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The 50 Best HBO Max TV Shows to Watch Right Now

From classic dramas to fresh, new original series, these are the best HBO Max TV shows you won’t want to miss.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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HBO Max TV shows to binge-watch tonight

When HBO Max first launched in 2020, its content library instantly made it one of the most extensive streaming platforms available—and not just for the best movies. With an impressive catalog of TV titles from Warner Bros., Sesame Workshop, Cartoon Network, and the full library of past HBO series, there are literally hundreds of HBO Max TV shows you can choose from right now.

The collection includes some of the best TV shows of all time, like The Sopranos and Succession, crime shows like Mare of Easttown, and great doctor shows like The Knick. If you’re looking for something lighter, tune into the best sitcoms, like Friends and Sex and the City. Many of these series are HBO Max original TV shows that were made specifically for the streaming platform, with a quality that rivals the best TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.

It was tough to narrow down the list of the best offerings, but hey, someone had to do it! We included a wide variety of HBO Max shows in various genres that are award winners, classics, cult favorites, and critical darlings. So carve some time out of your schedule, curl up on the couch, and enjoy the show—er, shows!

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Mare of Easttown (2021–present)

In 2021, we were treated to a slew of fantastic TV shows and performances, but perhaps none were as captivating as Kate Winslet’s in Mare of Easttown. Winslet won an Emmy for her portrayal of Mare Sheehan, a small-town Pennsylvania cop investigating the murder of a teenager—and it was well deserved. Not only did she nail the character’s Eastern Pennsylvania accent, but she also brought an amazing level of realism to a show that could have just been a police procedural but was elevated to a riveting drama about small-town relationships, grief, and the way our past shapes who we are in the present. If you love unraveling a good whodunit, you should also check out these riveting mystery books.

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Hacks (2021–present)

Actress Jean Smart has been working steadily for decades, but thanks to her recent turns in Mare of Easttown and the HBO Max original series Hacks, she’s becoming a household name. In Hacks, Smart, who previously starred in the ’80s TV show Designing Women, plays Deborah Vance, a stand-up comedian with a nightly show in Las Vegas who hires a young writer (Hannah Einbinder) to help her write new material. Their relationship is prickly at first, but the two ultimately find a mutual respect for each other. Smart won an Emmy for it, and the series itself won Emmys for Outstanding Writing and Directing, and a Golden Globe for Best Television Series: Musical or Comedy.

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The Staircase (2022)

The most buzzed-about HBO Max miniseries of the spring, The Staircase is based on the real case of Kathleen Peterson, a North Carolina woman who was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in her home in 2001. Her crime-novelist husband, Michael, was convicted of her murder…but did he do it? The series dramatizes various possibilities—an accidental fall versus a brutal beating—as well as the subsequent investigation and a documentary team’s interest in the events. Toni Colette and Colin Firth play the doomed couple to perfection, and you’ll be left thinking about the complexities of family, trust, and bias long after the final credits roll. These true crime documentaries on Netflix will also stay with you.

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The Time Traveler’s Wife (2022)

This isn’t your ordinary story about time travel. This one involves a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to spontaneously travel through time, which is more problematic (and dangerous) than it may sound. Based on the best-selling book by Audrey Niffenegger, this HBO Max series is a six-episode love story between ill-fated time traveler Henry (Theo James) and his wife, Claire (Rose Leslie), whom he visits at various points in her life. While some of the plot points will make you raise your eyebrows, and the series deviates from the book in some significant ways, it’s a tear-jerker that you won’t be able to look away from.

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I May Destroy You (2020)

This limited series created by Michaela Coel is a darkly funny, deeply personal show about a young, successful writer trying to piece her life back together after she was raped. Though the subject matter may make the show seem like a true crime documentary, Coel, who based the show on her own experiences, intersperses her character Arabella’s post-traumatic stress with flashbacks of her past relationships, her social media presence, and ultimately, the catharsis that comes from turning her pain into art.

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Starstruck (2021–present)

Starstruck begins as many great romantic comedies do—with an unlikely duo meeting under less-than-ideal circumstances and then encountering dozens of obstacles that complicate their relationship. In this case, the trouble begins when Jessie (played by comedian Rose Matafeo, who created the show) meets Tom Kapoor (Nikesh Patel) and hooks up with him on New Year’s Eve. What Jessie didn’t realize in that moment was that Tom is an internationally famous movie star. Season one plays like one of our favorite old-school TV shows, Cheers, with a full Sam-and-Diane, will-they-or-won’t-they vibe, and in the second season, you just might find out if they did.

