The 50 Best Shows On HBO Max Right Now (June 2024)

With HBO Max rebranding as Max, we can look forward to a whole heaping helping of new offerings coming down the content chute on the streaming service in the next few years. We will get to witness another Game of Thrones spinoff emerge, along with new TV shows based upon the Harry Potter and The Conjuring franchises and a spy-comedy series starring Robert Downey Jr.

Before that happens, Max will remain the home of many iconic, crowd-pleasing series including The Sopranos and The Wire in addition to delivering prestige dramas like Succession and The White Lotus and never forgetting that the people love their dragons. As well, there will still be favorites from beyond the HBO brand available to watch on Max, which means that Harley Quinn continues to receive new seasons for comic book lovers. And don’t forget about Peacemaker, which was a warm-up for what James Gunn has in store to reboot the DC Extended Universe of movies and future TV series.

As the world awaits everything that Max has in store for viewers, we compiled a list of the best shows on Max that can currently be found on the platform.

Last updated on May 31, 2024.

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 protagonist who elicits mixed feelings, at best.

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. Succession

Year: 2018-2023
Cast: Brian Cox, Jeremy Irons, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Aln Ruck, Matthew Macfadyen
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Four seasons, 39 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, especially in its fourth and final season. 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

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 in Los Angeles 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. Chernobyl

Year: 2019
Starring: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, Jesse Buckley, Paul Ritter
Genre: Drama series
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: One season, 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 in this period drama, 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

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 HBO 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 Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey, Mahershala Ali, Jodi Foster
Genre: Drama, Crime
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Four seasons, 27 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: Ten seasons, 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: Seven 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: One season, 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 video 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 a post-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: Four seasons, 32 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. South Park

Year: 1997 –
Cast: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Co.
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: 26 seasons, 320+ episodes
Trailer: Watch here

The one and the only. Back when this show debuted in the late 1990s, few would have imagined that Parker and Stone could maintain their edge, and sure enough, they’re branching out to other endeavors like resurrecting Casa Bonita but always come home. The gang (and their central critical characters) remains consistent in their criticism of everything worth skewering in society, and although this show frequently offends many, there’s always a glimmer of truth within their venom. Also, no one is immune from being a South Park subject, and that’s part of the show’s endless appeal.

Watch it on HBO

17. 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, 10 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

18. Big Little Lies

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

Nothing says prestige TV quite like Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon teaming up for a crime drama about a group of affluent housewives harboring dark secrets. They’re joined by Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, and Zoe Kravitz, all playing women and mothers struggling to project perfection in their personal lives and crumbling under the pressure of unhappy marriages, troublesome children, and, oh yeah, murder. It’s pure mess — gorgeous, expensive mess — and we’ve got our fingers crossed that another season is in the works.

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. The Knick

Year: 2014-2015
Cast: Clive Owen, Andre Holland
Genre: Drama, History
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Two seasons, 20 episodes
Created By: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler
Trailer: Watch here

Have you ever thought about how many drugs a 1900s-era surgeon consumed on a daily basis? Whatever the amount you’re imagining is, double it and it still won’t come close to the heaps of cocaine Clive Owen ingests in this gritty medical drama based on real-life stories of New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital. Owen plays a gifted and addicted surgeon on the cutting edge of medical innovation and a razor’s edge away from overdosing on opium thanks to a devastating drug habit. He helps to revolutionize the hospital with Andre Holland’s Dr. Algernon Edwards, a Black surgeon fighting against racism and prejudice endemic to the times. There’s plenty of drama away from the surgical table as well but be warned, this series is not for the weak-stomached.

Watch it on HBO Max

21. The Rehearsal

Year: 2022
Cast: Nathan Fielder
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, six episodes
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. The Jinx

Year: 2015-Present
Cast: Robert Durst
Genre: Documentary, Crime
Rating: TV-14
Runtime: Two seasons, 12 episodes
Created By: Andrew Jarecki
Trailer: Watch here

A thrilling true crime docuseries whose reception following its first season sparked multiple criminal investigations and unearthed long-buried evidence — hence the need for season two — Andrew Jarecki’s take on the fall of real estate heir Robert Durst is so darkly fascinating, you can’t look away.

