How to Max Out Your HBO Max Subscription

HBO Max has quickly become one of my favorite streaming channels. Owned by Warner Media, which describes the channel  as “HBO…and so much more.” What that actually means is, along with the current and past programming you normally find on HBO or HBO on Demand (forget about HBO Go and HBO Now — both are gone), you’ll also find original programming, a ton of Warner Media favorites like Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Sesame Street, and classic movies like The Philadelphia Story. The subscription is $14.95 a month, but if you subscribe to HBO through your cable provider you might already have access to it, so check. 

If the answer is a resounding “Yes!” and you’ve already watched Wonder Woman 1984, where do you go from there? Here are a few of my suggestions:

Your Next Quality Movie Watch

Unpregnant

This is where I started, and honestly, I’ve been harassing people to watch this; it’s so good. Pregnant honor student Veronica, played by Hayley Lu Richardson (Five Feet Apart), finds out that she’s not old enough to get an abortion in Missouri without her parents’ permission. She asks her boyfriend to help her get to the nearest clinic in New Mexico, but he proposes to her instead. NOPE. Her ex-best friend Bailey, played by Barbie Ferreira (Euphoria) initially catches her taking the pregnancy test in the girl’s bathroom, and later agrees to drive her on the 900-mile journey. The movie is both hilarious and touching, and Veronica is a stand out character who knows exactly what she wants and will not waiver from it. 

Your Next “Special” Episode

Euphoria Special

If you already watch Euphoria, catch the officially unofficial second-season episode, “Trouble Doesn’t Last Always.” 17-year old Rue, played by Zendaya, meets her narcotics anonymous sponsor Ali (Coleman Domingo) in a vacant diner on Christmas eve. Still reeling from her breakup with Jules (Hunter Schafer), she half-heartedly and unsuccessfully tries to convince Ali she’s sober. Their conversation was some of the best writing and acting I saw last year. If you don’t understand why Zendaya deserved her Emmy, this will definitely convince you. 

Your Next Binge Watch

The Flight Attendant

If you’re just catching it now, you’re in luck. When I watched it last year, the episodes poured in over a very disjointed time frame. Now you can sit and binge the whole series in a weekend! Cassie Bowden, played by Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) plays the titular flight attendant. A barely functional alcoholic party girl, she wakes to find her international one-night stand dead in her hotel bed. Many, many bad decisions follow. As I wrote in my review, you’re going to spend most of the time yelling at her on the screen, but that’s  part of the fun. 

This Fan’s Favorite

Aaron Sorkin classics

I was thrilled to find out that HBO Max is Aaron Sorkin’s new home!  My reason alone to subscribe to HBO Max, as I’ve been chasing The West Wing and The Newsroom across Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Now they’re both in one place — with the added bonus of the 2020 A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote The original cast reunited on stage at LA’s Orpheum Theater to recreate the classic episode “Hatsfield’s Landing,” its much-missed characters and razor sharp dialogue feeling weightier and more reassuring in our current times. 

What I’m Watching Next

There are so many choices! Watch Lovecraft Country again in one sitting?  Try and figure out what the hell happened to the last season of Game of ThronesOr go for the laughs and check out the first two seasons of the adult animated series Harley Quinn, featuring the voice of Cuoco as the Joker’s infamous crazy ex-girlfriend. I’m also planning to check out Seth Rogen in American Pickle. He plays two roles, a 19th century immigrant who wakes up Captain America-style after being pickle-brined for 100 years and the great-great grandson who takes him in.  

WarnerMedia may have been one of the last to get into the streaming game, but it showed up ready to compete with the big boys. Warner Bros. announced that it’s releasing its entire 2021 movie slate on HBO Max this year – Dune! Matrix 4! In the Heights!Squee! If you add the star-studded original movies and series they’re releasing each month, it’s definitely worth staying tuned.

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