The Best Shows on HBO Max Right Now (June 2021)

Who will reign supreme in the streaming era? Don’t count HBO Max out. Thanks to the power of the Home Box Office brand, HBO Max got a head start with decades of Emmy-winning and critically acclaimed original series. But since its launch in 2020, HBO Max has aggressively continued that tradition with several original TV shows of its own. HBO Max has even expanded its reach by bringing in several non-HBO series to expand its lineup to new heights. The result is a dream come true for television connoisseurs. If you love TV, then you’re gonna have a good time with your HBO Max subscription, and we can help you get the most out of it. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best shows on HBO Max right now.

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Jean Smart’s career renaissance continues with HBO Max’s Hacks, a new original series that finally puts Smart in the leading role that she deserves. Smart portrays Deborah Vance, an iconic comedian on the Las Vegas strip who has been a fixture for decades. And that’s the problem. Deborah’s act is getting really stale, and she desperately needs fresh material to revitalize her persona. Enter Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder), a former TV writer whose career stalls after a social media mishap. Ava’s comedic talent may be just what Deborah needs — if the two strong-willed women can learn how to co-exist and work together.

Created by: Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Jen Statsky
Cast: Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO MAX

in treatment

In Treatment

After running for three seasons on HBO over a decade ago, In Treatment has returned for a fourth season on HBO Max. In the new season, Uzo Aduba stars as Dr. Brooke Taylor, a therapist who tries to help her patients face their complex emotional issues through intimate one-on-one sessions. Like the first three seasons, each patient gets their own spotlight episodes with Dr. Taylor; multiple episodes are released per week in the extended season. Additionally, the first three seasons of In Treatment are also on HBO Max, with Gabriel Byrne as Dr. Paul Weston and Dianne Wiest as Paul’s therapist, Gina Toll.

Created by: Rodrigo García
Cast: Uzo Aduba, Anthony Ramos, John Benjamin Hickey, Gabriel Byrne, Dianne Wiest, Michelle Forbes
Number of seasons: 4

Watch on HBO MAX



Betty is (kind of) a spinoff of the film Skate Kitchen, but don’t worry if you haven’t seen the movie — Betty quickly goes off in its own direction. Two teenage girls, Kirt (Nina Moran) and Janay (Dede Lovelace), face resistance from the largely male skateboarding scene in New York City. That’s why they decide to strike out on their own with fellow female skaters Honeybear (Kabrina Adams), Indigo (Ajani Russell), and Camille (Rachelle Vinberg). Their shared friendship allows them to navigate the occasional rocky episodes of their lives. A second season is imminent, and their story will continue soon.

Created by: Crystal Moselle
Cast: Dede Lovelace, Moonbear, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell, Rachelle Vinberg
Number of seasons: 2

Watch on HBO MAX



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.

Created by: Craig Mazin
Cast: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Paul Ritter, Jessie Buckley, Adam Nagaitis
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO MAX

made for love

Made for Love

Modern relationships are a mess even under the best of circumstances. Yet things could still be worse, as exemplified by HBO Max’s Made for Love. Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti) may have thought that she had it made when she married Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen). He’s a tech billionaire who is easily among the richest men in the world. Unfortunately for Hazel, Byron is also a control freak. In the ultimate jerk move, Byron has a device implanted in Hazel’s brain that can track her anywhere, spy on anything she sees, and monitor her emotions. That’s the very last straw for Hazel as she fights to regain her life and her sense of self.

Created by: Alissa Nutting, Dean Bakopoulos, Patrick Somerville, Christina Lee
Cast: Cristin Milioti, Billy Magnussen, Dan Bakkedahl, Noma Dumezweni, Ray Romano
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO Max

mare of easttown

Mare of Easttown

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.

Created by: Brad Ingelsby
Cast: Kate Winslet, Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Angourie Rice, David Denman, Guy Pearce
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO MAX

the nevers

The Nevers

Sci-fi and Victorian London don’t often go together, but The Nevers is very much its own thing. In the alternate history of this series, a handful of women have been gifted with supernatural abilities beyond anything that the world has seen before. The powers that be are inherently threatened by Amalia True (Laura Donnelly), Penance Adair (Ann Skelly), and the rest of the Touched … and that’s why they want to destroy them. However, there are also a few men with the powers of the Touched, as well as a vicious killer. That’s why Amalia and Penance are pushed to their limits to keep their people safe.