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The White Lotus (2021–present)

Mike White, who created, wrote, and directed The White Lotus, got his start writing for teen TV shows like Dawson’s Creek. But The White Lotus is vastly different than that. It’s a dark comedy that satirizes the experience of several wealthy resort-goers and the staff that waits on them at a fictional resort in Hawaii. As the lives of the guests unravel over the course of their trips, the lives of the staff also get more complicated. The show can feel deeply uncomfortable, as it addresses racial and class disparities between the guests and hotel workers, and acknowledges the tension between the haves and the have-nots. The stellar ensemble cast includes Connie Britton, Steve Zahn, Murray Bartlett, and Jennifer Coolidge, though the show’s second season will feature all new characters played by Michael Imperioli, Aubrey Plaza, and F. Murray Abraham.

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Somebody Somewhere (2021–present)

Somebody Somewhere is a gem of a show about a woman named Sam (played by comedian and singer Bridget Everett) living in Manhattan, Kansas, and trying to figure out where she fits in. Sam, who is in her 40s, works at a test-grading facility with her friend Joel (Jeff Hiller) and starts to doubt all the choices in her life that led her to this place. Joel takes her under his wing and brings her to the queer-friendly choir night at the local church, where he and Sam find a like-minded community. It’s a small respite for Sam, who’s dealing with grief over her sister’s death, her mother’s alcoholism, and the general feeling that she doesn’t know what to do with her life. It’s a quiet, slice-of-life LGBTQ show that depicts people whose slices of life aren’t always shown on screen.

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Station Eleven (2021–2022)

This miniseries is reminiscent of Hulu TV shows like Y: The Last Man and Snowpiercer, which take place in a dystopian future, but Station Eleven hits especially close to home, as it takes place after a global flu pandemic wipes out most of the human race. The critically acclaimed series follows some of the survivors who perform as part of a group of actors and singers known as the Travelling Symphony. That includes Kirsten Raymonde (played by Mackenzie Davis), who is fixated on a graphic novel called Station Eleven and whose message becomes a touchstone for her and other survivors.

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Succession (2018–present)

Succession is a fictional show about a mega-wealthy New York family, the Roys, reminiscent of Rupert Murdoch and his family’s vast media empire. Brian Cox plays patriarch Logan Roy, a vicious businessman whose four adult children are desperate for his approval and a greater stake in the family business. The series won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama, and Jeremy Strong won an Emmy for his portrayal of Kendall Roy, Logan’s drug-addicted ticking time bomb of a son. Sarah Snook, Alan Ruck, and Kieran Culkin play the other Roy siblings, whose psychological warfare against one another is dysfunctional, tragic, and hilarious. Come for the family drama, stay for Kendall’s cringe-inducing rap skills and necklaces.

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The Sopranos (1999–2007)

Hailed as one of the best TV shows of all time and certainly one of the best shows on HBO Max, The Sopranos ran for six seasons on HBO and won 21 Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes, and two Peabody Awards. James Gandolfini’s portrayal of mobster Tony Soprano, the leader of a New Jersey crime family who’s also dealing with his complicated life in therapy, is one of the great acting performances of the past few decades, as are the performances from the rest of the cast, including Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, and Lorraine Bracco.

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Veep (2012–2019)

Before her award-winning turn as Vice President Selina Meyer on Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus starred on two classic TV shows, Saturday Night Live and Seinfeld (not to mention the beloved sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine). Created by Armando Iannucci and written with the help of several Washington, D.C., insiders, Veep is a hilarious (and deeply profane) look at the dysfunctional world of domestic and international politics. Louis-Dreyfus won six consecutive Emmys for her performance, Tony Hale won two Emmys for his work as Selina’s aide Gary, and the show itself won three Emmys for Best Comedy Series.

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Game of Thrones (2011–2019)

Based on the fantasy novels written by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones takes place in a fictional land where humans battle to take the Iron Throne to rule the Seven Kingdoms. But that’s not all: They also have to band together to fight the undead white walkers, zombie-like creatures that exist north of The Wall. We’re oversimplifying things because, well, these books are thousands of pages long and there are hundreds of locations and characters, including a very lovely lady who’s bringing up three dragons as her own. The series won 59 Emmys over its run, and despite the fact that some viewers didn’t love the final season, it will go down as one of the greatest HBO Max TV shows ever made and holds the current record for HBO’s most viewed show ever.

