When a new streaming service launches, the library and back catalog is among the first concerns—rightfully so, in a world where nebulous copyrights now control which of even the most mainstream properties is available and where. But the name of the game is content, and so with each new service comes new originals to ostensibly secure loyal subscribers and set the tone for what kind of brand this service will be.
Now to be fair to HBO Max, some of their originals plans—like, say, iconic auteur Michael Mann's Tokyo Vice, which he was filming on location—have been dashed by COVID-19. And they have long game aces up Bob Greenblatt's sleeves, like 2021's planned launch of Zack Snyder's original vision for Justice League. But, the service launched last week with several original series, so this is what we have to go on now and so far, it's not the biggest splash. A lot of family-friendly fare, Anna Kendrick, a couple of competition shows and a whole lot of BBC imports add up to a nascent service who's biggest draw is still TCM and Studio Ghibli titles. And, Harry Potter I guess, if you're into that sort of thing. Anyway, for curious and ravenous minds, Complex Pop sampled each of Max's originals to tell you what's worth your time. Hit the flip for our first dispatch on HBO Max.