Created by: Joss Whedon
Cast: Laura Donnelly, Ann Skelly, Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Pip Torrens
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO MAX



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.

Created by: David Milch
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Jim Beaver, Brad Dourif, Paula Malcomson
Number of seasons: 3

Watch on HBO MAX

gen:lock on hbo max


It’s a dystopian future and a hostile force known as The Union that has taken over Earth. The gen:LOCK program involves a unique subset of individuals who have been testing an experimental technology that makes it possible to upload their minds to giant suits of armor called Holons. Once housed within their new bodies, they might be humanity’s only hope at defeating the autocratic regime. Dubbed a “cautionary tale about cultural warfare” and inspired by anime, the combination of the star-studded and intentionally diverse and inclusive cast and sci-fi feel make this a worthwhile watch for any comic book/sci-fi fan. A second season was commissioned by HBO Max to stream there before being released on the home network, Rooster Teeth.

Created by: Gray Haddock
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Dakota Fanning, Golshifteh Farahani, Maisie Williams, Koichi Yamadera, Asia Kate Dillon, Monica Rial, David Tennant
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO MAX

succession logan roy


With two seasons under its belt and several Emmy wins, including Outstanding Drama Series, Succession has already become one of HBO’s most popular new 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 as the company, Logan, and the Roy family engage in dirty tactics, flaunt their wealth, and find themselves constantly embroiled in controversy.

Created by: Jesse Armstrong
Cast: Hiam Abbass, Nicholas Braun, Brian Cox
Number of seasons: 2

Watch on HBO Max

the flight attendant on hbo max

The Flight Attendant

If there was any doubt about Kaley Cuoco’s dramatic acting ability, The Flight Attendant proves the naysayers wrong, thanks to her riveting performance in this miniseries. Cuoco not only stars, but also executive produces. Cuoco is Cassie Bowden, a reckless, alcoholic party girl who miraculously hasn’t been fired from her lucrative and exciting career as a flight attendant, which provides her with a revolving door of cute passengers to hit on. But when one of her overseas trysts winds up dead, she must try and clear her name. It doesn’t help that her mind keeps playing games on her with flashbacks of her troubled past that continue to haunt her. It’s surprisingly good, with a top-notch cast and thrilling story that keeps you drawn to Cuoco’s performance as a woman who is rapidly descending to her personal rock bottom.

Created by: Steve Yocket (based on The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian)
Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Michiel Huisman, Zosia Mamet, T.R. Knight, Michelle Gomez, Colin Woodell, Merle Dandridge, Rosie Perez
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO Max

30 coins on hbo max
Manolo Pavon / HBO Europe

30 Coins

Father Vergara, a former convict and exorcist, is exiled from the church and moves to a remote town in Spain to work as a priest. But when really strange and paranormal things begin to happen, both the mayor and a local veterinarian suspect that it might be Vergara’s arrival that has sparked the puzzling occurrences. The unlikely pair teams up with him to investigate the mystery behind a coin he owns, and Vergara’s troubled past. What they find, however, is more than they could ever have imagined. The mystery, fantasy, horror series, originally called 30 Monedas, is offered in Spanish language.

Created by: Alex de la Iglesia
Cast: Eduard Fernandez, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Megan Montaner, Macarena Gomez, Pepon Nieto, Manolo Solo
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO Max

the alienist: age of darkness on hbo max

The Alienist: Angel of Darkness

Based on the 1994 novel of the same name by Caleb Carr, this limited series period drama is set in the 1890s during a time when a serial killer is on the loose in New York City, targeting young male prostitutes. Mainly fiction, the series includes some elements of historical facts, including Theodore Roosevelt’s time as police commissioner. In order to track down the killer, Roosevelt enlists the help of a criminal psychologist and newspaper illustrator to conduct investigations in secret. A pair of detective sergeants and Roosevelt’s secretary chip in as well. But the ad hoc group faces pushback from the NYPD and its captain, which are more concerned with protecting the New York City elite than actually finding the killer. Season 2 received much better reviews than the first, focusing more on social issues like income inequality and the role of women in the 1890s.

