A Complete Guide to HBO Max Original Shows and Movies
So far, so good. Here's what's on and what's coming soon.
HBO Max launched in spring 2020, and in addition to an impressive library of licensed and original movies, documentaries, and series to watch, the streaming service is also pumping out its own original programming. Harnessing the power of its prominent linear arm HBO as well as other Warner Media properties, HBO Max is poised to carve out its place in a crowded market that includes Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+, Hulu, and many other streaming services. Already, HBO Max has released a solid mix of its own scripted, reality, and docu- series, movies, and documentaries, many of which featuring big, exciting names behind them, and there's more on the way. Below, we've rounded up all of the Max originals currently available and we also look ahead at what's coming down the pike.
Adventure Time: Distant Lands - BMO
45 minute special
The first of four breakout specials bringing our favorite Adventure Time characters back to our TV screens, Adventure Time: Distant Lands - BMO follows Finn and Jake's beloved computer/gaming console/electrical outlet/alarm clock BMO as they find themselves on an alien planet in need of saving.
An American Pickle
Movie, 1 hour 29 minutes
Seth Rogen stars in this comedy directed by Brandon Trost about Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling 1920s laborer with dreams of a better life in America, who falls into a vat of pickle juice and is brined for 100 years, perfectly preserved until he emerges a century later and has to figure out how to connect with his only living relative, a young computer coder also played by Seth Rogen.
Arthur's Law1 season, 6 episodes
What's the German word for "planning to murder your wife for the life insurance"? That's what a down-a-his-luck man plans to do in this dark comedy imported from Germany, (obviously) causing a disastrous chain of events.
Beth Stelling: Girl DaddyComedy special, 58 minutes
Comedian Beth Stelling's first-ever comedy special in which she tries to have tough conversations about what it's like to be a woman today.
Charm City KingsMovie, 2 hours 4 minutes
Rapper Meek Mill makes his acting debut in this coming-of-age film as the leader of a Baltimore dirt bike group who takes a young boy (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) under his wing when he's desperate to join the crew after his brother's death.
Chelsea Handler: EvolutionComedy special, 1 hour 8 minutes
In Chelsea Handler's latest stand-up special, the comedian is looking inward at her personal journey toward becoming more self-aware and how her experience with therapy helped get her there.
Class Action ParkDocumentary, 1 hour 30 minutes
This documentary examines the wild story behind the notorious Action Park, a long-shuttered amusement park in Vernon, New Jersey that was chock full of hazardous rides and safety and labor violations.
1 season, 8 episodes
An adult animation comedy series from J.G. Quintel, the creator of Cartoon Network's irreverent Regular Show, Close Enough follows a millennial family living with roommates, and all the strange, surreal antics the group gets up to.
Colin Quinn & Friends: A Parking Lot Comedy ShowComedy special, 49 minutes
Colin Quinn wrangled a handful of his comic friends like Rachel Feinstein, Chris DiStefano, Keith Robinson, and others for a night of laughs in this stand-up special, shot at a drive-in movie theater.
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The Dog House: UK
1 season, 8 episodes
Animal lovers, here come the waterworks. This docuseries, which originally aired on Channel 4 in the UK, is about a dog rescue center in the British countryside and tells the adoption stories of all its four-legged friends.
Doom Patrol2 seasons, 16 episodes
The second season of DC Universe's quite good superhero team-up show, about a group of superpowered people who all got their powers through tragic circumstances, premiered on the platform. The first season of the show followed the five heroes as they attempted to find and rescue their creator and protector the Chief, who had been kidnapped by Mr. Nobody. The second season is also available on DC Universe.
Equal1 season, 4 episodes
This four-part docudrama features historical footage and reenactments from stars like Samira Wiley, Cheyenne Jackson, and others to chronicle the LGBTQ+ movement in the 20th century leading up to the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. Billy Porter narrates.
1 season, 3 episodes
This three-part documentary series follows comedian Amy Schumer as she created her stand-up special Growing during her difficult pregnancy. Described as "unfiltered and intimate," Expecting Amy is directed and edited by Alexander Hammer, who also edited Beyoncé's Homecoming Coachella concert doc.