Watch it on HBO Max

23. Mare of Easttown

Year: 2021
Cast: Kate Winslet, Evan Peters, Guy Perce, Angourie Rice, Sosie bacon, Juliane Nicholson, Jean 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

Year: 1997-2004
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.

Watch it on HBO Max

26. Somebody Somewhere

Year: 2022 –
Cast: Bridget Everett, Jeff Hiller, Mary Catherine Garrison
Genre: Dramedy
Rating:TV-MA
Creator: Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen
Seasons: Two seasons, 14 episodes
Trailer: Watch here

Comedian Bridget Everett is here to make you forget about Lena Dunham’s Camping, for which Everett was the most entertaining part. Of course, I’m minimizing her body of work by saying that, but here, she forges her own HBO way by portraying a woman gathering a group of fellow outsiders in her Kansan hometown. On the way, the show rolls through comedy and tragedy and paints a wonderfully warm story about a woman whose journey to find her own strengths could inspire others to do the same.

Watch it on HBO Max

27. 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

28. Station Eleven

Year: 2021
Cast: Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel, Matilda Lawler
Genre: Drama, Sci-fi
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 1 season, 10 episodes
Created By: Patrick Somerville
Trailer: Watch here

Patrick Somerville’s post-apocalyptic saga came at a time when the world was facing its own life-altering global tragedy. For that reason, this limited series didn’t breakout the way it should’ve. (Who wants to watch the world end on TV when it’s doing so in real life?) But if you did tune in, you discovered a beautiful, moving story spanning decades that shows how art connects us — despite plagues, time, and death. It’s gorgeously shot, wonderfully written, and made all the better by the performances of Mackenzie Davis, Matilda Lawler, and Himesh Patel.

Watch it on HBO Max

29. 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

30. The Regime

Year: 2024
Cast: Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Andrea Riseborough
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: One season, 6 episodes
Created By: Will Tracy
Trailer: Watch here

Kate Winslet plays a deranged autocrat in this deliciously debauched surrealist drama from Succession writer, Will Tracy. Her Chancellor Elena Vernham suffers from severe paranoia and delusions of grandeur, only made worse by a growing mold infestation and an unpredictable soldier (Matthias Schoenaerts), who gains her favor and begins to wield his own influence within her regime.

Watch it on HBO Max

31. Warrior

Year: 2019 –
Cast: Andrew Koji, Langley Kirkwood, Olivia Cheng
Genre: Action/Crime
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: Three seasons, 30 episodes
Created By: Jonathan Tropper
Trailer: Watch here

The martial-arts/crime-drama series inspired by Bruce Lee’s original, unrealized concept continues to hum away in San Francisco’s 19th century Chinatown while following the plight of rival tongs. This season picks up with the Chinese community maneuvering around new, racially-motivated laws that lead unlikely teammates to come together in ways that they’d otherwise prefer not to do. Universal themes collide with an unconventional assembly style, and the whole isn’t entirely cohesive, but that’s part of the show’s messy charm.

Watch it on HBO Max

32. The Sympathizer

Year: 2024
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Hoa Xuande, Sandra Oh
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: One season, 7 episodes
Created By: Park Chan-wook, Don McKellar
Trailer: Watch here

Based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel, this dark comedy is rooted in historical events, which only makes it more difficult to suss fact from fiction when it comes to its wild, sensational premise. Then again, when you’ve got Robert Downey Jr. bankrupting the show’s wig department, donning multiple prosthetics to play an absurd collection of eccentric antagonists, why wouldn’t you just enjoy the ride? Downey’s the draw, but the story centers on Hoa Xuande’s Captain, a communist spy who embeds himself in a US based immigrant community in order to report back to his superiors in Vietnam.

Watch it on HBO Max

33. Industry

Year: 2020 –
Cast: Myha’la Herrold, Marisa Abela, Ken Leung, David Jonsson
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: Two seasons, 17 episodes
Created By: Mickey Down, Konrad Kay
Trailer: Watch here

It’d be wrong to distill the essence of HBO’s Industry to “Succession, but make it Gen Z” and yet, if that gets more people to watch this thrilling, twist-filled drama about a group of hedge-fund rookies trying to survive in the cutthroat world of stocks, we’ll do it. Myha’la Herrold (Bodies, Bodies, Bodies) plays Harper, a young “graduate” hoping to make her mark at a London investment firm that is in competition with a slew of other promising young talents, all vying for praise and promotion on the trading floor. Their personal lives are just as messy and volatile as their greedy work dealings, which makes it hard to root for any of them to succeed and kind of delicious to see them fail.

