Two of the best channels out there are HBO and Showtime. If you want to argue TLC for the freak factor, I’ll give you that. HBO was the first channel you needed a satellite dish for or something like that. I’m not exactly sure how this all works. It’s been around since the late 1960s or early 1970s in some form though. Showtime has also been around for a long time, 1976 according to briefly looking at the Wikipedia page. In the United States you still have to pay for these exclusively, meaning I have never lived in a home where these channels were accessible. Thanks to things like Netflix and me breaking into neighbor’s homes and watching their televisions when they are out of town, I’ve come to know a lot about these channels and the programming they provide. Both are great, but I have to wonder, which is better?

Point 1: The Programming

HBO has had hits like The Sopranos, Oz, Sex and the City, The Wire, Game of Thrones, and a few other things. Showtime is best known for Weeds, Dexter, Homeland, Dead Like Me, and a bunch of shows about gay people. There’s a very obvious contrast between the programming if you pay attention long enough. HBO has a much more East Coast feel to it. All of the shows I mentioned above take place somewhere in the Northeastern United States. Game of Thrones of course takes place in Montpellier, Vermont; something many fans overlook. Showtime has a more West Coast feel to it, despite not all of the shows being California based. Weeds and Californication are two I know take place in California. Homeland is in D.C. and Dexter is in Miami aka California on a penis. It would be impossible to choose which has better shows so I’m not going to do it.

vern schillinger(Although I’m a little partial to Oz)

Point 2: DVDs

Hands down Showtime is better at DVD sales. I’m basing DVD sales on price. HBO will put around two episodes on a disc sometimes. I’m talking to you Carnivale! Six discs for twelve episodes? Give me a break. The prices of HBO DVDs are also outrageous. Some will run all the way up to around $50. I was interested in buying Eastbound and Down Season One until I realized I would be paying $20 for six episodes. Kenny Powers is great, but he’s not that great. Showtime’s prices are much more reasonable. At least when I go into a Best Buy I don’t immediately skip over them because of the price.

Point 3: Netflix

You may not have noticed this, but very few if any HBO shows are available on Netflix. I’m sure it’s a contract they would have to sign to do this and I think it really limits their audience. Showtime on the other hand puts everything on Netflix. Weeds, Dexter, The United States of Tara, and more are readily available for your viewing pleasure or viewing hatred. I’m including hatred here because I don’t think you’ll enjoy everything.

dexter-season-6(Americans, we love our gore and our bothered by our morals getting questioned without it)

Point 4: Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker is too old to have my babies. That’s a shame because I think we would make cute ones. On HBO she only got to star in a miniseries Angels in America where she did get to go full frontal nude. However, on Weeds broadcasted on Showtime she gets to have her own TV show where we get to see her naked quite a bit in the middle few seasons. If nudity isn’t your thing, she has some cute outfits.

mary louise parker(Even in prison she’s incredibly adorable)

Point 5: Sex and Violence

Showtime is probably better at sex than HBO is. Showtime gives us a naked Mary-Louise Parker, Californication, Michael C. Hall’s upper body, and Big Brother after dark which I have heard is just everyone spreading STDs. HBO is the one you should turn to for the violence. The Sopranos, Oz, and The Wire alone are enough to satisfy your blood-thirsty needs. HBO also seems to show a lot more penis than Showtime. Just letting you know that I have realized this.

Omar-The-Wire-shotgun-1pvbyw9(Since The Wire was on HBO it’s “Omar coming” not like if it was on Showtime where it would be “Omar cumming.”

Point 6: Sports and Comedy

I’m not sure if Showtime does anything special for sports or comedy and I know for a fact HBO does it and they do it very well. From boxing matches, to uncensored shows following a hockey team around, to awesome stand-up comedy specials, HBO does it all. I’m sure Showtime would do it well too if given the chance. It’s like how I always tell girls on the street that I’d be a great boyfriend if they would just let me. It’s usually at that point they get to the final “1” in 911 and I have to run for my freedom.

louisckhboPOST(Can Louis CK communicate if he’s holding something in both hands?)

Which Network do you prefer?

  1. You forgot about HBO’s Flight of the Conchords. While, it is no longer an active show, it is still hilarious. I own the first season on DVD and I believe that is the only show I only any seasons of.

    As for Showtime…They are getting into boxing. They actually have partnered with Goldenboy I think. They are getting the better matches and I am pretty sure Mayweather vs.Canelo will be on Showtime (And that will be the biggest fight of the year, by far.) I haven’t reall seen any standups on Showtime though. So not sure where they stand on that front.

    Good last blurb about Louis CK. One of the few comics I’d put on my “Really want to see live” list.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Flight of the Conchords was good. I wouldn’t consider it a prime show of theirs though that defines them.

      Showtime should have gone after UFC or something like that. I don’t know. I’m sure it’s a lot more complicated than I make it seem.

      I saw Louis CK live years ago right before he was about to blow-up. You know, when he realized he hated his life.

