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

Conan O'Brien behind the wheel of a boat wearing a yellow rain jacket with a pipe in his mouth in a scene from Conan O'Brien Must Go.

From classic sitcoms to exciting new TV shows, Max (formerly HBO Max), has quite a bit of content from which to choose. Maybe you’re ready to finally watch The Sopranos or you’re anxious for season two of The Last of Us and want to rewatch the first season. Perhaps you’re eager to to dive into something new, like the series The Sympathizer. Well, the good news id that all of the best HBO vault content, as well as new Max originals, are available to stream on Max.

In fact, there’s so much choice that you might find it difficult to narrow things down. What if you’re in the mood for a comedy one night, but want to start up a thrilling drama the next? We have you covered with this carefully curated list of the best shows on Max (formerly HBO Max) right now so you can have a few shows in the hopper to watch whenever you’re in the mood.

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

The Sympathizer (2024) new

The Sympathizer
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama, Comedy
Cast Hoa Xuande, Robert Downey Jr., Toan Le
Created by Don McKellar, Park Chan-wook

Based on the Viet Thanh Nguyen novel of the same name that earned a Pulitzer Prize, The Sympathizer is about the Captain (Hoa Xuande), a police captain in Saigon who is secretly working as a plant in the South Vietnam army. While living with other South Vietnamese refugees after fleeing to the U.S. following the Vietnam War, he continues to work as a spy, reporting back to the Viet Cong. But as he becomes further entrenched in this new life, The Captain’s loyalties are tested.

The Sympathizer features a predominantly Vietnamese cast and Vietnamese dialogue, at the insistence of Nguyen. Robert Downey Jr., however, also appears in several roles, including as a CIA agent, a grad school professor, an auteur filmmaker, and a California congressman. Delivered in the style of a historical black comedy drama, the miniseries disguises important subject matter behind a lens of comedy, and handles it brilliantly. Digital Trends’ Alex Welch calls the series a ”masterful spy thriller” that is “thematically rich [and] stylistically refreshing.”

Conan O'Brien Must Go (2024) new

Conan O'Brien Must Go
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Documentary, Comedy
Cast Conan O'Brien
Created by Conan O'Brien

There’s an influx of travel and adventure docuseries starring celebrities, and Conan O’Brien is the latest to enter the mix. In his new travel show Conan O’Brien Must Go, the former late-night talk show hosts brings his quirky humor on the road in episodes that feel like extended versions of some of his most popular late-night remote segments. Through the episodes, he travels to locations like Norway, Thailand, and Ireland, where he visits fans in person that were featured on his podcast series’ Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend and Conan Without Borders. This includes Norwegian rapper Jarle and Thai rock climber Whitney.

O’Brien’s signature self-deprecating humor is on full display, bringing to life the podcasts in a way that could never be done through a video screen. Conan O’Brien Must Go is only four episodes long, but the show will have you belly laughing the entire way through, and missing O’Brien’s joyful presence in late night.

Hacks (2021) new

81 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins
Created by Jen Statsky, Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs
HBO Max’s Hacks has discovered a winning formula through its three seasons to date. 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.

Entourage (2004) new

tv-ma 8 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon
Created by Doug Ellin

Mark Wahlberg executive produced this comedy  drama that’s loosely based on his life, and it became a huge hit, airing for eight seasons. The central character in Entourage is Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), a young actor who becomes massively famous and brings his group of childhood friends, aka his “entourage,” along with him for the wild ride. He hires his best friend. Eric (Kevin Connolly). as his manager. Joining the pair in their antics are Vinny’s older half-brother, Johnny “Drama” (Kevin Dillon), a much less successful actor, and friend, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), who both try to find purpose, but mostly love to reap the benefits of Vinny’s fame. Jeremy Piven, meanwhile, stars as Vince’s egotistical and temperamental agent Ari Gold.

The episodes follow the expected exploits of four young men thrust into a world of fame, money, women, and excess in every sense of the word. It’s raunchy, deeply entertaining, and features tons of celebrity cameos through the seasons. Whether you love Wahlberg or not, Entourage stands on its own as a slick series about the dark and dirty temptations of fame.

Full House (1987)

Full House
tv-g 8 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Family
Cast John Stamos, Bob Saget, Dave Coulier
Created by Jeff Franklin

When it comes to the best 1980s and ’90s sitcoms, there were few better than Full House. The unconventional story follows two men moving in with their best friend and brother-in-law to help him raise his three kids after the tragic death of his wife. The setup was tailor-made for the show’s beautiful combination of fish-out-of-water laughs and moral lessons. From the clashing personalities to the challenges the three men face with their own lives and careers while also raising three young girls, every episode is entertaining, fun, and also touching.

Filled with signature one-liners (“have mercy!), memorable characters, including the late Bob Saget as dad Danny Tanner, and scenes that are still talked about to this day (yes, she drove a car through the kitchen), Full House is one of those sitcoms you can watch with your own kids and it still holds up.

