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The best shows on Max (formerly HBO Max) right now

Right now, for a limited time, you can access a whole new selection of TV shows on Max through the AMC+ Picks on Max collection, which will be available for 60 days starting September 1, 2023. Combine these thrilling shows, which include titles like Killing Eve, Gangs of London, and A Discovery of Witches with other new shows coming to Max all the time, and Max is a streaming service you’ll want to sign up for this fall.

Prioritize the AMC+ Picks on Max shows for now so you can watch them before they’re gone come October 31, 2023. While you’re at it, check out what else Max has to offer, which ranges from dramas to comedies and docuseries to animated shows. There’s something for everyone, and we have curated a list of the best shows on Max (formerly HBO Max) right now, including the top AMC+ Picks on Max.

Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best shows on Hulu, the best shows on Netflix, the best shows on Amazon Prime Video, and the best shows on Disney+.

Recently added to Max

Gangs of London (2020) new

Gangs of London
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Crime, Drama
Cast Jasmine Armando, Orli Shuka, Sope Dirisu
Created by Gareth Evans, Matt Flannery

Part of the AMC+ Picks on Max collection of shows that will be available for 60 days, Gangs of London is a British series based on the video game of the same name. As the title indicates, the series follows several rival gangs throughout London and their struggles for power. The story begins when the head of the most powerful crime family in the city is assassinated and an all-out war brews as the gangs try and uncover who ordered his murder. Meanwhile, an undercover police officer has managed to infiltrate one of the gangs and hopes to bring the crimes to an end.

Highly praised by critics who call Gangs of London a “modern crime family masterpiece,” the series has a total of two seasons and 17 episodes available to stream for a limited time.

A Discovery of Witches (2018) new

A Discovery of Witches
tv-14 3 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama
Cast Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Edward Bluemel
Created by Kate Brooke

Another selection within the AMC+ Picks on Max collection, A Discovery of Witches is worth watching before it’s gone. Diana (Teresa Palmer) is a historian and witch who comes across a bewitched manuscript in a local library. This forces her to get back into the world of witchcraft, working alongside a vampire named Matthew (Matthew Goode) to investigate the secrets behind the magical beings described in the book. But it won’t be easy as Diana and Matthew must thwart threats from other creatures.

The British fantasy series has three seasons, which originally aired from 2018 through 2022. The chemistry between the two leads is a particular standout of the series, which was nominated for Best New Drama at the National Television Awards.

Killing Eve (2018) new

Killing Eve
tv-14 4 Seasons
Genre Crime, Drama
Cast Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw
Created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

A hit Emmy-winning series for Hulu, Killing Eve is now available to stream on Max for a limited time as another option in the new AMC+ Picks on Max collection. The spy thriller based on the Luke Jennings novel series and features Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny) as its head writer for the first season. It explores the relationship between a psychopathic assassin named Villanelle (Jodie Comer) and a British intelligence investigator named Eve (Sandra Oh), who has been tasked with capturing her.

The two women soon strike up an intense bond as they each obsess about their respective missions. A love story as much as it is a spy thriller, Killing Eve ended its run with a fourth and final season in 2022. If you haven’t yet encountered spoilers about the explosive ending, it’s worth a watch to see one of the best female-led series of the decade.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (2022)

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Created by Max Borenstein, Jim Hecht

Basketball fans should take note of this sports drama that’s based on the Jeff Pearlman book Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s and executive produced by Succession‘s Adam McKay. Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, which features an ensemble cast led by John C. Reilly (as majority owner Jerry Buss) and Jason Clarke as former player Jerry West, looks at the time from 1979 to 1991 known as the Showtime era. During those years, the Los Angeles Lakers won five NBA championships thanks to the skills and teamwork of greats like Magic Johnson (played by Quincy Isaiah) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Solomon Hughes) who engaged in the run-and-gun style of play.

Season 1 focuses on the time frame from 1979 through 1980 when Magic Johnson was just a rookie, while season 2 continues the story through 1984. Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is a must-watch for not only Lakers fans, but fans of the sport as a whole. It delves into both the professional and personal lives of these iconic players and the stories behind one of the most notable periods and teams in sports history.

