7 best reasons to subscribe to Max in August 2023

Max logo on a television set
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Max)

This is our first summer with Max, the rebranded HBO Max with Discovery Plus service that launched in May, and the "home box office" has been cooking up plenty of new programming each month to keep us coming back.

Max plans

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August already looks to be a packed month for Max premieres. The Emmy-winning reality sports docuseries Hard Knocks is back with a new behind-the-scenes look at how the top NFL players survive boot camp. The second season of two of the biggest comedies on Max — Rap Sh!t and Abbott Elementary — are also landing. And rounding out the month we've got the debut of a multiverse-spanning spin-off of the much-beloved Cartoon Network show Adventure Time. Not to mention plenty of new movies coming to one of the best streaming services.

So without further ado, let's go through what new shows and movies are heading to Max in August to see if a subscription is worth your time (and money). 

New shows coming to Max in August

Shawna (Aida Osman) and Mia (KaMillion) sit on a couch in season 2 episode 1 of Rap Sh!t

(Image credit: Erin Simkin/Max)

Kicking things off, Rap Sh!t season two hits Max on August 10. This comedy series, which is loosely based on the popular rap duo the City Girls, follows two estranged high school friends based out of Miami who reunite to form a rap group. 

Struggling rapper Shawna (Aida Osman) is working odd jobs to make ends meet while her music career fails to get off the ground. As fate would have it, she reconnects with an old friend, Mia (Kamillion), who's amassed a sizable Instagram following since their days in high school, and the two team up. Their music goes viral online, but as big personalities clash it quickly becomes clear why the friends grew apart in the first place. 

All episodes of Abbott Elementary's second season, which has racked up eight Emmy nominations, will hit Max on August 21. It's a mockumentary-style workplace sitcom in the same vein as The Office or Superstore that centers on the trials and tribulations of running an underfunded elementary school. 

The main teacher — the awkward but plucky Janine Teagues — is played by Quinta Brunson, who is also the show's creator, writer and producer. While she's easily the heart and soul of the show, her co-workers prove to be just as endearing and hilarious, spanning from grizzled teaching veterans to a principal who is the absolute worst person for the job. We've described Abbott Elementary as a perfect modern sitcom, so if you haven't checked it out yet, now's the perfect time. 

At the end of the month, on August 31, Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake debuts on Max. The series will follow the misadventures of Fionna the Human and Cake the Cat, gender-bent versions of Finn and Jake from Cartoon Network's hit Adventure Time show. The characters were originally intended to be one-offs in a few Adventure Time episodes that explored an alternate reality (aka fan fiction written by the Ice King), but have since taken on a life of their own. 

Max bills Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake as a "multiverse-hopping adventure and journey of self-discovery." It's also aiming for an older audience than its predecessor, geared toward the children who grew up watching Adventure Time who are now young adults. 

It's a great time to be a sports fan with Max

Earvin "Magic" Johnson, played by Quincy Isaiah, dribbles a basketball on a court in season 2 episode 1 of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

(Image credit: Warrick Page/HBO)

If you're a sports nut or maybe just interested in all the work that goes in before the big game, Max has several sports docuseries coming this month that you won't want to miss.

Max's Emmy-winning reality sports docuseries gets a new season on August 8 with Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets. Follow third-year head coach Robert Saleh as he puts his team through the wringer at the Jets' training camp in Florham Park, New Jersey. 

Saleh must get his team of young emerging stars and prominent veterans into shape for the upcoming NFL season. Noteworthy players include four-time NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers, who left the Green Bay Packers in the offseason for a fresh start, as well as Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner, last season's Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, and defensive All-Pros C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams.

Or, if hoops are more your thing, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty will see its second season premiere on August 6. This drama chronicles the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, with its latest season culminating with the first professional rematch of the era's greatest stars: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. 

Then, on August 23, the Max original documentary BS High drops. It dives into the cut-throat world of football prep programs, with a particular focus on the scandal surrounding the Bishop Sycamore Centurions — a team from a fake high school that was able to con its way into a nationally televised game on ESPN in 2021.

Freddy's coming for you

Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) flexes his claws in Freddy vs. Jason

(Image credit: PixtureLux | The Hollywood Archive | Alamy)

You've heard of Christmas in July, but what about Halloween in August? Max has a slew of great (and great to laugh at) horror movies coming to the platform this month. 

That includes the first five films in the Freddy Kruger slasher series A Nightmare on Elm Street. As well as Wes Craven's New Nightmare, the original director's reimagining that brings the dream-haunting demon to the "real world," and the 2010 series reboot wherein Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen, Alita: Battle Angel) takes on Robert Englund's iconic role. 

And if you're in the mood for a horror-comedy, I can't recommend Rubber enough. It's a ridiculous and truly bizarre ride that's better the less you know going in, but here's the premise: a homicidal tire inexplicably comes to life and starts blowing people up with its mind. 

Here are all the horror movies hitting Max on August 1: 

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)
  • Chernobyl Diaries (2012)
  • Rubber (2010)
  • The Amityville Horror (1979)
  • The Amityville Horror (2005)
  • Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.