Sunday, April 14, 2013

10 scenes that prove HBO really has no limits.

By Sati. Sunday, April 14, 2013 , , , , , , , , ,
Famous tagline "no limits" is one of the best advertising strategies from HBO. Is it really true though? Yes. We get to see things on HBO that an ordinary broadcasting station wouldn't dare to show. And though Showtime and AMC have a fair share of shocking things in their shows, HBO still takes the prize for the most courageous station.

Let me clarify three things. Firstly, the reason for this post is my peace of mind. I'm trying to convince myself that HBO executives won't chicken out while showing two particularly horrible things in this season of Game of Thrones. Those things are very important and without them, the magnitude of certain events won't be the same. While tonight's episode ending will have people asking "did what just happen, actually happened?" there are two particularly cruel things about to come. I have confirmation on one and the rumour on another. Those are gruesome, gruesome things but if they will be shown correctly they will also become horrifying. And one of them will exceed all the scenes on this list. Combined.

Secondly, the sickest thing I have ever seen is Nip/Tuck. HBO won't trump it, ever. This show was so disgusting it almost made me puke. And I don't mean the surgery scenes - the amount of purely fucked up things that happened there was sickening. I've seen autopsies, dead bodies and a lot of disturbing things but this right there was the worst thing ever.

And lastly - I could prove HBO has no limits simply by including any number of scenes from Girls. But seeing how - 1) I just ate 2) I do not hate my readers - I'm not going to do that.

Note: I have not seen Oz. I'm sure it would be on the list if I did.

10. Nate burying rotting pieces of Lisa / Six Feet Under
Many times the reason why something is so affecting is heartbreaking aspect of the scene. Here Nate buries his wife Lisa (or what's left of her, she was in the water for a long time). He is gagging because of the awful smell but he manages to put her in he ground, just like she wanted. The scenes that show us that people are really just biology are the hardest to watch in that legendary show.
9. Long Term Parking / The Sopranos
Sometimes the worst thing to have while watching HBO is hope. That episode was as heartbreaking as it was shocking.
8. Dan vs The Captain / Deadwood
I'm not sure how realistic that scene was but the fight to death between two men was insanely gory and brutal. I don't think I've seen a fight like that one in any other HBO show. There are usually guns or swords involved. Here there was just hatred and bare fists.
7. Jaime pushes Bran out the window / Game of Thrones
This happens in the pilot episode. While you were watching it you probably thought, oh here is the Queen and her brother, the brave knight. They seem to be plotting, but that's not so bad. Oh, wait. They are fucking each other? But they are related! Oh, wait! The brave knight pushes the child off the tower! What is this?!
6. Dora Mae / Carnivale
Dora Mae is murdered in the city of Babylon and she is forced to stay there forever in afterlife, as a sex toy for terrible and dirty miners. The show was filled with genuinely creepy and unpleasant events, but this whole episode was just nightmarish.
5. Russell and the spine / True Blood
He just ripped it out with his bare hand. Just like that.
4. Bill and Lorena fucking in their victim's blood / True Blood
I was genuinely shocked when I saw that.
3. Ser Rodrik's execution / Game of Thrones
It took Theon Greyjoy 3 strikes to behead this man. Charming remainder to the one truth - Theon can't do anything right.
2. Angela's death / Boardwalk Empire
While a lot of people will say it's Jimmy's death they found to be the most shocking I was genuinely in the state of shock when Angela and her lover were killed. What a horrifying and saddening scene.
1. Oh, my dear, dear Celeste. I will show you things; wonderful, terrible things. / Carnivale

Even though HBO could show us things sometimes they don't and it so much worse than if they did. After the main antagonist Brother Justin Crowe leaves his home, his sister sees that the new maid, Celeste, is naked and cuddled on the floor next to his bed. As she raises her head, Celeste has insane grin on her face, being literally raped, tortured and abused into insanity. Crowe's sister sits beside her and embraces her, unable to do anything more. Carnivale was a bit like Twin Peaks. Far more creepy, nightmarish and disturbing Twin Peaks.

Once again, thank you for the nightmares.

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40 comments:

  1. Oh man Russel <3

    Gotta love HBO.

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  2. Oh, gosh Carnivale. One of the creepiest most awesome shows to ever be canceled. (Thanks for pointing out those scenes - I'm reminded to watch that series again!)
    I was stunned when Jimmy was killed but yes the lovers' death was so sad as well. It was one of the two downfalls where I haven't watched the show in a while. (That and I don't have HBO)

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    1. For me it's a bit too creepy to rewatch it, some scenes there and the atmosphere freaked the shit out of me :)

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  3. And, I forgot to mention - Russell ripping out the spine of the newscaster...One of the most shocking scenes I ever saw yet his monologue is one of my favorites for tv ever. Too bad True Blood has moved past shocking moments and just become poorly melodramatic and repetitive.

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    1. His monologue was so funny! "Back to you Tiffany" :)

      I gave up on th show in the beginning of season 5.

