Is HBO Trying Too Hard To Be Edgy Instead of Funny?


When was the last time you saw people blogging really excitedly about Bored to Death? Hung? Other than Curb Your Enthusiasm, does HBO have any great comedies right now? And why not, if dramas like Boardwalk Empire and True Blood get people so jazzed?

This article makes the argument that HBO’s “It’s not TV” attitude actually works to its detriment when it comes to comedy. By trying to emphasize what’s different about HBO, the network misses out on tried-and-true comedy formulas. Take Enlightened: the show is “nuanced and muted” on HBO, but “on Showtime, it would star Elizabeth Banks as a lovable psychopath who escapes from a mental institution only to wind up running it. And she’d be a nymphomaniac.” It’s hard to say whether that Showtime version would be funnier, but it’s almost certain that more people would watch it.