The one HBO Max show you need to binge-watch right now

The HBO Max logo on a phone on top of a keyboard
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We really like HBO Max. It's our pick for the best streaming service right now, and that's even without the "day-and-date" movies that made HBO Max big in 2021 (remember when you didn't have to leave your couch to see The Suicide Squad on opening night?).

HBO Max keeps its throne and crown, though, by delivering exceptionally great TV shows, specials and other programming (which it sometimes cancels, so pour one out for Made For Love). But today, I'm not here to bury the dead, but celebrate the still-living. 

I have one show to tell you about (and two other bonus shows) to recommend that is about to return on HBO Max. It's not just a must-watch right now, but I encourage you to stream immediately because it's about to come back, and there's little better than watching a show as it's super-fresh. But, of course, many folks (thanks to shows that don't stick the landing and all of the canceled shows) may be a little wary of starting something new. This is why many often wait until a show's first season is confirmed great, or a second season is greenlighted, to dive in. 

Here is the one HBO Max shows you should watch right now (and two bonus shows):

Binge-watch this HBO Max show before you're even more behind:

Wellington Paranormal

Mike Minogue as Officer Kyle Minogue and Karen O'Leary as Officer O'Leary pose with a being that looks like an alien in Wellington Paranormal.

(Image credit: The CW)

2 seasons to watch — less than 5 hours in total length

I bet you probably heard about What We Do In The Shadows, the movie that became a TV show that we absolutely love here at Tom's Guide. Did you know that it's already spawned another spin-off show? Yes, executive producers Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement have given us yet another fantastic show, Wellington Paranormal. This series spins out of the movie rather simply, as two of the police officers in the Shadows film are now investigating new paranormal problems. 

Those cops, Karen O'Leary as Officer O'Leary and Mike Minogue as Officer Minogue (we do wonder how they came up with those names) approach their jobs with a joy that is not often found in those who hunt the supernatural. Though we do bet Fox Mulder wishes he had gotten this assignment. Mere moments into the first episode, you'll be amazed how casual they react to interacting with a young girl going full Exorcist while claiming to be Bazu'aal of the Unholy Realm.

Season 3 is the penultimate season, and the fourth and final season has already aired on New Zealand's TVNZ 2.

Stream Wellington Paranormal on HBO Max before season 3 arrives on June 23, and you've got more than enough time to catch up.

Bonus shows!

Tuca & Bertie

Bertie ending the HR office in Tuca and Bertie

(Image credit: Netflix)

1 season to watch — approximately 5 hours in total length

It's rare that canceled Netflix shows actually get saved by other outlets, but that's the case with Tuca & Bertie, as the animated series about female friendship went from Netflix to Adult Swim, and that second season is finally coming to HBO Max. Both seasons have gotten phenomenal critical praise, with its first season scoring a 98% (Certified Fresh) on Rotten Tomatoes and the second season doing better with the rare 100% score.

Tuca & Bertie might have been seen as a Bojack-like show, since it puts relatable personalities into colorful animal characters, but it's a bird of a different feather. It's central premise, exploring the friendship of an over-the-top toucan named Tuca and a very-anxious songbird named Bertie (clever how they got those names), is done to fantastic effect. Not only have audiences laughed at its zany stories, but they've seen themselves in the tales of friendship and becoming adults. Think about it as Broad City, but animated.

Tuca & Bertie season 2 premieres on HBO Max on June 24, so you've got more than enough time to watch season 1 on Netflix before then.


Thandiwe Newton as Maeve in Westworld

(Image credit: HBO)

3 seasons to watch — approximately 29 hours in total length

Westworld is one of those big shows that draws a lot of hype and may leave some confused about all the violent designs and ends it's had along the way. But, let's be honest, it's one of the more interesting and wilder premises that HBO's had in a while, as 'host' androids work on adult amusement parks for the time of your life. That is, though, until sentience takes the wheel and the uprising begins.

While I won't spoil the events of the first three seasons of Westworld, I will point out why Westworld season 4 feels so exciting. Finally, it appears that the hosts are coming out of their cages and into polite society. Yes, our world will be infiltrated by the 'hosts,' and we don't think they want to come over for a pint or a cup of tea. 

OK, you've got a lot to watch if you need to catch up on all of Westworld by June 26, so no better time than now to turn on HBO Max and start.

Read next: HBO Max is losing content, and it could be all thanks to a future merger with Discovery Plus

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing 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.