As much as I hate to admit it, there’s nothing I enjoy more than indulging in a weekend-long TV marathon. Sometimes you just need a break from reality, and there’s no better way than to turn yourself into a couch potato for two days, immersing yourself into a captivating, fictional world. Watching is easy, but finding a show worth marathoning isn’t always as easy. If you’re looking for something to binge on, here are ten vintage HBO shows to marathon this weekend, because the network has some of the most intriguing shows on television.
Sure, when you think of marathon watching, you automatically look to Netflix, but before the giant streamer came to be, HBO had been indulging audiences with award-winning, cutting edge dramas and comedies, and still is today. With iconic shows like Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, and Sex and the City under their belt, HBO is the perfect place to find your next TV addiction.
So if you’re trying to figure out what to watch this weekend, here is a list of amazing HBO shows that you can binge from start to finish.
1. The Wire
Ask anyone who's watched The Wire, and they'll probably tell you it's the best series in television history. The crime drama follows the Baltimore Police Department's efforts to take down a drug kingpin, only to unravel the vast corruption and crime that has spread throughout the city and its institutions. It’s unlike any cop or crime drama you’ve ever seen, because it elegantly captures the harsh authenticity of the drug world and presents it in a chaotically poetic way.
2. The Sopranos
As one of the most critically acclaimed, iconic shows on television ever, The Sopranos will make a terrific weekend binge. The series follows a New Jersey mob boss, Tony Soprano, and his struggle to balance his family life with his crime ridden professional one. With 21 Emmy Awards and five Golden Globes, the series has earned its spot in the TV hall of fame, making it more than marathon worthy for your weekend.
3. True Blood
If you’re a sci-fi, supernatural junkie like me, you’ll love HBO’s vampire series, True Blood. The series isn’t your typical vampire drama. It’s set in rural Louisiana, and effortlessly depicts what life would be like if you woke up one day, and saw on the news that vampires really do exist. There’s drama, romance, comedy, and lots of supernatural fare to feast on with True Blood, and it will definitely make your TV staycation worth it.
4. Boardwalk Empire
Take yourself back to Prohibition era Atlantic City this weekend with a Boardwalk Empire marathon. With executive producers like Martin Scorsese and Mark Wahlberg at the helm, the series follows the story of politician, Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) who is involved in bootlegging with all kinds of nefarious characters. It’s an award-winning show, with impeccable sets and costumes, so it’s definitely worth checking out this weekend.
5. Sex and the City
If you’re looking for something light and funny to watch this weekend, catch up with the fashionistas of Sex and the City. The series follows love and relationship writer, Carrie Bradshaw, and her best friends Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha. Over six seasons, you’ll see the crews ups and downs through dating, friendship, and love, as they navigate the bustle of New York City.
6. The Night Of
If you don’t have the time or energy to watch a long running series, you should definitely check out The Night Of. The thrilling crime drama follows a young Pakistani-American man, Naz Khan (Riz Ahmed), as he is charged with a murder that he doesn’t remember committing. The mystery is intense throughout the series, and with just one, short eight-episode season, it’s easy to finish over the weekend.
When it comes to HBO series, there’s nothing as vintage as Oz. It was the first one-hour drama to be produced by the network, and has maintained its place among the great HBO dramas. The series follows the experimental unit of a prison, nicknamed the “Emerald City”, where prisoners are rehabilitated and taught responsibility, rather than being punished even further.
As the polar opposite of the successful and glamorous life of the women on Sex and the City, the critically acclaimed Lena Dunham comedy series, Girls, follows four friends as they fail miserably at life in New York City.
9. The Newsroom
If you’re a fan of Aaron Sorkin, you might enjoy marathon-watching The Newsroom this weekend. The political drama series starring Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, and Dev Patel follows a television cable newsroom and how they handle an evolving journalism landscape.
If you’re going through Game of Thrones withdrawal like me, you can try to fill your weekend with a story of kingdoms and conquests with Rome. The series is loosely based on the historical story of Julius Caesar, and follows his two trusted soldiers Titus Pollo and Lucius Vorenus as they navigate the dramatic events during the rise and fall of Caesar’s Rome.