Monday, April 09, 2007

HBO You Suck!!!

I hate HBO!

They create by far the best television on television. Even stuff I don't watch, like Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Enterage is better than almost anything else on TV. If, as I've argued before, we are living in the Second Golden Age of Television (TM) it is all thanks to cable and, mostly, to HBO.


It sucks because it has taken my three favorite shows of the last three years and cancelled each of them after two seasons. Deadwood was the best thing on TV once the Westwing (which couldn't have been made if HBO hadn't first pushed the envelope) was cancelled. Deadwood is apparently gone. I may be the only one, but I was totally into Carnivalle. I head they weren't renewing it. At least these are the rumors I've heard. Now a show I liked even more, ROME, is gone too. And we ae now seeing the last six episodes of what critics agree is the best TV series ever, Sopranos. It's hard to imagine TV without Tony Soprano.

But that's the economics of it. Sopranos was treated, to some extent, like a series on broadcast. It got decent ratings (for premium cable, anyway) and so it kept going. But HBO doesn't rely on ratings the way broadcast and basic cable networks do. HBO is subscriber based. They don't make money off of add sales. They have to create buzz. The more people talk about HBO shows around the watercooler the more people subscribe to HBO to see what everybody is talking about. That's how premium cable works. As such, the create shows that are shocking and challenging, they piss people off, conservatives and liberals alike, and they attract subscribers. Because they ignore the usual rules they end up making great art once in awhile. In fact, they make great art a lot. And they've realized that creating buzz works best when you create new things. So two years is about the right legth of time for an HBO series. Sopranos was an aberation (as was my former favorite HBO sow, Arliss).

So HBO You SUCK!!! You suck for sucking me into loving a great show like Rome and then cancelling it after only two seasons! At least with Rome they wrapped the series up witha logical ending. With Deadwood they didn't resolve anything but a minor matter involving George Hearst. With Carnivalle they left us with a cliffhanger that will never be resolved. And it pisses me off!

I'm going to miss Pullo a lot.

So HBO you SUCK!!!

But I'm glad Sopranos starts back up this week.


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