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  4. Dan's scene on Deadwood was watched mostly through squinted eyes. That was harsh.

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    1. That hanging eye-ball was so horrific!

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    1. Thank you! Same here :) With the exception of Girls.

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  6. Whoa. What a kickass list.

    I, being the uptight square that I am, have only seen one of these (poor Bran). But, this list has definitely intrigued me.

    Well done!

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    1. Thank you! How do you like Game of Thrones so far?

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    2. Very cool. Lots going on, but incredibly entertaining.

      And a nice combination of sexy and bloody, too.

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    3. Awesome! It keeps getting more gory in season 2 and 3 but they balance it with all the brothel scenes :P

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  7. I haven't seen Game of Thrones or Carnivale, but given your descriptions, those all sound like intense scenes. Completely agree with all the other picks. HBO really does know how to hustle.

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    1. You should really check these two out! You saw True Blood? I would have never guessed you did!

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  8. As I'm very squeamish and has no nerves of steel like you, I steer clear of HBO :D Great post though Sati, their stuff usually have great writing, I did watch ROME but haven't seen anything from HBO since.

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    1. I started Rome yesterday! I really like it so far, but I'm not in love with the show yet.

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  9. HBO can be very creepy. There is actually no limit to what they can show. I woudn't call it Realism. Most of the scenes on this list are far from any realistic strains. Yet, they manage to pull it off.

    I would disagree with Ser Roderick's beheading in Game of Thrones. It wasn't particularly gruesome or disturbing. In fact, I though HBO shied away from the gory stuff (which is surprising). However, Jaime pushing Bran off the wall is horrific, and even though I knew it was coming, I was shocked.

    True blood definitely has it's share of shocking and bloody moments, but it's a vampire show, after all. And I would take that over Twilight any day of the week.

    And the scene you listed from The Sopranos is perhaps the saddest scene in the entire damn series. I have never seen Carnivale, but from the two scenes you listed, it seems to be one of the sickest shows in existence!

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    1. Oh I was cringing a lot during Rodrik's scene. The hits of the sword and Theon kicking the head was pretty horrifying for me.

      True Blood has reached such awfulness in season 5 I stopped watching and I don't stop watching TV series all that often.

      Carnivale is really disturbing. I only saw it once, because it was truly sick.

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  10. I had forgotten how utterly dark and twisted Carnivale got. Also, award for dustiest show ever.

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    1. Haha yeah good call with the dust, it was everywhere!

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  11. Great post! That scene with Russell is probably my favorite scene in all of TV. I was just so shocked when it happened. I was actually thinking about watching Carnival, because I never got into it. Now I'm afraid too.

    Another one that I think is shocking, season 3 of Boardwalk Empire when Gyp gets ambushed while having his kinky sex, and he takes that naked walk down the hall covered in blood. That was messed up!

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    1. I was shocked too, couldn't believe what happened! Carnivale is definitely worth seeing, but it's insanely dark and morbid.

      Oh yeah that was an insane scene!

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  12. I've only seen a few of HBO's comedies, so I haven't seen any of these. But they all look shocking and/or disturbing, especially 1, 3, 4 and 5.

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    1. Yeah True Blood is intense. It's actually somewhat an unintentional comedy :)

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  13. That Boardwalk Empire scene was devastating. I did not expect that to happen. And then poor Jimmy... ugh.

    I skipped over the Carnivale blurbs, but now I'm curious to watch the show since you have it listed twice. We just got HBO Go, too, so I might get to it sooner rather than later.

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    1. I was shocked when I saw that, it was utterly devastating.

      It's a good show but it's crazy dark. GoT at least has some humor in it :)

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  14. HBO is a great station and can pretty much get away with anything. Love The Sopranos and The Wire, both two of my all time favorite TV shows.

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    1. Yeah they are pretty great, pointless nudity aside.

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  15. Wow you've got me intrigued by Carnivale.

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    1. It's a great show but it's very depressing.

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  16. What about Ralphie being chopped up in his bathroom on the Sopranos?

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    1. It was pretty shocking, as pretty much everything surrounding Ralphie but his severed head looked a bit...odd.

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  17. Awesome post! I haven't seen any of these shows except Game of Thrones and True Blood. That scene with Bill and Lorena boinking in blood. Egads!!

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    1. Thank you! Yeah I was completely surprised by what happened there :P

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  18. HBO definitely is my favorite American sources for tv shows... Very daring. I mean, I haven't seen many of the series yet but I did love True Blood until now (going to watch s. 5 soon), and was positively shocked by many scenes. That picture of Russel and the spine is priceless.

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    1. I gave up TB on season 5, it was just too ridiculous for me to handle.

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  19. I've been wanting to track down and watch Carnivale for so long now. Seeing that it actually was quite creepy has definitely triggered that again, I'll have to check it out.

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    1. Oh it's more than quite creepy, it's honestly the kind of stuff that can give you nightmares. Shame it was canceled, though I supposed it was a bit too edgy even for HBO.

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