HBO, How Do I Love Thee? A Poem for HBO Programming

I watched Cinema Verité over the weekend and found myself becoming nostalgic for HBO. Year after year, the network churns out original programming and films that I enjoy. I’ve even gone bananas when their shows aren’t ratings successes, such as Carnivale and Rome. I’ve loved them ever since the first time I saw a nude woman in a movie when HBO aired Q: The Winged Serpent at 1:00 in the morning when I was eight years old. And so with serious apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, here is my poetic homage to the ol’ Home Box Office:

HBO, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love Tony and Adriana and Little Carmine
My soul explodes when Ben Hawkins is in sight,
And when Bunk and McNulty are on their Barksdale chase.
I love thee to the level of every Sunday’s
Most quiet need, especially when it’s a naked Atia of the Julii.
I love thee, Nucky, as men strive for Maggie;
I love thee, Nate Fisher’s ghost dad, as you’ve turned away from life.
I love with a passion put to Green, Suze,
Despite ducking her swears with my childhood’s faith.
I love HBO with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love HBO with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee, even Bored to Death

Also, I like Deadwood, True Blood, Band of Brothers, and Dream On.


Filed under Humor, TV Shows

20 responses to “HBO, How Do I Love Thee? A Poem for HBO Programming

  1. The guy who met Kevin Meany

    Actually the ratings for Carnivale and Rome weren’t what got them axed after 2 seasons, it was the enormous costs to produce the shows. The ratings weren’t bad for either. Rome ended season two in a good spot. Carnivale, on the other hand, was set up for a great Season 3. I loved that show!

    • I’ve read that from day one, Carnivale had six seasons planned. And my understanding was that it was three two-year cycles. So season 3 would mirror season 1, season 4 would mirror season 2, and so forth.

  2. Jim

    I ache for more of the best thing I’ve ever seen on my TV screen: Deadwood.

    Yes, the cowboy show. It’s a wonderful study of unvarnished humanity and every minute of the show pushed the plot forward.

    It too ended in a pretty good spot, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want more.

    • I’m dying for more Boardwalk Empire.

      • You hear rumors about a Deadwood movie or revival of the series all the times. Sometimes it’s a rumor, other times it seems like a valid rumor. I just had to start treating them like Apple rumors: don’t put any credit to them until you see a release date.

        Have you been watching Game of Thrones? Only two episodes in and it’s pulled good numbers, been green-lit for a second season. I like it. It’s something new, entertaining, even if there are irritating parts. I recommend at least checking out the pilot, since it’s early enough to not fall behind.

        • Jim

          I’m all in on Thrones. I went in blind and was kinda thrown off by the fantasy stuff, but decided it creates broad story possibilities.

          I’ve heard about the Deadeood movie rumor. I think it’ll happen when hell freezes over (or the Arrested Development movie is made, whichever happens first).

        • Jim

          I’m all in on Thrones. I went in blind and was kinda thrown off by the fantasy stuff, but decided it creates broad story possibilities.

          I’ve heard about the Deadeood movie rumor. I think it’ll happen when hell freezes over (or the Arrested Development movie is made, whichever happens first).

          • I’ve got the first two episodes on my DVR, and hopefully will get to them this weekend.

            I’d heard about a “Rome” movie that even had a release date on IMDB at one point, but I haven’t heard anything new about it in a year.

  3. Just noticed you added me to your blogroll. I myself don’t have a blogroll, but am considering adding one to the site! Thanks so much!

  4. Here in England I’d gone 19 years without HBO in my life, and then suddenly, thanks mostly to Sky Atlantic, the heavens opened and it’s been raining epic drama since.

    I picked up The Sopranos box set at Christmas and got through it relatively quickly. But I’m seeing it again weekly via Sky Atlantic. Boardwalk Empire was exceptional. Bored To Death is great. And FX has recently started showing The Wire from the beginning, and I’m hooked on that too. For me the launch of Sky Atlantic was of the most important televisual events ever. Long live HBO.


    • Is the FX version of The Wire edited/censored?

      • Hell no. This week I saw Season 1 Episode 4 – Old Cases, and was treated to McNulty and Moreland crawling around a kitchen repeating the word – fuck, for at least three minutes. It was swearing on a majestic level. I admire the show for its realistic portrayal of people. Not only do people swear, they swear constantly, consistently and continuously. There’s not many shows on TV that attempt this and less that pull it off.


        • Here in the States, they re-run Sopranos episodes on A&E but they’re hacked to pieces. It’s fine for a quick fix if you’re in the mood for mafia-related highjinx but I can’t imagine watching the censored versions without having seen the uncensored. It’d be horrible.

          As for The Wire, that scene was exactly the one I was thinking of when I asked you about the censorship. It’d be disastrous to the Nth degree to edit that scene.

  5. rtm

    Rome was such a spectacular production, no wonder it cost so much. I’ve only finished the first season but I was just talking to my friend earlier today who encouraged me to watch the second one. I really admire all the British cast in that one, hard to pick a favorite.

    • I got glued to Rome really quickly. I think I wound up knocking out the entire first season over one weekend when I had a cold and nothing better to do but lie around and watch Rome. I’d definitely recommend the second season. In fact- and it’s been a while so forgive my spotty memory- I think I enjoyed season 2 even more than season 1.

      I think it’s funny that whenever something has a “fantasy” element, or if it’s historical, they hire British actors. I’ve heard that “Game of Thrones” is full of British actors.

      • rtm

        Oooh, ok then, I’ll borrow the 2nd season disc from my friend, man the box is absolutely gorgeous!

        I have a penchant for the Brits, which is why I hope Game of Thrones arrive on Netflix soon, plus I love Sean Bean.


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