What's good on HBO Max?

Did a search for HBO Max, found a few launch-related threads, but nothing too recent. So anyway last week my wife and I decided to spring for HBO Max so we could stave off winter pandemic cabin fever by watching the first-run Warner Bros. movies being released in 2021, starting next week with Wonder Woman:1984, which sounds like it’ll be fun.

In the meantime, we’ve watched a few episodes of “The Flight Attendent”, the action-murder mystery-comedy with Kaley Cuoco. It’s pretty good. I had heard it described as “Hitchcockian”, which I guess, but it’s surprisingly heavy on the comedy.

Also we’re 2 episodes into “Raised by Wolves”, the sci-fi dystopian series by Ridley Scott. Quick synopsis: Earth is destroyed by war. Two rival groups head to an earth-like planet to start over- one group is children being raised by two Atheist androids called “father” and “mother”, and another group is a band of religious people who are against children being raised by androids, especially Atheist ones. Conflict ensues. Visually stunning but not really sure if I’m totally bought into it yet.

We also watched a couple episodes of a show called “The Brink”, a comedy about international politics and Middle-Eastern unrest that I hadn’t heard of, but is surprisingly good, and seems to have pretty high production values and some big names like Jack Black, and Tim Robbins playing a drunk philandering Secretary of State.

How about you guys-- any recommendations?

Two HBO comedy-dramas I really enjoyed were The Comeback (starring Lisa Kudrow) and Enlightened (starring Laura Dern). They each ran for 2 seasons so they’re a good size for bingeing.

The hbomax tag after Cafe Society will pull up every thread tagged as HBOMax.
As will this link: https://boards.straightdope.com/tag/hbomax

I found a few gems in their series.
Ghosts is a really funny BBC sitcom of 2 seasons (12 episodes)
Doom Patrol is an entertaining R rated DC comics entry.
Of course having nearly every Looney Tune available is nice.
A good number of classic movies under TCM.

If you haven’t watched it, Lovecraft Country was really good.

Dec 25 we get the new Wonder Woman 1984 movie.

Thanks for the link What_Exit! And, I’ve heard about Lovecraft Country, so I’ll probably check that one out too eventually.

HBO Max absorbed the old DC Universe streaming service. From that, Doom Patrol has already been mentioned. I also enjoyed Young Justice and Harley Quinn. Young Justice is a really well done, straightforward superhero animated series. Harley Quinn is an “adult” animated series about a psychotic anti-hero. It’s funny, if you share its sense of humor. Stargirl’s first season was a DC Universe/CW co-production, so the first season is now on HBO Max. I also thought it was a really well done, straightforward teen superhero live-action series. I personally found the other original programming, Titans and Swamp Thing, to be pretty much unwatchable.

Going beyond the DC Universe stuff:

Danny McBride has three comedy series that aired on HBO, now available on HBO max, East Bound and Down, Vice Principles, and The Righteous Gemstones. I have a good friend who worked on all three, so I’m bit biased, but I really liked Gemstones. The other two, though, even with that bias in their favor, I just didn’t think were funny, at all. YMMV.

Barry is a dark comedy about a hitman who tries, and fails, to go straight, and become an actor. I didn’t actually find it all that funny, but I still liked it, and binged both seasons recently.

HBO Max also currently has the full run of “NuWho”, the 2005 re-boot of “Doctor Who.” For my money, season 1 was ok, but seasons 2-7 were great. Seasons 5-7, the Matt Smith years, had some of my favorite TV, in any genre, ever. After, that I thought it declined significantly. Again, of course, YMMV.

HBO seems to really like documentary series about cults. I just finished the one on Heaven’s Gate; Cult of Cults and thought it was quite good and non-exploitive. Going Clear about Scientology was also pretty good. The Vow about nxivm, not so much (the “hero” defectors are kind of dicks.)

BTW: Band of Brothers is of course available on HBOMax, if you never seen it or haven’t seen for 10 years or more, well worth watching. It has held up perfectly of course.

I guess it depends on how many HBO shows you’ve seen?

Because otherwise, you have The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome, The Leftovers, The Young Pope (and second season called The New Pope), Six Feet Under, Westworld (S1 is good, the rest, eh), Watchmen, Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Barry, The Righteous Gemstones, etc. All fantastic shows.

Are you just looking for new HBO Max produced content, or anything in the HBO library?

If you’ve not seen any HBO shows, the recent miniseries Chernobyl is a must see. And seconding Barry. It’s really darkly funny.

That’s what I’ve been watching (I’m almost done with the second season). It’s a lot of fun if nonstop cursing and ultra-violence doesn’t make you shy away. Perfectly inoffensive animated characters die horribly almost every episode, sometimes a lot of them. But it’s a hoot and like Flight Attendant the main character is played quite well by Kaley Cuoco.

I also noticed when I first started browsing that it currently has Over the Garden Wall, which I had missed the first episode of way back when. That was well worth revisiting. Great little short Halloweeny animated series if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill.

Good question. I still don’t quite understand the difference between HBO Max and plain ol’ HBO. I think HBO Max is Warner Bros., which owns HBO, so Max is all of HBO plus a lot of Warner Bros. properties, is that right?

I’m open to any suggestions that can be viewed through HBO Max, though I have had HBO at times in the past and have seen many of ISiddiqui’s and others’ HBO recs. Totally agree about Westworld ISiddiqui-- S1 was good, but S2 kind of went off the rails, and I bailed halfway through. Watched both seasons of Barry and enjoyed it a lot, though it does have a weird tone-- not just dark humor,it swings back and forth between being sitcommy and ultra-violent.

The Righteous Gemstones sounds interesting. The Leftovers-- hmmm I see that’s a Lindelof gig. After Lost I don’t know if I can do anything Lindelof. Is the plot a Rapture thing? Don’t think I can do Rapture plots either.

I watched ep.1 of Watchmen last night. Seems much more gritty, realistic and inspired by real current events than the movie, which I understand was not a good screen translation of the comic series. Those bastards, they killed Don Johnson!

I might give this a try! Between Flight Attendant and HQ, Ms. Cuoco is having quite the post-Big Bang career.

There’s a good thread on the board about the show, but it’s likely full of spoilers. It can certainly be described as a Rapture thing. I watched it a year ago, and still think about it occasionally. It was so well done, and so complete of a story (something that I know Lindelof has trouble with). It’s one of the most satisfying stories on television I’ve ever seen.

The Leftovers never offered an explanation why those people (a randomly selected two percent of the world population) all disappeared at the same instant.

That’s pretty close to spoiler territory.

The Pacific is similar to Band of Brothers and also very good.

McMillions is a good documentary

Not really. That’s the whole premise of the show. It’s really more about how the rest (the leftovers, in other words) deal with the event and the loss. In a way, it was really just about grief on a mass scale.

Thanks Munch, based on this description I’ll put Leftovers on the watch list.

In addition, Lindelof also did Watchmen after Leftovers. Right now, I’d argue he’s on my must watch writers/producers.

And yes HBO Max is HBO plus WB stuff and some originals (Raised by Wolves, Love Life, Flight Attendant).

Don’t forget TCM & Studio Gibli

C’mon and grab your friends.