One of the best things to come from the pandemic was HBO Max, its production of film quality shows, and the integration of new films currently in theaters for those who can not go and see them. But unfortunately, it seems streaming platforms will make theaters and even cable obsolete a little bit at a time.
Aside from the diverse and ever-expanding catalog of movies, HBO offers on its platform a slew of high-quality television shows (particularly comedies). So for those looking for a good laugh, this is where you should start.
White Lotus (2021-2022) – 7.6
White Lotus is a satirical HBO series that became an immediate hit with viewers—boasting a star-studded cast, including Sydney Sweeney of Euphoria fame. The series details the unusual week each of a group of islanders at a Hawaiian resort, and things just keep getting weirder.
The series has been refreshingly uncanny compared to other HBO comedies. Initially green-lit as a mini-series, the among popularity viewers allowed the team to continue the series as an anthology series detailing the experiences of a new group of islanders at a separate resort.
Close Enough (2020-Present) – 7.8
Another great cartoon from the warped mind of JG Quintel (creator of Cartoon Network’s Regular Show), Close Enough, is a sitcom that took far too long to air. The show was set to air on TBS in 2017 but, due to various setbacks, was eventually released exclusively on HBO Max in 2020.
The show follows Josh and Emily, a young couple dealing with the struggles of raising a daughter and trying to fit in the same social circles as their divorced friends. What follows is usually a bizarre series of events, much like how Regular Show was structured, though viewers have expressed why they prefer Close Enough to the predecessor.
The Sex Lives Of College Girls (2021-Present) – 7.8
A raunchy show from the mind of The Office alumn, Mindy Kaling, The Sex Lives Of College Girls follows four college roommates as they navigate through the confusing world of college and the freedom that comes with it.
The show has been critically acclaimed only one season in, even being nominated for the Outstanding New Series category at GLAAD this year. The Sex Lives Of College Girls has been renewed for a second season with an unknown release date.
The Righteous Gemstones (2019-Present) – 8.1
After three years without a new episode, The Righteous Gemstones finally returned for another season that offended just as many viewers as the first. The show has been one of the more popular comedies on HBO, featuring a star-studded cast and a hilarious story of a family of wealthy characters and televangelists, the Gemstones.
The Righteous Gemstones has received mostly critical acclaim since its debut, most of that acclaim being aimed towards the cast as well as the controversial story being told. The series is set to return for a third season at an unknown date.
Hacks (2021-Present) – 8.2
Another series that recently premiered, Hacks is a comedy-drama that focuses on the world of stand-up comedy as a female and the relationship of a comedy writer and a stand-up comedian.
The series has received massive critical acclaim, including multiple Primetime Emmy Awards and the Golden Globe Award For Best Television Series- Musical Or Comedy. The series was renewed for a second season set to premiere on May 12, 2022.
Barry (2018-Present) – 8.3
Bill Hader has been a very recognizable face in comedy for almost two decades, providing his genius to shows such as Saturday Night Live and South Park. Barry Hader’s first time stepping into the world of crime dramas. Barry is the story of a hitman who finds himself on assignment in Los Angeles but ends up joining an acting class that makes him consider his life choices.
The series has received praise in various areas, but most of the praise went to the performances of actors Bill Hader and Henry Winkler. Hader won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series while Winkler won Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series during the show’s first season. The third season premiered on April 24, 2022.
Peacemaker (2022) – 8.4
Spinning out of the events of James Gunn’s 2021 reboot of Suicide Squad, Peacemaker follows John Cena as the title character taking on a new mission with the ARGUS black ops squad after recovering from his injuries from the events of the film.
Peacemaker is once again directed by James Gunn, who also serves as series showrunner. The series has received massive critical acclaim and has been enjoyed by fans of the character while also inspiring new ones. The series has also introduced new characters in the DCEU. The full season is available to stream now.
Silicon Valley (2014-2019) – 8.5
Another hit series from the unique mind of Mike Judge, the series serves as a parody of the Silicon Valley lifestyle. The series focuses on Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) as he tries to keep his startup company afloat while dealing with competition and a chaotic work environment.
The series remained critically acclaimed and received various accolades for its writing and humor throughout its six-season run. The complete series is currently available to stream on HBO Max.
Entourage (2004-2011) – 8.5
A show so popular that even former President Barack Obama cited it as one of his favorites, Entourage follows the life of fictional film star Vincent Chase (portrayed by Adrien Greenier) and his journey navigating through his new life of sudden fame. The show is loosely based on series executive producer Mark Wahlburg and his early years as a film star.
The show was very popular during its release, even spawning a follow-up movie released in theaters after the series finale. The series is available to stream in full and should be viewed by those who want to get an idea of the Hollywood lifestyle of young actors.
Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-Present) – 8.8
A show that has been an HBO mainstay since its debut in 2000, Curb Your Enthusiasm follows Seinfeld co-creator Larry David in his semi-exaggerated everyday life. The series proves Larry is every bit as sarcastic and problematic as George Costanza, usually leading to hilarious situations for him.
The show has become a cultural phenomenon and has continued to remain one of HBO’s most popular programs for 22 years. Despite the series’ sporadic season premieres due to Larry David’s busy schedule, the show is confirmed to return for a twelfth season with an unknown release date.
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