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What to Watch on HBO Max: New ‘Euphoria,’ ‘Righteous Gemstones’ Return and a ‘Harry Potter’ Reunion

Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
 2021-12-31

Where other streaming services are taking it a little easy in January, HBO Max is putting its foot to the floor, rolling out new seasons of popular series, catching up with the stars of a beloved blockbuster, and launching some ambitious new shows. Without further ado. let’s get into it.

Watch all of these shows and films for free with a subscription to HBO Max . An HBO Max subscription costs $14.99/month (in line with pricing for Netflix or the popular $13.99 Disney Bundle ). See full HBO Max sign-up details here .


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Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (January 1)

The Harry Potter franchise is in a weird place these days. The books and movies remain as beloved as ever—maybe more beloved than ever—even as creator J.K. Rowling seems intent on defining herself as the world’s most famous transphobe, a position that’s earned her rebukes from some of the stars of her films. It will be interesting to see how, or if, this special tied to the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter movie will address this. Either way, it should be nice to see Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and the rest revisiting their days as aspiring wizards.

Search Party: Season 5 (January 9)

The cult-favorite series about mystery and generational identity crises begins its final season, rejoining Dory (Alia Shawkat) and her friends shortly after the cliffhanger that ended the previous season. In a departure from past seasons, fans can watch it all in one long binge. All ten episodes premiere today.

Euphoria : Season 2 Premiere (January 7)

One of the post popular, and divisive shows of recent years returns for another round of teen drama and questionable life choices (not counting a couple of between-seasons specials). Will Rue (Zendaya) finally get her act together? Would there be much reason to watch if she did?

The Righteous Gemstones : Season 2 Premiere (January 7)

It’s been over two years since we last checked in with the Gemstones, the high-living, secret-keeping, multigenerational televangelist family whose members include characters played by John Goodman, Danny McBride, and Adam Devine. Season two finds the family attempting to expand its empire while struggling to determine who’s next in line to control the business. (Wait, is this secretly the same show as Succession?)

Peacemaker (January 13)

A spin-off of James Gunn’s appealingly vulgar The Suicide Squad , Peacemaker comes from a cruder corner of the DC Universe. John Cena’s Peacemaker, a hard-fighting tough guy determined to enforce peace (but who doesn’t have much use for a moral compass in accomplishing that goal), was one of the film’s highlights. This new series—written by Gunn, who also directs several episodes—explores Peacemaker’s origins. Expect them to be anything but peaceful.

Somebody Somewhere (January 16)

A beloved fixture of New York’s comedy and cabaret worlds, Bridget Everett may have finally found her breakout role with this series inspired by Everett’s own life. Everett plays Sam, a returning Kansan who reconnects with old acquaintances and rediscovers her love of singing while mourning the loss of her sister.

Looney Tunes Cartoons : Season 4 Premiere (January 20)

Most modern revivals of the classic Looney Tunes characters have been pretty unremarkable (though that mileage might vary for Space Jam fans). This series, a highlight of HBO Max since the service launched, has been a remarkable exception, however, capturing the spirit of the classic cartoons while acknowledging the passing of time with the occasional smartphone gag.

The Gilded Age (HBO, January 24)

As the writer of Gosford Park and creator of Downton Abbey , Julian Fellowes is pretty much the go-to person for series about intrigue and in-fighting amidst the upper crust of yesteryear. With this new series Fellowes turns his attention to the New World, specifically New York during the bustling 1880s, when the newly wealthy threatened to shake up high society and the old guard tried to keep change at bay. The remarkable cast includes Christine Baranksi, Cynthia Nixon, and Carrie Coon.

Malignant (January 27)

James Wan’s return to horror was released without a lot of advanced info describing what, exactly, it was about. That’s as it should be. If you don’t know the amazing, ridiculous twist at the heart of the gloriously overheated spectacle, keep it that way and just watch. You won’t be sorry.

Reminiscence (January 29)

Westworld’s Lisa Joy made her feature directorial debut with this futuristic noir starring Hugh Jackman as the proprietor of a business dedicated to retrieving, and allowing customers to live within, memories. It’s a little bit noir, a little bit Philip K. Dick. And though it’s ultimately not that satisfying science fiction fans may want to give it a look.

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