Finding the best shows to binge on HBO Max is like finding the best meal to eat at a Michelin star restaurant. No matter what you choose, it will be worth every penny.
Thanks to the impressive catalog of HBO programming and the library of shows available through Warner Bros., there’s no shortage of quality content from HBO Max. In fact, it arguably has the best offering of movies and television out of any streaming service on the market.
We’ll review 25 of the best shows for your next HBO Max binge-watch session. There’s no way we can go over every show worth a watch, so please let us know what we missed in the comments below.
We kick off our list of the best shows to binge on HBO Max with what might be the best. Veep is a sharp, non-stop, hysterical political comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President Selena Meyer.
The political comedy leans heavily on Washington D.C. dysfunction, featuring a constant barrage of insults so witty and clever that you can’t help but be impressed.
Like many of the best shows you can binge-watch, Veep only gets better and better with subsequent viewings. The jokes fly so quickly that you can’t help but miss a couple the first time around. Additional re-watches allow you to pick up on everything you missed while still laughing at the jokes you remember.
What began as a fish-out-of-water comedy-drama has become appointment viewing.
Bill Hader’s Barry is a story about an ex-soldier turned assassin-for-hire trying to make it as an actor in Los Angeles. Barry quickly realizes that there’s no escaping his past and that he is who he really is.
Subsequent seasons dive deeper into the drama aspects of the show. The comedy and humor will shine, but you’re no longer watching Barry for the laughs. You’re watching it because it’s one of the best stories on television.
Henry Winkler, Stephen Root, and Sarah Goldberg also give stellar performances.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Believe it or not, it’s possible that Seinfeld can be even more unfiltered. Or, I suppose, specifically George Costanza. That makes it a very worthy addition to our list of the best shows to binge on HBO Max.
Curb Your Enthusiasm is Larry David being Larry David at his most, well, Larry David. The series thrives off improvisation and off-the-cuff dialogue; episodes are outlined with only a handful of written script pages. The result is some of the funniest moments in television.
Larry David plays up the persona of “George Costanza to the max” perfectly, which makes sense since George Costanza is based on David himself. Supporting cast performances from Susie Essman, J.B. Smoove, and the late Bob Einstein all stand out, as do the constant guest star appearances.
Game of Thrones
Before failing to stick the landing, Game of Thrones was the HBO Max binge-watch show.
George R. R. Martin’s take on fantasy offers plenty of political intrigues, backstabbing, and plot twists. Unlike other similar entries in the genre, such as Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones only uses the fantasy setting to serve as a vehicle for the show’s narrative and character development.
Game of Thrones also deserves credit for not being afraid to make difficult decisions regarding handling its characters. Regardless of how important they seem to the plot, nobody is safe; well, for the first few seasons, anyway. Characters gain some serious plot armor as time goes on.
Enough with the negativity, though, peak Game of Thrones is appointment television. Its prequel series, House of the Dragon, is also off to a great start.
Next on our list of best shows to binge on HBO Max is one of the greatest television programs of all time.
The Sopranos combines a compelling story and gripping performances from its cast. Widely regarded as one of, if not the absolute best, series ever made, The Sopranos helped put serial programming on the map.
Gone were the days of one-off stories and resets with each new episode. The Sopranos delivers captivating drama that keeps you coming back every week.
Its greatest feat may be how it portrayed the Italian mob. Rather than focusing on the crime aspect, The Sopranos showcases the daily life of Tony Soprano and his family, helping to humanize the show’s characters and allowing viewers to empathize better, resulting in a more involved and interested audience.
While some view our previous entry on our list of best HBO Max binge-watch shows as the greatest shows of all time, others will vehemently defend The Wire and its place in television history.
The series is created by David Simon, a former police reporter, and Ed Burns. Events are based on Burns’ experiences as a homicide detective in Baltimore. Storylines focus on several aspects of law enforcement.
Fans and critics fell in love with the series, yet it struggled to find an audience. While the show’s dialogue and content won over its cult audience with intensity, it may have turned others off. Either way, The Wire is well worth your time.
John Cena’s casting in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad was originally met with nervous excitement. Now here we are, desperately waiting for another season of Peacemaker.
Cena’s comedic ability and timing are impeccable. He is a natural fit for the type of superhero show Peacemaker is: irrelevant, D-level superhero goodness.
Gunn continues to showcase that he’s in a league of his own in the comic book genre. His ability to weave humor and mystery is second to none.
Peacemaker also manages to master the art of the end of the episode cliffhanger. It’s frustrating during its weekly releases, but it makes it much more satisfying when a new episode comes out.
Oh, and the intro is 100% unskippable.
