HBO: Original Programming at it's best.
I'm a newcomer to premium cable. Long, long time ago, only a few channels existed in my reality. You know the usual suspects: CBS, NBC (home of the NBA Finals *world-famous NBA on NBC theme music plays in head), ABC, FOX, and UPN. Then you had your local channels: KTLA and KCAL, respective homes of late legendary SoCal newscasters Harry McCormick and Jerry Dumphrey ("From the desert to the sea and all of Southern California, a good evening.") I mean, whatever. Those days sucked. Luckily, I was still a young lad back then, still had that youthful exubrance about me, so I would go outside, run around, ride a bike, hit a ball, and what have you.
Then I got the basic cable. Suddenly, I had MTV and BET; I had ESPN and FSN; I had USA and TNT. And life was good.
(Post-post annex #1: Then I upgraded to digital. Life was excellent.)
But it would get better. Much better. In early June of this year, in a direct response to the series finale of The Sopranos, I subscribed to HBO. Five months later, I'll argue to anyone who'll listen that it's the greatest channel of all-time. First, they brought you Oz. Then came The Sopranos and then The Wire, unequivocally the the two most well-crafted television programs ever, as well as the most influential, for several reasons that we'll touch on in a more in-depth column on the two shows in the near future. Last month, I discovered Curb Your Enthusiasm...funniest sitcom I've ever watched. How something so purposely absurd, pointless, and utterly ridiculous could be so hilarious is beyond me. Of course, this is a sports blog - they have that covered as well: HBO Boxing (nothing like Lampley and Merchant); Hard Knocks (thoroughly entertaining): Real Sports (the piece on dogfighting was excellent - there isn't a more informative sports show); Costas Now; and Inside the NFL. Their comedy (Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes, Bill Maher, etc.) and music specials (Jay-Z, Eminem, Justin Timberlake, etc.) are the best out there, and all of their documentaries are first-rate. Add that to the wide selection of movies, the soft (Witches of Breastwick, Busty Cops), hard (Real Sex), and hoftcore porn (that's in-between soft and hardcore - credit Tell Me You Love Me with inventing this new category of porn), and you've got a channel that can entertain you damn near 24/7. There's something for everybody. HBO is like the Marshall Faulk of television: it's the best all-purpose station ever.
(Post-post annex #2: And I didn't even mention Sex and the City or Entourage. *slaps forehead* How could I forget those two? This is what you're up against, Kane. An absolute monster.)
So Kane, your task is to try and convince our nonexistent readers that there's a better channel on TV than Home Box Office. I dare you, Kane. I f----n' dare you.