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It’s official: House of the Dragon, the prequel to HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, is in the works and slated for a 2022 release.

The show’s exact premiere date has not yet been revealed, but HBO is reportedly in its casting process now. It will focus on the rise and fall of the Targaryen clan, whose power resided in their dragons. The series is expected to be another success on the streaming platform, which has become famed for its prestige television — a genre of TV shows structured to feel more novelistic, with each episode seeming like a new chapter. Notable examples include GoT, Veep, The Wire and The Sopranos.

best TV series on hbo
The poster for House of the Dragon, which is slated to release on HBO in 2022. (Image credit: HBO/ IMDB)

That’s not all there is to HBO’s catalogue, though. From comedies to fantasy dramas and thrillers, the platform has been churning out popular hits such as Chernobyl and Big Little Lies. Even its newly released Lovecraft Country — which launched just over a week ago and is executive produced by JJ Abrams and Jordan Peele — has already been widely well-received.

Here are 5 of the best HBO series that are worth a watch

(Main and featured images: Westworld/ HBO/ IMDB)

1
Chernobyl

What is the cost of lies? Broken families, needless deaths and a disaster that shook the Soviet Union.

Chernobyl is a 2019 HBO original miniseries that dramatises the April 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident and its clean-up efforts. The show depicts stories of the people who caused the disaster, those who responded to it, and its long-term impact on civilians.

Chernobyl has won multiple awards including two Golden Globes and three Emmys, and has been praised for its well-researched script and sensitive portrayal of a national tragedy.

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2
The Outsider

Based on a Stephen King novel of the same name, The Outsider is about an investigation into a young boy’s murder which seems straightforward at first but takes a gruesome turn when a supernatural force gets involved.

The series takes some creative liberties with the original storyline by having a different yet interesting conclusion, and changing the appearance of several main characters. Detective Ralph Anderson, for instance, is described as someone ‘as big as a house’ in the book, however, he is depicted as a comparatively shorter man on screen. Likewise, private investigator Holly Gibney is presented as a black woman on screen (she’s written as white in the book) and has a fear of flying. Despite these changes, the show has received a nod of approval from King himself.

A blend of horror, fantasy and crime drama, The Outsider forces the audience to watch, enjoy and contemplate at the same time. The miniseries also boasts an immensely talented cast including Jason Bateman, Ben Mendelsohn, and Cynthia Erivo in pivotal roles.

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3
Westworld

Does free will exist? Westworld tackles this philosophical issue in an innovative manner. In a futuristic world, an amusement park named Westworld allows people to interact with “hosts”, robots who look just like the visitors and are programmed to be friends, foes and lovers. These androids soon develop consciousness and desire to make their own choices — which is where the trouble begins.

Starring Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton, this three-season series also scored Newton her first Emmy award in 2018.

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4
Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies is a whodunnit set in an upscale locality of California where a murder takes place during a school event. What sets this show apart from other crime dramas is that it keeps both the killer and victim’s identities under wraps till its finale.

The series is filled with twists and turns, interesting characters, and a stellar cast of Hollywood A-listers such as Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. It was initially conceptualised as a miniseries, but became so popular it was renewed for a second season.

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5
Silicon Valley

This tech series is a parody of the Silicon Valley culture and takes a dig at modern automation and the world of start-ups.

Over six seasons, it shows how struggling programmers try to make a place for themselves in the IT world. The satire is centred on its protagonist Richard, who creates an app named Pied Piper — a revolutionary compression code — and tries to get investors to back his company.

Silicon Valley stars Thomas Middleditch, TJ Miller, Josh Brener, Martin Starr and Kumail Nanjiani, and also features cameos by well-known tech personalities such as Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel, the Winklevoss twins of Facebook and bitcoin fame, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, and bona fide rock star Kid Rock.

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