It’s hard to even know what to say in this introductory space. When we first launched this feature 10 months, Max had a different name and a very different library. It was, we wrote then, “a prime destination for new shows and limited series: a successor to the legacy of the HBO originals that until recently looked set to surpass it.
Now, in the immediate wake of a full relaunch and the aftermath of wiping out a gigantic chunk of shows that were presumably going to be around for much longer, it’s an interesting time to take stock of what the originals are in three years. after the original thing launched. These range from franchise extensions that the company’s current leadership seems to be prioritizing going forward to new and exciting ideas coming from writers who (at least until recently) had the power to bring something new to the platform. There are adaptations of previous works, profiles of monumental figures in entertainment history, and productions spanning various locations around the world.
Hopefully, there’s more impressive work on the horizon, no matter what form it ultimately takes. For now, as we approach the middle of the year and with an extended work disruption still looming, it’s a good time to update what from the purple service the blue one is still worth seeking out. Here are our picks for 15 series to look out for, whether your subscription is new, down, or neither. (It’s worth noting as we’ve done before: these are not the best HBO original series of all time. Those net-born beauties, including everything from “Succession” to “Room 104,” have their own list.) And in honor of those shows that were part of the previous release of this collection, we’ve left our words of tribute at the end.