The 50 Best Shows On HBO Max Right Now (February 2023)

As HBO Max dissolves some of its own programming ahead of a messy merger with Discovery, it’s important to watch all of its available programming while you can. If HBO Max can get rid of Minx and freaking Westworld, who knows what could go next? HBO Max is the home of many beloved and essential television shows including Golden Age classics like The Wire and The Sopranos as well as current prestige dramas like Succession and The White Lotus. But the slightly chaotic streaming service also has an impressive library that stretches beyond the HBO brand, including network comedies Friends (ever heard of it?), and Emmy sweeper Abbott Elementary. Since HBO Max is the home of some of your favorite TV Shows (and some that will be your favorite once you watch them), we compiled a list of the best shows that can be found on the platform.

Last updated on February 1, 2023.

1. The Sopranos

Year: 1999-2007
Cast: James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Braco, Tony Sirico
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Six seasons, 86 episodes
Created By: David Chase
Trailer: Watch here

The Sopranos is where prestige TV began. The series, which follows mob boss Tony Soprano who begins seeing a therapist, reinvented the medium of television by integrating elements typically exclusive to film including powerhouse performances from James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli, and Edie Falco, artistic cinematography, and music. The series applies complex themes and challenges its audience with a nasty protagonist.

Watch it on HBO Max

2. Deadwood

Year: 2004-2006, 2019
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, John Hawkes, Molly Parker, Kim Dickens
Genre: Drama, Western
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Three seasons, 36 episodes, one movie
Created By: David Milch
Trailer: Watch here

“Shakespearean but with a lot of F-bombs” is perhaps the only way to accurately describe Deadwood in just a few words. The series, which ran in the early 2000s and struggled to gain the same momentum as other HBO dramas at the time like The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, was a gem. The series is set in the mining town of Deadwood right after the Civil War, when the town was literally lawless, drawing the kinds of people who are looking to get rich (and/or avoid the law). With a sprawling cast of quirky to menacing characters, it’s as in-depth as it is grotesque, with brilliant performances from people you didn’t know about then but sure as hell know about now including Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane.

Watch it on HBO Max

3. Watchmen

Year: 2019
Cast: Regina King, Don Johnson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, 8 episodes
Created By: Damon Lindelof
Trailer: Watch here

What could have been just another superhero show turned out to be not only one of the best television shows of the year but one of the best television shows of all time. Damon Lindeloff’s one-season series is not a direct adaptation of the popular graphic novel, but an interpretation that places familiar characters in a different but equally relevant cultural context. The series unpacks decades of white supremacy and Black oppression through the lens of this fictional universe. It’s not always easy to watch, but is mystifying and challenging, with a powerhouse performance from Regina King.

Watch it on HBO Max

4. Chernobyl

Year: 2019
Starring: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, Jesse Buckley, Paul Ritter
Genre: Drama series
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: 1 (5 episodes)
Director: Johan Renck
Trailer: Watch here

Nuclear crimes are definitely crimes, so this show doubles as a true-crime jaunt as well as a dramatic thriller. Showrunner Craig Mazin did the thing here, long after his work on The Hangover franchise, to give us an unflinching look at one of the most devastating man-made disasters in history. Not only that, but this series proved that event TV could still exist on HBO even after Game of Thrones. Through five rollercoaster episodes, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion yielded heroic sacrifices and catastrophic f*ckups and the horrifying, heartbreaking story that one won’t find in the history books. Mazin and director Johan Renck left no detail unturned in their quest for authenticity, and the dynamic duo of Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård can’t be beat for an all-encompassing portrait of the best and worst that humanity has to offer.