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Sex and the City (1998–2004)

In the late 1990s, shows like The Sopranos and Sex and the City put HBO on the prestige television map. While The Sopranos made its mark as one of the network’s first hour-long dramas, Sex and the City was one of the first critically acclaimed sitcoms on the channel. Starring Sarah Jessica Parker as sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw, it features the friendships and romantic lives of four New York women. While HBO Max recently released a long-anticipated series sequel, And Just Like That…, nothing can top the iconic fashions, NYC locations, and raunchy (and punny) comedy of the original series, which won seven Emmys over the course of its run.

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Watchmen (2019)

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen is one of the great graphic novels of the past 40 years, and though it was turned into a movie in 2009, the 2019 limited series put a unique spin on the story and was lauded as one of the great HBO Max TV shows. Damon Lindelof, who co-created Lost, also developed this series that takes place more than 30 years after the events of the comic book but within the same fictional world. In it, Regina King stars as an Oklahoma police officer named Angela Abar, who also goes by a secret identity, Sister Night, to fight a White supremacist group known as the Seventh Kavalry. Watchmen won 11 Emmys, including Best Limited Series, in 2020.

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Enlightened (2011–2013)

Laura Dern stars in this dramedy about a former corporate executive who finds new purpose in life after having a nervous breakdown. When she returns to her old company, “enlightened” and calm after a stint at a treatment facility, she’s faced with the same toxic problems as before, including her old boss, with whom she was having an affair. Outside of work, she has to deal with her strained relationship with her mother (played by Dern’s real mother, Diane Ladd) and her substance-abusing ex-husband (Luke Wilson) by applying her self-help approach to them. Dern created the series with Mike White, who also costars.

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Sesame Street (1969–present)

One of the best kids shows of all time has to be Sesame Street, which started out on PBS before moving over to HBO in 2016 and then becoming one of HBO Max TV’s flagship shows in 2020. The educational children’s show first premiered in 1969 and starred a combination of real actors along with Jim Henson’s Muppets, including Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Grover. The series is now broadcast in more than 140 countries and is still the perfect mix of humor, music, and life lessons that can be enjoyed by viewers young and old.

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It’s a Sin (2021)

It’s a Sin is a limited series about a group of young, gay friends living in 1980s London during the early years of the HIV/AIDS crisis. As their friends and acquaintances get sick, they also have to deal with their own relationships, fear of the disease, and the homophobic political stances and social mores that prevailed at the time. Neil Patrick Harris costars, along with Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas, and Callum Scott Howells.

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The Jinx (2015)

When The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst came out in 2015, it instantly became one of the most-talked-about true crime documentaries ever, thanks to what appeared to be a murder confession from suspect Robert Durst caught on a hot mic. The six-episode series focuses on wealthy real estate heir Durst, who was a suspect in three separate murders, including that of his wife, Kathie, and his good friend Susan Berman. Durst, who died in January 2022, maintained his innocence throughout the series, but in the final episode, while he was unaware that cameras were rolling, he made a startling admission about the deaths.

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Chernobyl (2019)

HBO Max’s limited series Chernobyl was one of the most critically acclaimed and awarded shows of 2019: It was nominated for 19 Emmys and won 10 of them. It also took home a Peabody Award, two BAFTAs, and two Golden Globes. Featuring Jared Harris and Emily Watson as the scientists who responded to the nuclear disaster, and Stellan Skarsgård as a politician sent to observe the situation, the series was meticulously researched to illustrate the devastating effects the explosion at the nuclear facility had on the local population, the first responders, and the employees at the facility.

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The Gilded Age (2022–present)

What Downton Abbey was for early-20th-century British aristocracy, The Gilded Age is for late-19th-century American upper-crust society. Both were penned by Julian Fellowes, and much like Downton, The Gilded Age is a work of historical fiction that shows what life was like for both the haves (uber-rich New York families) and the have-nots (the household help who serves them all). Adding another layer to the drama is the disdain that old-money New Yorkers have for those who have come by their money more recently. With gorgeous sets and costumes, as well as sharp-tongued insults aplenty, this period drama also manages to reflect on modern-day disparities and inequality.

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Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000–present)

Seinfeld co-creator Larry David has been making Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes for more than 20 years now, sometimes taking a few years between seasons, but always bringing his hilarious observational (often cringeworthy) humor to HBO. Much like his previous show, there are very few social phenomena that Curb hasn’t addressed, including story lines like having a friend who’s a “Covid hoarder” and hiring someone to be a passenger in your car in order to use the carpool lane.

