HBO Max is now available on various platforms. The streaming service not only has the many award-winning TV series from HBO, it also has a number of other shows available just for the service. But which of the HBO Max shows are the best ones to stream and watch today?
Here are our picks for the best HBO Max shows that are currently available on the streaming service. We have combined the shows that are available on HBO with the ones available exclusively on HBO Max. You can sign up for the streaming service at the link below, for $14.99 a month without ads, or $9.99 a month with ads (except for HBO shows).
Best HBO Max shows:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best HBO Max shows regularly as new ones make it to the streaming service.
Doctor Who (2005)
The BBC took a huge risk by reviving its once-popular sci-fi TV show in 2005. In retrospect, it wasn’t that big of a risk after all. Russell T Davies took the best from the original show, about a time and space traveling alien who fights evil, and added a ton of humanity and pathos. It’s a worthy addition to the exclusive HBO Max TV shows, and US audiences can finally stream the most recent seasons starring the current Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker. It’s definitely one of the best HBO Max shows.
What can be said about this 1990s sitcom that hasn’t been said already? Well, we can try. Friends remains on top of the pop culture zeitgeist for one main reason; it’s still funny to watch. The misadventures of Joey, Chandler, Ross, Phoebe, Rachel, and Monica in New York City may not be realistic, but they are highly entertaining. You can now also finally watch the long awaited Friends reunion special on HBO Max.
The Big Bang Theory
It’s hard to believe that this show has not appeared on a premium streaming service before it became part of the HBO Max TV series library. The sitcom is supposed to be about four highly smart, and highly nerdy, scientists who get some lessons in life from their very un-nerdy new female addition. In fact, it’s really about how nerd culture slowly but surely turned into mainstream comedy entertainment. We suspect that The Big Bang Theory could get a big boost with its inclusion among the HBO Max shows.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Here’s another show that hasn’t gotten a ton of streaming video love before HBO Max. Will Smith was already a huge music star when he got the lead in this sitcom. It follows his character, also named Will, who is sent from the tough Philadelphia streets to the safe, and rich, Bel-Air neighborhood of LA. While there are some dated bits in this 1990s series, it’s still fun to watch Smith and the show’s other cast of characters have some fun. You can also watch an exclusive reunion of the show’s cast now on HBO Max.
There’s no way we are going to leave out perhaps the best HBO TV series from this HBO Max shows list. David Chase’s mob crime drama rises above the typical cliches as we see how the leader of a crime organization has to balance his work with his family life. There are twists and turns in this show you won’t see coming, and that includes one of the most controversial endings of a TV series ever.
When it was announced that HBO was going to do a Watchmen TV series and that it would be a sequel to the classic superhero comic book, many believed it was dead on arrival. Leave it to Damon Lindelof, the developer of the show, to prove them wrong. Not only is this series a worthy successor to the comic by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, but also an excellent look at the past and current state of race relations. It only lasted for one season (for now) but it’s definitely one of the best HBO Max series.
Hitmen in fiction are a dime a dozen. Barry is the story of a hitman, played by co-creator Bill Hader, who is tired of his line of work. The twist in this series is that Barry decides he wants to become an actor, through sheer accident. This show is both funny and dramatic, sometimes in the same scene. Does Barry try to get away from being a great hitman to live life as an OK actor? That’s the main theme in this terrific series.
After years on being on Hulu, one of the best TV shows of all time is now one of the best TV shows on HBO Max. Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s creation remains one of the most topical, and funny, TV shows on the air. The foursome of school kids Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny never grow old, but thankfully, neither does this show. This group of characters, and the many, many recurring cast members, give their funny takes on a wide variety of issues. This is a must-watch on this streaming service.
Like South Park, this is an adult animated TV series. However, this one is firmly planted in the DC Comics superhero universe. Kaley Cuoco takes on the voice of Harley Quinn, the former love interest of the Joker who is now striking out on her own. This is a really funny series, especially if you are a DC Comics fan. It also has an excellent voice cast, including Alan Tudyk as The Joker, Lake Bell as Poison Ivy, and more.
Band of Brothers
Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, who acted and directed Saving Private Ryan, teamed up again to help produce this World War II series for HBO. It’s a richer look at the American foot soldiers of the war, specifically a team of paratroopers who battle it out in Europe just before, during, and after D-Day. Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, and Donnie Wahlberg are some of the main cast members, and you will also see some appearances by Friends’ David Schwimmer and even Jimmy Fallon.
There’s a lot of other HBO Max shows that are really great, but didn’t make our top 10 list. Here’s just a few of the series you should check out:
- Babylon 5 – The groundbreaking sci-fi series is now on the service, with newly remastered video that makes it even better to watch
- Deadwood – HBO’s adult Western series still holds up. Just expect a lot of swearing.
- Game of Thrones – If you can forget the final season, this fantasy series is still worth watching and rewatching.
- The Larry Sanders Show – Here’s another truly essential series that will make you look differently at late-night talk shows.
- Rick and Morty – This animated series started as a spoof on Back to the Future. It may now be better than its source material.
- Batman: The Animated Series – Perhaps the best ever adaptation of Batman outside of comic books.
- The Flight Attendant – Kaley Cuoco (yep, she’s back) is excellent in this series that combines drama with some dark humor.
That’s a look at the best HBO Max shows. We will update this post when new shows debut on the service.