My Adventures with Superman (2023)

My Adventures with Superman
tv-pg 1 Season
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Jack Quaid, Alice Lee, Ishmel Sahid
Created by Jake Wyatt

Clark Kent is a young man just building his identity as Superman in this Adult Swim animated superhero series based on the DC Comics character. Jack Quaid (The Boys) voices the iconic character and Alice Lee (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) is Lois Lane, who is working her way up the career ladder as a reporter.

Together, they work with photographer Jimmy Olsen (Ishmel Sahid) to uncover compelling and timely stories and, of course, save the day against vicious villains. Early reviews of My Adventures With Superman were positive, lauding how the show provides yet another perspective on the life and heroics of the beloved character.

Harley Quinn (2019)

Harley Quinn
88 %
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Animation, Crime, Action & Adventure, Comedy
Cast Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell
Created by Dean Lorey, Patrick Schumacker, Justin Halpern
Harley Quinn is back on Max for a fourth season. Unlike many previous incarnations of Harley (Based on a True Story‘s Kaley Cuoco), this one is striking out on her own alongside a new crew: Clayface (Alan Tudyk), Doctor Psycho (Tony Hale), and King Shark (Ron Funches). But just as Harley comes within reach of taking over Gotham City’s underworld, she realizes that she has romantic feelings for her best friend, Poison Ivy (Lake Bell). And unfortunately for Harley, Ivy isn’t initially willing to act on the love she feels as well. Not that Batman is faring any better. His fading romance with Catwoman is a recurring gag on the series.

Looney Tunes Cartoons (2020)

Looney Tunes Cartoons
tv-pg 6 Seasons
Genre Family, Animation, Comedy
Introduce a new generation of kids to the Acme Corporation, falling anvils, and endless sight gags, or relive your own youth with classic catchphrases like, “What’s Up, Doc,” or, “I say, I say, I ain’t no chicken!” with the rebooted Looney Tunes cartoons. The animated shorts harken back to a time when cartoons were much simpler — and arguably more violent. From the music to the iconic characters like Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, Speedy Gonzales, Road Runner, Tweety, and Elmer Fudd, it’s thoroughly entertaining for Saturday morning viewing.

White House Plumbers (2023)

White House Plumbers
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama
Cast Woody Harrelson, Justin Theroux, Lena Headey
Created by Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck

While the satirical political drama has received mixed reviews, it’s hard to argue with the forces of Woody Harrelson, Justin Theroux, Domhnall Gleeson, and Lena Headey, who star in this miniseries. White House Plumbers follows E. Howard Hunt (Harrelson) and G. Gordon Liddy (Theroux), the masterminds behind Watergate and political operatives known as the White House Plumbers.

While trying to protect the presidency, their actions, which included plugging press leaks, end up accidentally overturning the very president they were supposed to be protecting. Despite being based on a true story, White House Plumbers is also praised for its “stranger than fiction” material.

The Righteous Gemstones (2019)

The Righteous Gemstones
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast John Goodman, Danny McBride, Walton Goggins
Created by Danny McBride

John Goodman heads up the ensemble cast in this Danny McBride-created black comedy crime series about a family of televangelists and megachurch pastors. They speak the word of the Lord, but their padded pocketbooks suggest they really speak the word of capitalism. The family’s opulent lifestyle also indicates that donations from parishioners are being used for a lot more than just giving back.

Goodman is Eli Gemstone in The Righteous Gemstones, a widow who heads up the church/company, while his three children Jesse (McBride), Judy (Edi Patterson), and Kelvin (Adam DeVine) are involved in varying ways. But their immaturity and spoiled nature mean they’re not up to the task of actually running things. Called “uproariously funny,” reviews for The Righteous Gemstones get better with each season.

Rick and Morty (2013)

Rick and Morty
87 %
tv-ma 6 Seasons
Genre Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Cast Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer
Created by Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland
Rick Sanchez is a mad scientist who reappears after having gone missing for 20 years. He now lives with his daughter and her family, including his grandson, Morty Smith. Together, he and Morty navigate regular daily life along with interdimensional adventures. The animated sci-fi sitcom has been a staple on Adult Swim (and Max). The show has been lauded by critics and audiences alike, who have called it kooky and described the storylines as “densely plotted science fiction escapades” and “intricately hilarious misadventures.”

