The best shows you can watch on HBO in Australia

It’s the network largely known for its association with Game of Thrones. Some Australians love it, some are indecisive, and some may not have even heard of it. Of course, we’re talking about HBO – the American cable network full with gripping, hilarious and original television shows. For the ones who love HBO – agreed. For the ones who have yet to dip their toes – what are you waiting for? And for the ones who are indecisive – give us five minutes.

It’s understandable that Aussies are a bit wary about HBO; it certainly isn’t spoken about as much as some of its competitors, and the fact that HBO isn’t directly available to purchase or download Down Under is a bit of a hard pill to swallow. To access HBO’s content, users will need to go through Foxtel and the ‘Fox Showcase’ channel to watch on-demand shows. But hey, a little bump in the HBO road shouldn’t get you down – so we’ve decided to list some of the best shows (in our opinion) currently on HBO to prove it’s worth.

Top 10 shows on HBO

Here are, in our opinion, the best shows currently on HBO:

  • Mare of Easttown
  • Succession
  • Insecure
  • Barry
  • Game of Thrones
  • Westworld
  • Big Little Lies
  • True Detective
  • Band of Brothers
  • Sex and the City

Mare of Easttown

Mare of Easttown follows Mare Sheehan, a small-town detective who is investigating the death of a local girl, with all fingers pointing at murder. But while Sheehan dives into the grisly work, her own personal life is an equally dark place, with questions surrounding the disappearance of her son, as well as butting heads with her mother and her ex-husband. Starring Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown is a new take on the grizzled detective in a small-town drama, and worth you investigating further.

Succession

If you’re worried about your family, you’re about to feel a whole lot better, with the family in Succession making anyone look relatively normal. Logan Roy (played by Brian Cox) is the ageing head of the Roy family, who own the billion-dollar media empire Waystar Royco. With health concerns mounting, Logan looks to appoint a successor to his empire, with his four children all looking to take over the business, or throw a spanner in the works to prevent their siblings from taking over. There’s a lot of back stabbing, a lot of family-issues, and a lot of good viewing.

Insecure

HBO was looking for a replacement for Lena Dunham’s Girls the moment it finished – and found it in Insecure. Based partially on Issa Rae’s acclaimed web series Awkward Black Girl, the comedy-drama was written and created by co-star Rae alongside writer/comic Larry Wilmore. Insecure explores the old stereotype that modern-day black women must all be ‘strong and confident’, yet sometimes are anything but – and this is successfully done through the perspective of two women in their late 20s, Issa (Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Oriji). They have been best friends since college, and as they approach their 30s, are forced to face their insecurities head on, while navigating an awkward, uncomfortable (and relatable) everyday life.

Sign up to BINGE

If you’re looking to watch some more top quality shows, why not check out BINGE? Prices start at $10 per month for a basic package and go up to $18 per month. Check out the plan inclusions in the below table. This table includes links to a referral partner.

Brand Subscription Type No. of Screens/same time viewing Advertised Cost^^/month
Binge logo

BINGE Basic Plan

  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 1 screens at the same time
  • 2 week free trial

min. cost $10 over one month

1No. of Screens /same time viewing $10
Advertised Cost/month
Go To Site
Binge logo

BINGE Standard Plan

  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 2 screens at the same time
  • HD available
  • 2 week free trial

min. cost $14 over one month

2No. of Screens /same time viewing $14
Advertised Cost/month
Go To Site
Binge logo

BINGE Premium Plan

  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • HD available
  • 2 week free trial

min. cost $18 over one month

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $18
Advertised Cost/month
Go To Site

Barry

Actor, or hitman? We know which one we’d rather be. This is the predicament our friend Barry finds himself in after he is forced to re-locate to Los Angeles for a job, and gets caught up in the city’s theatre scene. Starring funny-man Bill Hader (SNL), Barry is a depressed, low-level hitman who is looking for a way out of his ‘day job’. When a target takes him to the City of Angels and straight into an acting class, Barry instantly falls in love with the theatre, and one of his new classmates, Sally (played by Sarah Holdberg). Barry is torn; is he a hitman with an acting side hustle, or is he an actor with a hitman side hustle? So many questions, and Barry is questioning them all.

Game of Thrones

This one goes without saying. Game of Thrones has successfully claimed the HBO crown and served as its long-time reigning King. With its eighth and final season wrapped up, fans of the worldwide phenomenon may be wondering what on earth they are supposed to do now. We propose A) Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, a two-hour documentary that goes behind-the-scenes during the final season, B) calm down and wait for the GoT prequel and C) maybe just re-watch all 73 episodes again from the start? For those who haven’t seen the series, we guess you sort of missed the hype train, but now you have 73 reasons to purchase a ticket and hop on.

Westworld

Can you afford to purchase a ticket? If yes, welcome to Westworld – an exclusive amusement park where those wealthy enough can live in indulgence and without any limits. The American science-fiction show takes place in Westworld, a futuristic and ‘wild-west-themed’ park which is home to “hosts”. These hosts are lifelike robots who pass for humans, allowing human guests to live out their wildest fantasies, even the messed-up ones. The show follows Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) who is a host living obliviously in her 19th century role, until she discovers her entire existence is an elaborate and planned lie, and begins to lead her gang against the Westworld staff and human guests. At the end of season two, Westworld teased something that could possibly be massive – but we won’t spoil it for you in case you are yet to jump on the bandwagon.

