Skip to main content

The Best HBO Max Original Shows To Stream (So Far)

Kaley Cuoco in Season 1 of The Flight Attendant.
(Image credit: HBO Max)

In the age of streaming services, there have been plenty that have popped up with some awesome new series, such as Hulu’s original shows or Netflix’s TV series, like The Witcher, and Bridgerton. But, one streaming service that also has a great selection with amazing original TV series, is HBO Max.

From shows about cooking to The Flight Attendant, HBO Max has been coming out with all sorts of shows that people of all ages will enjoy, from dramas to comedies to reality shows. If you’re looking for your next show to binge, check out these ten great HBO Max original shows. 

kaley cuoco cassie the flight attendant season 1 hbo max

(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Flight Attendant

The Flight Attendant stars Kaley Cuoco as a reckless flight attendant who has an alcohol problem and ends up waking up next to her dead one night stand. Now, she has to retrace her steps to try and find the person responsible - wondering if somehow, she could be the killer.

First off, Kaley Cuoco is fantastic in this series. While I know she’s beloved for her comedic skills on The Big Bang Theory, she genuinely shines in The Flight Attendant and shows off her ability to act in dramatic ways as well. Secondly, the murder mystery of this show really captures you and draws you in like no other. It’s such a classic find-the-real-killer premise, but one that The Flight Attendant does well. And, since Season 2 just came out in 2022, there are now more mysteries to solve.

Stream The Flight Attendant on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

John Cena is Peacemaker

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Peacemaker

He’s here to make peace - by breaking some heads. Peacemaker, a spinoff of the popular 2021 film, The Suicide Squad, follows the titular character after he recovers from his injuries from the movie. Now, he joins a black ops squad called A.R.G.U.S., a team with a mission to eliminate parasitic butterfly-like creatures and to stop them from taking over the bodies of humans. 

Peacemaker is so silly, I can’t even put it into words, but in the best way. John Cena is great as a leading man, and him playing the titular character works wonders, to the point where you know there isn’t another actor out there that could play this character better. And now with Season 2 already ordered, it’s only a matter of time before we get to see him again. 

Stream Peacemaker on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

Colin Firth and Toni Collette in The Staircase

(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Staircase

Do you want a drama miniseries? The Staircase has you covered. Tragedy strikes a North Carolina family when the wife of Michael Peterson dies, but her death is surrounded by a veil of mystery, and as time goes on, more and more conspiracy theories begin to arise that make her passing all the more suspicious. 

I loved this miniseries. There are so many out there but this was truly one of the best I have ever seen. The Staircase cast all act amazingly, and from the moment the first episode begins, you will be hooked and on the edge of your seat. The two leads, Toni Collette and Colin Firth, were both nominated for Primetime Emmys, so you know it’s good. 

Stream The Staircase on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

William Jackson Harper in HBO Max's Love Life Season 2

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Love Life

Love Life is an anthology series on HBO Max, where each season, we follow a new character in their quest to find the one, from their first date to their last date.

What I adore about Love Life is their exploration into modern love. While there’s plenty of comedy involved, there are some serious moments that talk about the complexities of dating in the 21st century, as well as how long it can take to find that right person. The first season stars the lovely Anna Kendrick, and the second season stars William Jackson Harper in a new love story. 

Stream Love Life on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

Hannah Einbinder and Jean Smart in Hacks

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Hacks

In this comedy series, Hacks tells the story of a legendary Las Vegas comedian, Deborah Vance, who has to team up with Ava, a Gen Z comedy writer who has been canceled over an insensitive tweet. The two are reluctant to work together, but must, so that Vance can freshen up her material and keep her job.

Let me just say that Jean Smart in Hacks is wonderful and her comedic timing is excellent. Plus, the chemistry that blossoms between her and Hanna Einbinder, who plays Ava, makes this show so enjoyable to watch. The generational difference between the two characters only adds to this comedy and makes it watchable for anyone. It’s seriously one of the best comedy shows in such a long time. 

Stream Hacks on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

The main character of Made For Love.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Made For Love

Dark comedy Made for Love is based on the novel of the same name, and follows a woman who escapes from a horrible decade-long marriage, only to find out that her husband is tracking her through a device she was fitted with, implanted in her brain, tracking her every move, and even her “emotional data.”

Starring Cristin Milioti as Hazel, she is perfect for the role and carries this whole series, with an awesome cast behind her. While the show is a dark comedy with plenty of moments that will have you snorting laughter, there’s also this emotional aspect, especially about abusive relationships, that makes this show stand out above the rest. Even the idea of someone tracking your own emotions - now that makes me want to shiver, but also intrigued to learn more.

Stream Made for Love on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

Ken Watanabe and Ansel Elgort in Tokyo Vice

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Tokyo Vice

Do you want a crime drama? Boy, do I have something for you. Tokyo Vice, which stars Ansel Elgort, is based on the story of Jake Adelstein, a real-life journalist who once moved to Tokyo in order to take on a role at a huge newspaper. Once he’s there, he starts diving deeper into the Tokyo’s crime world - including the Japanese yakuza. 

This is such a great series. Not only is the cast super talented, this story is crazy. You would never expect a story about a young man from America trying to make it in Japan at a newspaper to devolve into something so criminal as the yakuza, with him getting caught up in the dark business. But it’s so good, and with Season 2 already ordered, you know everyone else has been enjoying it, too. 