Barry (2018)

85 %
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Crime
Cast Bill Hader, Stephen Root, Henry Winkler
Created by Bill Hader, Alec Berg
Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) is facing the ultimate test of his character in Barry. After spending years as a professional assassin, Barry discovers a love of acting and decides to pursue it as his new vocation. However, the people who knew Barry in his previous life keep pulling him back into a mess of murder and mayhem. Now that Barry’s secret has been exposed to someone close to him, it’s only a matter of time before his world goes to pieces again. Barry ends with a fourth and final season.

Somebody Somewhere (2022)

Somebody Somewhere
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Bridget Everett, Mike Hagerty, Jeff Hiller
Created by Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen

Receiving rave reviews for its first season and now back for a second season, Somebody, Somewhere is a comedy-drama starring comedian, actor, singer, writer, and cabaret performer Bridgett Everett. She’s a woman named Sam dealing with a midlife crisis following the death of her sister.

Inspired by Everett’s real life, the show boasts a perfect Rotten Tomatoes rating, with critics calling Everett “captivating” and applauding the way the show “exposes the human condition with tenderness, grace, and warmth.”

Succession (2018)

83 %
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Drama, Comedy
Cast Hiam Abbass, Nicholas Braun, Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin, Peter Friedman, Natalie Gold, Matthew Macfadyen
Created by Jesse Armstrong

With several Emmy wins under its belt, including Outstanding Drama Series, Succession has become one of HBO’s most popular series. Waystar Royco is a global media and hospitality empire headed up by the cutthroat, cruel Logan Roy. As he reaches retirement age and suffers a health setback, he must look to his rich and entitled children to find a successor. But who of his four children, from the arrogant playboy to the power-hungry and visionary addict, is really ready and deserving? And will Logan ever be ready to hand over the reins anyway?

The question of who will take over hovers above every episode and season as the company, Logan, and the Roy family engage in dirty tactics, flaunt their wealth, and find themselves constantly embroiled in controversy. With everything coming to a head in the fourth and final season, Succession is poised to go down in history as not only one of the best shows on HBO, but also one of the best shows of this decade, period.

Succession: Season 1 | Official Trailer | HBO

Perry Mason (2020)

Perry Mason
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Drama, Mystery, Crime
Cast Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk
Created by Rolin Jones, Ron Fitzgerald

An HBO original and based on the same characters featured in the 1957 series (and 1973 revival) that were created by author Erle Stanley Gardner, Perry Mason is a period series starring Matthew Rhys as the title character, a famous defense lawyer during the Great Depression. While dealing with personal demons, including divorce and lingering trauma from the Great War, he quickly becomes immersed in a child kidnapping trial.

Combining all the best elements of a procedural legal drama with the elegance and flair of the 1930s, the second season of Perry Mason will appeal to both fans of the original and the revival as well as those new to the story and its characters who love the genre.

The Last of Us (2023)

The Last of Us
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Cast Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna
Created by Craig Mazin, Neil Druckmann

Pedro Pascal stars in this post-apocalyptic drama as Joel, a smuggler transporting a teenage girl named Ellie (Bell Ramsey) out of a quarantine zone and across the U.S., two decades after the end of modern civilization. Through the brutal journey, the two must rely on one another more than they realized, but Joel has his own demons, tormented by his past.

Considered to be the largest TV production ever in Canada (it was filmed in Alberta) and the first from HBO to be based on a video game, The Last of Us boasts an impressive supporting cast as well. This includes Gabriel Luna (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Tommy, Joel’s younger brother and a hopeful former soldier, and Merle Dandridge as Marlene, head of a resistance movement, who is reprising her role from the video games. Guest stars include Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus) and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) as survivalists, and Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets) as the leader of a revolutionary movement.

Doom Patrol (2019)

Doom Patrol
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama
Cast Diane Guerrero, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade
Created by Jeremy Carver
With a star-studded cast including Brendan Fraser, Matt Bomer, April Bowlby, Timothy Dalton, Diane Guerrero, and Michelle Gomez, Doom Patrol is based on the DC Comics superhero team of the same name. Set in a different timeline from Titans (in which Bomer and Fraser have also appeared), Doom Patrol‘s unlikely heroes are not your typical superheroes: they received their powers through tragic means, and thus have become ostracized by society. Thanks to a medical doctor known as the Chief, however, they have found a home in his mansion, where he protects them from the normal citizens who want them gone.

