The streaming service formerly known as HBO Max completed its magical girl transformation this year, dropping arguably the most recognizable part of its name to just become Max. The questionable rename came at the conclusion of the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery and, according to WarnerDiscovery executives, was meant to signal to subscribers that the new Max has content for the whole family to enjoy.
Immediately post-merger, Max lost 1.8 million subscribers (that WarnerMedia attributes to simple attrition). But the great mushing together of libraries means that highly polished dramas like The Sopranos and Oz appear alongside the highly popular (what’s a polite way to say ‘schlock’?) like 90 Day Fiance and Property Brothers that, in the long run, will appeal to prestige TV snobs and families alike.
In the age of streaming, appointment television has largely gone away with more people watching shows at their own pace in their own time. But Succession was a show that defied this convention. Social media has a tendency to make entertainment events seem bigger and more widespread than they are, and Succession took advantage of that. Though it had a relatively small audience peaking at 2.9 million viewers, it became the Sunday night show on Twitter. Its final season was no exception, managing to do what Game of Thrones could not with its own final season: finish in a strong, satisfying way. Succession’s final season delivered as many emotional, discourse-inspiring moments as its earlier seasons. It’s the show you subscribe to Max for and hopefully there will come along another that makes watching TV together fun again.