Watch it on HBO Max

34. 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

35. Oz

Year(s): 1992 – 2003
Starring: Ernie Hudson, Terry Kinney, Rita Moreno, J. K. Simmons.
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: Six seasons, 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

36. Perry Mason

Year: 2020 – 2023
Cast: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance
Genre: Crime, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Two seasons, 16 episodes
Created By: Ron Fitzgerald, Rolin Jones
Trailer: Watch here

Matthew Rhys plays the famed LA detective in this updated period drama that never really got its due. Rhys’ Perry Mason is a depressed divorcee struggling with PTSD and filling the voids in his life with some pretty bad habits. Even still, he’s a damn good investigator ready to risk life and limb to take down corrupt oil barons and fanatic serial killers.

Watch it on HBO Max

37. 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

38. 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

39. Hacks

Year: 2021-Present
Cast: Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Three seasons, 27 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

40. The Undoing

Year: 2020
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Edgar Ramirez, Donald Sutherland
Genre: Thriller
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, six episodes
Created By: David E. Kelley
Trailer: Watch here

Nicole Kidman knows how to play paranoid and she does it so well in this twisty drama about an upper-crust New York psychologist who suspects her husband may be a murderer. Kidman’s Grace seemingly has it all — an Upper East Side townhouse, a prominent social circle, and a handsome husband named Jonathan (Hugh Grant) who works as an oncologist for a top NYC hospital. When the mother of one of her son’s school friends turns up dead and the murder investigation zeroes in on Jonathan as a prime suspect, everything she thought she knew about her life (and herself) comes crashing down.

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41. The Other Two

Year: 2019 – 2023
Cast: Helene Yorke, Drew Tarver, Ken Marino
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Three seasons, 30 episodes
Created By: Chris Kelly, Sarah Schneider
Trailer: Watch here

The Other Two is a fast-paced, joke-per-minute satire of Hollywood life that managed to always find a new gear with each new season aired. Helene Yorke and Drew Tarver play Brooke and Cary, two emotionally stunted nepo babies trying to find their 15 minutes of fame while competing with their younger sibling for their famous mom’s attention. (That mom happens to be played by Molly Shannon so… we get it.) As ridiculous as the hijinks can get, and unbelievably self-centered as the two leads are, this is a comedy with so much heart, it has the potential to become your next go-to comfort binge.

Watch it on HBO Max

42. Conan O’Brien Must Go

Year: 2024
Cast: Conan O’Brien
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: One season, four episodes
Created By: Jeff Ross, Mike Sweeny
Trailer: Watch here</p>

A spin-off of his hilarious podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, and a successor to his Without Borders travel show, this adventure-filled docuseries makes the case for why O’Brien might just be the funniest, most insightful tour guide on TV right now. Connecting with friends made on his podcast, Conan ventures to Norway, Argentina, Thailand, and Ireland, learning about the cultures and customs that separate and unite us — poking fun at his own ignorance along the way.

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43. Rap Sh!t

Year: 2022
Cast: Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 2 seasons, 17 episodes
Created By: Issa Rae
Trailer: Watch here

Issa Rae gives us another unapologetically funny Black girl-focused comedy, this time set in Florida and centered on two musically gifted hustlers ready to disrupt the world of hip-hop. KaMillion and Aida Osman play Mia and Shawna, a pair of self-made rappers hoping to glow up and get out of Miami. They do, with season two taking them on a cross-country tour that promises the chance at superstardom, but its their internal conflict — finding their voice in a cutthroat industry and maintaining their solid friendship — that’s even more interesting to watch.

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44. 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

45. The Gilded Age

Year: 2022
Cast: Carrie Coon, Morgan Spector, Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon
Genre: Historical Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Two seasons, 14 episodes
Created By: Julian Fellowes
Trailer: Watch here

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes sticks to his period drama roots for this turn-of-the-century tale set in 1880s New York. Carrie Coon and Morgan Spector play The Russells, railroad tycoons with enough money to buy an Upper East Side pad but not enough pedigree to infiltrate the elite circle of Old Manhattan. Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon play two of those grandfathered-in socialites gatekeeping the balls, parties, and ladies’ clubs Coon’s Bertha wants desperately to be a part of. Other guest stars and recurring acts include Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, Donna Murphy, and Michael Cerveris It’s all very low-stakes melodrama which makes it such a fun binge-watch.