The Sex Lives of College Girls (2021)

The Sex Lives of College Girls
72 %
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Pauline Chalamet, Amrit Kaur, Reneé Rapp
Created by Mindy Kaling, Justin Noble
College is typically where young people figure out who they are and occasionally experiment while establishing their sexual identities. That’s largely the premise of The Sex Lives of College Girls, which is admittedly a lot funnier than real-life college adventures. Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet), Bela (Amrit Kaur), Leighton (Reneé Rapp), and Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott) all come from different backgrounds, and they take very different approaches to their sex lives. For example, Leighton is a closeted lesbian, while Bela is very enthusiastic about being sex-positive. But it’s bonds of friendship that ground this show and give the laughs greater context.
The Sex Lives of College Girls | Official Trailer | HBO Max

His Dark Materials (2019)

His Dark Materials
69 %
tv-14 3 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama
Cast Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Created by Jack Throne
Dafne Keen turned a lot of heads with her star-making turn in Logan. But she’s really stepped up in HBO and BBC’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. In an alternate world where souls appear as companion animals, Keen plays Lyra, a young girl who finds herself torn between her uncle, Lord Asriel Belacqua (James McAvoy), and the enigmatic Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson). Meanwhile, in a world very much like our own, young Will Parry (Amir Wilson) learns a family secret that will bring him inexorably closer to Lyra. This family-friendly fantasy is still unfolding, but it’s a winner for fans of all ages.

The White Lotus (2021)

The White Lotus
82 %
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama, Mystery
Cast Alexandra Daddario, Jake Lacy, Connie Britton, Steve Zahn, Jennifer Coolidge, Murray Bartlett, Sydney Sweeney, Brittany O'Grady
Created by Mike White

It’s probably a good thing that the chain of White Lotus luxury resorts isn’t actually real. Because the vacations in seasons 1 and 2 just go completely off the rails. And that’s before the dead bodies start showing up!

Initially planned as a single season, The White Lotus follows an odd assortment of guests and the beleaguered hotel staff who labor to keep them happy. It works really well as both a comedy and a drama, which is why we’re currently checking in for the new episodes streaming each week. You don’t necessarily have to watch season 1 to enjoy season 2, both with different settings and (almost) entirely new casts.

The White Lotus: Official Trailer | HBO

House of the Dragon (2022)

House of the Dragon
68 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Mystery
Cast Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans
Created by George R. R. Martin, Ryan Condal
Anyone who claimed that fans didn’t care about Game of Thrones after the divisive final season turned out to be quite wrong. House of the Dragon has already proven to be a monster hit, with an early renewal for a second season. Milly Alcock stars as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, although she will soon relinquish the role to Emma D’Arcy. Following the death of her mother and her infant brother, Rhaenyra was named heir to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. However, her childhood best friend, Lady Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), has married Rhaenyra’s father and become the new queen. And as the queen becomes a woman (played by Olivia Cooke), her rivalry with her former friend will throw House Targaryen into turmoil.
House of the Dragon | Official Trailer | HBO Max

The Staircase (2022)

The Staircase
80 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama, Crime
Cast Colin Firth, Toni Collette, Michael Stuhlbarg
Created by Antonio Campos

The Staircase is not a love story, but it is a gripping true crime miniseries based upon the real-life tale of Michael Peterson (Colin Firth). When Michael’s second wife, Kathleen Peterson (Toni Collette), is found dead in their home, the crime novelist faces murder charges for her demise.

Michael’s family doesn’t know what to think, and Michael somewhat brazenly allows a documentary crew to chronicle the story of his defense and his family life. The supporting cast is truly impressive, with a lineup that includes Michael Stuhlbarg, Dane DeHaan, Olivia DeJonge, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Sophie Turner, Odessa Young, Parker Posey, and Juliette Binoche.

