HBO Max looks like it will be a powerhouse when it launches May 27. Unlike Disney+ which launched with a fairly incomplete list of titles, it looks like HBO Max will have so much of what you’re looking for that you won’t know what to do.
Start with everything on HBO. Then go further.
Every HBO original series and every movie currently on HBO. Add to that every DC superhero movie, ever. There’s also a very healthy smattering of older movies from the Warner archives.
But, that’s nowhere near enough. You’ll also get classics like Friends, The Big Bang Theory, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and The West Wing. You’ll get every single Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie, too. I mean, just those movies alone are probably about 250 hours long. (Or so it seemed while watching them.)
Original series galore
Several sites have published the following text, verbatim, about HBO’s upcoming original series. I believe it comes from AT&T itself, but none of those other sites are attributing it. So here it is, unedited.
Available June 18th
Karma takes sixteen contestants, ranging in age from 12 to 15, completely off the grid, away from parents and the normal comforts of home, to solve puzzles and overcome physical challenges, with the laws of karma setting the rules. This adventure competition series, led by YouTube host Michelle Khare, will test the mental and physical stamina of its young contestants as they unravel how their social actions impact their success in the game. Focus, giving, humility, growth, connection, change, and patience are the path to becoming the “Karma Champion.” But more importantly, the players learn one of life’s most profound lessons: “What you give out, you get back.”
Available June 25th:
ADVENTURE TIME: DISTANT LANDS – BMO
Return to the Land of Ooo and beyond in Adventure Time: Distant Lands. Based on the animated series Adventure Time created by Pendleton Ward and executive produced by Adam Muto, these four breakout specials explore the unseen corners of the world with characters both familiar and brand new. The first of these specials is BMO, which follows the lovable little robot on a new adventure. When there’s a deadly space emergency in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, there’s only one hero to call, and it’s probably not BMO. Except that this time it is!
DOOM PATROL SEASON TWO
DC’s strangest group of heroes — Cliff Steele aka Robotman (Brendan Fraser), Larry Trainor aka Negative Man (Matt Bomer), Rita Farr aka Elasti-Woman (April Bowlby), Jane aka Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), and Victor Stone aka Cyborg (Joivan Wade) — are back again to save the world. That is, if they can find a way to grow up…both figuratively and literally. Following the defeat of Mr. Nobody, the members of the Doom Patrol now find themselves mini-sized and stranded on Cliff’s toy race car track. Here they begin to deal with their feelings of betrayal by Niles Caulder aka The Chief (Timothy Dalton), while confronting their own personal baggage. And as each member faces the challenge of growing beyond their own past traumatic experiences, they must come together to embrace and protect the newest member of the family: Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro), Niles’ daughter, whose powers remain a mysterious but real threat to bringing on the end of the world.
ESME & ROY
Esme and Roy are best friends — and the best monstersitters in Monsterdale! The animated series from the makers of Sesame Street will bring little viewers into a colorful world where even the littlest monsters can overcome big challenges together.
Search Party is a comedy thriller about a group of privileged, self-absorbed twenty-somethings whose search for a long-lost missing friend leads them down a dark and shocking path of no return. Seasons one and two of the series will be available on HBO Max at launch, May 27th. Season three, premiering June 25th, finds the gang swept up in the trial of the century after Dory (Alia Shawkat) and Drew (John Reynolds) are charged for the semi-accidental murder of a private investigator. As Elliott (John Early) and Portia (Meredith Hagner) grapple with whether or not to testify as witnesses, the friends are pitted against each other and thrust into the national spotlight. Dory’s sanity begins to fracture, and it becomes increasingly clear that the group may not have brunch together again for quite some time.
Available July 9th:
From JG Quintel, creator of the Emmy Award-winning Regular Show comes Close Enough, a surreal animated comedy about a married couple, their five-year-old daughter, and their two divorced best friends/roommates all living together on the east side of Los Angeles. They’re navigating that transitional time in your 30s when life is about growing up, but not growing old. It’s about juggling work, kids, and pursuing your dreams, while avoiding time-traveling snails, stripper clowns, and murderous mannequins. Their life may not be ideal but for now, it’s close enough.
Expecting Amy is an unfiltered three-part documentary that shows the struggle, strength and ambition that has made Amy Schumer one of the singular comic voices of all time. It takes viewers behind-the-scenes as Schumer battles through an extraordinarily difficult pregnancy while documenting the formation of a comedy special. Schumer continues touring to prepare for the taping in Chicago that she isn’t sure she will be able to execute. It focuses on pulling the curtain completely back on her marriage to husband Chris Fischer, and the journey to his diagnosis on the autism spectrum. From hospitalizations to going out in front of a crowd of thousands, to quiet moments at home with her family, Schumer shares it all. Beginning the day she found out she was pregnant, through the birth of her child, she showcases her incredible journey on the road, revealing the challenges of pregnancy, marriage and the execution of creating a stand-up special. Expecting Amy offers a hilarious and raw 360-degree look at this new stage of her life. It’s like Jerry Seinfeld’s movie “Comedian,” if he had been pregnant. With her family and friends along for the ride to support her and keep her sane and balanced, she does it all with perseverance, heart and the priceless sense of humor she’s known for.
