Walking Dead

The last season, as we know, is made up of 24 episodes divided into three tranches of 8, the second of which has just ended. In this episode 16 we find open all the sub-plots that the last season is managing, in a Commonwealth increasingly undermined by movements born within. Not just an alleged  Resistancewe still don’t hear enough about except through that famous waiter who went crazy during an event organized by  Pamela Milton, the governor of the Community, but also a small group of our heroes, Connie  and sister,  Eugene,  Max,  Carol, Ezekiel and  Magna who investigate from the inside. 

The Flight Attendant

It’s been about a year since the Alexander Sokolov case that Season 1 was centered around ended. Cassie has moved from New York to Los Angeles where she is in a relationship with a photographer named Marco, is still a flight attendant and continues to collaborate in secret (obviously) for the CIA. Best of all, Cassie has been sober for a year, she hangs out with alcoholics anonymous and looks reborn. One fine day he receives (in addition to a strange keychain in the mail) the task of keeping an eye on a certain Will Kotov in Berlin, but not to talk to him or to follow him out of the hotel where they are. So obviously Cassie first talks to us at the bar and then secretly follows him, until she sees him enter another hotel, then she spies on him from the hotel opposite and sees him first having sex and then exchanging things with a blonde woman who she has the same Cassie tattoo on her back.


The spin-off of The Vampire Diaries contains various references to the series from which it is based, and fans always keep their guard up, watching over the quality of the product. The new episode of Legacies does not seem to have convinced everyone at all. The issue concerns the character of Malachai Parker, known as Kai. The villain, not yet satisfied with the concerns already caused during the main series, also wanted to cross over into the spin-off, allying himself with the Necromancer. Hope Michaelson unmasks him and his ally abandons him; it is then that Kai is beheaded inside a barn, by the hand of Alaric Saltzman.

Mare of Easttown

Mare is a detective of Irish descent (like the name of her daughter Siobhan), but in Easttown she is also a celebrity because 25 years earlier, in high school, she made a basket that earned her the national title for her school. Something “not very important in other places, but very important here” as she explains herself, born and raised in this Pennsylvania town where everyone knows each other a little. Easttown is not Pleasantville, that is, it is not the typical quiet American town that we only see on TV or in the cinema. It is a small town that, however fictitious and only inspired by a real city, is crudely real: teenagers who are already parents, drug problems, children who take their own lives, foster care, trials and everything that follows.

Raised by Wolves

A spacecraft arrives on Kepler-22b, a planet far from Earth and apparently uninhabited. In this ship there are two androids who call each other Mother and Father. We soon understand that this spacecraft was sent by the humans of planet Earth to find a habitable planet and repopulate humanity which, in the meantime, has become extinct due to a bloody war that broke out between atheists and believers, the Mithraics, faithful to the divinity of Sol.

New HBO series

House of the Dragon

Set in the Seven Kingdoms, the story takes place some 200 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen and the Robert Baratheon Uprising. We are in a world ruled by the Targaryens and at the beginning of our history, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen preferred his grandson Viserys Targaryen to Rhaenys Targaryen as heir to the Iron Throne, as the successor with the strongest claim as a man. In fact, a queen has never been seen driving Westeros! However, very soon history repeats itself and a new battle for succession approaches: Queen Aemma Arryn, first wife of King Viserys, dies in childbirth leaving behind only a daughter, Rhaenyra Targaryen.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Generally in a fantasy story you travel through time for a reason, or, if you’re Benjamin Button, you can spend childhood in the physique of an 80-year-old and adulthood in the body of an invigorating child, but in Timeless Love – The Time Traveler’s Wife, the new HBO series whose science fiction genre meets romantic intertwining, the protagonist is always a human case, but his genetic disease forces him to travel through time repeatedly – a fact he can’t control – and it accustoms him to have around a multitude of different versions of himself (younger or older), to relive trauma and to rediscover people still alive.

Tokyo Vice

Great curiosity around Tokyo Vice, HBO series signed by Michael Mann with star Ansel Elgort. The show, however, would have raised controversy for the lack of truthfulness in the original material from which it is drawn. Tokyo Vice tells the story of Jake Adelstein, a true American journalist who has built a career as a crime reporter in Tokyo, establishing lasting relationships with members of the city’s criminal underworld to document relations with the Yakuza.

The Cleaning Lady

The story revolves around Thony De La Rosa (Elodie Yung) an illegal immigrant in Las Vegas who works as a cleaner. In fact, before arriving in the “city of sin”, Thony was a doctor, but to save the life of her sick son, she had to leave the city of Manila. By unfortunate coincidences she will find herself witnessing a murder and she will be almost killed for it, but the shrewd woman will propose an agreement to save her life and she will find herself, for this, embroiled in very dangerous situations with the underworld.