Hacks (2021)

81 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins
Created by Jen Statsky, Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs
The second season of HBO Max’s Hacks has arrived, and it’s continuing the same winning formula as the first. Jean Smart plays Deborah Vance, an aging comedian whose material just isn’t hitting anymore despite her obvious talent. At the same time, TV writer Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder) is in danger of losing everything she built over some poorly chosen social media posts. However, Ava’s gift for comedy may be just the thing that Deborah needs to reinvigorate her act. And while there is definitely a friendship of sorts between Deborah and Ava, the show’s funniest moments come when they are at odds with each other.

Tokyo Vice (2022)

Tokyo Vice
75 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Crime, Drama
Cast Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Rinko Kikuchi
Created by J.T. Rogers
Max (formerly HBO Max) took viewers into the Japanese underworld of organized crime in the new series, Tokyo Vice. Based on the non-fiction account of journalist Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort), the show follows his attempts to become a crime reporter in Japan. Detective Hiroto Katagiri (Ken Watanabe) offers Jake some perspective from the law enforcement side. However, Jake’s growing contacts in the city’s seedier areas give him contacts in the Yakuza as well. And once Jake is even a small part of their world, it starts to bleed into every aspect of his life.

Our Flag Means Death (2022)

Our Flag Means Death
71 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Comedy
Cast Rhys Darby, Taika Waititi, Kristian Nairn
Created by David Jenkins
Our Flag Means Death is one of the rare period comedies to emerge in a long time. The series is based upon the real life of Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), an aristocrat who just couldn’t live without some excitement in his life. That’s why Stede became a pirate captain. Unfortunately for Stede, he has no idea how to be a pirate, and the very real pirates in his crew could turn on him at any time. But thanks to Stede’s unexpected friendship with the legendary pirate Blackbeard (Taika Waititi), the crew of the Revenge might be able to make it on the high seas after all.

Peacemaker (2022)

69 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Action & Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma
Created by James Gunn
Peacemaker is about as far from the A-list of superheroes that you can possibly get. And yet the Peacemaker series is one of the most enjoyable DC-inspired programs of the past few years. John Cena reprises his role as Peacemaker/Christopher Smith from director James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, and Gunn also returned to create this showcase for Cena. Within the series, Peacemaker finds that he’s no longer able to kill as easily as he used to, just at the moment his skills are needed to save the world from a very unexpected threat. This show also has some truly heartfelt moments along with great comedy and action. But fair warning: This series is absolutely not for kids.
Peacemaker | Official Trailer | HBO Max

Fringe (2008)

72 %
tv-14 5 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama, Mystery
Cast Anna Torv, Jasika Nicole, Joshua Jackson
Created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Is The X-Files too tame for you? If so, then Fringe is the show for you. This sharply made sci-fi procedural features Anna Torv as FBI Agent Olivia Dunham, a woman who is tasked with investigating the strange and unusual cases alongside a literal mad scientist, Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), and his estranged son, Peter (Joshua Jackson). Fringe largely embraces single-episode narratives, but it also has richly rewarding season-long arcs involving parallel universes, psychic abilities, and even a quest to save the future. It also has an ending that gives a satisfying payoff to its five-season run.

Station Eleven (2021)

Station Eleven
82 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel, Daniel Zovatto
Created by Patrick Somerville
The Max (formerly HBO Max) adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven hits differently after nearly two years in a real pandemic. Within the miniseries, most of humanity is wiped out by a virulent flu during a global pandemic. Years later, Kirsten (Mackenzie Davis) is a performer in a traveling troupe of actors. Unfortunately, the group’s journey is upended by a deadly cult. And soon, Kirsten finds her own life in danger when the cult comes after her. This is a very dark story, and yet also oddly uplifting at times. Because even in this bleak new world, there’s still hope.
Station Eleven | Official Trailer | HBO Max

Babylon 5 (1994)

Babylon 5
55 %
tv-pg 5 Seasons
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Bruce Boxleitner, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan
Created by J. Michael Straczynski
Babylon 5 may look a little dated compared to today’s sci-fi series, but J. Michael Straczynski’s magnum opus left a huge mark on the television medium by embracing a model he called “a five-year novel for television.” In the far future, humanity narrowly survives a war with aliens and establishes the Babylon 5 space station in the hopes of maintaining intergalactic peace. However, the alien races plot against each other and Earth, unaware that another faction is secretly moving against all of them. Straczynski’s gift for dialogue and speeches is on full display, and it’s an unforgettable experience.