Next up on our list of best shows to binge on HBO Max is the inside look at NFL training camp.
Hard Knocks gives viewers a look at training camps for a different NFL team every year. The National Football League, particularly the build to the season when teams are finalizing their rosters, is often billed as the ultimate reality season.
The series gives unprecedented looks inside the off-season programs, camps, practices, and even now, mid-season looks inside an NFL team. It’s a sports lover’s dream come true.
For over 25 years, South Park has been making fun of celebrities, trending topics, and anything else in between.
Over time, South Park has adapted its humor to tackle the issues of the times. The show isn’t afraid to pull punches and almost always knows how to truly mock and make fun of people.
Recent trends with South Park have leaned more into season-long story arcs or narratives with consequences. The days of everything going back to normal once the credits roll are over, and the show manages to pull it off well.
With over 300 episodes available, it’s a perfect choice for your next HBO Max binge-watch session.
While Westworld has been uneven in terms of the quality of its episodes, it’s still one of the best shows on HBO Max.
Evan Rachel Wood continually controls every scene she’s in. The emotion and wrath of Delores are felt constantly through her performance.
The first season is undoubtedly the high mark for the series. Unraveling the mystery of the park and the characters’ secrets remains one of the best stories I’ve ever watched unfold.
Come to see Liam McPoyle in a serious role. Stay to be blown away by Jimmi Simpson’s talent.
While there’s only one season of Watchmen, it sure made it count.
Continuing the themes and fallout from the beloved graphic novel, the world of Watchmen is brought to life by creator Damon Lindelof.
The show’s decision to expand the source material’s universe rather than adapt pays off well. It gives the audience a deeper look into the dystopian superhero-filled alternate reality while also touching on the darkest days of American history.
HBO’s Watchmen is a beautiful and haunting tale that doubles as a well-crafted commentary on the current state of affairs in America and is well worth an HBO Max binge-watch.
The West Wing
The beloved political drama is also one of the best shows to binge on HBO Max.
The Aaron Sorkin show is packed with a star-studded cast and even better dialogue screenwriting. From the creation of the “walk-and-talk” to the Sorkin style of writing, The West Wing is captivating television.
While it may not be accurate, West Wing can still capture the look and feel of life inside the White House. As one of the best political dramas ever created, it was appointment viewing during its initial run and is still completely binge-worthy even today.
The cult classic Deadwood is 100% worthy of being your next HBO Max binge-watch.
For three seasons, viewers watched a brutal, blunt, and visceral depiction of the Old West. Not just in terms of violence but in language as well. I hope you’re okay with gratuitous cussing!
As with many of the best shows we’ve discussed, the combination of brilliant writing and strong performances steal the show. Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane own their roles and set the path for a captivating and memorable experience.
Yes, you read that right. Looney Tunes is on our list of what you need to watch for your next HBO Max binge-watch.
The timeless animated shorts are as funny as you remember them being. The humor, style, and delivery will please anyone from the age of 1 to 92.
There’s no denying the impact that Looney Tunes has on the industry. The characters, slapstick, one-liners; everything about Looney Tunes is incredibly iconic.
I remember being super excited when Cartoon Network started airing Looney Tunes marathons on New Year’s Day. Now there’s no more waiting; I can watch it whenever possible.
Aaron McGruder’s comic strip comes to life with the Adult Swim cartoon.
The Boondocks is never afraid to tackle the important issues when dealing with race relations and living as a black person in America.
The star-studded cast carries the show’s already sharp and pointed commentary and satire. Regina King and Robert Freeman lead the way, delivering unforgettable performances as they bring the Freeman family to life.
The Venture Bros.
Next on our list of the best shows to binge on HBO Max comes to an Adult Swim cartoon that has aged like a fine bottle of wine.
The Venture Bros. is everything you know and love about old-school Saturday morning cartoons. Blending in the comic/superhero genres with the on-brand Adult Swim style of humor is on point.
Venture Bros. is one of the best Adult Swim shows ever made. Its run was unceremoniously cut short and is one of television’s biggest injustices.
How do I write about Smiling Friends without just constantly quoting the show?
One of the best things to release on Adult Swim in quite some time, Smiling Friends blends surreal humor with a Seinfeld-esque approach to television. Most of the dialogue is just the characters naturally interacting with each other.
This blend of relatable humor juxtaposed with absurdity works extraordinarily well together. Episodes will introduce a plot before putting it on the back burner so characters can chat or go about their lives.
In typical Seinfeld fashion, things will usually come full circle, as if the entire episode is just one big setup for the final punchline.
Also, there’s this clip, too.
Please watch Smiling Friends.
Rick and Morty
One of the most popular adult cartoons on the planet makes our list of best shows to binge on HBO Max.
