As yet another weekend of watching The Office looms, I have great news: As of Friday, April 3, HBO Now and HBO Go are offering over 500 hours of free streaming bliss. Don't get too excited, though, because major HBO shows like Game of Thrones and Euphoria aren't on the list. However, HBO is offering plenty of great TV shows, movies, and documentaries that you can't find anywhere else (and did we mention they're free?)—and this teaser is just a taste of all the exciting things to come when HBO Max drops in May.
A little more info about HBO Max: The new $14.99 monthly service is going to include everything on HBO, plus all of their originals, library titles, and licensed content. Have we mention it'll also be home to Friends? Sure, the long-awaited reunion may be on hold right now, but at least we'll always have reruns.
Ahead, I took the liberty of figuring out which of the ten documentaries, 20 movies, and nine TV shows you should spend some time with this weekend. HBO hasn't come out and said when this free period would end yet, so there's no time like the present to start watching!
'Crazy, Stupid, Love' (2011)
Need to spice up your weekend plans at home? Pop this baby in and get ready for some shirtless Ryan Gosling! Follow the tale of Cal Weaver (Steve Carell), who finds out his wife (Julianne Moore) has been unfaithful and now wants a divorce. Now, stuck in the dating world at 40, Cal looks to the help of a man he meets at a bar (Gosling) to give him a total makeover. A lot of other great people are in this too (Emma Stone!), but I probably had you at "shirtless Ryan Gosling."
'The Sopranos' (1999-2007)
Crowned as the greatest TV show of all time by critics everywhere, this series follows the life of Tony Soprano and his involvement with "The Family," otherwise known as the mob. Over six seasons, you see New Jersey mob boss Soprano struggle with all kinds of stuff. What's interesting is that he also sees a therapist, which isn't typical for a guy with his kind of demeanor. Warning: This show is very graphic and features multiple scenes of violence against women.
Bill Hader gets a little bit serious in this tale of a midwestern hitman named Barry (Hader) who accepts a job in sunny Los Angeles. While on the job, he finds himself drawn to the acting world and announces to his boss Fuches (Stephen Root) that this is his last job—and it doesn't go over well. The 30-minute episodes go by in a breeze, and leave you wondering what else Saturday Night Live alum Hader is capable of.
This six-part documentary might not have the crazy characters of Netflix's Tiger King, but the story is equally insane and wild. Sit back and learn about the tale of the McDonald's Monopoly scam during the 1990s, both from the people who committed the crime and the FBI agents who were involved. It left me shocked (and also really wanting a McDonald's French fry).
'United Skates' (2018)
This documentary swept the festival circuit when it came out. It follows the story of the closure of one of America's last standing roller rinks and the hidden subculture it created as it became a starting ground for some of music's biggest talent. The story is a reminder of how much stronger we are together—and might make you want to dust off your skates.
At first glance, this looks like it could be just another gritty HBO drama, but oh, how looks can be deceiving! The story of the Roy family, who own the majority of the global media, is more funny than serious. It's filmed like The Office or Parks and Recreation, with the feel of a camera crew following the cast at all times, and the writing is just so *chef's kiss.*
Forget everything you know about the 2011 remake with Russell Brand and make your weekend a little bit brighter by watching the original instead. A rich man (Dudley Moore) who's really into partying is given an ultimatum by his father: marry a girl he picked out or risk losing his $750,000,000 inheritance. The only problem? He falls in love with a shoplifter, played by Liza Minnelli.
'Jane Fonda in Five Acts' (2018)
Settle in and learn about the greatness that is Oscar winner, activist, fitness tycoon, and the woman we all adore, Jane Fonda. I adore this documentary for multiple reasons, but the main reason is that Fonda wants us fans to know her narrative from her eyes. It's a lovely tribute to all that she's done, and it doesn't hurt that we get to see old footage of her and Robert Redford either.
'True Blood' (2008-2014)
Set in southern Louisiana, the world of telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) turns upside down when she meets the mysterious vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). It's the first HBO series I loved and adored, and will always hold a place in my heart. It also doesn't hurt that it features multiple shirtless scenes of Alexander Skarsgård and Joe Manganiello. Oh, how I adore the arts! Warning: There's a whole lot of nudity and blood, so perhaps not a show the whole family can enjoy.
'The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part' (2019)
This is an animated sequel that lives up to the original. We check back in with the original cast five years later when everything is definitely not awesome—specifically, an alien force threatens to take over their world. You'll probably come for the sake of a little one, but by the end, you'll find yourself equally as captivated as they are.
'I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter' (2019)
Back in 2014, you probably saw the headlines about Michelle Carter, the girl who encouraged her boyfriend Conrad Roy to die by carbon monoxide intoxication in his car. The documentary is a two-parter, telling the story from the prosecution's point of view and then the defense's, leaving viewers to decide which side they're on.
'Sucker Punch' (2011)
Probably the most underrated on this list, this action film from the director of 300 and Watchmen leaves a lasting impression. Babydoll (Emily Browning ) is sent to a mental asylum by her abusive stepfather, where she's set to undergo a lobotomy in five days. Left with no other options, she and four other inmates plan to escape and set out to find five objects set in their real and imaginary worlds.
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