5 Max shows to watch now with 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

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Given Max’s close association with HBO, it’s no surprise that the service is home to tons of critically acclaimed series. HBO has decades of history producing some of the most revered shows on TV, and that tradition continues now that HBO is just one part of the overall Max streaming platform. Max also incorporates its own originals and series from other Warner Bros. Discovery-owned brands, giving it plenty of sources for quality programming.

The highest mark of that quality is a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and there are quite a few shows on Max that have achieved that benchmark. From documentary to comedy to animation, here are five of those shows with universal critical approval to stream right now.

'Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV'

Produced by Investigation Discovery, this docu-series has become a phenomenon, shining a light on the abuse and mistreatment of child actors on Nickelodeon shows during the 1990s and 2000s. It exposes the hostile work environment fostered by producer Dan Schneider, who was in charge of much of Nickelodeon’s live-action programming during that era and features testimony from many of Schneider’s co-workers.

“Quiet on Set” covered so much material that an extra fifth episode has been added to the original four-part series, dealing with the aftermath of revelations about Schneider and other abusers. Critics have commended the series for its extensive documentation of injustice, and audiences have responded strongly on social media. As much as the filmmakers have uncovered, they’re only one part of an ongoing story.

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Jean Smart received some of the best reviews of her career for her role as legendary comedian Deborah Vance, who’s forced to team with much younger comedy writer Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder) to bring a more modern sensibility to her long-running Las Vegas act. Smart and Einbinder make for a perfect cross-generational team, as the show takes on the changing struggles of women in showbiz.

The two characters form a wary bond as they reach beyond their initial surface assessments of each other, and the show finds genuine heartfelt moments while remaining often brutally funny. Both Deborah and Ava see their professional and personal lives evolve as the series travels from Vegas across the U.S. in its second season. Critical acclaim and awards follow, both onscreen and in reality.

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'The Larry Sanders Show'

One of HBO’s first major critical and commercial hits is a pitch-perfect parody of late night talk shows, starring Garry Shandling as the title character. Larry is the host of a popular “Tonight Show”-like program, and the show features frequent guest appearances from celebrities as themselves, presaging future HBO hits like “Entourage” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Rip Torn and Jeffrey Tambor co-star as Larry’s producer and his sidekick, respectively. The show mixes footage from the fictional talk show with backstage scenes of the characters’ unguarded interactions.

“Larry Sanders” received widespread critical acclaim and awards nominations for all six of its seasons, and it remains a major influence on modern TV shows, often named one of the greatest comedy series of all time.

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'Scavengers Reign'

While American audiences are still used to most adult-targeted animated series being raunchy comedies, shows like “Scavengers Reign” have expanded the medium’s possibilities into complex drama. A sci-fi series set on a distant planet, “Scavengers Reign” features the crew of a space-faring cargo vessel stranded in an alien landscape after their ship crashes. Their ordeal as they attempt to escape the inhospitable world is suspenseful, strange, and sometimes disturbing.

Based on a short film that originally aired on Adult Swim, “Scavengers Reign” takes full advantage of the possibilities of animation to create an immersive world that feels completely foreign to any human experience. Reviewers responded to its unique visuals and storytelling, turning an under-the-radar show into an unlikely critical favorite.

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'Somebody Somewhere'

A starring vehicle for comedian Bridget Everett, “Somebody Somewhere” is more than just another show that translates stand-up material into a sitcom. Inspired by Everett’s own life, the gentle dramedy follows Sam, a middle-aged woman who returns to her small Kansas hometown following the death of her sister and decides to stay, making a new life for herself in the Midwest.

Although it’s a show about a queer woman living in the American heartland, “Somebody Somewhere” strikes an optimistic tone, placing its protagonist in a welcoming community that allows her to explore new possibilities for her future. Critics have praised the show’s warmth and honesty, along with the performances from Everett and Jeff Hiller as Sam’s newfound best friend, who shows her that Kansas just might be the right place for her after all.

Watch on Max

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is a freelance writer and movie/TV critic based in Las Vegas. He's the former film editor of Las Vegas Weekly and has written about movies and TV for Vulture, Inverse, CBR, Crooked Marquee and more. With comedian Jason Harris, he co-hosts the podcast Awesome Movie Year.