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5 Best New Shows to Watch on Max Right Now

stills from three shows now on Max

The wait is over: House of the Dragon is back for a second season, and if you’ve been streaming it on Max since its release on June 16, we can’t blame you! But what can you watch after you’ve finished binging the most anticipated series of the month? Max is a great streaming platform, but for every masterpiece – Succession, Barry, The Last of Us, and many more – there’s also the occasional mixed bag, like the recently released The Sympathizer. Do not despair: we have you covered! Many fantastic series have just hit Max and HBO, and we made a list of the 5 best new shows to watch on Max right now! Find the ranked list below, and happy binging!

5. Ren Faire

Release Date: June 12, 2024

Ren Faire, one of the 5 Best New Shows to Watch on Max Right Now
5 Best New Shows to Watch on Max Right Now – Ren Faire (HBO)

Let’s start with a three-episode docu-series that reminds us of some of Max’s best series in more than one way. It’s time for King George Coulam, founder of America’s largest renaissance festival to retire. But what will be the future of his empire? The festival’s general manager, a kettle-corn vendor, a former elephant trainer, an actor, and even more potential successors all have different plans for the Texas Renaissance Festival. Needless to say, chaos ensues. There’s a little of Succession in this new HBO series, but the “royalty” involved also reminds us of Game of Thrones, with the power struggles and absurd developments that ensue in only three episodes. But what makes the show so enthralling are its protagonists and the gripping way in which it is shot. Prepare to be surprised!

4. The Regime

Release Date: March 3, 2024

Kate Winslet wears a blue cape and holds a cup of tea with a puzzled expression in The Regime, one of the 5 Best New Shows to Watch on Max Right Now
5 Best New Shows to Watch on Max Right Now – The Regime (HBO)

A new HBO and Max show with Kate Winslet as the lead is always good news! If you’re a fan of her previous collaboratons with the streamer – Mildred Pierce (2011) and Mare of Easttown (2021) – you’re bound to have a lot of fun with The Regime. This limited series sees Winslet play the Chancellor of an unnamed fictional country in Central Europe, and describing her character, Chancellor Elena Vernham, as unlikable would be an understatement. Throughout the show’s six, intense episodes, we watch her as she uses an authoritarian approach to try and control an empire that’s crumbling around her.

The Regime doesn’t renew the political satire formula, but it’s still worth the watch for its approach to the storytelling (the creator is Will Tracy, one of the writers of Succession), its timely parallels to a specific country you’ll immediately recognize, and fantastic performances from Winslet and her co-stars (Matthias Schoenaerts, Guillaume Gallienne, and Andrea Riseborough, among others).

3. Fantasmas

Release Date: June 7-July 12, 2024

5 Best New Shows to Watch on Max Right Now – Fantasmas (HBO)

Julio Torres (Nimona) stars in a series he also created, wrote and directed, and the result is a fantastic comedy that you don’t want to miss. The premise is simple: a fictionalized version of Torres himself loses a gold oyster earring and embarks on a journey in New York City, searching for it. But Torres shows us an alternate version of the Big Apple of his own creation – one that manages to be, at the same time, comical, dreamlike, absurd, and even, at times, disquieting.

Just like the writer-director’s previous series, Los Espookys (2018-2022), Fantasmas is quirky and surreal in the best possible way, but it also has a message to send about the isolation we experience in our modern world. The season premiere hit Max on June 7 and the remaining episodes are being added weekly: the finale airs on July 12, so we recommend you start binging the show now!

2. Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 12

Release Date: February 2, 2024

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 12, one of the 5 Best New Shows to Watch on Max Right Now
5 Best New Shows to Watch on Max Right Now – Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 12 (HBO)

While HBO’s more dramatic series often come to mind when one thinks of the best shows on the streaming platform, we can’t forget the masterpiece that is Curb Your Enthusiasm. The premise is simple: the well-meaning but socially awkward Larry (as in Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, who creates and executive produces the show on top of starring in it as an over-the-top version of himself) is annoyed by everything. As we watch him be his wonderfully eccentric self and go about his day, everything becomes an inconvenience, in the most catastrophically hilarious of ways.

There’s something liberating about watching someone do what we’d never be able to do in our own life, due to social conventions, and this makes both Curb Your Enthusiasm and its protagonist pretty much universally beloved. The show has been around since 2000, but its final season hit Max this year. Sadly, there won’t be a season 13, but this doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the twelve wonderfully inventive, highly entertaining seasons Larry David has created.

1. Abbott Elementary Season 3

Release Date: February 7, 2024

Abbott Elementary Season 3, one of the 5 Best New Shows to Watch on Max Right Now
5 Best New Shows to Watch on Max Right Now – Abbott Elementary Season 3 (HBO)

Writer-actor-comedian Quinta Brunson took the world by storm in 2021 when she created Abbott Elementary, which then went on to win multiple awards including three Golden Globes, 2 SAG Awards, and 4 Primetime Emmys. And with good reason: this mockumentary is, quite simply, unlike anything you’ve seen before. Abbott Elementary takes place at a predominantly Black school in Philadelphia, where perennially optimistic, young teacher Janine (Brunson) has just joined the staff. Janine soon realizes there are many problems at this elementary school, which become even more evident when a film crew arrives to record a documentary about students and teachers. But our protagonist is even more determined to help these students.

It’s best to leave it at that and let you discover the show on your own, but suffices it to say, you won’t be disappointed. Every single one of its teachers – from the well-meaning Jacob (Chris Perfetti) and the knowledgeable Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) to the stern Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph), the wonderfully unqualified Gregory (Tyler James Williams), and new principal Ava Coleman (Janelle James) – is made memorable and authentic by a screenplay that’s full of irony but also lets everyone’s humanity shine through. Abbott Elementary is one of those shows that immediately becomes familiar, and the recently released Season 3 is no exception. Trust us: you’ll find yourself revisiting its three series every time you’ll need cheering up.

Whether it’s a new season of a beloved show or a recently released new series, all 5 new shows listed above are available to watch on HBO and Max right now. They all belong to different genres, so there’s something for everyone, but we guarantee at least one of them will become your next favorite binge. And if you need other series to stream when you’re done with Abbott Elementary, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fantasmas, The Regime, Ren Faire – and, of course, House of the Dragon Season 2 – why not revisit a Max classic like The Sopranos or Game of Thrones?

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