The Flight Attendant1 season, 8 episodes
Kaley Cuoco stars in this adaptation of Chris Bohjalian's popular novel of the same name as a flight attendant with a penchant for partying who wakes up in a hotel in Bangkok with a passenger she spent the night with—only to find him murdered and her with no recollection of what happened the night before.
1 season, 6 episodes
A comedy series set in 1989, Frayed follows fabulously wealthy London housewife Sammy Cooper, who is forced to return to her hometown in Australia and confront the reasons why she fled to another country years before. This is the US premiere of the series, which was broadcast last year by the Australian Broadcasting Company and Sky in the UK.
Fresh Prince of Bel Air ReunionSpecial, 1 hour 15 minutes
Although it's not a new episode to check in on the Fresh Prince all grown up, the original cast including Will Smith, Tatyana Ali, Alfonso Ribeiro, and others got back together to for a candid conversation reminiscing on the classic sitcom upon its 30th anniversary.
Full Bloom1 season, 8 episodes
10 rising floral designers compete for a cash prize to help launch their dream florist business by facing off in challenges creating gorgeous displays.
The Great Pottery Throw Down3 seasons, 24 episodes
If you're a fan of the competition and pleasantries of The Great British Baking Show, good—this British import comes from TGBBS creators and it's basically just like that except with pottery. It's been on the air overseas since 2015, but it just made its stateside debut on HBO Max.
Haute Dog1 season, 6 episodes
You've seen the makeover shows, but have you ever seen a doggie makeover show? This 12-episode Max original is a whole new pooch-friendly competition series where groomers face off at giving a handful of good boys and gals their best and wildest looks.
Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cult1 season, 4 episodes
A four-part docuseries about the infamous UFO cult Heaven's Gate, its leader Marshall Applewhite, and what led to the largest mass suicide in US history.
House of Ho
1 season, 7 episodes
This multi-generational family docusoap follows the Ho family, whose parents emigrated to Houston from Vietnam and started multiple business ventures, including a multi-million-dollar bank and a real estate development company. The reality series focuses on the connections and outrageous drama that ties the family closer together.
I Hate Suzie1 season, 8 episodes
British actress Billie Piper stars in the dark comedy I Hate Suzie as Suzie Pickles, a former teen pop star whose life starts to unravel after her phone is hacked and her nude photos leak online.
Legendary1 season, 9 episodes
An unscripted series that focuses on the competitive dance style of voguing, Legendary pits eight houses of divas against each other to complete challenges to win a cash prize, ultimately achieving "legendary" status. You may recall this show making headlines for a mistaken announcement that Jameela Jamil (who has not historically identified herself with the LGBTQ+ community) would be a judge and the MC—after a general outcry against the choice HBO Max clarified that the MC will be ballroom legend Dashaun Wesley. Jamil joins Megan Thee Stallion, Law Roach, and Leiomy Maldonado at the judges' table.
Let Them All TalkMovie, 1 hour 53 minutes
This Steven Soderbergh film takes place on a transatlantic cruise ship where Meryl Streep plays an author who sets sail with her (estranged) best friends portrayed by Candice Bergen and Diane Wiest, her nephew (Lucas Hedges), and literary agent (Gemma Chan) to dig up old wounds en route to a receive a literary award in the UK.
1 season, 10 episodes
Anna Kendrick stars in this anthology series that follows one person's romances throughout their life, from their very first to their last. The series was co-produced by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) and also stars Scoot McNairy, Lesley Manville, and Zoë Chao (Strangers).
Mo Willems and The Storytime All-Stars Present: Don't Let the Pigeon Do Storytime!1 season, 8 episodes
Forget your typical comedy specials: Children's book author Mo Willems is getting his own live-action special. The author of the popular Elephant and Piggie and Pigeon books is bringing stories and sketches that inspired his work to the stage, and he'll be joined by names like Yvette Nicole Brown and Rachel Dratch to help bring them to life.