  2. HBO is great, although maybe I’m only saying that ‘cos I haven’t seen much Showtime stuff.

    Schillinger is quite possibly the most terrifying TV character created. Every time I start thinking about stealing a tub of yoghurt, I remind myself that him and all those exposed penises are waiting for me.

    The Wire is essential viewing for anyone, whilst Dexter has been downhill ever since the second series finished.

    • Mooselicker says:

      I think we discussed Dexter before. I thought season 3 was shit and season 4 was great. Then after that it started the decline again. The last season was pretty bad. I think I failed to mention True Blood in this piece. That’s another show that started off pretty good and is just nearly unwatchable now.

  3. Seb says:

    The Wire was the greatest show ever on TV, ever. Even if, as a Baltimorean, i could tell you that the locations they were using weren’t the ones they claimed to be from scene to scene and only one character had an actual Bawlmer accent – greatest. show. ever. The show I don’t get is Breaking Bad. Why do people love this? It is soooo goddam boring!!!

    • Mooselicker says:

      Breaking Bad is a show that should be watched for a while to really appreciate it. I remember use talking about this before. To me The Wire was very boring. Who was the only person with the accent? Was it that redheaded lady? I think it was her….I can’t remember. I like when Dominic West did an over the top impression when he was the red ribbon killer.

      • Seb says:

        Nope. 4 season’s of breaking bad and I’m still waiting for some character development or even something unexpected to happen. The authentic bawlmer accent was the shift lieutenant in bunny’s division – the “nobody get captured” guy

      • Mooselicker says:

        No character development in Breaking Bad???? Walter has changed tremendously.

        I don’t remember the nobody get captured guy but if it’s who I’m thinking of it’s the guy who actually was a Baltimore police officer who the big fat guy was based off of. I find it forgivable. Like all those movies in Boston when they have Boston accents, it tends to be a little much sometimes.

      • Seb says:

        Oh? Becoming overwhelmingly paranoid is character development?

      • Seb says:

        The other great thing about the wire was that, as an eastside boy it was hard to see them Westside punks take over but when slim Charles shot cheese in the head at the end I was all like “yeah boi, representing for da manor!”

      • Mooselicker says:

        I despised Cheese. I was so glad when Slim Charles finally took him out for Prop Joe.

      • Seb says:

        I thought prop Joe should have had his own spin off show where he was elected president. I’d have paid to see that!

      • Mooselicker says:

        Didn’t the actor die a few months ago? I should probably look it up and state this as fact rather than ask a question.

      • Seb says:

        Sadly, yes he did.

  4. Addie says:

    I’m voting for HBO for one major reason–HBO GO. Showtime’s app is pathetic and useless as tits on a frog. I don’t have On Demand, and I like to watch programs when I feel like it/remember to do so. HBO GO let’s me do this. Showtime just sits there, useless as I mentioned before.

    GO HBO GO!

  5. There is just too much TV to watch. I only have so much time.

  6. Lily says:

    I was never allowed to watch either channel growing up and I still don’t know a lot about either one. But this post really broke it down for me and I feel like I understand things more. I’ve always been partial to Dexter so I guess I’d have to say Showtime?
    I like Curb Your Enthusiasm though…is that HBO? Choices, choices.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Weren’t allowed to or didn’t defy your parents enough to do it anyway?

      Curb is HBO. I forgot about that. Showtime has only started to get real good the last few years. Until now it only had 2-3 good shows consistently and now I think it’s just as good if not better than HBO. I mostly just don’t like HBO because their DVDs are expensive and never on Netflix.

  7. SingingTuna says:

    Can’t choose. I love both of them. Wasn’t there something called Prism a long time ago? I love Cinemax, too. And Starz. Never used Netflix or bought a DVD so I don’t have any knowledge about those. It’s interesting, though, about how the different networks are and how they’re perceived. How about “Shameless?” And “Boss.” And “Homeland.” And “Family Tree!”

    LOL…”Weeds” was terrific. Sorry it’s over. 😦
    Losing “Dexter” is going to hurt something fierce.
    Wow! I forgot about “Oz.” FREAKY violent. But good.
    I think Larry David is coming back in something. A movie? A series? I miss “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
    No one in the world watches more TV than I do. No one. People are aggravating. TV can be, too, but you can always change the channel.

    Love your tags, as always.

    I’m not porffing this. Gotta run.

    • Mooselicker says:

      For some reason you didn’t strike me as a big TV watcher. I’m glad you are though. I like intelligent TV watchers.

      I think Prism was a local channel. Did they do a lot of sports? I hear it mentioned on the sports radio stations a bunch.

  8. SingingTuna says:

    Me? I’ve watched TV non-stop for 60 years. I used to take a little battery-operated TV to work in the mid-1980’s, when it was tough to find battery-operated TV’s. And in the 70’s I had a radio that would tune in to the VHF channels, so I could at least listen at work. TV is a dependable, entertaining, non-judgmental friend. And it doesn’t need birthday presents or rides to the airport.

    Sports! Yes! That was Prism, I think. They were premium, but local. Maybe in the 80’s? I didn’t get cable until 1996. Well…our neighbor’s cable used to leak into our house. Loved that…LOL

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