Created by: Based on The Alienist, The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr
Cast: Daniel Bruhl, Luke Evans, Brian Geraghty, Robert Ray Wisdom, Douglas Smith, Matthew Shear, Q’orianka Kilcher, Matt Lintz, Dakota Fanning, Rosy McEwen, Melanie Field
Number of seasons: 2

Watch on HBO Max

search party on hbo max

Search Party

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.

Created by: Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers, Michael Showalter
Cast: Alia Shawkat, John Reynolds, John Early, Meredith Hagner, Brandon Michael Hall
Number of seasons: 4

Watch on HBO Max

at home with amy sedaris on hbo max

At Home with Amy Sedaris

Go on a journey each episode with comedian Amy Sedaris as she demonstrates her endless homemaking skills, with the help of hilarious guest stars playing equally funny characters: Think Justin Theroux as “the Hip Guy” and Heather Lawless as the “Lady Who Lives in the Woods.” Along with playing herself in various sketches, Sedaris also plays a variety of characters. There is also a long list of guest stars through the seasons, including Paul Giamatti, Chris Elliott, Aidy Bryant, Matthew Broderick, Susan Sarandon, Michael Cera, and more. Though it was canceled after three seasons, the series maintains a 100% critic rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes and has earned Emmy nominations for each year since it went on the air.

Created by: Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello
Cast: Amy Sedaris, various
Number of seasons: 3

Watch on HBO Max

gomorrah on hbo max


A play on the name of the real crime syndicate, Camorra, this Robert Saviano book was turned into a crime drama set in the 2010s about the dark underbelly of the criminal world and the high-ranking members within it, along with their rivals. It’s the age-old story of “old guard” versus “young guard” when it comes time to consider succession in the family business. Originally in Italian, everything from the pacing to the atmosphere, acting, directing, writing, and characterization has been praised.

Created by: Roberto Saviano, based on Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano
Cast: Marco D’Amore, Salvatore Esposito, Fortunato Cerlino, Maria Piz Calzone
Number of seasons: 4

Watch on HBO Max

the new adventures of old christine on hbo max

The New Adventures of Old Christine

Everything on the small screen Julia Louis-Dreyfus touches turns to gold, and after Seinfeld and before Veep, there was this sitcom. She plays a divorced and neurotic single mother trying to navigate life while raising a child and running a women’s gym on her own. The name references the fact that Christine’s ex has a new, much younger, girlfriend who is also named Christine, thus making her the “old” Christine in more than one sense of the word. Not surprisingly, Louis-Dreyfus earned an Emmy for her role as the struggling single mom.

Created by: Kari Lizer
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Clark Gregg, Hamish Linklater, Trevor Gagnon, Emily Rutherford, Tricia O’Kelly, Alex Kapp Horner, Wanda Sykes
Number of seasons: 5

Available January 27 on HBO Max

person of interest on hbo max

Person of Interest

After building a machine that can predict crimes before they happen, reclusive billionaire Harold Finch fakes his death and goes into hiding to prevent his creation from being used for nefarious purposes. But he still sees the value in the machine, so he recruits the help of John Reese, a former Green Beret CIA agent, also presumed dead, to investigate cases and stop crimes before they are committed. The catch? The machine can pinpoint two persons of interest based on their social security numbers, but it doesn’t know who is the victim and who is the perpetrator. Thus, Harold and John must use their skills, talents, and intuition to figure it out in time. It’s a thrilling ride through each episode and each case, made all the more entertaining thanks to the top-notch cast.

Created by: Jonathan Nolan
Cast: Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman, Michael Emerson, Amy Acker, Sarah Shahi
Number of seasons: 5

Available January 29 on HBO Max

selena + chef on hbo max

Selena + Chef

Combine a charismatic pop music sensation with a background in acting with a cooking show and you get this entertaining series. Totally unscripted, Gomez attempts to try a new dish each episode, cooking from her home while quarantining. Each episode features a guest professional chef there to provide assistance, tips, tricks, and advice when a kitchen disaster strikes. Food-related charities are also promoted in each episode. Guests from the first two seasons included Antonia Lofaso, owner of Black Market Liquor Bar, Roy Choi, one of the founders of the gourmet food truck movement and owner of the Korean-Mexican taco truck Kogi, celebrity chef and author Curtis Stone, and founder of World Central Kitchen (WCK) Jose Andres.

