The Top 10 Max Series Right This Second, from ‘The Sympathizer’ to ‘Evil Lives Here’

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Max has gone through quite the transformation since it launched in 2020. After making its big debut as HBO Go, the streaming service has since expanded to include Discovery+ (thanks to WarnerMedia's merger with Discovery). So now, fans like myself can enjoy an extensive library of titles under HBO, Warner Bros and Discovery.

With Max quickly climbing up the streaming ranks (right behind Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+, per Digital Trends), I'm taking a moment to highlight the top 10 Max series right now, according to the streamer. From Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV to Will Tracy's The Regime, keep scrolling for some of the best shows on Max to add to your streaming queue—and my editor's pick of the week.

Editor’s Pick of the Week: Tournament of Champions

  • Who’s in it: Guy Fieri, Donatella Arpaia, Scott Conant, Rocco DiSpirito

  • How many seasons: 5

  • For fans of: Chopped

  • Genre: Cooking Game Show

Foodies, think of this as the spicier version of Chopped—but only for master chefs. Tournament of Champions follows a talented group of 16 cooks who’ve previously won competitions on Food Network shows. This time, they must go head to head by preparing meals with specific ingredients and random tools, all while racing against the clock.

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1. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

  • Who’s in it: John Oliver

  • How many seasons: 11

  • For fans of: The Daily Show

  • Genre: Talk Show, Political Satire

Oliver's late-night talk show has been going strong for 11 seasons, and it's easy to see why. In each episode, the British comedian offers a fresh, insightful and seriously funny take on current events, whether it's a discussion about the U.S. presidential election or a deep dive into tax-exempt religious organizations.

FYI, in December 2023, HBO confirmed that the series has been renewed for three more seasons, which means you'll see more of Oliver through 2026.

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2. Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV

  • Who’s in it: Dan Schneider, Drake Bell, Amanda Bynes

  • How many seasons: 1

  • For fans of: The Price of Glee

  • Genre: Investigative documentary

The docuseries offers a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at Nickelodeon's most successful ’90s TV shows, including All That, The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh. It uncovers the toxic culture that the child stars endured, ranging from sexual abuse to abusive environments.

You won’t be able to turn off the five-part series once you start watching. It even features an eye-opening interview with Drake Bell, whose silent suffering went unnoticed...until now.

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3. The Sympathizer

  • Who’s in it: Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Oh, Hoa Xuande

  • How many seasons: 1

  • For fans of: We Were the Lucky Ones

  • Genre: Political drama

The series is based on the 2015 novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The story follows a communist agent, who travels to America on an undercover mission.

In my honest review of The Sympathizer, I wrote, “One of the biggest takeaways is Robert Downey Jr.’s unbelievable performance as Claude, a CIA agent who takes the spy under his wing. The actor, 58, is nearly unrecognizable in the role, including everything from his receding hairline to his unique accent.”

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4. 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?

  • Who’s in it: Shaun Robinson

  • How many seasons: 9

  • For fans of: 90 Day Fiancé

  • Genre: Reality dating show

The original series documents foreigners traveling to the U.S., using their K-1 Visas, to live with their fiancé for the first time. They have 90 days to tie the knot with their partner, which would allow them to become citizens. This follow-up series highlights the couples as they work on their marriage following their 90-day courtship.

The show is a spin-off of 90 Day Fiancé. It’s one of many shows in the franchise, including 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After, 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days and 90 Day Fiancé: Love in Paradise.

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5. Curb Your Enthusiasm

  • Who’s in it: Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines

  • How many seasons: 12

  • For fans of: Seinfeld

  • Genre: Sitcom

The Seinfeld creator plays a fictionalized version of himself in this laugh-out-loud sitcom, which follows his day-to-day life as a semi-retired television writer and producer. Thanks to his stubborn personality and unfiltered comments, he often finds himself in awkward social situations and caught up in misunderstandings.

The chemistry between the main cast is unmatched, and like Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm follows a familiar formula where most of the humor relates to mundane, everyday experiences.

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6. Ninja Kamui

  • Who’s in it: Atsushi Ono, Yuki Wakai, Kenjirô Tsuda

  • How many seasons: 1

  • For fans of: John Wick

  • Genre: Anime

This underrated anime series revolves around a former ninja named Higan, who gets ambushed by a group of vengeful assassins after escaping his clan and going into hiding. When his family gets murdered, Higan devises a new plan to take down the same clan that created him.

The series shares quite a few elements with the John Wick film series, from the revenge storyline to the intense fight scenes.

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7. Real Time with Bill Maher

  • Who’s in it: Bill Maher

  • How many seasons: 22

  • For fans of: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

  • Genre: Talk show

If you love Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, then you need to tune into this equally informative series. Join Bill Maher as he hosts three guests on each episode to discuss current events. Similar to other talk shows, the comedian typically performs a monologue and includes a guest interview. There are two seasons available to stream on Max (21 and 22), so clear your streaming schedule.

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8. The Regime

  • Who’s in it: Kate Winslet, Martha Plimpton, Andrea Riseborough, Matthias Schoenaerts

  • How many seasons: 1

  • For fans of: Madam Secretary

  • Genre: Political Satire

Winslet shines as Chancellor Elena Vernham, the chancellor of a European autocracy that’s practically crumbling beyond the walls of her cozy palace. Recognizing that this could end her reign, she seeks guidance from a former soldier named Herbert Zubak, but it does nothing to ease her concerns and paranoia. Worse yet, Herbert’s involvement turns out to be an even bigger threat to her regime.

The series blends quite a few genres, feeling like a silly rom-com one moment and an action flick the next. But it's Winslet's unforgettable performance that makes this a must-watch.

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9. Massacre of the Mormons

  • Who’s in it: N/A

  • How many seasons: 1

  • For fans of: The Truth About Jim

  • Genre: True-crime

The docuseries explores the heartbreaking case that took place in Sonora, Mexico, back in 2019. The drama begins when three women and six children are brutally killed, and the motive points to their Mormon religion. In addition to Max, the four-part series is also available to stream on Apple TV+.

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10. Evil Lives Here

  • Who’s in it: N/A

  • How many seasons: 15

  • For fans of: American Monster

  • Genre: True-crime

This true-crime series tells real-life stories of people who are connected to killers without knowing it. The tales are told from the perspective of family members, who slowly realize that their loved ones are up to no good. Each episode features a different case, so you can jump in wherever you please (or start from the very first episode).

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