The Outsider (2020)

The Outsider
68 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Mystery, Drama, Crime
Cast Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, Bill Camp
Created by Richard Price
Stephen King’s The Outsider was adapted in 2020 as a gripping 10-episode miniseries that has one foot in true crime and another in horror. When a young boy named Frank Peterson is brutally murdered, Little League coach Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman) is accused of the murder. Detective Ralph Anderson (Secret Invasion‘s Ben Mendelsohn) is particularly incensed because he had a link with Terry years earlier when Ralph’s son was still alive. Yet the evidence against Terry doesn’t add up, and there may be something supernatural afoot that defies any conventional explanation.

Band of Brothers (2001)

Band of Brothers
87 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama, War & Politics
Cast Damian Lewis, Donnie Wahlberg, Eion Bailey
Band of Brothers is the only show in HBO’s history that was created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg after their collaboration on Saving Private Ryan. Erik Jendresen wrote and executive produced the miniseries that dramatized the story of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which is better known as Easy Company. Each episode puts a different character in the spotlight and incorporates real history as Easy Company experiences every stage of war, from the beginning all the way to the end.
‘It’s Been a Long War, It’s Been a Tough War’ Trailer | Band of Brothers | HBO Classics

Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000)

Curb Your Enthusiasm
84 %
tv-ma 11 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Larry David, Jeff Garlin
Created by Larry David
Larry’s back. For the last 21 years, the co-creator of Seinfeld, Larry David, has starred as himself in HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. But it wouldn’t be accurate to describe the show as a reflection of reality. Instead, David’s largely improvised series amplifies many of the most absurd elements of his life to great comedic effect. Essentially, Larry’s a selfish jerk who gets upset when anyone other than him breaks social norms. The only people who can really tolerate Larry for long stretches of time are his best friend and manager, Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin), and the houseguest who never left, Leon Black (J. B. Smoove). The eleventh season of Curb has begun, and we expect Larry’s reaction to the events of the past year will be worth waiting for.

Chernobyl (2019)

82 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama
Cast Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson
Created by Craig Mazin
The best way to describe HBO’s Chernobyl is to call it a historical tragedy. The miniseries dramatizes the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union and the subsequent investigation into how it happened. This show doesn’t shy away from the most horrific aspects of radiation poisoning, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Jared Harris leads the ensemble cast as Valery Legasov, one of the lead investigators who personally oversees the Chernobyl cleanup efforts. As Valery searches for answers, he has to pay a high personal cost as well. No one emerges from Chernobyl unchanged by the experience.

Mare of Easttown (2021)

Mare of Easttown
81 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery
Cast Kate Winslet, Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart
Created by Brad Ingelsby
Kate Winslet leads a magnificent cast in HBO’s latest miniseries, Mare of Easttown. Winslet plays Detective Sergeant Marianne Fahey “Mare” Sheehan, a woman haunted by her son’s suicide and the unsolved murder of a young girl a year earlier. In the present, Mare’s personal life is in turmoil as she deals with a divorce from her husband, Frank Sheehan (David Denman). Meanwhile, her former daughter-in-law, Carrie Layden (Sosie Bacon), is suing Mare for custody of her grandson, Drew. However, a new murder case will soon draw Mare into an even more intense web of danger and deceit.

Deadwood (2004)

85 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Western, Crime
Cast Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker
Created by David Milch
Deadwood was the HBO series that elevated expletives into high art. It was also an incredibly well-made Western that captured the post-Civil War period in Deadwood, South Dakota. Series creator David Milch populated the town with many real historical figures, including Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) and Sheriff Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), in addition to original characters as the major players vie for control of the town. McShane’s performance was unforgettable even when paired with a stellar supporting cast. Regardless of how you feel about Westerns, you have to see Deadwood. It is legitimately one of the best shows that HBO has ever made.

