Best TV Shows on HBO Max in 2023 (September Update)

By Lori Meek
Published: September 9, 2023 (Last updated: April 29, 2024)

Keep this page handy as we celebrate and list what is deemed to be the Best and Highest Rated TV Shows on HBO Max in 2023.

For years, HBO has built a reputation as a top-notch entertainment producer. Critically acclaimed and memorable series like Westworld, Six Feet Under, and Game of Thrones had the unmistakable HBO quality hallmark. The network’s affiliated video-on-demand service, HBO Max, only launched a couple of years ago, yet it’s already home to a seemingly endless library of highly rated content.

For this list, however, we’re watching for series premiering and returning during 2023. By noting Rotten Tomatoes scores and IMDB audience rankings, we’ll keep updating this page with the best content available to stream on HBO Max throughout the year. For a broader list, check our Best Shows on HBO Max of All Time.

Last Update: September 9th, 2023

Best and Highest Rated TV Shows on HBO Max in 2023

18. And Just Like That… (2021 – )

While season one of AJLT was panned by the critics, in its sophomore installment, the series did manage to go back to its Sex and The City roots. 

Official Premise: The new chapter of “Sex and the City” follows Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s.

Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Mario Cantone, David Eigenberg

Rotten Tomatoes: 56%

IMDB Rating: 5.7/10

17. Love & Death (2023)

In 2022, Hulu dropped Candy, starring Jessica Biel. Now Max premiered the second miniseries to dramatize the infamous case of Candy Montgomery, a housewife accused of murdering her affair partner’s wife. 

Official Premise: Two churchgoing couples enjoy small-town family life in Texas – until somebody picks up an axe.

Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Jesse Plemons, Olivia Grace Applegate, Patrick Fugit, Fabiola Andújar

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10

16. White House Plumbers (2023)

Featuring an all-star cast ensemble, this miniseries explores the lives of those who were behind the Watergate scandal. The show is based on Matthew and Egil Krogh’s memoir Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the White House.

Official Premise: “White House Plumbers” goes behind the scenes of the Watergate scandal as Nixon’s political saboteurs, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, accidentally topple the presidency they were zealously trying to protect. Chronicling actions on the ground, this satirical drama begins in 1971 when the White House hires Hunt and Liddy, formerly of the CIA and FBI, respectively, to investigate the Pentagon Papers leak. After failing upward, the unlikely pair lands on the committee to reelect the president, plotting several unbelievable covert ops, including bugging the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate complex.

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Justin Theroux, Lena Headey, Toby Huss, Ike Barinholtz

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

IMDB Rating: 6.8/10

15. Full Circle (2023)

This intriguing miniseries was adapted from the 1963 film, Full Circle.

Official Premise: An investigation into a botched kidnapping uncovers long-held secrets connecting multiple characters and cultures in present day New York City.

Cast: Zazie Beetz, Claire Danes, Jim Gaffigan, Jharrel Jerome, Timothy Olyphant

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

IMDB Rating: 6.4/10

14. Perry Mason (2020 – )

Perry Mason’s highly anticipated second season was finally released this year. The historical drama earned no less than four Primetime Emmy nominations. 

Official Premise: Legal drama set in 1932 Los Angeles and based on novels and short stories penned by Erle Stanley Gardner.

Cast: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Eric Lange

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10

13. The Righteous Gemstones (2019 – )

Season 3 of the acclaimed black comedy premiered this summer and it was just as witty as the previous two installments.

Official Premise: Well into the second generation of a grand televangelist tradition, the world-famous Gemstone family is living proof that worship pays dividends in all sizes. Patriarch Eli, the man most responsible for the tremendous success of the family’s megachurch, is in mourning over the loss of his wife. Jesse, the eldest of the three grown Gemstone siblings, looks to lead in his father’s footsteps, but finds his past sins jeopardizing the family ministry. Next in line comes middle sister Judy, who secretly lives with her fiancé and dreams of escaping the Gemstone compound. Rounding out the dysfunctional trio is pseudo-hipster Kelvin, the youngest of the preachers and a thorn in Jesse’s side. As the family battles numerous threats to their renowned religious empire, they continue to spread the good word… and make a solid buck doing so.

