HBO Max is here at long last, and with an expansive library of originals, classic films, old TV shows, and more. As with any streaming service, titles will come and go based on deals with other distributors, but HBO Max’s opening day slate gives us plenty to watch.
But for old favorites you can now watch on HBO Max, read on.
1. Friends (1993 – 2004)
We haven’t been without access to Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Joey, Rachel, and Ross for very long, but it’s still a comfort to know we can stream the gang at Central Perk whenever we please (maybe the best episodes in order?). We can also just let the show play out from the beginning in the background as we bake bread or scream into the void.
HBO Max wasn’t expected to get the Harry Potter films for years due to Universal’s contract, but a last minute deal yielded all eight movies magically available for launch day. The best way to celebrate? Watching them, of course! We’d suggest going out of order to mix things up, but that first movie really does hit the spot.
Along with an impressive family of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim peers, Justin Rolland and Dan Harmon’s Rick and Morty makes its HBO debut. Join the mad doc and his grandson adventure after misadventure, whether you’re an unvetted first-timer or an old pal.
We all know the story of the Kansas twister that uproots young Dorothy (Judy Garland) from her home and into the technicolor land of Oz, but there is simply no replicating how it feels to watch it (or to show it to kids and others for the first time in HD). Join Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow as they journey to meet the Wizard and meet so much else along the way.
5. The O.C. (2004 – 2007)
California, here we come. Discover or revisit the beautiful, wealthy, definitely-too-old-for-high-school teens of Orange County who both defined and also had really nothing to do with most people’s experience of growing up in the early 2000s. Mmmwhatchasay…
The best film of the D.C. Extended Universe is still Diana Prince’s standalone origin story as she ventures from her home of Themyscira to our own decidedly less enticing world. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is equally fierce, formidable, compassionate, and fearless, often all of them at once as she leaps into battle. No wonder Steve Trevor fell so hard.
You could rewatch Friends for the hundredth time, or you could switch sitcom gears and let yourself be utterly charmed by Will Smith as Will Smith (er, no relation). Six seasons is a breeze of a binge compared to so many of the show’s fellow ’90s fare, and no matter how many times you see it, the Carlton never gets old.
HBO Max will be the exclusive home for many classic movies like this one, including Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and more. But nothing hits that feel-good vibe quite like Singin’ in the Rain, starring Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, and Donald O’Connor. If you love old Hollywood musicals and don’t want to be shamed for secretly rewatching La La Land every few months, you are saved.
HBO Max scored big for modern animated favorites with all five seasons of Steven Universe, which were difficult to track down on a single service before. Steven Universe is a GLAAD and Emmy Award–winning series about a half-human, half-alien boy whose late mother was the leader of the Crystal Gems, a group of gemstone warriors who swore to protect the planet earth. It blend mystery and music with a classic coming-of-age story, and is hands down one of Cartoon Networks’s best series of the decade. –Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter
This is one of the heaviest Hayao Miyazaki movies, based around themes of war, the destructive affects that humans have on nature, and helplessness in the face of inevitable catastrophe. Young, ambitious princess Nausicaä shoulders these forces to not only help her people survive, but to help the planet heal itself from the poison that the hubris of man unleashed upon it. The world is in a bad place in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, but the bright hope of Nausicaä at the core of this story is inspiring. –Kellen Beck, Entertainment Reporter