Created by: Aaron Saidman
Cast: Selena Gomez, various guests
Number of seasons: 2

Watch on HBO Max

batman: the animated series on hbo max

Batman: The Animated Series

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 HBO Max’s lineup.

Created by: Eric Radomski, Bruce Timm (based on Batman by Bob Kane and Bill Finger)
Cast: Kevin Conroy, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Bob Hastings, Robert Costanzo, Loren Lester, Mark Hamill, Arleen Sorkin
Number of seasons: 2

Watch on HBO Max

snowpiercer on hbo


Transforming Bong Joon-ho’s film concept to the small screen, this dystopian post-apocalyptic thriller features a star-studded cast that draws you into the dark and politically charged story. Earth has become a frozen wasteland, and the only survivors managed to hop aboard a perpetually moving train just in the nick of time before the human race could be entirely obliterated. Despite living in a spacious train and focusing solely on survival, however, the survivors aren’t necessarily all working together. Just as how society worked before, there are social class divisions and politics, class warfare, and social injustice that runs rampant. The binge-worthy story is based on the 1982 graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette and is a reboot of the continuity from the movie.

Created by: John Friedman, Graeme Manson (based on Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, Jean-March Rochette and Snowpiercer screenplay by Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson
Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Mickey Sumner, Alison Wright, Iddo Goldberg, Susan Park
Number of seasons: 2

Watch on HBO Max

the west wing on hbo max

The West Wing

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.

Created by: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Rob Lowe, Moira Kelly, Dule Hill, Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, John Spencer, Bradley Whitford, Martin Sheen, Janel Moloney, Stockard Channing, Mark McCormack, Jimmy Smits, Alan Alda, Kristen Chenoweth
Number of seasons: 7

Watch on HBO Max

lovecraft country on hbo max

Lovecraft Country 

Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams are behind this drama-horror series about a young Black man who travels across the United States in the ’50s, during a time when segregation was the norm. His mission: to locate his missing father. But when he arrives in the town that the famous horror author H.P. Lovecraft highlighted in his seemingly-fictional stories, he discovers dark secrets lurking there that are enough to make one wonder if the stories were fiction after all. Along with Peele and Abrams serving as executive producers, the series stars Courtney B. Vance, Jurnee Smollett, and Tony Goldwyn.

Created by: Misha Green
Cast: Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, Aunjanue Ellis, Courtney B. Vance
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO Max

adam ruins everything on hbo

Adam Ruins Everything

Comedian, writer, voice actor, and TV host Adam Conover sets out to debunk commonly-held myths and misconceptions in this educational comedy. Every episode begins with Adam seemingly overhearing someone utter one of these questionable myths, after which he interrupts and proceeds to investigate. Through interviews with experts, analysis of scientific studies, and even humorous sketches, animation, and time travel, he aims to provide the truth. The series is based on the CollegeHumor web series of the same name.

Created by: Adam Conover
Cast: Adam Conover
Number of seasons: 3

Watch on HBO Max

southland on hbo max


Before Michael Cudlitz was Abraham on The Walking Dead and Ben McKenzie was James Gordon on Gotham, they were a pair of LAPD officers in this crime drama that followed their interactions with detectives, criminals, and others. Focusing more on the characters than the stories, it’s atypical compared to other police procedurals, but the show has also been praised for being raw and authentic. Despite being compared to other, more high-profile series within the same genre, like The Wire and The Shield, Southland never really received the same level of attention it deserved.