The Murders at White House Farm
1 season, 6 episodes
This is another British import that first aired in early 2020 and is now headed to HBO Max. The six-part miniseries is a dramatization of the twisty murder of the Bamber-Caffell family who died at their home on White House Farm in Essex in the 1985.
My Gift: A Christmas Special from Carrie UnderwoodSpecial, 54 minutes
Country star Carrie Underwood released the Christmas album My Gift in 2020, and this special sees it brought to life with performances of the tracks from Underwood backed by an orchestra and choir.
On the Record
Documentary, 1 hour 38 minutes
A "harrowing" documentary about the struggles of women of color in the #MeToo movement, focusing primarily on the accusers of hip-hop record executive Russell Simmons, made headlines before it was released for its failed deals with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Apple. But after its Sundance premiere this past winter, HBO Max picked it up, so you can watch the controversial content for yourselves.
On the Trail: Inside the 2020 PrimariesDocumentary 1 hour 34 minutes
Produced by CNN Films, this documentary closely follows the CNN reporters assigned to covering the presidential primaries in early 2020, examining how challenging of a job it is to be a woman in the role.
Pure1 season, 6 episodes
This adaptation of Rose Cartwright's book of the same name first aired on Channel 4 in the UK before it hit HBO Max. Pure is a British comedy that follows a 24-year-old woman learning to live with mental illness and understand her uncontrollable sexual thoughts as she moves from her small Scottish town to London.
Raised By Wolves1 season, 10 episodes
This sci-fi series, which is executive produced and partly directed by Ridley Scott, was at first billed as a show set on some far-off planet where androids are tasked with raising human children when Earth is no longer inhabitable. It is about that, and much more, making it one of HBO Max's earliest epic, truly original releases.
Ravi Patel's Pursuit of Happiness1 season, 4 episodes
Actor and documentarian Ravi Patel spearheads this four-part travel series. But unlike many travel shows where the host gets introduced to the locals, Patel brings his family and friends along in his journey, to both learn local customs of Denmark, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and discuss universal, heady topics with them.
Roald Dahl's The WitchesMovie, 1 hour 45 minutes
Growing up, Anjelica Huston probably gave you the frights playing the Grand High Witch in the '90s adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Witches—and now Anne Hathaway is going to cast a spell on a whole new generation of kiddos. She's leading the cast in this remake from Richard Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump) of the children's classic about a boy and his grandmother who stumble upon a witch convention and get caught up in their evildoing.
Rose Matafeo: HorndogComedy special, 58 minutes
A stand-up special that takes a deep dive into what it means to be horny from New Zealand-based comedian Rose Matafeo.
3 seasons, 30 episodes
After broadcasting its first two seasons on TBS, the cultish, underrated comedy Search Party moved over to HBO Max for its third season, and soon-to-be-released fourth. The black comedy neo-noir follows a group of young New Yorkers who attempt to solve—and, later, cover up—a murder mystery.
Selena + Chef1 season, 10 episodes
One of the first pandemic-produced shows (of many to come, surely), this series finds actress/singer Selena Gomez trying to get the hang of cooking while quarantined at home this year. Each episode finds the star joined by a famous chef, including Roy Choi, Ludo Lefebvre, and others to give her pointers on mastering the kitchen.
Singletown1 season, 15 episodes
Singletown is a reality show that's just asking for trouble. The London-based series invites five young couples to call it quits on their relationship for the time being and spend an unhinged summer apart—partying with other singles, not for personal introspection—to reevaluate whether they want to be together.
Stylish with Jenna Lyons1 season, 8 episodes
Former J. Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons fronts this new fashion series that's part documentary style/part competition show, as it follows her as she launches her latest interior design and beauty business ventures, while testing out new creative members for her team.
SuperintelligenceMovie, 1 hour 46 minutes
Funny husband and wife duo Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy teamed up for another comedy. Falcone directs this action comedy starring McCarthy, who plays a regular woman who becomes the first target of an AI, or "superintelligence," that's taken over all of her devices, and must act fast before the technology wreaks havoc on humanity.