Big Little Lies

If Game of Thrones is the King of HBO, then Big Little Lies is the Queen. First released back in February 2017, the mummy murder show quickly gained a cult following. Based on Liane Moriarty’s best-selling novel of the same title, Big Little Lies is told through the eyes of three mothers – the beautiful and envied Celeste (Nicole Kidman), her witty and fast-mouthed best friend Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon), and new-in-town single mother Jane (Shailene Woodley) – living and raising their children in the tranquil and wealthy town of Monterey Bay, California. When a mysterious death occurs at their children’s preppy school, the three mothers are forced to looked twice at the place they call home, because underneath the breath-taking beachfront homes, gorgeous women and perfect husbands lies a community fuelled with (big) little lies, jealousy, scandals, fractured relationships and apparently, murderers.

True Detective

Another widely acclaimed show that is regularly associated with the words ‘HBO’ is True Detective. The anthology crime drama series has faced its fair share of ups and downs – season one was adored by all and saw Emmy and Golden Globe nominations roll in. It features Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as Louisiana State Police homicide detectives Rustin “Rust” Cohle and Martin “Marty” Hart who are investigating the murder of a prostitute in 1995. This season is known for its huge time jumps in every episode between 1995 and 2012, when the two detectives are forced to revisit the investigation (despite not speaking to each other for over a decade). We don’t talk about the flop that was season two, but season three was the redemption the show desperately needed, staring Mahershala Ali (Green Book, Moonlight) and (wisely) revisiting time travel, jumping between 1980, 1990 and 2015. With each season featuring an entirely new cast, it was always going to be difficult to remain at the top of the podium – but nonetheless True Detective is worth investigating.

Band of Brothers

We haven’t touched on any true stories yet, so we’re throwing in one of the best. Band of Brothers is an American war drama miniseries, which is a dramatised account of the E “Easy” Company, the 2nd Battalion, 506th Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division in the U.S. Army. Based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s 1992 non-fiction book of the same name, the show follows Easy Company from their initial training in 1942 to the end of World War II. Produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who worked together for Saving Private Ryan, the show follows Ambrose’s research and recorded interviews with survivors of Easy Company, along with the soldier’s letters and journals. The 10-part series is a heart-breaking insight into a group of “ordinary men, who did extraordinary things”, and is considered one of the greatest war series of all time.

Sex and the City

“I couldn’t help but wonder…” did Sex and the City pave the way for Game of Thrones’ success? Way back in 1998 when the show was released, no one would have any idea what a pop culture phenomenon ‘SATC’ would become, launching HBO onto centre stage. But, the show was the modern-women’s bible we’d all been waiting for. Cosmo’s became the hottest drink, Jimmy Choo’s were on everyone’s shopping list, and we all wanted a Mr. Big. For those of you who aren’t really following (stop right here and get back to us when you’ve watch the full series), Sarah Jessica Parker stars as narrator Carrie Bradshaw, a 30-something gal living in the Big Apple, whose relationships and antics with men and her friends serve as material for her weekly column, ‘Sex and the City’. Her three best friends never leave her side – the uptight, preppy and #woke Charlotte (Kirstin Davis), the forward and confident men-crazed Samantha (Kim Cattrall) and the career-driven-lawyer (but make it fashion) Miranda (Cynthia Nixon). Together they trot down the streets of Manhattan, navigating a grim world of dating, all whilst in their to-die-for trench coats, midriffs, and matching fluffy kitten heels.

Sign up to Disney+

Looking for more shows to get stuck into? Sign up to Disney+ below! There are two plan options to choose from – a monthly subscription at $11.99 per month, or prepay for a year at $119.99 and save on the monthly cost. Both plans include the same features, with unlimited downloads and the ability to stream on up to four screens at the same time.

Brand Subscription Type No. of Screens/same time viewing Advertised Cost^^/month or year
Disney+ Logo

Disney+ Monthly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic & Star
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices

min. cost $11.99 over one month

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $11.99
Advertised Cost/month
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *
Disney+ Logo

Disney+ Yearly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic & Star
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices
  • Prepay for a yearly subscription and save on the monthly cost

min. cost $119.99 over one year

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $119.99
Advertised Cost/year
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *

Is HBO worth getting?

Streaming is a competitive market, with plenty of streaming platforms to choose from for that lazy day on the couch. With big names such as Netflix and Stan dominating the market, it can be hard for overseas services to break into the market, even if they come stacked with shows.

Whether or not you decide if HBO is worth it will come down to your preferences when it comes to turning on the TV, as well as how much you’re willing to fork out every month to stay on top of your favourite shows. While getting HBO may be a bit more work than other streaming services, and more expensive, if any of the above shows piqued your interest, it may be worth looking into for your next binge session. Check out our guide on how to stream HBO in Australia, and settle in for some box office blockbusters.

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Picture credit: Pixinoo/Shutterstock.com

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