Created by: Ann Biderman
Cast: Ben McKenzie, Kevin Alejandro, Arijia Bareikis, Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Regina King, Michael McGrady, Tom Everett Scott, C. Thomas Howell
Number of seasons: 5

Watch on HBO Max

industry on hbo max


The corporate world can be cutthroat, especially when there are several young and talented people all vying for the same job. In this British drama, which counts Girls‘ Lena Dunham among its episode directors, the job in question is at a prestigious investment bank in London. With only a few slots left, a group of recent graduates race for a seat at the corporate table. Many have suggested that the series could be a launchpad to burgeoning careers for writers Mickey Down and Konrad Kay, given that one of its strong points is the “sharp writing,” even if is classified as a “soapy workplace drama.”

Created by: Mickey Down, Konrad Kay
Cast: Myha’la Herrold, Marisa Abela, Harry Lawtey, David Jonsson, Nabhaan Rizwan, Freya Mavor, Will Tudor, Cono MacNeill, Priyanga Burford
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO Max

titans on hbo max


Take a look back at the young heroes in the DC Universe who get together to fight evil forces. Known as the Teen Titans, this live-action version of the series has an ensemble cast playing all of the DC favorites, led by Richard “Dick” Grayson, Batman’s former sidekick known as Robin, now under the assumed identity of Nightwing. There’s also Wonder Girl, Hawk, Deathstroke, and more. With two seasons available now, a third is forthcoming from the streaming service, though no release date has been confirmed.

Created by: Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti (based on Teen Titans by Bob Haney, Bruno Premiani)
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Curran Walters, Conor Leslie, Minka Kelly, Alan Ritchson, Esai Morales, Chelsea Zhang, Joshua Orpin
Number of seasons: 2

Watch on HBO Max

looney tunes on hbo max

Looney Tunes

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 original Looney Tunes cartoons. Airing from 1930 through 1969, 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. Once you’ve powered through those episodes, check out HBO Max’s rebooted Looney Tunes Cartoons, which are based on the original.

Created by: Warner Bros.
Cast: Mel Blanc, June Foray, Arthur Q. Bryan, Bea Benaderet, Stan Freberg, and others
Number of seasons: 31

Watch Looney Tunes on HBO Max

Watch Looney Tunes Cartoons (2020) on HBO Max

the undoing on hbo max

The Undoing

You’ll be at the edge of your seat through every episode of this nail-biting psychological thriller, with both Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant delivering incredible performances as a wealthy married couple whose lives get upended following a brutal murder. A traditional whodunit in some ways, there are so many extenuating elements that it’s easy to wind up going down the Reddit rabbit hole of theories about symbolism and meanings of every little nuance and scene. Based on the 2014 novel You Should Have Known by Hanff Korelitz, the wonderful cast brings the story to life in a way that makes viewers totally invested in both the stories and characters.

Created by: David E. Kelley (based on You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz)
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Edgar Ramirez, Noah Jupe, Lily Rabe, Matila De Angelis, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Edan Alexander, Michael Devine, Donald Sutherland
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on HBO Max

his dark materials, best shows on hbo max right now

His Dark Materials

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.

Created by: Jack Thorne
Cast: Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Number of seasons: 2

Watch on HBO Max

boardwalk empire, best shows on hbo max right now

Boardwalk Empire

During the Peak TV era, Boardwalk Empire was criminally underrated. But this Prohibition-era drama was one of the very best that the medium had to offer. The Sopranos veteran Terence Winter recruited Martin Scorsese to direct the pilot episode and executive produce the series. Yet it wouldn’t have worked without Steve Buscemi’s complex performance as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, an Atlantic County treasurer who had a large role in the criminal underground. Winter weaved a rich and compelling tale around Nucky and historical gangsters from that era. It’s a one-of-a-kind show from a one-of-a-kind network.

Created by: Terence Winter
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Michael Kenneth Williams
Number of seasons: 5

Watch on HBO Max

silicon valley, best shows on hbo max right now

Silicon Valley

Mike Judge has come a long way from his Beavis and Butt-Head days. While Judge has previously directed live-action comedy films, Silicon Valley gave him an even bigger platform to expand his mastery of the medium. The series follows programmer Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) as he and his friends try to launch a new startup company called Pied Piper. Their trials and tribulations run the gamut from hilarious to dramatic. Judge and his co-creators also assembled one of the most talented supporting casts in recent memory, including T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, and Amanda Crew. Nearly all of them have gone on to even bigger things after the show’s six-season run.