Search Party (2016)

Search Party
78 %
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Alia Shawkat, John Reynolds, John Early
Created by Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers
When an old college acquaintance named Chantal goes missing, Dory sets out on a mission to find her, with the help of her boyfriend and friends. While the others aren’t so keen on bothering with the investigation, Dory is convinced that Chantal is in danger. Initially dubbed a dark comedy, through its seasons, the series has adjusted the tone and genre. It starts with a classic mystery and Nancy Drew-like detective work, but things shift to more of a psychological thriller vibe for season 2. Season 3, meanwhile, is a subtle nod to courtroom drama narratives, inspired by the Amanda Knox trial, with satire sprinkled in reminiscent of The Bling Ring. There’s something unique with every season, but the tones all pay homage to some of the most revered film and television styles, so you get a bit of everything with this series.

Batman: The Animated Series (1992)

Batman: The Animated Series
tv-pg 4 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama, Mystery
Cast Kevin Conroy, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Loren Lester
Created by Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski
Widely considered to be the best television adaptation of the popular DC Comics character along with his sidekick Robin and arch-nemesis the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill), this animated series from the ’90s lasted two seasons and 85 episodes. Despite lacking the flashy graphics and animations of modern-day animated series, it will delight any fan of the superhero genre, young or old. Named The Adventures of Batman & Robin for its final 15 episodes and in reruns, the film noir aesthetics with complex and dark plots make the nostalgic series just as entertaining and enthralling for adults as it is exciting for kids. Also named among the best animated series of all time, it’s a top option in the Max (formerly HBO Max) lineup.

The West Wing (1999)

The West Wing
78 %
tv-14 7 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Martin Sheen, Allison Janney, Richard Schiff
Created by Aaron Sorkin
Martin Sheen plays President Josiah Bartlet in this long-running Aaron Sorkin serial political drama. It’s one of Sheen’s most memorable roles, and it’s not uncommon to find this show on every list of the best TV series of all time. Known for popularizing the long hallway walk-and-talk shots that have become commonplace in political dramas, The West Wing approaches the White House in such a way that has sparked conversation, with some questioning its legitimacy and exaggerations. But it is a television show, after all, designed to entertain. And it’s a must-watch, not only for the compelling stories about the inner workings of politics but also for the talented performances from the top-notch cast.

Young Justice (2010)

Young Justice
tv-14 4 Seasons
Genre Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Cast Danica McKellar, Jesse McCartney, Nolan North
Created by Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti
DC Universe’s loss is HBO Max’s gain. Young Justice is one of the greatest superhero cartoons ever made, thanks to its fantastic writing and terrific performances by the cast. The so-called sidekicks come into their own by starting their own team under Batman’s supervision. Over time, the show has allowed the kids to grow into young adults. More importantly, Young Justice’s creative team isn’t afraid to take chances as well. Heroes rise, fall, and even die, with dramatic stakes. Even a nearly decade-long wait between seasons 2 and 3 couldn’t diminish our love for this show.

Veep (2012)

82 %
tv-ma 7 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale
Created by Armando Iannucci
Julia Louis-Dreyfus won six consecutive Emmy Awards for playing Selina Meyer, the fictional vice president (later president) of the United States in this political satire comedy that wrapped in 2019. The series itself also received critical acclaim throughout its seven-season run. Fans couldn’t get enough of watching Meyer and her team as they engaged in political games. The show calls out and exaggerates the absurdity of politics in a way that makes it universally funny.
Veep: Season 1 | Official Trailer | HBO

The Wire (2002)

The Wire
91 %
tv-ma 5 Seasons
Genre Crime, Drama
Cast Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn
Created by David Simon
Though it ended in 2008, this crime drama is still widely considered to be one of the best TV series of its generation. Created and written by former police reporter David Simon, it takes an authentic look at various institutions and their sometimes twisted and controversial relationships to law enforcement. A different story is introduced every season, tackling topics from the illegal drug trade to schools and education. With Dominic West and Idris Elba among the top-billed cast, it’s no surprise the series lasted a successful five seasons and appears on many “must-watch” lists.