Watch it on HBO Max

5. Game Of Thrones

Year: 2011-2019
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Sean Bean, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Lenda Headey
Genre: Fantasy, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Eight seasons, 73 episodes
Created By: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Trailer: Watch here

Despite its pitiful final seasons and a flop finale, Game of Thrones is a revelatory show that changed the TV landscape forever. Although the fantasy series set in the fictional country of Westeros is niche and sprawling in scale and scope, its neverending cast of complex characters, sudden deaths, and intriguing politics captured audiences everywhere. The show’s popularity made every network or streamer that releases television desperate for their very own Game of Thrones equivalent (including HBO itself, which has expanded the Westeros universe with House of the Dragon). The first several seasons of Game of Thrones are magical in their precision and confidence and scale. It’s just when the story gets bigger— and the dragons, too—that things go awry. But hey, it will always be the show that introduced us to Pedro Pascal.

Watch it on HBO Max

6. The Wire

Year: 2002-2008
Cast: Dominic West, Idris Elba, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael B. Jordan, Wendell Pierce
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Five seasons, 70 episodes
Created By: David Simon
Trailer: Watch here

The Wire is a deep dive into the narcotics scene in Baltimore, MD from multiple perspectives including the police, users, and dealers. The Wire takes a somewhat journalistic approach and is many things at the same time, including but certainly not limited to: a deep dive into government, bureaucracy, education, and media, the lives of marginalized people, and a character study. The series also features performances from a (very young) Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba, Michael K. Williams, and Dominic West.

Watch it on HBO Max

7. Curb Your Enthusiasm

Year: 2000-Present
Cast: Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Susie Essman, J.B. Smoove
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 11 seasons, 110 episodes
Created By: Larry David
Trailer: Watch here

On Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David plays a heightened (but also possibly not heightened) version of himself as he navigates the mundanities of life as a person, from pants that look weird sitting down to where people should sit in the waiting room at a doctor’s office. Although the comedy series has been running since the turn of the century, it never gets old. While Larry David remains unchanged, he remains adaptable to throwing himself and his testy, picky personality into the modern world.

Watch it on HBO Max

8. Succession

Year: 2018-Present
Cast: Brian Cox, Jeremy Irons, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Aln Ruck, Matthew Macfadyen
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Three seasons, 29 episodes
Created By: Jesse Armstrong
Trailer: Watch here

King Lear, the HBO version. Succession follows the almost disgustingly privileged Roy family, who were born into a media empire that allows them to take helicopters and private planes to and from lavish estates across the country and the globe. But despite their privilege, the Roy kids (Connor, Kendall, Roman, and Shiv) are deeply disturbed in various ways thanks to their verbally abusive father Logan, who is the patriarch of the family and CEO of Waystar Royco. Throughout the series, the question of who will and should succeed Logan is up for debate, which leads to many betrayals. Succession has some of the best performances on television, from its main cast to its supporting cast of beloved New York City actors including J. Smith Cameron and Peter Friedman.

Watch it on HBO Max

9. Euphoria

Year: 2019-Present
Cast: Zendaya, Sydney Sweeney, Hunter Schafer, Alexa Demie, Maude Apatow
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Two seasons, 18 episodes
Created By: Sam Levinson
Trailer: Watch here

Euphoria takes the high school drama and amplifies it, which is easy to do when you’re on HBO. The relentlessly popular and frenetic series that follows high schoolers in a fictional California town has influenced fashion and beauty trends, and is just behind Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon as HBO’s most-watched series of all time. Zendaya’s performance as the drug addict Rue has won her two Emmys.

Watch it on HBO Max

10. True Detective

Year: 2014-Present
Cast: Woody Harrellson, Matthew McConaughey, Mahershala Ali
Genre: Drama, Crime
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Three seasons, 24 episodes
Created By: Nic Pizzolatto
Trailer: Watch here

This cinematic anthology series puts movie stars in a prestige television crime drama (who wold have thought?), as characters who must unpack a complex web to solve a crime, which usually involves some kind of shocking and violent conspiracy. Oh and at the same time, they usually have something going on in their personal lives, too. The first season, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrellson, was well-received for its story, performances, and style, while season two was a disappointment all around. Seriously, we do not talk about it. Colin Farrell never did that. The third season, starring Mahershala Ali is a welcome return to form with a fresh perspective, grounded in the real world.