Created by: Mike Judge, John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky
Cast: Thomas Middleditch, Josh Brener, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani
Number of seasons: 6

Watch on HBO Max

young justice, best shows on hbo max right now

Young Justice

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.

Created by: Brandon Vietti, Greg Weisman
Cast: Jesse McCartney, Khary Payton, Jason Spisak, Nolan North
Number of seasons: 3

Watch on HBO Max

friends on hbo max


Binge all 10 seasons of this iconic sitcom that has become part of pop culture history. Relive the hilarious moments and one-liners from the six 20-somethings living in New York City and navigating dating, careers, and life. The show originally aired from 1994 to 2004, long before social media, smartphones, and dating apps would have markedly changed its course. Despite the technological differences, Chandler’s frequent sarcastic remarks, the search for an adult identity, and the on-again, off-again nature of relationships are still totally relatable today.

Created by: David Crane, Marta Kauffman
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer
Number of seasons: 10

Watch on HBO Max

veep on hbo max


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.

Created by: Armando Iannucci
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale
Number of seasons: 7

Watch on HBO Max

westworld on hbo max


Fans waited two years for the third season of this fabulous sci-fi Western and dystopian series that portrays a futuristic Wild West-themed amusement park called Westworld. Despite looking and acting convincingly human, the people who work there are actually hosts programmed to have specific personalities and skills, and cater to every visitor’s desires, whether that’s to meet and bed a beautiful woman or get caught up in a gunfight. The first season and overall story are inspired by the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name. The second, and especially the third, seasons, however, are very different from the first. Each is equally captivating and fast-paced, keeping the story continually refreshing.

Created by: Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy
Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright
Number of seasons: 3

Watch on HBO Max

the wire on hbo max

The Wire

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.

Created by: David Simon
Cast: Dominic West, John Doman, Idris Elba, Frankie Faison
Number of seasons: 5

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batwoman on hbo max


While Ruby Rose, who played the title character, has exited the superhero series after just one season, the show has already been renewed for a second. But you can catch the first season of this CW show on HBO Max as you prepare for season 2, which is set to debut in January 2021 (though that may be delayed). As part of the DC Comics world, the series, which includes 20 episodes to date in season 1, examines the story of Batwoman as a local vigilante in Gotham City.

Created by: Caroline Dries
Cast: Ruby Rose, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy
Number of seasons: 1

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sex and the city on hbo max

Sex and the City

Live vicariously through four 30- and 40-something single friends in New York City navigating their hectic careers and dating lives. 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.

Created by: Darren Star
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon
Number of seasons: 6

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rick and morty on hbo max

Rick and Morty

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. And together, he and Morty navigate regular daily life along with inter-dimensional adventures. The adult animated sci-fi sitcom has aired for four seasons on Adult Swim and 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.”

Created by: Justin Roiland, Dan Harmon
Cast: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, Sarah Chalke
Number of seasons: 4

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game of thrones on hbo max

Game of Thrones

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?

Created by: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke
Number of seasons: 8

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doctor who on hbo max

Doctor Who

Produced by the BBC since 1963, the revival version of this long-running British sci-fi series has found a streaming home on 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.

Created by: Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber, Donald Wilson
Cast: Jodie Whitaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill
Number of seasons: 12

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the sopranos on hbo max

The Sopranos

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.

Created by: David Chase
Cast: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco
Number of seasons: 6

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the fresh prince of bel-air on hbo max

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

If you want to know the story about how Will Smith became the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, tune into this classic ’90s sitcom starring the now A-list Hollywood actor. Smith stars as Will, a young man who, as the popular theme song says, is sent to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle after he gets into a fight on the basketball court. His mom, worried about her son growing up in a rough Philadelphia neighborhood, decides this is the only way for him to have a better life. Naturally, the dichotomy between Will from Philly and Uncle Phil with his mansion, butler, and stuck-up kids leads to plenty of clashes between family members. It’s six seasons of pure fun along with those signature moral lessons at the end of every episode that defined sitcoms of the ’90s.