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Angels in America (2003)

The 2003 miniseries Angels in America is one of the best HBO Max TV shows of all time, winning 11 Emmy Awards the year it came out. Based on a play by Tony Kushner, the series was directed by Mike Nichols, who also directed The Graduate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? With an impressive cast that includes Oscar winners Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, and Al Pacino, it tells the story of those affected by AIDS in the 1980s. It was a pivotal touchstone in TV for portraying gay people and subject matters in a complex and absolutely riveting way.

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At Home with Amy Sedaris (2017–2021)

Amy Sedaris comes from a legendary comedy family. Her brother David is the author of one of the best books ever, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Amy has been creating bizarre, hilarious characters for decades. At Home with Amy Sedaris might be her most personal work, though. In it, Sedaris stars as a fictional, surreal version of herself, playing a Martha Stewart–esque talk show host, as well as several other wacky characters, as she welcomes some of the biggest names in comedy, like Stephen Colbert and Jason Sudeikis.

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Deadwood (2004–2006)

This HBO Max TV show is set in Deadwood, South Dakota, in the late 1800s, during the Black Hills gold rush. Timothy Olyphant stars as settler Seth Bullock, while Ian McShane plays saloon owner Al Swearengen. Both were real men who helped the unincorporated camp grow into a famous (and infamous) mining town. The show is as well known for creator David Milch’s writing as it is for its liberal use of profanity, which didn’t seem to bother Emmy voters—in its three short seasons, the show nabbed eight Emmys.

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The Larry Sanders Show (1992–1998)

Garry Shandling stars as late-night talk show host Larry Sanders on the titular show within a show. The show is something of a time capsule for the way late-night shows were held in such high esteem in the 1990s, while also offering some incredible comedy that was wildly ahead of its time. Jeffrey Tambor, Janeane Garofalo, Wallace Langham, and Rip Torn costar.

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Friends (1994–2004)

Friends will probably go down in history as one of the most emulated and influential ensemble sitcoms of all time. Starring Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry as six friends in their 20s living in New York City, the beloved comedy collected six Emmys over its decade-long run. More than anything, though, it will live on forever as the show that gave us memorable TV quotes like “We were on a break!” and “How YOU doin’?”

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The Wire (2002–2008)

The Wire is, without a doubt, one of the best HBO Max TV shows of the past two decades, thanks to iconic performances from Dominic West and Wendell Pierce as two Baltimore cops, and Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan, and Michael K. Williams as players in the Baltimore drug trade. The show also featured a large number of local, unknown Baltimore residents in small roles, providing the show with an authentic, almost documentary feel.

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Big Little Lies (2017–2019)

Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, and Shailene Woodley formed the all-star cast of this show based on a mystery book by Liane Moriarty. The show focuses on five women whose children all attend the same school, after a murder occurs at a school fundraiser. From the outset, we know the crime has been committed, but we don’t know the victim or the killer, and over the course of the first season, the secrets that the women keep are slowly revealed, as is the murderer. Following the success of Big Little Lies, Witherspoon went on to star in the critically lauded Hulu TV show Little Fires Everywhere, as well as one of our favorite shows on Apple TV+, The Morning Show.

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Mr. Show (1995–1998)

If you were a young adult in the 1990s, there’s a very good chance you’ll cite Mr. Show with Bob and David as one of the most influential comedies of the era. The sketch comedy series introduced us to Bob Odenkirk, who would go on to star in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and David Cross, who starred in Arrested Development. You’ll also find comedy greats like Paul F. Tompkins, Sarah Silverman, and Mary Lynn Rajskub popping up over the course of the series.

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Six Feet Under (2001–2005)

Six Feet Under was another one of the original prestige dramas that put HBO on the map as a destination for groundbreaking original TV series. Starring Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, and Lauren Ambrose, it follows the members of the Fisher family, who own a funeral home. Amid their own family drama and personal struggles, they are immersed in the deaths of those who pass through the funeral home. Though it won several awards throughout its five-season run, it’s perhaps best remembered for its memorable series finale.

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Gomorrah (2014–2021)

Gomorrah is an Italian series about an organized crime family based in Naples. Marco D’Amore stars as Ciro Di Marzio, a member of a local Camorra, a Mafia-style group helmed by a man named Pietro Savastano (Fortunato Cerlino). When Pietro is arrested, a war between members of the group breaks out, and not only do the members of the family find themselves at odds with their rivals but also with one another. Much like the incredible selection of Korean dramas on Netflix, Gomorrah is just one of the many great international shows HBO has to offer.