Watch it on HBO Max

11. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Year(s): 2014 –
Starring: John Oliver
Genre: Talk/Variety
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: 10 (261 episodes)
Trailer: Watch here

No one tells it like John Oliver does, and no one is immune from his skewering, not even Warner Bros. Discovery. The former The Daily Show correspondent will soon move into his tenth season of deep dives filled to the brim with punchy pop cultural allusions and his unique brand of British-American bite. Although you may not always agree with Oliver’s take on any given subject, it’s impossible to deny that his joke delivery never misses. He effortlessly glides through subjects both shallow and full of substance, and his rollicking rants attract a hefty streaming audience, even if you don’t stay up late to watch the Sunday night broadcast.

Watch it on HBO Max

12. Veep

Year: 2012-2019
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Timothy Simons, Reid Scott, Gary Cole
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 7 seasons, 65 episodes
Created By: Armando Iannucci
Trailer: Watch here

Veep tells the story of the rise and fall of politician Selina Meyer, who starts off the series as vice president. Like Selina, her staff is more interested in advancing their careers in U.S. politics and bullying each other than actually being politicians (that is, people who are meant to serve the people). The series is heightened for comedy, but in retrospect, is probably more true to life than it ever intended to be.

Watch it on HBO Max

13. The Last Of Us

Year(s): 2023 –
Starring: Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: 1 (9 episodes)
Trailer: Watch here

Yes, this show’s not even a month into its run, but it’s already a ratings juggernaut that’s thrilling fans of the game and those unfamiliar with the source material. After Chernobyl, another hit from Craig Mazin was to be expected, and Boston won’t be on your bucket list after watching this show. It’s time to catch up because no one’s doing “epic” these days like HBO, and this will provide a much different spin on an apocalyptic infection than The Walking Dead, although both shows are worth your time.

Watch it on HBO Max

14. I May Destroy You

Year: 2020
Cast: Michaela Coel, Weruche Opia, Paapa Essiedu
Genre: Dark comedy, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, 12 episodes
Created By: Michaela Coel
Trailer: Watch here

Michaela Coel’s limited series unpacks the trauma after a sexual assault at a nightclub. The assault changes Arabella (Coel) and her life including her career and her relationships. The series is honest, sharp, fearless, and devastating, but also allows room for some (admittedly very dark) comedy along the way.

Watch it on HBO Max

15. Barry

Year: 2019-Present
Cast: Bill Hader, Henry Winkler, Sarah Goldberg, Stephen Root
Genre: Dark comedy, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Three seasons, 24 episodes
Created By: Alec Berg and Bill Hader
Trailer: Watch here

Barry asks an important question: what if a professional assassin got the acting bug? Barry started as a comedy satirizing Hollywood and the concept of acting but has subtly and beautifully evolved into a profound action drama that puts its characters’ (and its audiences’) morals to the test.

Watch it on HBO Max

16. House of the Dragon

Year: 2022
Cast: Milly Alcock, Matt Smith, Emma D-Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Paddy Considine, Rhys Ifans
Genre: Fantasy, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, ten episodes
Created By: George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal
Trailer: Watch here

House of the Dragon immediately established that it is not Game of Thrones, which is the best thing the prequel could do. It moves at a different pace (quickly) and isn’t trying so hard to be a prestige TV show (even in its best seasons, GoT was trying hard). In fact, HotD goes out of its way to be a trashy melodrama, like a fantasy version of Gossip Girl, but with dragons, incest, and a king who is quite literally falling apart. If you want good, creative, and unexpected Intellectual Property that will throw in enough references to reward your knowledge but not enough to make you roll your eyes, this is it.