Available July 16th:
THE HOUSE OF HO
Patriarch Binh Ho and his wife Hue Ho immigrated from Vietnam to the United States with little money, relying on hard work to establish the ultimate American dream. The power couple has built a multimillion-dollar bank, a real estate development company, and a new generation of American Hos. The series pulls back the curtain on their lavish Houston lifestyle and showcases the tight family connections that unite them as well as the multi-generational outrageous drama that ensues. The featured family includes patriarch Binh Ho, matriarch Hue Ho, their daughter Judy Ho, their son Washington Ho and his wife Lesley Ho, Aunt Tina, and Cousin Sammy.
Available July 23rd:
TIG N’ SEEK
From creator Myke Chilian, Tig n’ Seek follows an upbeat and eccentric 8-year-old boy named Tiggy and his cat, Gweeseek. Tiggy not only works at the Department of Lost and Found, finding lost items all throughout Wee-Gee City, he lives there too! Though he tries to help his friends whenever he can, his over-eagerness and neurotic quirks often lead to chaos in the Department. Tiggy’s partner and best friend is his cat, Gweeseek. She’s a graceful, friendly kitty who appears to be a normal cat, but is also capable of inventing extraordinary gadgets to help her friends in times of need. Join Tig n’ Seek as they navigate the wacky day-to-day dilemmas of working at the Department of Lost and Found.
Available July 30th:
THE DOG HOUSE
There are nearly nine million dogs in Britain – but finding the right homes for them isn’t always easy. Set inside a rural British Dog Rescue Centre famous for its commitment to matching homeless dogs with new owners, The Dog House bears witness to the joy, comedy and pathos of the human-dog dating experience. Each episode records the arrivals of unwanted pets complete with heart-rending tales of abandonment. At the same time, they tell stories of families, couples, and singletons, all carrying their own baggage of poignant and touching backstory and hoping their lives might be transformed by the introduction of a new four-legged friend. The climax of each story is the theatre of the meet. Multiple fixed cameras mounted inside a special pen observe every beat of the first meetings between the dogs and their prospective new owners. Will the nervous dog come out of its shell? Will there be a connection? Will lives be changed forever?
Set in 1989, this comedy follows the journey of Sammy Cooper, a fabulously wealthy London housewife who is forced to return to her hometown in Newcastle, Australia. In coming home, Sammy must revisit her past and the events that led her to flee as a teenager years ago.
Available August 6th:
AN AMERICAN PICKLE
Based on Simon Rich’s 2013 New Yorker novella, An American Pickle stars Seth Rogen as Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1920 with dreams of building a better life for his beloved family. One day, while working at his factory job, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly and when he emerges in present day Brooklyn, he finds that he hasn’t aged a day. But when he seeks out his family, he is troubled to learn that his only surviving relative is his great-grandson Ben Greenbaum (also played by Rogen), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.
HBO ORIGINALS AVAILABLE SUMMER 2020:
Available June 7th:
I MAY DESTROY YOU
A fearless, frank and provocative series that explores the question of sexual consent in contemporary life and how, in the new landscape of dating and relationships, we make the distinction between liberation and exploitation.
Feted as the ‘voice of her generation,’ Arabella (Michaela Coel) is complex, original and highly talented. But, distracted by the pressures of her first triumph, she is struggling to write her second novel and is in danger of becoming destructive and self-absorbed. After being sexually assaulted in a nightclub, her life changes irreversibly and Arabella is forced to reassess everything: her career, her friends, even her family. As Arabella struggles to come to terms with what has happened, she begins a journey of self-discovery. Often painful, sometimes funny, it leads her to some surprising places – and controversial conclusions.
Available June 21st:
1931, Los Angeles. While the rest of the country struggles from the Great Depression, this city is booming! Oil! Olympic Games! Talking Pictures! Evangelical Fervor! And a child kidnapping gone very, very wrong! Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, this new series follows the origins of American fiction’s most legendary criminal defense lawyer, Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys). When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself
Available June 28th:
I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK
This six-part documentary series based on the book of the same name explores writer Michelle McNamara’s investigation into the dark world of a violent predator she dubbed the Golden State Killer. Terrorizing California in the 1970s and ‘80s, the Golden State Killer was responsible for 50 home-invasion rapes and 12 murders. This series gives voice to the survivors and their families, documenting an era when sex crimes were often dismissed or hidden in shame. A timely inquiry into our macabre preoccupation with true crime and a cautionary tale of the dangerous lure of addiction, the series is a riveting meditation on obsession and loss, chronicling the unrelenting path of a mysterious killer and the fierce determination of one woman to bring the case to light.
Available July 24th:
Created by Mark and Jay Duplass (HBO’s “Animals.” and “Togetherness”), the late-night, half-hour anthology series ROOM 104 returns with 12 new episodes, telling unique and unexpected tales of the characters who pass through a single room of a typical American chain motel. While the room stays the same, every episode of the series features a different story, with the tone, plot, characters, and even the time period, changing with each installment. Providing one last glimpse into the lives of the guests in Room 104, the final season of the genre bending, and risk-taking anthology proves to be another showcase of writing, performing and directing
Available August 2020:
Based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff of the same name, the series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he joins up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father (Michael Kenneth Williams). This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.
Remember, if you get HBO on DIRECTV, you get HBO Max for free.
DIRECTV subscribers with HBO, as well as those who get HBO through their AT&T package, get access to HBO Max on day one. I can’t wait for it all to launch!