6 shows to watch (or re-watch) on HBO NOW
The premium network's new streaming service doesn't require a cable subscription.
The wait is over, cable-cutters! If you've been waiting for HBO to get on the streaming bandwagon, yesterday was a day to rejoice. HBO NOW launched on Tuesday, allowing people to subscribe to all HBO has to offer without having a cable subscription.
A couple of caveats: 1) You'll need Apple TV or a device that runs iOS, like an iPhone or iPad. 2) You'll need $14.99 per month after a one-month free trial. Let's hope Roku and other streaming device users will get access to it soon, but for now, you have to be a part of the Apple ecosystem to get the service.
What's great about HBO NOW, though, is that subscribers not only have access to current programming, but much of the network's back catalog. The network specifically says that anything that's available on its cable-subscriber-dependent service HBO GO will also be available on HBO NOW.
This means you can binge-watch (or re-binge-watch) a lot of shows you missed the first time around. Here are some recommendations (with apologies to "Eastbound & Down," "Six Feet Under," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and other very worthy shows not listed below):
'Game of Thrones'
The current smash hit is the big reason HBO decided to separate itself from cable providers, as "GoT" was the most BitTorrented show of all time. If even a small percentage of those users pony up for a subscription, it'll make the decision worth it for the network. It's no coincidence that the service is being introduced a few days before the show's fifth season premiere.
This is a back-catalog show that people have forgotten about. Starring Gabriel Byrne as a troubled therapist and examining the sessions of the people who come through his office, this unique series was based on the Israeli show "BeTipul." Fun fact: a young Ayelet Zurer, soon to be seen in "Marvel's Daredevil," starred in the Israeli edition's first season.
One of those shows you wished you watched when it was on, this is David Milch's take on the Wild West, staring Ian McShane as the appropriately named Al Swearengen.
Want to know why this is one of Barack Obama's favorite shows? Now's your chance to revisit David Simon's Baltimore cops-and-dealers epic, considered by many to be one of the greatest shows of all-time.
It's been flying way under the radar, but this is the most subversive look at bureaucracy and aging that American TV has ever seen. You won't look at getting up there in years the same way ever again.
There are a million reasons to watch this classic, from David Chase's sparkling writing to the powerful performances by Edie Falco, the late James Gandolfini and others, this is a must-see. Oh, and a little-known writer named Matthew Weiner wrote the pilot to "Mad Men" while he was on the "Sopranos" staff, so there's that little nugget.
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