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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Which Network do you prefer?