Watch it on HBO Max

17. Boardwalk Empire

Year: 2010-2014
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Kelly Macdonald, Jack Huston, Gretchen Mol, Michael Kenneth Williams, Shea Whigham
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Five seasons, 56 episodes
Created By: Terence Winter
Trailer: Watch here

In this drama from The Sopranos writer Terrance Winter, the incomparable Steve Buscemi stars as Nucky Thompson, the politician/gangster who runs Prohibition Era Atlantic City. As his illegal alcohol business grows, so does his power over the city and its people. Buscemi is great, but its supporting cast including Jack Huston, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham, Michael K. Williams, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Bobby Cannavale makes the series special.

Watch it on HBO Max

18. Rick and Morty

Year: 2013-Present
Cast: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, Sarah Chalke
Genre: Comedy, Animation
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Six seasons, 51 episodes
Created By: Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon
Trailer: Watch here

Most animated series help you relax, with formulaic episodes that put your brain at ease. Rick and Morty is the opposite of that multiplied by millions. The relentlessly meta-animated series documents the many unexplainable adventures of the sociopathic alcoholic scientist Rick Sanchez, whose sidekick is his loser grandson, Morty.

Watch it on HBO Max

19. The White Lotus

Year: 2021-Present
Cast: Jennifer Coolidge, Murray Bartlett, Aubrey Plaza, Michael Imperioli
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Two seasons, 12 episodes
Created By: Mike White
Trailer: Watch here

The White Lotus is the perfect embodiment of modern culture. It packs a cast of hot, flawed, generationally diverse characters at the same picturesque resort and puts them (and the audience) to the test. Mike White’s series is so well-written that the fact that the first two seasons are framed as murder mysteries and packaged as thrillers is the least interesting (but still very interesting) part of the show. Its greatest strength is its humanity, or in some cases, lack thereof.

Watch it on HBO Max

20. Lovecraft Country

Year: 2020
Cast: Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, Courtney B. Vance
Genre: Sci-fi, Horror
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, ten episodes
Created By: Misha Green
Trailer: Watch here

Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors’ performances are the anchors of this sci-fi/horror series that draws inspiration from Lovecraftian lore. Set in the 1950s, Atticus (Majors) sets off on a road trip across the country to find his father who disappeared. Along the way, he faces the oppression of white America and faces monsters seemingly ripped from the work of H.P. Lovecraft.

Watch it on HBO Max

21. The Rehearsal

Year: 2022
Cast: Nathan Fielder
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, six episode
Created By: Nathan Fielder
Trailer: Watch here

If you’re in the mood for hours of uncomfortable laughter, The Rehearsal is perfect for you. Comedian Nathan Fielder of Comedy Central Nathan for You leads convoluted projects in order to help real people prepare for life events, starting with a guy who needs to come forward with the truth about his education and ending with pretending to be a dad for 18 years. Things take a dark but hilarious turn, and Fielder somehow never breaks character.

Watch it on HBO Max

22. Abbott Elementary

Year: 2021-Present
Cast: Quinta Brunson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, Tyler James Willaims, Chris Perfetti
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-PG
Runtime: One season, 13 episodes (season two currently airing on ABC)
Created By: Quinta Brunson
Trailer: Watch here

ABC’s Emmy-winning comedy series marks a welcome return to the network sitcom. This one follows the teachers at Philly’s Abbott Elementary, who range from type A to completely incompetent. But all of them are equally loveable. With sharp writing and standout performances, this is a smart, pleasant, positive show you don’t want to miss. Currently in its second season airing on ABC, it’s only getting better.