Sex and the City (1998)

Sex and the City
64 %
tv-ma 6 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon
Created by Darren Star
Live vicariously through four 30- and 40-something single friends in New York City navigating their hectic careers and dating lives in Sex and the City. The romantic comedy-drama, which debuted in 1998, is credited with helping put HBO on the map, and for good reason. Throughout its six seasons from 1998 to 2004, the show received 54 Emmy nominations (seven wins) and 24 Golden Globe nominations (eight wins) and spawned two feature films and even a prequel series. It remains a pop culture phenomenon that presents life, love, sex, and relationships in a raw, emotional, and honest way from the eyes of four very different adult women.

Game of Thrones (2011)

Game of Thrones
86 %
tv-ma 8 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama, Action & Adventure
Cast Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams
Created by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss
Chances are you’ve already watched this fantasy series, which was HBO’s anchor for eight seasons from 2011 through 2019. Based on the George R.R. Martin series of fantasy novels, it was rich in scenery, costumes, and storylines depicting the fight for the Iron Throne among the various houses and individuals within the fictional world of Westeros. It broke viewership records for HBO, and it’s not uncommon for fans to watch this series from beginning to end, again and again, picking up on new details each time. If you haven’t yet watched, what are you waiting for?

Doctor Who (2005)

Doctor Who
77 %
tv-pg 13 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, John Bishop
Created by Sydney Newman, Donald Wilson, C. E. Webber
Produced by the BBC since 1963, the revival version of this long-running British sci-fi series has found a streaming home on Max (formerly HBO Max). It follows the stories of a Time Lord called The Doctor who travels through time in the TARDIS spaceship to help civilization. Since The Doctor is an extraterrestrial being that can appear human, the role has been handled by 13 different actors to date. The most recent version of The Doctor is played by Jodie Whittaker, who has held the role since 2018. The revival series began in 2005, and you can watch episodes dating all the way back to that first season.

The Sopranos (1999)

The Sopranos
94 %
tv-ma 6 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Created by David Chase
When it comes to crime dramas about mobster families, it doesn’t get much better than The Sopranos, which has been named on many lists as being one of the greatest TV series of all time. For six seasons, we followed the Soprano family led by Tony (the late James Gandolfini) as he attempted to balance his life in New Jersey as a father and husband and his position as the leader of an Italian-American criminal organization. It launched in 1999 and was among the first series to bring shocking main character deaths to the small screen, continuing the cliffhanger endings and cringeworthy moments through to its ending in 2007 with an iconic diner closing scene.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013)

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
tv-pg 12 Seasons
Genre Documentary
Cast Anthony Bourdain
Gone far too soon, Anthony Bourdain left behind a legacy in the culinary world. And that legacy included this sensational TV series that saw him travel the world to discover different cultures, cuisines, and local delicacies. For 12 seasons, Bourdain took viewers everywhere from the hidden gems in Los Angeles to Myanmar, Congo, Copenhagen, and Beirut, sampling all kinds of food and teaching viewers more about culture and travel than even the best travel shows could accomplish. Not surprisingly, the series was nominated for 31 Primetime Emmy Awards during its run and won a dozen. It’s the perfect show for foodies and those with serious wanderlust.

South Park (1997)

South Park
64 %
tv-ma 24 Seasons
Genre Animation, Comedy
Cast Trey Parker, Matt Stone, April Stewart
Created by Trey Parker, Matt Stone
One of the big streaming snags for Max (formerly HBO Max) was the entirety of the South Park catalog. The controversial animated show following four friends growing up in South Park, Colorado, has now aired for 23 seasons on Comedy Central, spanning more than 300 episodes. The show has frequently received criticism — and it often takes aim at taboo subjects in a way that can make viewers uncomfortable — but it also remains one of the smartest satires on television, its fearlessness often serving as a tremendous asset in comparison to safer shows on the airwaves.

Watchmen (2019)

85 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Crime, Drama, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Irons
Created by Damon Lindelof
A new version of Watchmen could’ve easily been met with skepticism, especially after the poor reception for the 2009 film of the same name. HBO’s limited, nine-episode limited series made an instant impact in 2019, but its importance didn’t start rising until 2020. From the complexity of its characters to its incredible acting performances — particularly that of Regina King — to its highlighting of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Watchmen was never afraid to reflect the worst of society back to its audience, making it a valuable media prism through which to view the racial reckoning of the times.
Watchmen S1 | Trailer | HBO Series | Showmax

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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