Developed by Ava DuVernay, ‘Naomi’ is a superhero drama series revolving around its titular protagonist, whose life begins to resemble the stories that characterize all the comics she has read throughout her life. As a result, she finds herself in shocking situations. The show is derived from the comic series of the same name attributed to Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker and Jamal Campbell.

HBO series 2021

And Just Like That…

Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte are back in the eagerly awaited sequel to Sex and City entitled And Just Like That. In the new series, created by Darren Star, we find the beloved Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda in a post-pandemic New York from Covid-19. The three friends, no longer Samantha, question their love and professional lives and face the personal crises that overwhelm them and change them forever. With the usual glamorous touch, a breath of freshness and an important attention to the changing world, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis talk about the women of our time, between marriage, children, new loves, passing time and evolutions unexpected. The ten episodes of And Just Like That are full of events that catapult viewers into the reality that is constantly changing inside and outside the bodies of three mature women.

The North Water

The North Water opens with a rough and beastly scene: a mysterious man is having sexual intercourse with a prostitute with great breathlessness and violence. In a short time we realize that it is Henry Drax, a harpoon who is about to embark on a whaling ship, who has the unusual face of Colin Farrell, with a long beard and a grim look, almost unrecognizable. A devil, a human being who seems to have abandoned his nature in favor of divine damnation, the character is fascinating in the gloomy air of darkness that he carries behind him. And Farrell, with this interpretation, consecrates a captivating and almost out of line villain who invites us in a malicious way to follow the enterprise of the crew of The Volunteer.

Gossip Girl 

If in the 2007 series, based on the novel of the same name by Cecily von Ziegesar, at the center of the events there were the contrasts between the frenemies  Blair Waldorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen , complete with a circle of friends-boyfriends-rivals, now the protagonists of the story they are half-sisters Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander ) and Zoya Lott ( Whitney Peak ). Forced to live apart due to the mutual dislike of their respective fathers ( Johnathan Fernandez and Luke Kirby) the two girls meet online during the pandemic and try to come up with a plan to be able to be together at Constance St. Jude, the prestigious school for Manhattan’s elite.

Scenes from a Marriage

The 5 HBO episodes, entrusted to Hagai Levi, former creator of In treatment and The Affair, are a tribute to the six scenes from a wedding that Ingmar Bergman conceived for Swedish television in 1973 and later for the film cut. Levi builds this miniseries trying to deviate from the original, not only to avoid a confrontation that would be unfair, but above all because he wants to bring sentimental investigation back to our time, updating dynamics and society. Levi talks about separation and divorce. Unlike the marriage path staged by Bergman, the director tells the trauma of separation through a true psychological path. In a society like the present one, consumerist and narcissistic, which pushes people to seek their own, unique, self-gratification and superficial freedom, the miniseries pushes to elaborate on the feelings that manifest themselves in moments of difficulty.

Made for Love

Using black humor to deal with complex and current issues – emotional abuse, the influence of technology in our lives, women’s empowerment – is not an easy task. But HBO is no stranger to TV challenges. And after having given life to some of the cult series of the last decades, he decides to add a small piece to the panorama of seriality. Made for love – a TV series in 8 episodes already renewed for a second season – is in fact the new little gem of a channel that has never been afraid to dare. Available in Italy on Sky from 13 December, the show is a roller coaster of emotions and contradictions, led by acast in a state of grace and by a direction and a screenplay stratified but calibrated in every smallest detail.

HBO original series

Normal People

Normal People tells of the love and friendship between two apparently very different people, two boys who first attend the same Irish high school, and then the same university. Marianne comes from a very wealthy family, which however lacks her affection completely. Connell, on the other hand, was raised by his mother who works as a maid in Marianne’s house, and who compensates for her little money by really being a mother. At school Marianne is lonely, antisocial, contemptuous with her classmates, and she is teased by everything like a haughty loser. Connell, on the other hand, is a sports star loved by everyone. Growing up, the perspectives change, but remaining opposite: at the university Marianne finally manages to make friends and be recognized for her intelligence; Connell, who also enrolled in the faculty of literature with excellent results.

Game of Thrones

“Game of Thrones” is a series that is difficult to handle: as vast as a cosmos, correlated by a series of paratexts with multiple nature and purposes, it has since its debut (if not before, as we shall see) the subject of analysis and interpretation, almost to make it a sort of contemporary epic saga. Or a founding myth, such as confronting certain current issues head-on, even in their fantastic transposition, would perhaps like to represent. The serial is set in a world where magic seems to have disappeared for years, despite many retaining memories of those times when strange creatures lived. Now, as a reminder of those times, there is only a chewing ice barrier to the north, with the sole purpose of warding off evil and guarded by a coven of people who vote their entire existence (by choice or compulsion) for this purpose. 

