Sunday should have been a banner night for HBO, with Game of Thrones and the premiere of its latest "zeitgeist-courting" show Girls. But Michael Wolff didn't tune in—though not for lack of trying. Wolff and his companion "don't have HBO. And, it turns out, after some hurried calling around, nobody we know has HBO. They all did; now, they don't," he writes in the Guardian. Pretty much everyone he called deemed HBO either too expensive, too "uncool," or both. "If I were HBO, I'd find this alarming."
HBO was once necessary if you wanted "any hope of being part of what is appallingly known as the conversation." But today quality television is everywhere, and we have innumerable ways to watch it. We form relationships with shows, not platforms; a pay channel feels like "an increasingly illogical premise." Even landing a defining new show might not be enough. "HBO is like a rec room artifact. Like the bar our parents were once so proud of in those redone basements of the 60s."