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Oz (1997–2003)

Set at the Oswald Maximum Security Penitentiary, a men’s prison casually referred to as “Oz,” this early HBO series stars Dean Winters, J.K. Simmons, Ernie Hudson, and EGOT winner Rita Moreno. Much like the fictional land it was named for, Oz the prison contains a special wing known as Emerald City, but it’s where prisoners go to be rehabilitated. The series graphically depicts the struggles and often violent fights between inmates and corrections officers, as well as the racially segregated factions that exist within the prison.

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Doom Patrol (2019–present)

Based on the DC comic book series of the same name, this show stars Diane Guerrero, Brendan Fraser, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, Matt Bomer, and Timothy Dalton as members of the Doom Patrol, a group of superheroes who received their powers as the result of various traumatic experiences they endured. Over the course of its three seasons (a fourth is on the way), the heroes must fight against an array of antagonists who also have superhuman powers. For something more child-friendly, check out these graphic novels for kids they’ll love reading.

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Insecure (2016–2021)

Insecure was based on show creator Issa Rae’s successful web series Awkward Black Girl, and the HBO series expanded her stories and experiences into a wildly successful show that ran for five seasons and received numerous Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. The show centers on Rae and Yvonne Orji, best friends living in Los Angeles, and addresses the daily complexities of life as a Black woman. The show’s blend of comedy mixed with social and racial commentary made it one of the best shows to air on HBO Max in the past few years.

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Painting with John (2021–present)

John Lurie is a musician, actor, and artist best known for creating the jazz group Lounge Lizards. He is also an unlikely guru, thanks to his TV shows Fishing with John and its follow-up, Painting with John. In Painting with John, Lurie paints while offering his musings on everything from art to parenting to careers. Also, sometimes he just tries to roll a giant tire down a hill. The whole show is kind of like a reflection of what goes on in Lurie’s head and how he responds to it—the kind of thing where sometimes you say, “I can’t believe this guy has a TV show.” But at the same time, it can be funny, contemplative, silly, and always totally entertaining.

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Adventure Time (2010–2018)

Adventure Time is one of those animated shows that adults and (older) kids can both appreciate. The series, which originally aired on Cartoon Network from 2010 to 2018, is now available in its entirety on HBO Max and centers on the adventures of a boy named Finn and his best friend, a dog named Jake, who happens to have a magical power that lets him shape-shift. The two live in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, which was destroyed years ago by nuclear war and where the two go on darkly comedic adventures together.

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The Comeback (2005, 2014)

The Comeback is unique in that it was canceled after one season, in 2005, and then revived for season two in 2014. The show stars Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish, a sitcom actress starring in a reality show about her attempt to stage a career comeback. The show, cowritten by Kudrow and Sex and the City showrunner Michael Patrick King, was an instant cult classic, thanks to Kudrow’s performance and the brutal satirization of life as an aging actress in Hollywood.

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Euphoria (2019–present)

As of the time of this writing, Euphoria has earned the distinction of being HBO’s second-most-watched series ever, behind Game of Thrones. The teen drama stars Zendaya as Rue Bennett, a high school student attempting to find her place after a stint in rehab for drug addiction. The show’s supporting characters also have their own traumas and difficulties, from relationship issues to gender transition to criminal activity, and the pacing and tone of the series are at once exhilarating and fraught with anxiety. (Kind of like high school.)

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Veneno (2020)

Veneno is a Spanish-language limited series based on the life of Spanish transgender singer and TV star Cristina Ortiz Rodríguez, who also went by the nickname “La Veneno.” Over the course of eight episodes, three actresses—Jedet, Daniela Santiago, and Isabel Torres—portray La Veneno as a young woman in the 1960s all the way up until her death in 2016. Charismatic and humorous, she became a popular staple of Spanish TV before she was sent to prison for fraud. The series captures the struggles and triumphs of this complex woman with the humor and complexity exhibited by La Veneno herself. For more in this genre, check out our list of the best LGBTQ movies to watch during Pride Month and all year long.

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Boardwalk Empire (2009–2014)

Another prestigious period drama, Boardwalk Empire takes place in the 1920s during Prohibition. The show, based on the book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City, stars Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, and Michael K. Williams as mobsters and politicians who thrived on making and breaking the rules around bootlegging and other illegal activities of the era. The show’s first episode was famously directed by Martin Scorsese, and the series won 20 Emmys over the course of its run.