Watch it on HBO Max

23. Mare of Easttown

Year: 2021
Cast: Kate Winslet, Evan Peters, Guy Perce, Angourie Rice, Sosie bacon, Juliane Nicholson, jea Smart
Genre: Drama, Crime
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, seven episodes
Created By: Brad Ingelsby
Trailer: Watch here

Sundays on HBO just aren’t the same without Mare and her vape. In the crime drama Mare of Easttown, Kate Winslet plays Mare (of Easttown), a detective trying to solve the brutal murder of a young woman while, of course, managing her complicated personal life. The show is brutal and poignant, but also has its charming moments, thanks to stellar performances from its star-studded cast including Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Peters, and Jean Smart

Watch it on HBO Max

24. Harley Quinn

Year: 2019-Present
Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Alan Tudyk, Lake Bell
Genre: Comedy, Animation
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Three seasons, 36 episodes
Created By: Paul Dini and Bruce Timm
Trailer: Watch here

After a breakup with her toxic ex The Joker, a newly single Harley Quinn tries to establish herself as an independent, badass criminal of Gotham. She faces many challenges thanks to The Joker’s connections but gathers some of her own via an unlikely group of characters including Poison Ivy and King Shark. The best thing about Harley Quinn is that it doesn’t take Gotham too seriously, especially its interpretation of Bruce Wayne/Batman, who is kind of an idiot.

Watch it on HBO Max

25. Sex and the City/And Just Like That…

Year: 1997-2004, 2021-Present
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin David, Kim Cattrall
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Seven seasons, 104 episodes
Created By: Darren Starr
Trailer: Watch here

You probably don’t need an explanation for Sex and the City because even if you haven’t seen it, it’s so culturally significant that you get the references: you’re either a Carrie, a Miranda, a Samantha, or a Charlotte. What is so special about the HBO comedy is that it centered exclusively female characters and it allowed all of those women to be sexually active and vocal about it, which, even in the 1990s, was quite revolutionary. The revival series And Just Like That… isn’t nearly as good, but it is admirable in its level of cringe (Che Diaz, anyone?).

Watch it on HBO Max

26. The Leftovers

Year: 2014-2017
Cast: Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Christopher Eccleston
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Three seasons, 28 episodes
Created By: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta
Trailer: Watch here

In the world of the sci-fi drama The Leftovers, millions of people disappeared without a trace. The world adjusts, but not well. Grief over mass unexplainable losses has transformed and divided people. The series spans almost a decade, and hops around the globe, showing the devastation of the Sudden Departure on a bigger scale. The Leftovers is ambitious in its storytelling with bold performances to match, with one of the most satisfying series finales ever made.

Watch it on HBO Max

27. Girls

Year: 2012-2017
Cast: Lena Dunham, Adam Driver, Allison Williams, Zoisa Mamet, Jemima Kirke, Alex Karpovsky
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Six seasons, 62 episodes
Created By: Lena Dunham
Trailer: Watch here

In retrospect, Girls feels like a time capsule. It was lightning in a bottle at the perfect time: the dramadey captured the millennial mindset of the early 2010s, a generation becoming adults amidst a recession and an ever-evolving world reliant on technology and social media. The series is also what put Adam Driver, now a bonafide movie star with two Oscar nominations, on the map. The series didn’t maintain its early-season momentum, perhaps because the culture changed so rapidly around it, but it’s still significant and enlightening to revisit.

Watch it on HBO Max

28. Insecure

Year: 2016-2021
Cast: Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Amanda Seales
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Five seasons, 44 episodes
Created By: Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore
Trailer: Watch here

Issa Rae’s raunchy comedy Insecure is thoughtfully written and beautifully shot. Based on Rae’s popular web series Awkward Black Girl, the show showcases the lives of awkward Black women based in LA. The show follows best friends Issa and Molly as they and others in their friend circle navigate adulthood. The series presents friendship in an authentic way, with many ups and many downs.

