HBO News Blog

HBO: The “Little” Shows

By Jef Dinsmore on Jan 16, 2012 to HBO Watch Originals

Jef is becoming a real regular here on the blog with another fantastic post!  This time he takes a look at some of the ‘little’ shows that help make HBO an amazing network.

We all love the BIG shows, don’t we? They clearly get the most hits & comments and it is a bit easier to find out all of the buzz about them. It started with Oz, and The Larry SandersShow Then along came  The Sopranos, then you can add Deadwood and The Wire to the list. My fave was Rome and now there is True BloodBoardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones. There might be other series here that you thought were blockbuster but, they are not my focus here. Don’t get me wrong I love those BIG shows, from the past and present as much as the next viewer but there is something to be said for the little guy, the smaller shows that have made it to air.

Those “little shows” as I‘ll call them, refer to programming like the three shows that were recently cancelledBored To DeathHung & How To Make It In America. HBO needs the little shows as well as the big shows on its channel. They may not get the same amount of buzz and viewership but sometimes they prove to be a quick, fun diversion from the other fare. Newer shows surely will replace the cancelled ones. We already know of Enlightened and soon there will be Life’s Too Short and VEEP. Also further down the line will be new shows by Doug Ellin and Mark Wahlberg.


Again, I like the big stories, but they can overload you. The little shows never do that. They are the half-hour comedy shows that offer light, yet witty fluff. They don’t feature casts of thousands to try to keep straight; they don’t attempt large Machiavellian masterstrokes to ponder. You can watch an episode and turn the TV off and go on with your day. The big shows, at least for me anyway, leave me contemplating the ramifications for days on end and I often end up watching some episodes a second time. That last statement is not a bad thing but, sometimes my brain just cannot cram another thing in it. Sometimes I just need a break from the big drama and settle in for a little comedy. I could easily get lost in and not really think to hard about what the little shows have offered me. While wacked on weed what oddball mystery was Jonathan, Ray & George going to solve? What was the next odd position Ray and his penis were going to end up in? How about Ben and Cam? Were they ever going to make in fashion or New York or America?
You know, maybe, just maybe, I’ll spend my time here talking more about the “Little Shows” (and the documentaries it seems) than the “Big Shows” because the big ones already get enough press. Regardless, it is all good. It’s HBO.

 Got a half-hour? Why don’t you check out one of the comedy half-hours series on HBOGO; then come back here to leave us a comment below and tell us what you think.

  • Jefd

    It is certainly difficult to watch all the shows on HBO;you can only seek out what really interests you. Just like a viewer doesn’t watch every show on ABC or DISCOVERY or any other channel.

    The nice thing is that subscribers have HBOGO to frequent to catch up on some of the missed shows. I watch it more than I watch the actual channel sometimes.

  • I’m so guilty of overlooking these shows! I’ve been watching much more since running this blog but still can’t watch it all! Purgatory was amazing last week. Life’s too Short looks interesting. Veep and Enlightened are must sees!

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