Created by: Andy Borowitz, Susan Borowitz
Cast: Will Smith, James Avery, Janet Hubert
Number of seasons: 6

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curb your enthusiasm on hbo max

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Witty, funny, and engaging, this comedy series was so popular that it returned for a ninth and tenth season after a six-year hiatus. Filmed in a cinéma vérité style, Larry David plays a fictional and exaggerated version of himself, a semi-retired television writer and producer. As he interacts with friends and family, it’s clear David is easily annoyed with social conventions and expectations. Known for its largely improvised dialogue and constant stream of guest stars, all playing fictional versions of themselves, it’s the perfect series to binge when you need a good laugh.

Created by: Larry David
Cast: Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman
Number of seasons: 10

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anthony bourdain: parts unknown on hbo max

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

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.

Created by: Zero Point Zero Production Inc.
Cast: Anthony Bourdain
Number of seasons: 12

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the big bang theory on hbo max

The Big Bang Theory

This sitcom wrapped up after 12 successful seasons in 2019, and HBO reportedly spent $425 million to snag exclusive rights to the CBS show. You can catch every season and revisit the social growth of four nerdy friends after they befriend the attractive waitress and aspiring actor next door and expand their insulated group. The ensemble cast was among the highest-paid television actors in the show’s later years, each making $1 million per episode at one point. The scientific jargon that dominated much of the complex dialogue didn’t impact the series’ popularity; you didn’t have to be an astrophysicist or engineer to understand the witty humor and appreciate the amazing chemistry among the cast members.

Created by: Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady
Cast: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco
Number of seasons: 12

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the not too late show with elmo on hbo max

The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo

HBO Max brought the talk show world to kids with this new Sesame Street spinoff starring none other than the beloved, tickle-friendly furry puppet as host. In each of the 13 episodes, Elmo talks about bedtime routines, helping kids get ready to turn in for the night. There are guest stars in every episode, starting with Kacey Musgraves and including others like Batman, the Jonas Brothers, John Oliver, and more in season 1. It’s a must-watch for any family with toddler-aged children. This series received rave reviews from its preschool audience for its inaugural season.

Created by: Sesame Workshop
Cast: Pam Arciero, Jennifer Barnhart, Tyler Bunch
Number of seasons: 1

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flight of the conchords on hbo max

Flight of the Conchords

For two seasons, Flight of the Conchords turned failure into joyful fun. The HBO show followed two New Zealand musicians — Jemaine (Jemaine Clement) and Bret (Bret McKenzie) — as they tried to make it in big, bad New York City. They would spontaneously break into song multiple times an episode, sometimes revealing their innermost thoughts to the audience and breaking the fourth wall in hilarious fashion. Some of the show’s songs continue to stand the test of time, such as Robots and Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros, though, some of the best scenes were the meetings the band held with their manager, Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby).

Created by: James Bobin, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie
Cast: Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, Rhys Darby
Number of seasons: 2

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south park on hbo max

South Park

In addition to Friends, one of HBO Max’s big streaming snags 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.

Created by: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Cast: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Number of seasons: 23

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watchmen on hbo max


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.

Created by: Damon Lindelof
Cast: Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Irons,
Number of seasons: 1

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barry on hbo max


Transitioning into an acting career can be a challenge for anyone. It’s especially challenging if your old career beckons often, which it apparently does if your old career is being a hitman. Barry finds its laughs in the awkward exploration of its lead character, played by two-time Emmy winner Bill Hader. The show can also take on a more serious tone, as the trauma Barry suffers from merges with his inability to turn the page on his old life and escape the black-and-white world of contract killing. Its best episodes are the ones that transcend the screen altogether, however.

Created by: Alec Berg, Bill Hader
Cast: Bill Hader, Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg
Number of seasons: 2

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insecure on hbo max


Based on Issa Rae’s web series Awkward Black Girl, she stars as a 20-something Black woman navigating everyday life, including relationships and career, with her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji.) The series has received critical acclaim, largely for its honest portrayal of the modern black experience that transcends stereotypes while also exploring social and racial issues in an unbiased way.

