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RIP, HBO Max. I Hardly Mourned Ye Before My Stepdad Max Took Over.

dr Melfi and tony soprano in the sopranos being angsty

For as long as I have been alive, HBO has been the network you’d go to for quality television. It’s been a station that has meant a lot to fans throughout the years and has been the home to some of our favorite shows, and HBO Max was an extension of that. This is a eulogy for the HBO Max we used to know because a new dad is in town, and his name is Max.

Sorry, dad. Mom said I have to call Max my father now. I didn’t want to, but my mother, David Zaslav, said so, and that’s who I have to listen to now. Trust me, I wish that wasn’t the case, but alas, here we are. (PAY YOUR WRITERS, MOM.)

The rebrand from HBO Max to Max is weird—not because you shouldn’t change things but because the HBO part of HBO Max was the important part. When you’re trying to separate the network from the streaming, I guess it’s easier to just separate the name into two entities, but it is wild to stop and think that now the streaming platform for HBO, one of TV’s most prestigious networks, has nothing in its name to make that association clear!

It’s extra absurd when they try to work it back into their new “The one to watch” tagline, just highlighting why it’s something you’d want to have in the name in the first place:

Still, at this point, that’s neither here nor there. The deed is done, and Max is our new overlord.

Why the change? We still aren’t completely sure, but the change has led to a great many memes, sendoffs, and memories about what used to be.


Part of the upset doesn’t come from the actual name but rather the larger changes through the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery. From Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav thinking women have never watched an HBO show in their lives to this unnecessary change, it just feels a lot like they’re throwing things at the wall to see what sticks while also wiping the past clean, without much regard for what might be worth keeping.

So, our pettiness and all these changes and cancellations (and the refusal to release Batgirl) mean that we will rebel. You can’t tell me what to do, Max! You’re not my dad! And that means that I will go ahead and still try to search for HBO first and foremost and then complain when I remember I have to go to Max now.

You’re not a cool step dad; you’re a horrible one, and if it weren’t for my obsession with all things HBO (and let’s be honest, just my love of TV), I’d refuse to watch you! But instead, I will listen to my mom and hang out with you, Max. And I’m sorry to everyone who has the strength to not watch Max. I have to. I love rewatching The Sopranos too much.

(featured image: HBO? Max? HBO MAX?)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.