HBO Hits the Sweet Spot

Network produces actual content!

When I was a teenager, we got HBO for the first time.  That was back when you got a little booklet in the mail every month telling you when each of the four movies they had rights to would run.  They got to leave the swear words and naked people in, something brand new to television.  They ran Reds and Doctor Zhivago (never watched either one) and A Little Romance (watched it about a zillion times).  They filled the space between movies in theaters and edited versions shown on TV.

But the world changed with the advent of VHS, decreasing censorship on network and cable TV and the ultimate Changer of All Things– the Internet.  HBO had to evolve or die – its audience soon had a whole lot of cheaper ways to watch recycled movies.  Thus began the era of HBO original movies and series and the world rejoiced.

Fine, I exaggerate, but this network consistently puts out quality original programming in a world filled with broadcast network reality show crap.  Showtime has followed their lead with success, but in my view HBO is still king.  Catch the recent Grey Gardens for proof that they still have the guts to make interesting projects that would never see the light of day if they had to compete in the rough and tumble world of the big screen.

As the world of entertainment options expands, the amount of quality entertainment shrinks.  Cheap and accessible rule the day and we get left with an endless stream of crap with which to while away our free hours.  Personally, I hate it.  I love good movies.  I love good TV.  HBO is one of the last places that actually provides those things on a regular basis.  Ergo, I love you, HBO.

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