Streaming has given us wonderful things that we never even knew we needed. Baby Yoda, six seasons of Selling Sunset, autoplay, and near-unlimited television for just $9.99/month. But it hasn’t all been great. We’ve also been subjected to countless mediocre reboots, six seasons of Selling Sunset, heartbreakingly early cancelations, and the inability to know where to actually watch anything.
HBO hopes to rectify this problem with the launch of Max. The new streaming service will act as a combination of HBO Max’s streaming library and Discovery+’s collection of HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, TLC, and more. It’s the closest we’ve seen a streamer reverse-engineer entertainment back to a regular cable subscription—a one-stop destination where The Idol and Succession live right next door to House Hunters and Harry Potter. Nothing feels like flipping through cable channels more than being able to watch Dr. Pimple Popper and The Batman in the same window. You may be asking, Why keep only Max when everyone is going to continue calling it HBO? It’s like calling LeBron James just James instead of LeBron. It doesn’t feel right. Yet here we are.
Whatever you call it, Max has made it somewhat easy for subscribers to transition. Luckily, you won’t have to do much. On May 23, most smart TVs will automatically update the HBO Max app to become Max. Some other devices, like your iPhone, may require you to download the new app. (I did.) But signing in with your HBO, Discovery+, or TV provider accounts will be the same. The price also stays the same, for now. You can still catch the series finales of Succession and Barry, too. Another added bonus: Max still appears in your search browser if you type in “HBO Max”—which I did today before starting some new Zooey Deschanel-starring food show called What Am I Eating? If that doesn’t say that regular ol’ TV is back, I don’t know what would.
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Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.