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The Knick (2014–2015)

The Knick stars Clive Owen as Dr. John Thackery, a brilliant surgeon at New York City’s Knickerbocker Hospital who also happens to battle a nasty addiction to cocaine and opium. While Thackery works hard to bring new medical procedures to the hospital, his colleague, Dr. Algernon Edwards (Andre Holland), a Black surgeon, fights to be recognized as an equal by his peers. The series, which takes place at the dawn of the 20th century, was directed by Stephen Soderbergh and won a Peabody Award during its short, two-season run.

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Raised by Wolves (2020–present)

Raised by Wolves marks filmmaker Ridley Scott’s return to directing television: It’s the first time he’s directed a small-screen series in 50 years! The director of groundbreaking sci-fi movies such as Blade Runner and Alien helmed the first two episodes of Raised by Wolves, which tells the story of two androids who have to raise a group of human children on the fictional planet Kepler-22b after Earth is destroyed. The show has been hailed by critics and audiences for its originality and unique depiction of the struggles between humans and artificial intelligence.

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Band of Brothers (2001)

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks created this 10-part HBO miniseries that dramatizes the battles fought by an Army battalion known as “Easy Company.” It follows the men as they battle Nazis during World War II in Europe. (The companion series to Band of Brothers, The Pacific, similarly follows a group of soldiers fighting in the Pacific during the war.) Helmed by an all-star cast that includes Tom Hardy, Damian Lewis, and David Schwimmer, the series won the Emmy and Golden Globe for Best Limited Series.

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Search Party (2016–2022)

Alia Shawkat stars as New York City resident Dory Sief, a woman who becomes fixated on locating Chantal Witherbottom, an acquaintance of hers who has gone missing. Dory believes that foul play is involved, and each subsequent season focuses on some aspect of Dory’s life, or the lives she affects, as a result of her zealous search for Chantal. At once a mystery, a dark comedy, and a thriller, Search Party‘s ability to exist on multiple levels has made it a critical hit.

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Bored to Death (2009–2011)

Jonathan Ames is the name of the fictional author-slash-detective played by Jason Schwartzman in the HBO TV show Bored to Death. Jonathan Ames is also the real-life author who created the show. Bored by his day-to-day life, the fictional Ames pretends to be a private investigator, and each episode of the show follows him as he juggles his writing gigs with his investigative work, sometimes mixing the two. Zach Galifianakis, who stars in one of the funniest movies of all time, The Hangover, costars in the comedy series.

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Lovecraft Country (2020)

In Lovecraft Country, Jonathan Majors plays Atticus Freeman, a young Black man traveling across the United States during the Jim Crow era in search of his missing father. Traveling with his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) and friend Leti (Jurnee Smollett), he sets out on a journey that’s plagued by racially motivated threats and mysterious strangers along the way. The title of the show is a nod to horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, whose own works are tinged with racism and seem to inspire some of the worst horrors inflicted upon Atticus.

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My Brilliant Friend (2018–present)

Based on Italian writer Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels series, My Brilliant Friend is an Italian production that depicts the friendship between two women, Elena and Lila. At the outset of the series, Elena is now an old woman who learns that her dear childhood friend Lila has disappeared. Over the course of the seasons, she recounts her friendship with Lila, from their early childhood, teenage and young-adult years, and beyond, with each season portraying a different era in their lives.

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True Detective (2014–2019)

Anthology series True Detective spanned three seasons, each of which featured a different cast of characters investigating a different crime. Season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey investigating a serial killer in Louisiana, season two stars Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams trying to find a California politician’s murderer, and season three features Mahershala Ali and Carmen Ejogo searching for missing children in the Ozarks. Each season features a distinct and riveting mystery, and the casts are top-notch, making this one of the best crime dramas available on HBO.

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The Flight Attendant (2020–present)

Kaley Cuoco, the award-winning star of The Big Bang Theory, plays the title role in HBO Max’s hit series The Flight Attendant. Based on a mystery novel by Chris Bohjalian, the series follows flight attendant Cassie Bowden, who parties a little too hard during a layover in Bangkok and discovers a dead body in her bed the next morning. After attempting to cover up the crime, she starts to wonder what actually happened. Next, check out the best audiobooks in every category, for when you’re on the go and away from your TV.

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Liz Kocan
Liz Kocan has over 20 years of writing and editing experience, contributing to numerous lifestyle and culture publications including USA Today, Vulture, VH1, Reader’s Digest, Decider, and SheKnows. Her interests include burritos, watching television, and serial commas.