Watch it on HBO Max

29. Oz

Year(s): 1992 – 2003
Starring: Ernie Hudson, Terry Kinney, Rita Moreno, J. K. Simmons.
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: 6 (56 episodes)
Trailer: Watch here

If we’re talking about essential HBO shows that it’s never too late to binge for the first time, Oz qualifies as one of the Big Three, along with The Wire and The Sopranos. Although this show about experimental prison delivers upon its straight-up and surreal promises, the show also successfully pushes viewers through every emotion, both positive and negative, and you’ll thank it for the ordeal. Frankly, one still wonders how this show even surfaced, but it’s best not to question a good thing. Chris Meloni (as a psycho) happens to be only one of the attractions, and there’s another important detail to note: this show excelled at grittiness before grittiness became a cliché, and it holds onto that ability.

Watch it on HBO Max

30. Selena + Chef

Year: 2020-Present
Cast: Selena Gomez, celebrity chefs
Genre: Cooking
Rating: TV-PG
Runtime: Four seasons, 40 episodes
Created By: Aaron Saidman
Trailer: Watch here

Selena Gomez is not much of a cook, but she’s trying. On Selena + Chef, celebrity chefs from Gordon Ramsay to Padma Lakshmi come to Gomez’s kitchen to teach her about cooking. She doesn’t always learn anything, but it’s a delightful time.

Watch it on HBO Max

31. The Righteous Gemstones

Year: 2019-Present
Cast: Danny McBride, John Goodman, Adam DeVine, Walton Goggins, Edi Patterson, Skylar Gisondo
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Two seasons, 18 episodes
Created By: Danny McBride
Trailer: Watch here

Danny McBride’s completely unfiltered comedy about a family of foul-mouthed televangelists in the South is one of the best shows on television. Like any McBride joint, it is crude and absurd, but its absurdity is true to the televangelist culture in the U.S. It’s like comedy Christian Succession.

Watch it on HBO Max

32. Big Little Lies

Year: 2017-2019
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravtiz, Laura Dern, Alexander Skarsgård
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Two seasons, 14 episodes
Created By: David E. Kelley
Trailer: Watch here

Big Little Lies was a memeable thrilling murder mystery as well as a thorough, authentic depiction of a victim of sexual and physical abuse. Nicole Kidman’s Emmy-winning performance as a woman in an abusive marriage is one of her best and helped similar stories get platformed in the entertainment industry. The second season leans a little more into camp with Meryl Streep screaming, Reese Witherspoon Type-Aing all over the place, and Laura Dern screaming. If any of that interests you, run, don’t walk.

Watch it on HBO Max

33. Friends

Year: 1994-2004
Cast: Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-14
Runtime: Ten seasons, 236 episodes
Created By: David Krane and Marta Kauffman
Trailer: Watch here

You’ve definitely heard of this one, and you definitely know what it is about. But just in case you’ve just risen from a cave after three decades, Friends was an incredibly popular 90s NBC comedy that followed a group of…. friends… living in massive apartments in New York City.

Watch it on HBO Max

34. True Blood

Year: 2008-2014
Cast: Anna Paquin, Alexander Skarsgård, Stephen Moyer
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Seven seasons, 80 episodes
Created By: Alan Ball
Trailer: Watch here
True Blood is as camp as camp gets, at least for HBO standards. The Lousiana-set vampire drama is known for its jaw-dropping, graphic, and truly unbelievable moments. Come for Alexander Skarsgård as a goth local bar owner and vampire, stay for the unfathomable amounts of blood.

Watch it on HBO Max

35. Hacks

Year: 2021-Present
Cast: Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Two seasons, 18 episodes
Created By: Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky
Trailer: Watch here

On the Las Vegas-set Hacks, Jean Smart plays Deborah Vance, a legendary stand-up comedian in her later career who is not fond of her new twenty-something writer, a young and entitled television writer. Their simmering hatred of each other eventually evolves into a love/hate relationship and mentorship.

Watch it on HBO Max

36. The Flight Attendant

Year: 2021-2022
Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Rosie Perez, Zoisa Mamet, T.R. Knight
Genre: Dark comedy, Thriller
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Two seasons,
Created By: Steve Yockey
Trailer: Watch here

Irresponsible alcoholic flight attendant Cassie, who has an incredible coat collection, gets involved in a conspiracy and murder after waking up next to her dead one-night stand, with absolutely no memory of what happened. As she investigates, she gets investigated, and she comes to terms with the trauma that made her the way she is.