Created by: Issa Rae, Larry Wilmore
Cast: Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis
Number of seasons: 4

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i know this much is true mark ruffalo

I Know This Much Is True 

Mark Ruffalo took home an Emmy award for his dual portrayal of identical twin brothers, one of whom suffers from severe mental illness, in this limited series based on the 1988 Wally Lamb novel of the same name. Set in the ’90s, Dominick (Ruffalo) has his own issues, including the breakdown of his marriage, the death of his infant child, and undiagnosed PTSD. Despite dealing with his own trauma, however, he also feels responsible for caring for his paranoid schizophrenic twin brother Thomas (Ruffalo). It all comes to a head when Thomas cuts his own arm off, believing he is doing so in sacrificial protest. While Thomas needs to be institutionalized, Dominick struggles with the knowledge that the hospital he’s staying in doesn’t provide adequate care. It’s a touching and emotional story about unconditional love, the toll that caring for a family member can take on someone, and how far sacrifices should go. The series consists of just six episodes, making it a quick, though emotionally powerful, binge.

Created by: Derek Cianfrance, Anya Epstein
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Melissa Leo, John Procaccino
Number of seasons: 1

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i'll be gone in the dark on hbo max
Robyn Von Swank / HBO

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

If you’re into true crime, this is the series to binge. The six-part documentary follows the late Michelle McNamara’s journey to investigating the Golden State Killer. After learning of the unsolved case, McNamara became obsessed with solving it and took it upon herself to look into details of the series of murders, rapes, and burglaries the unknown perpetrator committed through California in the ’70s and ’80s. McNamara, who sadly passed away before genetic genealogy was able to finally identify the killer as Joseph James DeAngelo, was just shy of finishing her book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, before her death. The book, and the series that features excerpts from it, footage with McNamara, and interviews with survivors, family members, and others (including McNamara’s widowed husband, comedian Patton Oswalt) were both released posthumously.

Created by: Michelle McNamara
Cast: Michelle McNamara, Patton Oswalt
Number of seasons: 1

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moral orel on hbo max

Moral Orel

Looking for something totally different to watch? Step into the world of stop motion animation with this show, designed for mature audiences and originally developed for Adult Swim. Orel Puppington is a school-aged boy who is brought up a fundamentalist Protestant Christian and takes his church’s teachings a little too literally, brushing off his father’s alcoholism and abuse and his mother’s neglect, failing to see the hypocrisy in it all. Set in a fictional Bible Belt state called Statesota, the series is worth watching if you appreciate humor that isn’t exactly politically correct: Think South Park meets Davey and Goliath. The series consists of three seasons and a total of 43 episodes

Created by: Dino Stamatopoulos
Cast: Scott Adsit, Jay Johnson, Carolyn Lawrence
Number of seasons: 3

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young sheldon on hbo max

Young Sheldon

For those missing The Big Bang Theory, this prequel series tells the childhood story of Sheldon Cooper, from his time as a precocious, know-it-all pre-teen who was fast-tracked to high school and already taking college classes by the age of 10. Narrated by Jim Parsons, who played the adult Sheldon, the show delves into his family life, including his parents (Zoe Perry, the real-life daughter of Laurie Metcalf, who plays Sheldon’s mother in The Big Bang Theory), his older brother, twin sister, and wild and crazy grandmother, played by Annie Potts. It’s a sweet story of an average Southern family in Texas dealing with a very special and unique child. Fans of The Big Bang Theory will recognize depictions of various events the older Sheldon referenced in the main show, but you don’t necessarily have to have watched The Big Bang Theory to appreciate the sweet and funny sitcom.

Created by: Chuck Lorre, Steven Molaro
Cast: Iain Armitage, Zoe Perry, Lance Barber
Number of seasons: 3

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raised by wolves on hbo max

Raised by Wolves

Premiering in 2020, this sci-fi drama is already getting great reviews, lauded for its “bloody exploration of artificial intelligence and religious beliefs that will stimulate the eye and mind.” The Earth has been destroyed and a pair of androids are raising human children on a new planet. But just like the old Earth, religious differences seem to be getting in the way of building a harmonious existence. Can the androids get everyone to agree and share the same belief system? Travis Fimmel (Vikings) heads up the cast on this series, which is executive produced by Ridley Scott.

Created by: Aaron Guzikowski
Cast: Amanda Collin, Abubakar Salim, Winta McGrath
Number of seasons: 1

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