What's new on HBO Max May 2022: Hacks, The Staircase and more

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It's not TV, but list of what's new on HBO Max for May 2022 makes us confident in thinking the best streaming service will keep the crown going forward. Sure, HBO Max may not have the almost untenably large list of new releases you get on a certain competitor (check out that new on Netflix list while you're here), but the service looks to keep its quality over quantity pattern going through the spring month.

We call HBO Max the top streamer because while its May 2022 debuts are strong — Jean Smart is back for Hacks season 2 while Toni Collette and Colin Firth team up for The Staircase — its April shows that we love are still continuing. That means if you want to watch more of Barry season 3, Made For Love season 2 and The Flight Attendant season 2 (and not wait for the seasons to be over), you'll stick around. 

On top of that, they've also got a two-part George Carlin documentary, the return of Michael Che's show, and Stephen Moffat's adaptation of The Time Traveler's Wife.

New on HBO Max: Editors' recommendations

Hacks season 2

The Jean Smartaissance just keeps going on as Hacks (one of the best HBO Max shows you may not have watched yet) is back to make a scene. The sophomore season of the dark comedy series finds standup veteran Deborah Vance (Smart) going off the strip and on the road with her younger writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder). The two don't have a great relationship yet — as you can see in the trailer, Deborah is having fun throwing stuff at Ava in public — but their sparring will continue. And that's the point. Ava earned Deborah's interest by talking back to her and pushing her, and now they're going to test new material around the country. 

Premieres May 12 with two episodes

The Staircase

True crime fans get a lot from Netflix and even Hulu, and so we're not surprised that one of the biggest new HBO Max titles in May is of the "ripped from the headlines" variety. This limited series focuses on the life of Michael Peterson (Colin Firth) and the death of his wife Kathleen (Toni Collette). While Kathleen's death was blamed on an odd fall, all signs point to Michael having taken her life. Seemingly everyone in the neighborhood has a story about their relationship, and Michael's doing his best to dodge allegations.

Streaming on May 5

New on HBO Max: Coming soon in May

Arriving on HBO Max in May 2022 (date TBA)

Our top selections are in bold, and we've got official synopses from HBO Max to help explain its latest additions and some of its originals.

  • George Carlin’s American Dream, Documentary Premiere
    Take a deeper look into George Carlin, the man dubbed the “dean of counterculture comedians,” in the two-part documentary “George Carlin’s American Dream.” From Emmy®-winning directors Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, the documentary explores a cultural chameleon who is remembered as one of the most influential stand-up comics of all time.
  • PAUSE with Sam Jay, Season 2 Premiere
    Join Sam Jay’s house party with the season two premiere of “PAUSE with Sam Jay,” a comedy-talk-variety show that's an interview platform, a comedy show and a cultural lesson all in one.

Arriving on HBO Max May 1

  • 47 Ronin, 2013
  • Assassins, 2020
  • At Close Range, 1986
  • An Autumn Afternoon, 1962
  • The Big Sleep, 1946
  • Back To School, 1986
  • Bottle Rocket, 1996
  • Calladita, 2020
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968
  • Child 44, 2015
  • Chungking Express, 1994
  • The Color Purple, 1985
  • Conan The Barbarian, 2011
  • Devil in A Blue Dress, 1995
  • Dodes 'Ka-Den, 1970
  • Domino, 2019
  • Downhill, 1927
  • Dragnet Girl, 1933
  • Early Spring, 1956
  • Early Summer, 1951
  • The End of Summer, 1961
  • Equinox Flower, 1958
  • Eraser, 1996
  • Fallen Angels, 1995
  • Floating Weeds, 1959
  • FRIDA, 2002
  • The Fugitive, 1993
  • Furry Vengeance, 2010
  • Gang Related, 1997
  • Good Morning, 1959
  • Hard Rain, 1998
  • Hart’s War, 2002
  • High and Low, 1963
  • Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius, 2001
  • Julie, 1956
  • Killers, 2010
  • Language Lessons, 2021
  • Love and Baseball, 2021
  • The Machine That Kills Bad People, 1952
  • Masters Of The Universe, 1987
  • The Missing, 2003
  • The New Guy, 2002
  • North Dallas Forty, 1979
  • Not Easily Broken, 2009
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, 2012
  • Poseidon, 2006
  • Red Beard, 1965
  • Ringo and His Golden Pistol, 1966
  • Rugrats Go Wild, 2003
  • Rugrats In Paris: The Movie, 2000
  • The Rugrats Movie, 1998
  • The Sapphires, 2012
  • Sense and Sensibility, 1995
  • Sliding Doors, 1998
  • St. Elmo's Fire, 1985
  • The Stepford Wives, 2004
  • Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, 2009 (Extended Version)
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991 (Director’s Cut)
  • Tokyo Twilight, 1957
  • Top Secret!, 1984
  • Transporter 3, 2008
  • Unbroken, 2014
  • Underworld, 2003
  • Underworld: Awakening, 2012
  • Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, 2009
  • Welcome to the Dollhouse, 1995
  • W.E., 2011
  • What To Expect When You're Expecting, 2012
  • The Wild Thornberrys Movie, 2002
  • Yellowface: Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood, 2019
  • You, Me and Dupree, 2006
  • Young Adult, 2011
  • Zathura: A Space Adventure, 2005
    Travel through the depths of space in “Zathura: A Space Adventure”, where three siblings' house is transported into space, and they are forced to finish a magical 1950s space-adventure board game.