Young Sheldon (2017)

Young Sheldon
tv-pg 7 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Family
Cast Iain Armitage, Zoe Perry, Lance Barber
Created by Chuck Lorre, Steven Molaro

Ending after its seventh and final season, Young Sheldon is a worthy follow-up prequel series to The Big Bang Theory, telling the childhood story of Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons, Iain Armitage in this show). Narrated by Parsons himself and filled with Easter Eggs and references to moments Sheldon recalled in the original show, Armitage beautifully captures the essence of Sheldon’s massive ego and superiority complex, even as a young boy.

Offering up an equal dose of touching and hilarious moments, Young Sheldon takes fans into the life of a middle-class family in the late 1980s and early ’90s, complete with the beer- and football-loving dad, George (Lance Barber), and the deeply religious Southern Baptist mom, Mary (Zoe Perry). With a fabulous supporting cast that includes Annie Potts as Sheldon’s grandmother Connie (Meemaw) and actors like Wallace Shawn, Craig T. Nelson, and Reba McEntire in recurring roles, Young Sheldon is just as engaging as The Big Bang Theory.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015) new

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Documentary, Crime
Cast Robert Durst

This documentary miniseries took the world by storm when it presented the story of convicted murderer and New York real estate heir Robert Durst. The timing couldn’t have been better for the release of The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst back in 2015 since Durst was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of his friend Susan Berman just a day prior to the airing of the finale. From there, a web of lies was uncovered, revealing details about the unsolved disappearance of his wife Kathie back in 1982 as well as the death and dismemberment of his neighbor Morris Black. That pivotal moment when Durst confessed his crimes during a bathroom break, unaware that his microphone was still on and recording, became a sort of smoking gun and shocked the nation.

Returning with a six-episode second-season continuation called The Jinx – Part 2, those intrigued and horrified by the case can hear more about what has transpired in the last eight years, including new interviews, material, and Durst’s own prison calls. Durst passed away in January 2022, but his story remains one of the most fascinating and heinous ones of celebrity crime.

The Big Bang Theory (2007) new

The Big Bang Theory
tv-14 12 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco
Created by Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady

One of the most iconic sitcoms of the 2000s and 2010s, The Big Bang Theory spawned an equally successful prequel spin-off called Young Sheldon, which is also available to stream. The story centers around a group of self-professed science nerds navigating daily life in California, all working at Caltech University. It begins when Penny (Kaley Cuoco), a beautiful young waitress and aspiring actress, moves into the apartment across the hall from Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki), and the socially awkward men attempt to befriend her.

Featuring a fabulous ensemble cast that was, at one point in time, among the highest-paid actors on TV, The Big Bang Theory is filled with complex dialogue and scientific jargon. Yet the jokes and running gags hit beautifully, whether you understand what they’re talking about or not. It’s the type of show you can watch and re-watch and laugh every time. The series earned 46 nominations through its 12-season run, with Parsons winning Outstanding Leader Actor in a Comedy Series four times in a row.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) new

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
tv-pg 6 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Family
Cast Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro
Created by Andy Borowitz, Susan Borowitz

One of the defining sitcoms of the ‘90s, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air starred Will Smith before he became a massive A-list Hollywood movie celebrity. It’s a fish-out-of-water story about a young man from West Philadelphia who is sent by his mother to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle in Bel-Air. Will’s mom worries he’s going down the wrong path and wants to give him a better chance at life.

At first, Will is at odds with the family members who don’t see eye-to-eye with him, along with the uppity lifestyle to which he isn’t accustomed. But the family comes together as he acclimates to them and they to him. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is ground-breaking in so many ways. Along with plenty of humor and heart, the sitcom tackles serious issues about race, violence, and family strife. A darker, more dramatic reimagining called Bel-Air is available to stream on Peacock.

Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000)

Curb Your Enthusiasm
84 %
tv-ma 12 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Larry David, Jeff Garlin
Created by Larry David

Larry David is annoyed with a lot of things: fake people, traditional conventions, false enthusiasm, and the usual ridiculous things, situations, and people he comes across in everyday life. At least, this is how the character based on him is in Curb Your Enthusiasm, one of the best sitcoms of the last several decades. Set to end after its 12th season, Curb Your Enthusiasm was so popular that fans stuck with the show, even when it went on hiatus repeatedly, with years between seasons.

Many of the scripts are based on David’s real-life feelings and perspective of the world and social norms, highlighting his dry sense of humor. With a strong supporting cast that includes Cheryl Hines as David’s wife and Jeff Garlin as his manager and best friend, something in this show just clicks. There isn’t an actual story: much like Seinfeld, which David created, Curb Your Enthusiasm is basically a show about nothing. But the writing, improvised moments, David’s blunt observations, and watching others try to tolerate his behavior is magic.

Tokyo Vice (2022)

Tokyo Vice
75 %
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Crime, Drama
Cast Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Rinko Kikuchi
Created by J.T. Rogers

Max (formerly HBO Max) takes viewers into the Japanese underworld of organized crime in Tokyo Vice. Based on the nonfiction 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 insight into the Yakuza as well. And once Jake is even a small part of this world, it starts to bleed into every aspect of his life.

