Recently I have been in conversation with my peers about tv shows.

The majority of Darien High School is going through a tv watching phase rather than a movie-watching phase. There is a rotating spectrum of shows people in our school talk about, last year it was all about Euphoria(Season 2) and White Lotus (Season 1). This year the conversation has been revolving around Succession, Barry, and White Lotus (Season 2). Something all these titles have in common is the platform from which they are produced and streamed every week, HBO Max, (soon to have a title change and just be Max. 

Somewhere between the downfall of cable and the uprise of Netflix and Hulu was the downfall of HBO. The once popular streaming platform was overtaken by originals from other platforms as well as shows they had bought from cable channels. According to Forbes in 2015 Netflix bought Friends and saw a surge in subscribers. However, around two years ago HBO started noticeably buying up popular shows from other streaming platforms, such as taking Gossip Girl and Friends from Netflix. Having previously owned popular franchises from companies such as Warner Brothers and DC comics, they had a leg up to overtake the competitors. Senior Maggie Crotty grew up watching Friends and stated to me that she canceled Netflix after they took off the popular sitcom. “HBO had Friends and Harry Potter, my family didn’t feel the need to pay for Netflix anymore” Crotty said.

HBO added 1.1 million subscribers in Q4 2022 according to Variety (Trusted Reviews)

What sets HBO Max above and beyond in the end is their recent original shows. In recent years they have managed to reach a new high in their quality of HBO originals, earning them awards and a new height of viewership. Both senior Griffin Aceveado and science teacher Mr. Dave Herberger keep up every week with all the running originals that are out right now: (Succession, Barry, etc.). I talked to Senior Avery Lane who never watches TV and she mentioned that the only show she has finished in three busy years is Euphoria, to which the music room agreed with. Lane claims HBO’s Euphoria kept her engaged, and the gradewide response every week was a fun reason to look foward to school on Mondays. I have to agree that having Euphoria Sunday was a great way to go into the week. Avery said she thinks the appeal of HBO probably comes from their realizing episodes week by week for their originals as opposed to it coming all at once. She said it leaves room and time for their to be a conversation surrounding episodes. 

In the coming years as streaming platforms reach an all time high, and people have to choose which platforms to pay for and which not to, HBO seems to have Darien on their side.