January 27, 2020

Directors Guild TV awards show HBO strong as ever ahead of Max launch

Directors Guild TV awards show HBO strong as ever ahead of Max launch
Credit: HBO

The Directors Guild of America TV Awards showered HBO with accolades, proving the cable TV giant is in optimal shape ahead of its HBO Max launch.

IndieWire reported on the awards, as HBO originals Watchmen, Chernobyl, Barry and even the documentary Song of Parkland all raked in prizes.

Despite the disappointment that was the final season of HBO’s most celebrated show, Game of Thrones, 2019 was a raging success otherwise.

CHECK OUT: Watchmen Season 2: HBO put Lindelof before ratings

Who watches the Watchmen?

That famous line takes on an entirely new, multilayered meaning in light of Watchmen‘s recent success. It’d take a strong steward to shepherd the legendary graphic novel into a new, bold TV series while maintaining the integrity of the original masterwork.

Somehow, showrunner Damon Lindelof pulled it off. The DGA gave the Dramatic Series win to Nicole Kassell for her work on the opening Watchmen episode, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice.” All the other four nominees were for HBO, too, by the way.

It’s hard to overlook just how impressive this series was. Watchmen was somewhat polarizing as a film when it came out, yet it was just before the explosion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

After years of false starts on other property-related projects, HBO finally got this TV show off the ground. Lindelof is walking away after one season, which told a rousing, multifaceted and complete story.

Instead of capitalizing on Watchmen‘s success and churning out sequels like superhero film franchises do, it seems HBO is content to let this epic entry stand on its own. Power move, and a good one, I say.

CHECK OUT: HBO Max to reboot The Last of the Mohicans as series

The best of the rest

Bill Hader earned the Comedy Series DGA honors for Barry‘s “ronny.lilly” episode. His genius show certainly has a trademark, dark HBO tone, yet there’s so much levity and humor throughout that helps it stand out among the crowd of quality programming.

Getting the nod for Chernobyl in the limited series/TV movie category, Johan Renck beat out a field of intense competition. Netflix’s When They See Us and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie earned nominations, as did FX’s Fosse/Verdon with three.

Finally, Song of Parkland won for the Children’s Programs award. It deals with the aftermath of the tragic school shooting through the healing power of the arts.

For the time being, HBO Go and HBO Now has content all divvied up, but once HBO Max launches in May, it’ll all be under one roof.

In our best streaming shows of 2019, we didn’t even include HBO as part of the list. First, because it could’ve had a list on its own. Second, to give other platforms some shine. These DGA awards further vindicate that decision!

Even if the perception is HBO’s glory days have passed, especially with Game of Thrones finished, the Directors Guild just proved there’s a bright future ahead as the network enters the Streaming Wars era with HBO Max.

CHECK OUT: Biggest takeaways from massive HBO Max media day

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