Watch it on HBO Max

37. The Staircase

Year: 2022
Cast: Colin Firth, Toni Collette, Sophie Turner, Michael Stuhlbarg, Julliette Binoche, Parker Posey
Genre: Crime, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, eight episodes
Created By: Antonio Campos
Trailer: Watch here

HBO Max’s original series The Staircase, based on the essential documentary of the same name, has no right to be this good (okay, it does, but it is so so good). Unlike other true crime adaptations, The Staircase actually centers around the victim and depicts how a death and possible murder in the family impacts everyone in different ways. The series also goes beyond the documentary, telling a compelling side of the story that the doc did not document.

Watch it on HBO Max

38. Peacemaker

Year: 2022-Present
Cast: John Cena, Danielle Brooks
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, eight episodes
Created By: James Gunn
Trailer: Watch here

John Cena is so charismatic that after his movie-stealing performance in The Suicide Squad, a television show practically had to be made about him. Peacemaker is weird and violent but fun with an unusual amount of heart, which pretty much describes anything James Gunn is behind. If anything, you must watch the opening credits, which feature the cast doing an extremely awkward robotic dance for some reason.

Watch it on HBO Max

39. Search Party

Year: 2016-2022
Cast: Alia Shawkat, John Reynolds,
Genre: Dark comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Five seasons, 50 episodes
Created By: Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers, and Michael Showalter
Trailer: Watch here

Search Party is a quirky dark comedy about a group of self-absorbed twenty-somethings living in New York. They become entangled in the disappearance of a woman they went to college with, and their lives continue to unravel season by season: what starts off as a mystery turns into a thriller, courtroom drama, and, by the final season, a zombie apocalypse.

Watch it on HBO Max

40. The Outsider

Year: 2020
Cast: Ben Mendelsohn, Jason Bateman, Bill Camp, Cynthia Erivo
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, 10 episodes
Created By: Richard Price
Trailer: Watch here

The Outsider, based on the 2018 Stephen King novel of the same name, follows the investiagtors of the brutal, possibly supernatural murder of a young boy. The series is a slow but satisfrying burn, featuring one-of-a-kind performances from its sprawling cast.

Watch it on HBO Max

41. Our Flag Means Death

Year: 2022-Present
Cast: Rhys Darby, Taika Waititi
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, ten episodes
Created By: David Jenkins
Trailer: Watch here

Our Flag Means Death is quite literally, a gay pirate romantic comedy. On the incredibly funny, absurd comedy Our Flag Means Death, which is loosely based on true events, Stede Bonnet, the Gentleman Pirate develops a surprising close relationship with the intimidating and legendary pirate Blackbeard.

Watch it on HBO Max

42. Doom Patrol

Year: 2019-2022
Cast: Diane Guerrero, Alan Tudyk, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, Michelle Gomez
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Four seasons, 37 episodes
Created By: Jeremy Carver
Trailer: Watch here

The Doom Patrol is a team of superpowered outcasts, all of whom have supernatural abilities following a traumatizing event. Together, they investigate weird phenomena. Oh, and they also act as a support group at the same time. It’s a bizarre but fun show fit for a lazy weekend binge.

Watch it on HBO Max

43. The New Pope

Year: 2020
Cast: Jude Law, John Malkovich
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, nine episodes
Created By: Paolo Sorrentino
Trailer: Watch here

In this continuation of the 2016 series The Young Pope, Jude Law returns as Pope Pius XIII, only to be in a coma, though. John Malkovich’s Pope John Paul III takes over as the (titular) new pope. But when Pius wakes up, a pope war of sorts ensues.