Rick and Morty blends absurd humor with sharp-witted dry dialogue. The titular characters are a riff on Back to the Future’s Doc Brown and Marty McFly. Instead of grounded adventures, Rick and Morty engage in interdimensional sci-fi chaos.
Co-created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, Harmon’s influence is felt throughout. The absurdity and zaniness that Community is known for are constantly present; Roiland’s voice talent helps take things over the top.
Where Rick and Morty truly shines is the strength of all characters. Everyone has their particular role and plays it extremely well. The supporting cast of Summer, Jerry, and Beth not only strengthens a strong main cast but also unlocks the show’s true potential. Rick and Morty wouldn’t be as funny without them.
The Seth Green stop motion animation Adult Swim comedy blends the best of irrelevant humor, pop culture jokes, and sketch shows.
Robot Chicken tackles anything and everything, from spoofing movies, television, video games, and celebrities, while offering original sketches. The stop-motion style only adds to the over-the-top style of the show.
Eleven minute episodes allow a constant flurry of bits, sketches, and jokes to keep coming at you. They may not all hit, but they’ll make you laugh.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
One of the greatest Adult Swim shows of all time makes our list of best shows to binge on HBO Max.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force combines the best of insanely absurd and over-the-top humor. The show’s characters are as insane as they come: a brilliant scientist, a conniving sociopath, and a child-like young adult all share a house in New Jersey. They just so happen to be a box of fries, a milkshake, and a wad of meat.
The show’s characters help drive the humor home. Somehow, these three starring characters are the most normal in the show, which is a testament to how funny Aqua Teen Hunger Force can be.
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
Harvey Birdman is peak Adult Swim, combining the classic Hanna Barbara cartoons with a modern story of an attorney representing them in court.
The classic Adult Swim absurd style of comedy is felt throughout. Bringing in the classic Hanna Barbara characters, complete with all of their quirks, into the modern era of adult cartoons is a recipe for success.
Harvey Birdman pays incredible homage to the classic characters. We don’t realize how messed up some of them really are. Some liberties are taken, but the message is still clear and understood.
This may also be the most quotable Adult Swim show, too.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
A news show on our list of best shows to binge on HBO Max?
Indeed, Last Week Tonight focuses not just on current events with a drop of comedy but also hard-hitting long-form journalism.
John Oliver took his guest hosting stint on The Daily Show and earned his own series. Oliver’s ability to make the audience care about the most seemingly mundane yet important matters is brilliant.
He and his team bring to light constant issues that all need immediate addressing and acknowledgment. When he’s not sparring with random cities, that is. Or when he’s not randomly buying items online just for comedic value.
The Rehearsal is the new Nathan Fielder-driven “reality” show that HBO somehow green-lit. The premise of The Rehearsal seems innocuous enough. What if you had the opportunity to rehearse contentious moments in your life? Imagine having to break up with a girlfriend, quit a job, or make a big speech. These are the moments most of us would want to rehearse. But Nathan being Nathan, takes it farther than we could have imagined.
The first episode finds Nathan building an exact scale replica of a New York bar so a man can rehearse spilling the beans to his trivia team that he lied about his education. The show only gets crazier from there, with Nathan hiring round-the-clock child actors to allow a woman to rehearse motherhood.
By the end of the series, you’ll wonder what was real and what was staged. Who was in on it, and who were the actors? Nathan Fielder’s comedy has been the subject of analysis for many years. But it turns out the only one that can truly provide a commentary on Nathan Fielder is Nathan himself.
Written by Joe Moore
The latest HBO obsession is the next entry on our list of best shows for your next HBO Max binge-watch.
Succession is the satirical black comedy/drama detailing the fictional Roy family and their global media empire. Naturally, nothing goes according to plan.
Like the best HBO shows, Succession perfects the blend of comedic timing and dramatic intrigue. The star-studded cast earns well-deserved praise with their performances.
The Righteous Gemstones
Last but certainly not least on our list of best shows to binge on HBO Max comes the most recent series from Danny McBride.
Righteous Gemstones satirizes the world of non-denominational mega-churches but does so with both a comedic and dramatic effect. The show’s writers can perfectly balance the drama and tension of a Succession-lite story with plenty of jokes and humor.
The true peak of the show is the constant insults the Gemstone family throws at each other. It’s often on par with Veep in terms of the effectiveness and creativity of the insults.
We waited far too long between the first and second seasons of Righteous Gemstones, but the wait was well worth it. The show is the total package: humor, drama, mystery, intrigue, and style.
How did we do on our list of the best shows to binge on HBO Max? What did we leave out? What would you have removed? Please keep the conversation going and let us know in the comments below!