The blood-soaked crime drama adds new characters in the second season and dives deeper into the personal lives of each character you got to know in season 1.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
tv-ma 11 Seasons
Genre Talk, Comedy, News
Cast John Oliver
Created by John Oliver

The recipient of more than two dozen Primetime Emmy Awards, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but as far as satirical news/late night shows go, Oliver really has the market cornered. It’s all for good reason: he’s hilariously engaging, bitingly honest, and never shies away from any topic or stance, no matter how controversial.

Renewed through 2026, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver sparks debate and conversation, presenting the American news in a way that both educates and lightens the mood. Oliver’s sharp tongue, passion for the topics he talks about, and perspective as a British outsider help bring some of his points home.

True Detective (2014)

True Detective
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Jodie Foster, Kali Reis, Finn Bennett
Created by Nic Pizzolatto

True Detective has three full seasons under its belt, with fans enduring a five-year wait for season 4. The anthology crime drama has a different story in every season, along with a completely different cast, with names like Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Mahershala Ali, Stephen Dorff and, most recently, Jodie Foster in Detective Country, counted among the leads.

A different crime is at the heart of every season, along with the authorities investigating it. Every season features enticing twists and turns and tells thought-provoking stories, all driven by incredible performances from the respective casts. The scene shifts to chilly Alaska in season 4. Consistently, each new narrative in True Detective (season 2 excepted, perhaps) gets darker and more haunting.

Rick and Morty (2013)

Rick and Morty
87 %
tv-ma 7 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.”

Silicon Valley (2014)

Silicon Valley
tv-ma 6 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani
Created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky

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 assembled a talented supporting cast that includes T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, and Amanda Crew, nearly all of whom have gone on to even bigger things after the show’s six-season run.

Silicon Valley is heavy on tech industry references, so anyone who understands the space will get every insider reference and joke, and theorize about what real-life tech CEOs, billionaires, and investors various characters were likely modeled around. But even those who aren’t so entrenched in the tech space will laugh the entire way through at the absurd “nerd” humor.

Friends (1994)

tv-14 10 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow
Created by Marta Kauffman, David Crane

With the untimely passing of Matthew Perry, who’s most recognizable role was as Chandler Bing in this iconic sitcom, it’s a good time to binge all 10 seasons of Friends. Remember not only what makes the series part of pop culture history but also how fabulously hilarious Perry and the rest of the talented cast were in their roles. Relive some of the best episodes of Friends and the funny moments, quotable quotes, and sarcastic one-liners.

Friends, which is about six twentysomethings living in New York City and navigating dating, careers, and life, originally aired from 1994 to 2004. That was long before social media, smartphones, and dating apps would have markedly changed its course. Despite the technological differences, the search for an adult identity, the on-again/off-again nature of relationships, and reliance on having people you can count on are still totally relatable today.

Scavengers Reign (2023)

Scavengers Reign
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama, Animation
Cast Sunita Mani, Wunmi Mosaku, Alia Shawkat
Created by Charles Huettner, Joseph Bennett

Combine your love of sci-fi with adult animation in Scavenger’s Reign, an animated drama about a group of survivors on a cargo ship that was destroyed after landing on an alien planet. The planet is habitable, but it’s also filled with plenty of danger.

There are five main characters, including Azi (Wunmi Mosaku) and her robot friend Levi, voiced by Alia Shawkat, along with Ursula (Sunita Mani), Sam (Bob Stephenson), and Kamen (Ted Travelstead). While Scavenger’s Reign hasn’t been one of the more high-profile show launches, the critics who have watched have given it a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, calling the series “magnificent” and “hypnotic.” There are a dozen episodes in season 1.

Our Flag Means Death (2022)

Our Flag Means Death
71 %
tv-ma 2 Seasons
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.

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.

Killing Eve (2018)

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Christine Persaud

Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about tech, she now writes about everything from tech to entertainment, business, lifestyle, and more. An admitted TV junkie (feel free to reach out for recommendations on what to watch!), if she's not working or hanging out with friends and family, she's probably relaxing with a crisp glass of wine while binging her latest TV series obsession. Follow her on Twitter @christinetechCA.





Blair Marnell

Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek Monthly, SYFY Wire, Superhero Hype, Collider, DC Universe, and the official sites for Star Trek and Marvel. He also lends his pop culture expertise to Digital Trends on a variety of TV, movie, and streaming features.

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Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein in Lady Bird (2017)

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A man stands behind an old projector, his mouth agape and hand raised in a scene from UFO Factory on Hulu.

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When it comes down to decision time, however, narrowing down your watch list from all the available options can be tough. We have put together this list of the best shows on Hulu right now, and keep it consistently fresh so you'll always find something new. If you're looking for that show you forgot about but were meaning to watch, chances are if it's a thrilling drama or a hilarious comedy worth watching, we have it included here. Have a look and find a few shows to add to your watch queue.

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