Watch it on HBO Max

44. Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

Year: 2022-Present
Cast: John C. Reilly, Quincy Isaiah, Jason Clarke, Adiren Brody, Gaby Hoffmann, Tracy Letts, Jason Segel
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, ten episodes
Created By: Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht
Trailer: Watch here

Even if you’re not into basketball, Winning Time is thrilling. But it is especially thrilling if you are into basketball, and even more so if you’re into the Lakers. The series tells the mostly true story of the rise of the Lakers in the 1980s, led by Jerry Buss, who is played by John C. Reilly who, as always, goes all out for the performance.

Watch it on HBO Max

45. How To with John Wilson

Year: 2020-Present
Cast: Various
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Two seasons, 12 episodes
Created By: John Wilson
Trailer: Watch here

In this series, eccentric documentary filmmaker John Wilson attempts to discover himself by discovering others. In the observational series, Wilson films fellow New Yorkers while trying to share advice on many topics from deep to mundane all while dealing with his own personal issues. It’s layered, sometimes funny, and sometimes, an incredibly emotional, moving, unexplainable experience.

Watch it on HBO Max

46. Miracle Workers

Year: 2019-Present
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Steve Buscemi, Geraldine Viswanathan
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Three seasons, 27 episodes
Created By: Simon Rich
Trailer: Watch here

This peculiar (in the absolute best way) and charming anthology comedy series tackles a brand new storyline each season with the same core cast. The first season was about angels trying to prevent a disaster, the second in the Dark Ages, and the most recent season along the deadly Oregon Trail. The show is an excellent showcase for Daniel Radcliffe’s character acting, and it allows Steve Buscemi to flex his comedy muscles, which he didn’t get to do much on Boardwalk Empire.

Watch it on HBO Max

47. The Boondocks

Year: 2005-2014
Cast: Regina King, Tom Witherspoon
Genre: Comedy, Animation
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Four seasons, 55 episodes
Created By: Aaron McGruder
Trailer: Watch here

Regina King, who is in several shows on this list including The Leftovers and Watchmen, leads the voice cast of this animated sitcom for adults that originally aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. The show dives into the story of the Freemans, a Black family that moves from Chicago to very white suburb, and as a result, experiences quite the culture shock. The series is funny but at the same time tackles serious issues Black Americans face daily including prejudice and class inequality.

Watch it on HBO Max

48. Perry Mason

Year: 2020-Present
Cast: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Shea Whigham, John Lithgow
Genre: Crime, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, 8 episodes
Created By: Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald
Trailer: Watch here

Matthew Rhys, the master of weepy boys, plays a weepy boy version of the criminal defense attorney in this gritty interpretation of the lawyer’s life, which starts when he’s a struggling private investigator.

Watch it on HBO Max

49. Entourage

Year(s): 2004 – 2011
Starring: Adrien Granier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jeremy Piven
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: 8 (96 episodes)
Trailer: Watch here

This show still exists in a way, through the power of recirculated memes that will never die. Often described as a Sex and the City for men, one must accept that there’s not much of consequence here. A circle of male friends and their various jaunts around the big city might seem predictable, but the show did score plenty of Emmys accolades, and it’s a pleasant little binge with Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, and Jerry Ferrara all in peak dude mode.

Watch it on HBO Max

50. Six Feet Under

Year: 2001-2005
Cast: Peter Krause, Richard Jenkins, Michaell C. Hall, Frances Conroy, Lauren Ambrose
Genre: Drama, Dark comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Five seasons, 63 episodes
Created By: Alan Ball
Trailer: Watch here
This extremely dark comedy/drama is all about death. It follows the Fisher family, who own and run a funeral home in California. In the pilot, the patriarch of the family dies when he is hit by a bus while driving a brand-new hearse on Christmas Eve. Each episode opens with a death to really set the mood. The show has one of the best series finales of all time and includes some of the Golden Age’s best, most overlooked performances from Lauren Ambrose, Peter Krause, Richard Jenkins, and more.

Watch it on HBO Max

×