Cast: Danny McBride, John Goodman, Adam DeVine, Edi Patterson, Cassidy Freeman

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10

12. Warrior (2019 – )

The critically acclaimed series based on the works of Bruce Lee moved to Max for it’s third season. 

Official Premise: A crime drama that takes place in the latter half of the 19th century during brutal gang wars in San Francisco’s Chinatown, it follows martial arts prodigy Ah Sahm, a Chinese immigrant who arrives in the City of Lights under mysterious circumstances. Once he proves his prowess as a fighter, Sahm becomes a hit man for one of Chinatown’s most powerful organized crime families. As he is mentored by the son of the crime family’s leader, learning the ins and outs of gang warfare, Al Sahm wins the confidence of brothel madam Ah Toy, eventually revealing to her his true intentions. “Warrior” is based on the writings of martial arts legend Bruce Lee and features a largely Asian cast.

Cast: Andrew Koji, Jason Tobin, Olivia Cheng, Kieran Bew, Dianne Doan

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

IMDB Rating: 8.4/10

11. Rain Dogs (2023 – )

This new British series created by Cash Carraway premiered to widespread critical acclaim for its writing, performances, and compellingly relevant storyline. 

Official Premise: A dysfunctional family on the fringes of society attempts to go straight in a crooked world.

Cast: Daisy May Cooper, Jack Farthing, Ronke Adekoluejo, Fleur Tashjian, Adrian Edmondson

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

IMDB Rating: 6.9/10

10. Succession (2018 – 2023)

As one of Max’s most prominent series, Succession collected an array of accolades during its four-season run. The show’s fourth and final season started airing in March 2023. 

Official Premise: Although he has no plans to step aside as the head of Waystar Royco, the international media conglomerate controlled by his family, aging patriarch Logan Roy is contemplating what the future holds. He has lingered in the limelight longer than even he thought he would, and now family members want to run the company as they see fit. Despite a best-laid succession plan, tempers flare over Logan’s intentions. Kendall Roy, Logan’s eldest son from his second marriage and a division president at the firm, is the heir apparent. As Kendall attempts to solidify his eventual takeover, he and the three other Roy children face a difficult choice as company control and family loyalties collide.

Cast: Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Hiam Abbass, Sarah Snook

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

IMDB Rating: 8.9/10

9. The Other Two (2019 – )

The Other Two originally premiered on Comedy Central before finding a permanent home with Max. 

Official Premise: Former “Saturday Night Live” head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider are the creative forces behind “The Other Two,” a scripted series centered around two siblings desperately seeking their lot in life. Aspiring actor Cary is struggling to land better auditions than “Man at Party Who Smells Fart,” while his sister Brooke is simply struggling in general. As they work toward self-improvement, their lives are turned upside-down when their teenage brother Chase becomes an internet sensation overnight.

Cast: Drew Tarver, Heléne Yorke, Case Walker, Ken Marino, Molly Shannon

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

8. The Last of Us (2023 – )

One of the most talked about series of 2023 so far, The Last of Us is an adaptation of a beloved namesake video game franchise. The show’s premiere night saw a whopping 4.7 million viewers worldwide, and the near-perfect rankings from RT and IMDB speak for themselves. Many call this HBO’s newest big hit, and they’re probably right. 

Official Premise: 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed, Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

Cast: Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Nick Offerman, Gabriel Luna, Merle Dandridge

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

IMDB Rating: 8.8/10

7. Harley Quinn (2019 – )

This adult animation has a lot going for it, including a star-studded cast and a win at the Critics Choice Awards.

Official Premise: The newly single Harley Quinn sets off to make it on her own as the criminal queenpin in Gotham City.

Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk, Jim Rash, Tony Hale

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

6. Barry (2018 – 2023)

Another popular series to end this year, Barry’s follows the titular hitman as he’s trying to build a better life for himself and follow his dreams. The show won no less than 9 Emmy awards during its illustrious four-season run. 

Official Premise: Disillusioned at the thought of taking down another “mark,” depressed, low-level hitman Barry Berkman seeks a way out. When the Midwesterner reluctantly travels to Los Angeles to execute a hit on an actor who is bedding a mobster’s wife, little does Barry know that the City of Angels may be his sanctuary. He follows his target into acting class and ends up instantly drawn to the community of eager hopefuls, especially dedicated student Sally, who becomes the object of his affection. While Barry wants to start a new life as an actor, his handler, Fuches, has other ideas, and the hitman’s criminal past won’t let him walk away so easily.

Cast: Bill Hader, Stephen Root, Henry Winkler, Sarah Goldberg, Anthony Carrigan

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

IMDB Rating: 8.4/10

5. Clone High (2023 – )

This series combines an interesting premise with great animation. 

Official Premise: Historical figures who have been cloned and placed back in high school, including Abraham Lincoln, Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, John F. Kennedy and more, face the trials of normal teenage life.

Cast: Will Forte, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Christa Miller, Nicole Sullivan

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

IMDB Rating: 6.5/10

4. Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai (2023 – )

Seeing the new animation prequel to Gremlins have such a warm reception is hardly a surprise. The fantasy show does follow the adventures of everyone’s favorite Gizmo.

Official Premise: Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai takes viewers back to 1920s Shanghai where the Wing family first meets the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Sam Wing (future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 “Gremlins” film) accepts the dangerous task to take Gizmo home and embarks on a journey through the Chinese countryside. Sam and Gizmo are joined by a teenage street thief named Elle, and together, they encounter—and sometimes battle—colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. Along their quest, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins.

Cast: Matthew Rhys, James Hong, Ming-Na Wen, BD Wong, Gabrielle Nevaeh

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

IMDB Rating: 7.4/10

3. Spy/Master (2023 – )

This Romanian thriller follows a fictional spy trying to survive during the dark days of the Cold War. 

Official Premise: Victor Godeanu, the right-hand man and closest adviser to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceau?escu during the Cold War, is also a secret agent for the KGB and must escape Romania and Ceau?escu before his cover is blown. With only one shot at staying alive, he uses a diplomatic trip to Germany as a springboard to the United States. Helped by an undercover Stasi agent and former flame, and an up-and-coming CIA agent, Godeanu must elude the KGB and his own country’s spooks, fully aware that his defection is putting his family back home in mortal danger.

Cast: Alec Secareanu, Claudiu Bleont, Svenja Jung, Parker Sawyers, Ana Ularu

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

2. Somebody Somewhere (2022 – )

This touching series follows a woman in her 40s on a journey of self-discovery after a personal tragedy. The critically acclaimed show was loosely inspired by the life of its lead, Bridget Everett. 

Official Premise: Sam, a true Kansan on the surface, struggles to fit her hometown’s mold; grappling with loss and acceptance, singing is her saving grace and leads her on a journey to discover herself and a community of outsiders who don’t fit in and don’t give up.

Cast: Bridget Everett, Jeff Hiller, Mary Catherine Garrison, Danny McCarthy, Jane Brody

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

IMDB Rating: 8/10

1. Ten-Year-Old Tom (2021 – )

Created by Steve Dildarian, the series follows a young boy who can’t catch a break because of the mean adults he’s surrounded by.

Official Premise: A youngster puts up with the bad influences in his life, including litigious parents, drug-dealing bus drivers, and inappropriate band teachers.

Cast: Steve Dildarian, Byron Bowers, Gillian Jacobs, Edi Patterson, Ben Rodgers

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

IMDB Rating: 8.2/10

And that completes our list of the Best and Highest Rated TV Shows on HBO Max in 2023. What’s your favorite in this list? Comment below.

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