HBOGo is so good, you’ll actually find yourself neglecting Netflix. Thanks to Information Services, every Conn student has access to the premium streaming service with every show and movie ever produced by HBO, as well as a plethora of rotating films. It’s hard to know where to start, and there’s not always time to scroll through everything that’s available for an hour and a half, so I made a list of recommendations.
Veep: Tired of real-life politics? Interested in some brilliant, hilarious political satire? This show is excellent, it follows the exploits of ambitious politician Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), specifically her tenure as Vice President. Veep just won the emmy for Best Comedy and Louis-Dreyfus the emmy for Lead Actress in a Comedy. No one pulls off a biting one-liner like her.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: It can be difficult to sit down and watch the news. There’s a lot of scary stuff going on right now, and cable and network news channels have become tiring and less-necessary with the availability of information on the internet. Unlike most news-comedy shows, Last Week Tonight takes one major subject and delves into it, dedicating a full episode to each topic. Oliver provides a real, unambiguous perspective, and whether or not you agree with him all of the time, you can’t say the show isn’t well-researched.
Bend it Like Beckham: This is a totally underrated movie. It follows a young Indian-British woman in her quest to play soccer despite the disapproval of her parents. Starring Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, this movie is bright and fun as well as poignant and affecting. Five stars, says me.
Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted: There are a lot of stand-up specials on HBO and I recommend exploring all of them, but Notaro’s set is my favorite. She’s hilarious and interesting, and she talks personally about her life and her recent battle with cancer. It’s one of the best stand-up specials I’ve ever seen.
The Wire: With its finale in 2008, The Wire is one of HBO’s older shows. It’s fascinating and thrilling, looking at drug and gang-related crime in Baltimore. The cast is fantastic (Idris Elba, Michael K. Williams, Dominic West) and it’s not like every other crime show on television. Get started now so you can finish before you graduate!
Walkout: This is an HBO-produced TV movie. It follows the 1968 East L.A. walkouts by Mexican-American students fed up with the treatment they received from white administrators and teachers and the erasure of their culture and identities in schools. It’s a really interesting patch of American history to look at, and the movie gives a straightforward depiction.
Good Will Hunting: This classic movie launched the careers of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and it also stars the late Robin Williams. It follows a young man who solves an unsolvable math problem at MIT while employed as a janitor. It’s uplifting and bittersweet, and an engaging movie to watch—especially since it takes place in good old New England.
Six Feet Under: Another HBO classic that ended about ten years ago. It’s about a family that runs a funeral home together after the death of their patriarch, and is, naturally, pretty dark, with some pretty dark humor. The characters are interesting and weird, and I promise you’ve never seen another show like this on TV.
The Princess Diaries & The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement: I know I’m not the only one for whom these movies were a big stepping stone in growing up. Chris Pine, the love interest in the second one, was partially responsible for my sexual awakening. They’re fun movies to sit and watch with friends, and I highly recommend that viewers embrace the cheesiness.
Tour de Pharmacy: This is a strange kind of comedy mockumentary about the drug crisis in cycling in the 80s. Andy Samberg, John Cena, Daveed Diggs, and Maya Rudolph are just a few of the famous faces that can be found in the film. It’s totally fictional and hilarious—absurd, really.
P.S. Everyone’s heard of Game of Thrones, so I won’t go to the trouble of recommending that, but I will say it’s a great show, and people should watch it unless they don’t like gratuitous sex or violence.