“It’s not TV. It’s HBO.” This is the most iconic tagline for one of the best television networks in the TV business. It’s also just a great description of HBO: nowadays, HBO is primarily known as “the network that airs Game of Thrones,” and while it may be referred to as that for a bit longer, HBO has been around for 40 years now, and has been airing original series since the early ‘80s.

While HBO’s original goal was (and to a certain extent, still is) airing recent theatrically released movies (hence “Home Box Office”), it’s also become known as the home of some of the best television series ever made. HBO’s status as a premium cable network means that it can air more sex, profanity, and violence than other networks. This has lead to more creative freedom and the ability to make shows that better resemble the harsh realities of the real world, two things that HBO shows are famously celebrated for, as compared to their broadcast network rivals.

HBO has been linked with the “Golden Age of Television” thanks to its impressive programming, which started in the late 1990s with the premiere of a certain show about gangsters and arguably still continues today with that one show about dragons. Over it’s 40-year history, HBO has produced many brilliant shows, and only continues to produce interesting and critically acclaimed new shows that leave audiences buzzing. For now, let’s look at the best HBO series of all time.