TV Shows
Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

TOP most controversial HBO series. Not only “Idol” and “Euforia”

On paper everything was fine. Sam Levinson, the creator of “Euphoria”, was at the helm of the production and starred in the main roles Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd. The main character of “Idol” is Jocelyn, a music star who had to interrupt her last tour due to a nervous breakdown. Now she decides to claim her rightful title of the biggest and sexiest pop singer in America. Her passions are reignited by Tedros, a nightclub impresario with a dark past.

“Idol” was one of the most anticipated productions of 2023. However, behind-the-scenes games, changes in the production team and the script could not end well. “Idol” became a very expensive HBO production. There were many controversial scenes in the series, just like in other productions of the station. However, Levinson’s work seems to consist only of such scenes. The controversy surrounding the series was widely reported even before its premiere, and with each episode it aroused more and more disgust and outrage. Ultimately, HBO’s bosses decided to end the series after the fifth episode.

Before Sam Levinson outraged HBO viewers with “Idol”, he created one of the station’s most famous productions in recent years. “Euphoria” focuses on the story of Rue, a teenager struggling with drug addiction who, along with her high school friends, confronts issues regarding domestic violence, sexuality, identity and mental health. The way their struggles are shown has often been criticized. Although the production is theoretically aimed at adult viewers, “Euphoria” has gained enormous popularity among teenagers.

In 2022, several members of the crew revealed that they encountered toxic working conditions on the set of “Euphoria”. They even called the time spent on set a “hellish experience.” The main complaint concerned increasingly longer working hours. According to reports, the actors had to work up to 18 hours a day, and the photos were often taken at night and lasted until dawn. The extras also complained about the way they were treated – admitting that sometimes they “didn’t exist as people.”

“Game of Thrones” is one of the most popular and best-rated series in recent years. The adaptation of George RR Martin’s prose received a number of awards, including a Golden Globe, Saturn Awards, Critic’s Choice Television statuettes and Emmy Awards. However, there was no shortage of controversy during the broadcast. The creators of the series were accused of showcasing violence, especially when directed by women. The production also included bold intimate scenes and nudity, which began to disappear from the screen over time. Instead, there were brutal death scenes.

However, the brutal scenes did not deter viewers and today “Game of Thrones” is the most popular HBO series. The final season was especially loud. This time not due to shocking scenes, but due to various plot decisions made by the scriptwriters and a significant drop in quality. Many theories have already been made about the end of the series, and some fans prefer to pretend that the eighth season was not broadcast at all.

“Rome” is a great historical spectacle in which the authorities hide crimes, revenge soothes the pain of betrayal, and passion changes the balance of power. The heroes’ brutality hides honor and principles, and violence destroys the purest intentions. The first season begins with the fall of the republic and the creation of the empire, and the second after the death of Julius Caesar. As befits an HBO production, the series was full of bold, often very vulgar scenes. Fans of the history of ancient Rome were outraged by the way historical figures were presented.

“I would like to be the voice of a generation. Or at least the voice of a generation” – this is how the main character of “Girls”, Hannah, began her story in the series. She was played by Lena Dunham, who was also the creator of the series. Production to be the voice of the generation of contemporary young women who are not afraid to enjoy life. “When working on this series, I tried to make it above all honest. This was the most important thing for me. I didn’t want to create characters and plots that were untrue,” said Dunham. “Girls” aroused controversy from the first to the last episode. The titular girls were accused of egocentrism, narcissism and privilege. They were definitely not likeable heroines.

“The Sopranos”, a cult HBO series that changed the face of television forever and is considered one of the best series in history. Production created by David Chase’and presents the fate of Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), who only appears to be a typical American of Italian descent. Tony lives in a house in the suburbs of New Jersey, is a family man and the head of the local mafia.

The production aroused controversy mainly due to its subject matter. In one of the interviews, James Gandolfini admitted that he received advice from “experts”, i.e. people associated with the real mafia. After the pilot episode, one of them informed him that his character couldn’t wear shorts. “Experts” often praised the actor for his role, and the series itself for its authenticity.

In 2023, “Idol” was not the only HBO production that was loud about it, and not necessarily for good reasons. “Velma” – an animated series for adults – made a lot of noise. The production was a spin-off of the cult animation “Scooby-Doo”. The creators made several incomprehensible decisions. They resigned, among others: from the character Scooby-Doo. They also significantly changed the characters of the four series friends. Already after the first episode, it became clear that the characters of “Velma”, apart from their names, seemed to have nothing in common with the iconic characters. Throw in a bad script and embarrassing jokes and you have a recipe for failure. “Velma” is considered one of HBO’s worst productions.