Watch it on HBO Max

46. How To With John Wilson

Year: 2020
Cast: John Wilson
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: Three seasons, 18 episodes
Created By: John Wilson
Trailer: Watch here

In this fascinatingly humorous series launched during the pandemic, documentary filmmaker John Wilson sets out to explore the lives of his fellow New York City by covertly filming them while also offering them advice. However, in a similar vein to Nathan For You and The Rehearsal, Wilson is also dealing with his own issues that manifest in some weird and wildly unpredictable conservations that make How To a must-watch.

Watch it on HBO Max

47. Boardwalk Empire

Year: 2010 – 2014
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon
Genre: Crime/Drama
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: Three seasons, 56 episodes
Created By: Terence Winter
Trailer: Watch here

Martin Scorsese directed the pilot episode, and from there, it was off to the races for Steve Buscemi’s Nucky as he reigned over Atlantic City during Prohibition. Terence Winter built this puppy from the ground up and based the story upon the same-named book by Nelson Johnson, and the whole show is a lushly gratuitous portrayal of organized crime and the depths of corruption as reflected against a gritty historical backdrop. It’s also a blast to watch HBO revel in similarly big, gleefully shameless storytelling swings that also both educated and entertained in Deadwood.

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48. Our Flag Means Death

Year: 2022 – 2023
Cast: Taika Waititi, Rhys Darby
Genre: Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Creator: David Jenkins
Seasons: Two seasons, 18 episodes
Trailer: Watch here

Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby reunite for this nautical bromance. The show tasks Darby with playing a real-life aristocrat whose mid-life crisis sparked a desire to become a pirate. Stede Bonnet is the kind of sensitive, well-read captain that just might clean his ship of its toxic masculinity problem and introduce Waititi’s rugged, ready-to-retire Blackbeard to the finer things in life. A refreshing Queer love story and some surprising guest stars elevate this hijinks-fest on the high seas.

Watch it on HBO Max

49. Pushing Daisies

Year: 2007 – 2009
Cast: Lee Pace, Anna Friel
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Rating: TV-PG
Runtime: Two seasons, 22 episodes
Created By: Bryan Fuller
Trailer: Watch here

This fantasy mystery about a pie maker with the ability to bring the dead back to life was way ahead of its time – and not just because it manages to perfectly blend the genres of comedy and drama while delivering entertaining musical numbers and trippy visuals. The two-season ABC series also gave us Lee Pace as a well-meaning baker who becomes the hero of this forensic fantasy by bringing murder victims back from the dead to solve how they died. It’s the kind of quirky, romantic show we’ll probably never see again.

Watch it on HBO Max

TIE: 50. Smartless: On The Road

Year: 2023
Cast: Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Sean Hayes
Genre: Comedy, Docuseries
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: One season, six episodes
Created By: Sam Jones
Trailer: Watch here

Real-life BFFs Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes take their podcast gig on the road for this docuseries that follows the trio as they host a handful of live shows across the country. The premise is simple: watch Bateman grumpily argue with Arnett while Hayes quietly giggles along. Sometimes that’s interrupted by their actual shows, in which they invite a celebrity guest only one host has actually researched. But the joy and magic are found in the in-between moments as they eat, sleep, and travel together, griping like an old polyamorous married couple along the way.

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TIE: 50. Quiet On Set

Year: 2024
Cast: Drake Bell, Kate Taylor, Rick Ellis
Genre: Docuseries
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: One season, 4 episodes
Created By: Mary Robertson, Emma Schwartz
Trailer: Watch here

Yet another story of how terrible men in the entertainment industry use their power and privilege to prey on others, Max’s Quiet On Set exposes some truly stomach-churning abuse that happened during Nickelodeon’s heyday. Most of that came courtesy of Dan Schneider, the man behind some of the network’s biggest shows — think All That, Drake & Josh, Sam & Cat, and iCarly — but through interviews with stars like Drake Bell, the doc paints a bigger picture of corruption and greed, one that allowed multiple perpetrators to thrive and silenced too many victims.

Watch it on HBO Max