The best (and worst) shows to stream on Max

Whether you want fantasy, family drama, or political, Max has a show or two for you. Here are the six best and three worst shows on the HBO streamer.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and The Hound (Rory McCann) in Game of Thrones season 8.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and The Hound (Rory McCann) in Game of Thrones season 8. /

The streaming services are packed with great TV. They’re also packed with some shows that aren’t worth a second look. Max is just the same as all the rest.

There is a broad catalog of shows across the HBO streamer. You can watch HBO Originals, or you can check out the Max Originals. And it doesn’t matter if you want something in the fantasy genre, romance, family drama, or even political.

With such a large catalog of choice, it can be overwhelming. We’re looking at the six shows worth checking out on Max, with three that you’ll want to just skip over.

6 shows worth watching on Max

Game of Thrones (and House of the Dragon)

Of course, Game of Thrones is the most obvious choice, but there’s a reason there are more and more spin-offs in the works. It’s simply an epic series—well, the first five seasons are. The series brings us a lot of storylines that join together in surprising ways. We get a look at what humans are really like in the fight for power and notary. Plus, Tyrion Lannister! Who doesn’t want to watch one of the most unassuming characters becoming the best?

I’m also including House of the Dragon in this listing, so technically there are seven shows to watch (for the seven kingdoms!). The prequel series is a little hit and miss, but the graphics are excellent and there is the potential for some major dramatic moments coming in the second season.

Photograph by Michele K. Short/HBO /

True Detective

If you’re in the mood for a crime drama, the True Detective crime anthology is a must. Each season is a different cast with vastly different characters and relationship dynamics. This is one of those shows that keeps you guessing all the way to the end as you follow the twists and turns.

There’s a great balance of professional and personal lives thrown into the mix. Then there’s a conspiracy thrown into the mix. Oh, and the most recent season, Night Country, includes corpsicles.

Love Life Season 1, Episode 1 - Courtesy of WarnerMedia/JoJo Whilden /

Love Life

When Max first started out, there were only a few originals arriving each month. One that started it all off was Love Life. It followed Anna Kendrick’s Darby through her adult years trying to find love and happiness. The second season follows Marcus, who is looking for the same, although under some very different circumstances.

The series is a great reminder that life isn’t always like the movies. Relationships don’t work out the way you think they should, and marriage isn’t always what society tells you it is. Sometimes, you need to love yourself before you can love another.

Rap Sh!t. Photograph by Alicia Vera/HBO Max. /

Rap Sh!t

There are a lot of shows that focus on music. We have Nashville and Empire, but Max brought us something a little different. We have Rap Sh!t. This series follows two female best friends who want to be rappers. Instead of competing against each other, they decide to team up.

We need more shows that focus on women working together, holding each other up. This series is such a great look at female empowerment, and it’s hilarious at the same time. With all that, you have some music.

Our Flag Means Death Image by Nicola Dove
Our Flag Means Death Image by Nicola Dove /

Our Flag Means Death

Anyone else still salty about the cancellation? Our Flag Means Death is one of the best looks of what it means to be gay. Sure, it’s set in the 1700s, but that doesn’t take away from the way that this connects to so many people in today’s world.

The series follows Stede Bonnet, a fictionalized version of a real person from history. Forget what you know about history, though. This is all about the pirate’s life, with the drama, the open seas, and the romance. As soon as you start watching the series, you won’t be able to turn it off. Can someone save it already?

pedro-pascal-bella-ramsey_0 Joel Ellie The Last of Us
Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO /

The Last of Us

You didn’t think I’d miss this one, did you? In a world full of adaptations, there’s always the risk of not quite getting it right. That’s especially when it comes to popular game franchises. How do you turn some of that game play into a TV show? Well, The Last of Us showed us how.

This isn’t just a series about the survival of two people traveling the country. This brings us a look at love in a time of fear, what it’s like for those with health problems in a post-apocalyptic world, and healing broken hearts. The NPCs from the game are given bigger storylines and heartfelt moments that will have you tearing up throughout the first season. You’ll get to the end needing more.

3 worst shows on Max

The Brink

Political satires should work well. In fact, there are plenty that do. The Brink wasn’t one of them, despite having Jack Black in a leading role.

This series is just over the top. There are too many caricatures that leave you needing more to even care about anything that is happening. It’s no wonder that HBO reversed its second season renewal, and you have probably forgotten all about the 2015 original.


You would think that Jennifer Garner and David Tennant would bring an excellent series full of comedic drama. It’s no wonder we all signed up to watch Camping. Sadly, it was a misfire on all accounts.

The comedy just wasn’t there, falling flat far more than it should. Garner was supposed to be this control-freak mom, who would go too far on a comedic level. Instead, it just made everyone cringe. If it’s still on your to-watch list, you can skip it.

The Idol /

The Idol

There’s nothing wrong with pushing boundaries. We love Euphoria for that. It doesn’t always work, though, and sometimes art is far too close to reality. That was the case with The Idol.

The series follows a pop sensation who falls for a creepy club promoter. We get the dark underbelly of showbiz, and there are certainly scenes that are simply gratuitous and serve no point to the overall plot. The performances don’t sell the story, either. This is too much for the current world, and some things don’t need to be shown on screen.

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