I saw this question posed on Twitter somewhere, but can’t find the original tweet so here we are. Now I have a feeling the answers are going to skew wildly here. Everyone has an HBO show that they watched religiously before the fracturing of content with social media and streaming. These days I watch so many shows on so many platforms I don’t really associate them with any one channel. Back in the day though you’d have to wait all week for your next fix and come Sunday night when that HBO static noise drops its like the first drip of morphine.
Disclaimer: This is not a list of the *best* HBO shows, this is a list of what hits your brain first when you hear the opening static. The Sopranos is an all-time show, but I was 10 when it started so I only watched episodes here and there with my dad in later seasons. I didn’t even properly binge Sopranos until last year, so go ahead and shame me if you want, but Tony’s fate in my rankings is not as ambiguous as that finale was.
With so many all-time shows and cult classic series, what song does the HBO Intro remind you of first?
3.) True Detective
The first season of True Detective is one of the few instances of TV in the past decade that was appointment viewing. The HBO Opening followed by that creepy Bayoux theme song was a one two punch that had me glued to my seat no matter what. There could have been a fire in my kitchen and I would have let my shitty Allston apartment burn just so I could try and figure out who the Yellow King was.
2.) Game of Thrones
Pound for pound my favorite TV show of all time and one that changed the game forever, despite some minor (massive) missteps over the final season or two. This was a show you couldn’t afford to miss the opening seconds so the dog was walked, the snacks were set up, and the lights were dimmed at 8:58 pm leaving nothing but silence in my house as that sweet, sweet HBO Opening hit followed by one of the greatest opening sequences in TV history. I literally went to a Ramin Djawadi concert just to hear this played by a live orchestra and it was some of the best money I ever spent.
For me the hands down No. 1 in the Power Rankings is Entourage. I readily admit a lot of this has to do with the age I was when Entourage was starting off and hitting its stride, but when I hear that HBO static the first thing I think of is Vinny and the boys. This show was just straight up fun to watch with your buds so it’s probably just a dopamine connection in my brain. Did the show become formulaic in its later seasons? Sure, but that doesn’t change the fact that my brain is hardwired to play Jane’s Addiction in my head as soon as I hear the HBO Intro.
So who ya got?
PS – The honorable mention that didn’t make this list is Ballers. I don’t even really associate Ballers with the HBO Opening (hence not making the list), but tell me you can’t think of The Rock just crushing deals every time you hear Lil Wayne and Drake’s “Right Above It.”