12 Dates of Christmas1 season, 9 episodes
As anyone obsessed with dating shows knows, it's a big deal to bring somebody home to meet the parents, and an even bigger deal to bring them home over the holidays. This reality series tries to match up three singles with the perfect cutie to celebrate Christmas with by sending them on a handful of festive dates under the mistletoe.
Two Weeks to Live1 season, 6 episodes
Another British series making its way to the US on HBO Max, Two Weeks to Live stars Maisie Williams as a young woman raised in isolation by her doomsday prepper mother. When she believes the end really is imminent, she sets out looking for the man who once murdered her father to seek revenge in her "final days."
UnpregnantMovie, 1 hour 44 minutes
Euphoria actress Barbie Ferreira and Haley Lu Richardson star in this movie about a pair of friends who set out on a road trip from Missouri to New Mexico when one (Richardson) discovers she's pregnant and cannot get an abortion in their home state without her parents' consent.
Valley of Tears1 season, 10 episodes
This Israeli import was one of the most expensive shows to produce in all of Israeli TV's history. The war drama chronicles the lead up to and the battles of the October 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Veneno1 season, 8 episodes
A Spanish co-production with HBO Max, Veneno is a biographical look at trans icon Cristina Ortiz Rodríguez, best known as La Veneno, chronicling her challenging upbringing, rise to fame, and relationship with trans writer Valeria Vegas who wrote her memoir.
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All VoteSpecial, 1 hour 4 minutes
Just ahead of the 2020 election, the cast of West Wing reunited for a stage production of the beloved series' episode "Hartsfield's Landing" to advocate for the organization When We All Vote. Stars Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, and Martin Sheen were among the original cast members who reprised their roles.
A World of Calm1 season, 10 episodes
You know the meditation app Calm that helps you chill out? Well, HBO Max teamed up with its creators for a series version of it, featuring soothing imagery and narration from your favorite celebs including Nicole Kidman and Keanu Reeves to help you, well, get calm.
COMING SOONPremiere date: January 14
An eight-episode docuseries that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the planning and execution of elaborate events put on by famed restaurateur Wolfgang Puck and his catering company.
Locked DownPremiere date: January 14
Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) is the latest director to hop on the pandemic-themed movie bandwagon. Locked Down is a heist-movie-rom-com mash-up about a couple who plan to take advantage of the COVID-19 lockdown and rob the posh London department store Harrod's. Anne Hathaway, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Ben Stiller are among the cast.
GomorrahPremiere date: January 21
HBO Max snagged the US streaming rights to this popular Italian import from Netflix in mid-2020. Now, the first two seasons of the series, inspired by Roberto Saviano's crime novels about a mob family in Naples, will appear on HBO Max, with a third (and eventually a fourth) on the way.
Perfect LifePremiere date: January 21
HBO Max continues to round out its slate of international shows with Perfect Life, a Spanish dramedy about a 30-something-year-old woman whose husband leaves her and then finds herself pregnant after an impulsive hook up with a stranger.
PossessionsPremiere date: January TBA
The US rights of this StudioCanal thriller series went to HBO Max, and it follows a French expatriate in Israel who is accused of murdering her husband on their wedding night, and the French diplomat assigned to the case who becomes enamored with her.
The BoondocksPremiere date: TBA 2021
Aaron MacGruder's hilarious Adult Swim anime-inspired staple is getting rebooted for HBO's streaming service on a two-season order and a 50-minute special. Details are light, but we do know that Granddad and his grandsons, Riley and Huey, will have to deal with the neo-Nazis that have established a tyrannical regime in their comfortable suburb. The Boondocks never tiptoed around its bold leftist and racial politics, and we can't wait to see what's in store with MacGruder back as showrunner after stepping away from Season 4.
Friends Reunion SpecialPremiere date: TBA 2021
Friends—they'll be there for you! The long-talked-about, confirmed, and then delayed reunion special of the beloved sitcom is finally coming in 2021. While the special was supposed to air with HBO Max's launch in May 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic squashed those plans—but come March 2021, the whole cast will return to finally shoot the special. Unlike the many other reboots floating around HBO Max, this one isn't a revival or even a new episode: Expect the cast to revisit the set, share memories, and unseen footage to reminisce on the show.