Gentleman Jack

At the end of the first episode of ‘Gentleman Jack’, the homonymous protagonist shows up without warning but ready to start courting a new love interest. Excited with excitement, ‘Jack’ asks to see the hostess and, with a quick brow pump, looks directly into the camera. While far from being a groundbreaking choice in the golden age of ‘Fleabag’, a character breaking the fourth wall is still quite striking in what would otherwise be a historical book drama. Sure, writer and director Sally Wainwright (‘Happy Valley’) shows off a bit of talent from time to time – a fast-paced, upbeat rhythm accompanies the credits – but she has to show more. See, Gentleman Jack as Anne Lister (Suranne Jones), whose decoded journal entries inspire the series of the same name. A musical hint here and a break on the fourth wall don’t quite match this LGBTQ icon’s swagger – or the bona fide star playing her.

His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman is one of the most famous and award-winning literary trilogies in the fantasy / young adult genre. Already in 2007 his first part, La Bussola D’Oro, had been transposed into a film that, despite the good success at the box office, after the economic crisis of 2008 never had the two sequels necessary to conclude the story, leaving the fans and viewers of the time with a bad taste due to a never-resolved cliffhanger. With the conclusion of its flagship series Game of Thrones, HBO has decided to bet on the Pullman trilogy, acquiring the rights to make a TV series. The first season ended recently and in all there are 3 confirmed, one for each book, which aim to adapt in the most complete way the adventures of Lyra Belacqua.


The series follows the events of the Roy family, at the head of one of the largest American television conglomerates, and focuses on the personal relationships between the father, the four children, the third wife, and other secondary members of the family. Given the advanced age of the father and the first signs of mental failure, two of the children begin to organize themselves to take power and finally bring a breath of freshness and innovation within the company. But which of them deserves to take control?

HBO comedy series


A whole other type of serial killer and hitman awaits you, as you will read in this review by Barry, from April 12 in the late evening (10.15pm, from the following week 11.15pm) on Sky Atlantic and streaming on NOW. After the first season, the second season will arrive back to back from May 3. The series works mainly thanks to the work in front of and behind the camera (since the writing) of Bill Hader, appreciated stand-up comedian of Saturday Night Live who thanks to this dark comedy won the Emmy for best actor, making him win also to his co-star Henry Winkler (Happy Days), for Best Supporting Actor.

The Leftovers

Pop culture, when expressed at its best, functions as a collective subconscious, recounting its own era through abstractions and metaphors. Damon Lindelof must like this a lot. The author from New Jersey, former creator of Lost together with JJ Abrams, is a great lover of pop culture and has perhaps abused it during his most famous show, including references to 80s science fiction films and characters built on the most important philosophers Europeans from the seventeenth century to today. To characterize The Leftovers, an HBO series that aired from 2014 to 2017 and inspired by the homonymous book by Tom Perrotta, Lindelof instead dug even deeper, drawing heavily on Greek, Roman, Norse and Jewish mythology.

The White Lotus

In a wonderful resort immersed in that natural paradise that is the Hawaiian Islands, something must go wrong: a murder, in fact, will end up irreparably ruining the vacation of a group of wealthy Americans. Mike White ‘s The White Lotus is the anthology series that, playing on the mechanics of thriller, keeps in suspense for six episodes (leaving something to be desired in its final outcome), winning 10 Emmy Awards in the miniseries and anthological series.

Silicon Valley

It was the year 2014, when, produced by HBO, the Silicon Valley pilot was released, a comedy series of 8 episodes of thirty minutes, written – together with John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky and Alec Berg – by Mike Judge, the creator of Beavis and Butt-Head. For those who have just woken up from a cryogenic tank and missed the information revolution of the last 40 – and more – years, Silicon Valley is currently the largest research and development center in the world, where countless startups are born every year. billions of dollars. You just need to know how to sell an idea to become a millionaire and organize a luxurious party with friends to the background music of Kid Rock himself – who on this occasion is also the poorest person in the room. If you read the code as Neo from The Matrix and dream of making money with this talent, Silicon Valley is the place you need to go.


There would be many ways to start a review of Hacks, the new HBO Max TV series that tells the relationship between a star of the Las Vegas stand-up comedy, still very famous but at the beginning of the avenue of the sunset, and a young comic writer who she is joined by her to refresh her material. But perhaps the best way is to give vent to a sense of liberation: after a long wait, even on his part I imagine, finally someone realized that Jean Smart, seen in these years in many and very successful supporting roles, deserved a series in which he could be the star to put on the poster.

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