Arriving on HBO Max May 3

  • Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Know, Documentary Premiere

Arriving on HBO Max May 5

  • Las Bravas F.C., Max Original Season 1 premiere
  • Queen Stars Brazil, Max Original Season 1 Premiere
  • The Staircase, Max Original Limited Series Premiere

Arriving on HBO Max May 6

  • Dear Evan Hansen, 2021
    “Dear Evan Hansen” is an American coming-of-age musical film about a high school student with social anxiety, adapted from the hit award-winning musical of the same name.
  • Entre Nos: Carmen and Alfred
  • La Afinadora De Árboles, 2019

Arriving on HBO Max May 7

  • We Baby Bears, Season 1 Part C

Arriving on HBO Max May 9

  • Get Hard, 2015

Arriving on HBO Max May 10

  • Catwoman: Hunted, 2022
  • The Matrix: Resurrections, 2021
    Red or blue pill? Fans of the Matrix trilogy will enjoy Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Matrix: Resurrections” when it returns to HBO Max in the month. Set sixty years after the revolutions, the film follows Neo to a world of two realities: one, everyday life; the other, what lies behind it. To find out if his reality is a physical or mental construct, to truly know himself, Mr. Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more.
  • Sesame Street Mecha Builders Season 1 Part A
    For little ones, Cartoonito on HBO Max is debuting “Sesame Street Mecha Builders”, an all-new preschool animated series from Sesame Workshop. Sesame Street Mecha Builders reimagines Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Abby Cadabby as robot heroes in training who use their STEM superpowers to solve wacky larger-than-life problems. Animated in a dynamic 3D style, this series will help older preschoolers practice foundational critical thinking skills while laughing along with their Sesame Street friends.
  • Robot Chicken Season 11 Part B

Arriving on HBO Max May 12

  • Hacks, Max Original Season 2 Premiere
  • Who’s By Your Side, Max Original Season 1 Premiere

Arriving on HBO Max May 13

  • Hank Zipzer, 2014
  • Old, 2021
    Things are not what they seem on the tropical secluded beach in “Old," which follows a family on a holiday vacation that discovers a secluded beach that is somehow causing them to age rapidly, reducing their entire lives into a single day.
  • Smalls, Season 4

Arriving on HBO Max May 15

  • The Time Traveler’s Wife, Drama Series Premiere
    “The Time Traveler's Wife,” inspired by the much-loved novel by Audrey Niffenegger and adapted by Stephen Moffat, tells the story of an enchanting love story between Clare and Henry. The love story has one small problem… time travel.

Arriving on HBO Max May 17

  • Sesame Street Mecha Builders, Season 1 Part B
  • The Mule, 2018

Arriving on HBO Max May 20

  • Identidad Tomada, 2020

Arriving on HBO Max May 22

  • Fast Foodies, Season 2

Arriving on HBO Max May 23

  • Teen Titans Go! Season 7 Part B

Arriving on HBO Max May 26

  • Navalny
  • That Damn Michael Che, Max Original Season 2 Premiere
    Michael Che is guaranteed to make everyone laugh in the season two premiere of “That Damn Michael Che,” where he illustrates what it feels like to experience everyday situations including racial profiling, unemployment, falling in love and more.
  • Tig n’ Seek, Max Original Season 4 Premiere

Arriving on HBO Max May 27

  • Blippi Special
  • Blippi Visits
  • Blippi Wonders
  • Blippi: Learn With Blippi
  • Ghost, Season 1
  • Ghost, Season 2
  • Stath Lets Flats

Arriving on HBO Max May 29

  • The Misery Index Season 3 Part B, 2021

Arriving on HBO Max May 31

  • Miami Vice, 2006 (Extended Version)

Leaving HBO Max in May 2022

Titles in bold are ones we'd make sure to watch before they left.

May 14:

Cry Wolf, 2005 (Extended Version)

May 24:

Cinderella Man, 2005 (Extended Version)
The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 2005 (Director’s Cut)

May 25:

Curious George, 2006
Two For The Money, 2005

May 27:

Doom, 2005
Pride & Prejudice, 2005

May 31:

27 Dresses, 2008
The Animal, 2001
A Perfect Murder, 1998
A Very Brady Sequel, 1996
Adult Beginners, 2014
Army Of Darkness, 1992
Billy Elliot, 2000
Bully, 2001
Changing Lanes, 2002
Clueless, 1995
Control Room, 2004
Cymbeline, 2014
Dead Heat, 1988
Dirty Pretty Things, 2002
Doctor Dolittle, 1998
Doubt, 2008
Dr. Dolittle 2, 2001
Enough Said, 2013
Extract, 2009
Fatal Attraction, 1987
Frontera, 2014
Gloria, 1999
Godsend, 2004
How To Be Single, 2016
Insomnia, 2002
Iris, 2001
It Takes Two, 1995
Killerman, 2019
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, 2005
Love And A .45, 1994
Mama, 2013
Mindhunters, 2004
Phone Booth, 2002
Princess Kaiulani, 2009
Pulse, 2001
Rubber, 2010
Speed, 1994
Stoker, 2013
Super Capers, 2009
The Answer Man, 2009
The Benchwarmers, 2006
The Conspirator, 2010
The Forgotten, 2004
The Good Doctor, 2011
The Grifters, 1990
The Italian Job, 2003
The Lawnmower Man, 1992
The Rules Of Attraction, 2002
The Witches Of Eastwick, 1987
The Wolfpack, 2015
The Wrecking Crew!, 2008
This Is 40, 2012
Troll Hunter, 2010
Two Lovers, 2008
"The Two Jakes", 1990
Viva, 2007
War Horse, 2011
War On Everyone, 2016
World's Greatest Dad, 2009
Wristcutters: A Love Story, 2006

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.