Stream Tokyo Vice on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

The two androids in Raised By Wolves with a group of children.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Raised By Wolves

With two seasons to stream,  Raised by Wolves was one of HBO Max’s first original series. This sci-fi drama series is about two androids, adequately named Mother and Father, who are tasked with raising human children on Kepler 22B, because Earth was destroyed by a great war.

I am always down for a sort of post-apocalyptic storyline, and Raised by Wolves does it amazingly. Not only is the science fiction aspect very well-done - the effects on this show are off the charts - but the story itself is engrossing, with so much detail. It’ll captivate you like no other, especially knowing we live in a world where androids do exist. Science fiction lovers will get a kick out of this show.

Stream Raised by Wolves on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

Selena Gomez hosting Selena + Chef

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Selena + Chef

In this reality cooking show, Selena + Chef, pop star and actress Selena Gomez receives help from famous chefs across the world to try and learn how to cook from her own home.

Look, I absolutely love to cook, so I might be a little biased on this one, but I do think that this cooking show is adorable. The natural charisma that Selena Gomez has with not only the chefs she cooks with but the audience as well will help anyone learn. It’s also very informative, as the chefs give her step-by-step instructions for her cooking lessons, so you too, at home, could try to cook more as well. I made Roy Choi’s dish from his episode with Selena - it was actually amazing.

Stream Selena + Chef on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

The main cast of the Sex Lives of College Girls.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Sex Lives Of College Girls 

Shows and movies that take place in college are always fun, and The Sex Lives of College Girls is a great example of that. Following four friends who are going to college for the first time, we follow them as they learn to grow up and become sexually active young women, alongside the trials and tribulations that moder-day universities can bring. 

I personally love this show. As someone who is decently fresh out of college (2020), I can relate to many of the instances or issues that these girls go through, from personal relationships to professor problems to so much more. Plus, The Sex Lives of College Girls cast is so talented, their vibes together are immaculate. You really believe that they’re legit close friends who went to college together. You have to give it a shot if you’re looking for a fun comedy. 

Stream The Sex Lives of College Girls on HBO Max. (opens in new tab) 

Two of the stars in Station eleven.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Station Eleven

While this is a limited series and not an ongoing TV show, Station Eleven is a brilliant piece of media to watch. In this HBO original, we are in a world that is recovering from a deadly flu that has killed much of the human population. The survivors twenty years later have to struggle to rebuild the world from the ground up, and somehow find hope in a world of darkness. 

Let me just say that this show is so stunning. The cinematography alone from just the trailer drew me in, but what really keeps you coming back to this limited series are the relationships that are built with these characters. They are at the end of their rope and trying to make a new world, and it’s all about trying to stick together despite the worst happening, no matter what humanity has to throw at them. 

Stream Station Eleven on HBO Max (opens in new tab).

Julia in Julia on HBO Max.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Julia 

This show feels a little underappreciated and I am here to give it the loving that it deserves. In Julia, starring Sarah Lancashire as the titular chef, Julia Child, we follow the legendary lady as she makes waves in not only the cooking world, but the television world as well, showing just how iconic and influential she was in both industries, and her rise to fame. 

As I said before, I have a passion for cooking, which is what initially drove me to watch this show, because I love the story of Julia Child. But you don’t need to have a passion for cooking to like this series. There’s so much to love, from the setting to the background, to even just the main character, Julia. She has so much perseverance that she makes me want to be a better person and strive for more. It makes me excited about cooking again - and I love that. 

Stream Julia on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

Jamie Dornan in The Tourist.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Tourist

Starring Jamie Dornan, The Tourist is a thrilling six-part limited series that follows the story of a British man that wakes up in an Australian hospital. The only issue is that he has amnesia. Now, he has to try and remember who he is and why he’s there before something from his past comes to hunt him down. 

Jaime Dornan has always proved that he’s a great actor, but seeing him in The Tourist is really one of his best roles so far. He’s great as a leading man and really keeps you coming back for each episode to find out exactly why he’s there and why his past is so mysterious. I think what makes The Tourist is that we, as the viewers, are in the dark too, so we have to use our own investigation skills to figure out what happened to him too. It’s a lot of fun. 

Stream The Tourist on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

Some of the footage from A World of Calm on HBO Max.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

A World Of Calm

A World of Calm is an immersive journey that takes you through several different stories from our planet, and to the outer reaches of the Universe. I know that this premise sounds wacky as heck, but I’ll summarize it for you - if you ever dreamed about Keanu Reeves reading you a soothing bedtime story (like on the Calm app, which this show is based on), then you get that here.

Each A World of Calm episode tells a story that will have you more relaxed than ever before, with amazing music and footage that is to die for, while listening to some of your favorite actors narrate – including Kate Winslet, Oscar Isaac, Nicole Kidman and many others. I know it sounds a bit different, but you won’t regret checking this one out on a day where you just need to feel… calm.

Stream A World of Calm on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

With all these amazing shows, I’m going to need to check the 2022 TV schedule to see if any of them are premiering anytime soon. Regardless, at least now you have an idea of some of the awesome shows HBO Max has to offer so far - and hopefully, we’ll get to add on even more in the future. If you don’t already have an HBO Max subscription, now might be the time.

Alexandra Ramos
Alexandra Ramos

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!