GenerationPremiere date: TBA 2021
Generation is a teen series co-created by a teen, Zelda Barnz, daughter of showrunners Daniel and Ben Barnz—so this coming of age series might just be an accurate portrayal of Gen Z. Lena Dunham is also on as producer, and the series follows a group of high schoolers discovering their sexualities in a conservative, status-obsessed Orange County community.
Gossip Girl rebootPremiere date: TBA 2021
The new reboot of the 2007 CW series isn't another chronicle in the scandalous lives of Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf, but it will introduce a new crop of the Manhattan (and possibly even Brooklyn) teen elite and air all of their dirty little secrets in blog (Twitter? TikTok?) form. Original co-producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are running the show.
It's a SinPremiere date: TBA 2021
A co-production between HBO Max and Channel 4, It's a Sin sees indie pop group Years and Years' frontman Olly Alexander in a leading TV role, playing a young gay man who moves to London with his friends during the AIDS pandemic.
The Other TwoPremiere date: TBA 2021
It's been a long wait for the second season of this still underrated show, which first premiered on Comedy Central in early 2019. Hopefully the story of the two 30-something aimless siblings of a tween pop star will gain more of an audience on HBO Max where its amazing songs can be fully appreciated.
The PrincePremiere date: TBA 2021
One of the best meme accounts on all of Instagram is TV producer Gary Janetti's (Family Guy, Will and Grace) page making fun of the British royals. With The Prince, he's turning his long-running joke that Prince George is a scheming snob into an animated comedy where he'll voice George. The rest of the cast is filled out by Orlando Bloom, Sophie Turner, Alan Cumming, and others.
The Sex Lives of College GirlsPremiere date: TBA 2021
Mindy Kaling is among the writers/producers of this coming-of-age comedy about four roommates from different backgrounds exploring their sexualities their freshman year at a college in Vermont.
Station ElevenPremiere date: TBA 2021
This adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel's 2014 speculative novel, which followed a troupe of actors and musicians as they traveled an America ravaged by a flu pandemic, doesn't exactly sound like frothy post-2020 escapism. But, given the source material, it should be different from many of the more brutal dystopian tales of recent years. With Mackenzie Davis of Halt and Catch Fire in the lead role, Patrick Somerville (The Leftovers) serving as showrunner, and Hiro Murai (Atlanta) behind the camera, this should be a special one.
Tokyo VicePremiere date: TBA 2021
The pitch for this HBO Max original, which was delayed by the pandemic but should debut next year, is pretty simple: Michael Mann crime drama. Following an American journalist (Ansel Elgort) as he reports on corruption in Tokyo's elite vice squad in the late '90s, with help from a detective played by Ken Watanabe, Tokyo Vice sounds like a potentially captivating mix of The Insider and another famous Mann production with the word "Vice" in the title. Sign us up!
Zack Snyder's Justice LeaguePremiere date: TBA 2021
Finally, it's time to #ReleasetheSnyderCut! The one true edit of Justice League that fans have demanded since 2017, basically, after director Zack Snyder had to step away from the movie when it was in post-production for personal reasons, and the end result was a horrible mess. In 2020, it was confirmed that Zack Snyder's Justice League is no longer a hashtag of a pipe dream but will appear on HBO Max as a four-part miniseries, featuring one-hour installments of the team-up between Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Flash in line with Snyder's original vision.
HBO Max also has more original shows they plan to premiere in the near future, including three series produced by J.J. Abrams—one set in the Justice League Dark universe; Overlook, set inside the hotel from Stephen King's The Shining; and 1970s crime show Duster—an adaptation of the popular children's mystery novel The Westing Game, and so much more. HBO Max is also planning projects in the DC comics and Game of Thrones universes, so maybe we'll finally get to see that long-awaited GoT prequel series.
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