One problem with Netflix constantly raising its subscription prices? We’ve now reached a point where you can subscribe to multiple competitors at the same prices as a singular Netflix subscription.
Obviously this depends on the tier and the services, but if you are looking for a change from Netflix’s ocean of content and want something a bit more…focused, my advice would be to (at least temporarily) cancel Netflix and subscribe to HBO Max and Apple TV Plus for the same overall price.
This can be done in two ways:
- If you have $20 a month 4K, multi-screen Netflix, you can subscribe to $5 Apple TV Plus and ad-free $15 HBO Max.
- If you have $15 a month HD, fewer screen Netflix, you can subscribe to $5 Apple TV Plus and ad-supported $10 HBO Max.
Why these two? Because in my mind, you will not find a better overall selection of shows, I’d argue more so than if you swapped in Hulu or Paramount Plus or Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus into one of those slots as well (and you can, since nothing is as expensive as Netflix).
If you do take my advice, here are the shows I would seek out for each service. Once you clear these out, you can probably cancel and move on for the time being if you want (though HBO in particular has a massive content library of past hits, of course).
The Best Apple TV Plus Shows:
- Ted Lasso (heartfelt comedy about an American football coach running a soccer team in the UK)
- Foundation (great sci-fi adaptation of the famous books)
- Slow Horses (UK spy thriller with comedic elements and Gary Oldman being great)
- The After Party (high concept comedy about a murder)
- For All Mankind (alt-history series theorizing what would have happened if the USSR made it to the moon first)
- Severance (sci-fi meta-commentary on corporate life, brilliant series)
- Pachinko (fantastically acted Korean drama based on a best-selling book)
- Servant (deeply unsettling horror series from M. Night Shyamalan)
- Mythic Quest (comedy about a video game developer)
- Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld in a modern-ish take on Emily Dickinson’s life)
The Best HBO Max Shows
- Barry (dark comedy about a hitman)
- The Flight Attendant (comedy about a flight attendant caught up in international spy games)
- We Own This City (still-airing series about police corruption Baltimore from The Wire team)
- Minx (comedy about a female-run porn mag in the ‘70s)
- Tokyo Vice (book adaptation about an American reporting on the Yakuza in Tokyo)
- Euphoria (the explosively popular drama about implausibly disastrous high school teens)
- Our Flag Means Death (gay pirate comedy, truly excellent)
- Station Eleven (an oddly hopefully take on the apocalypse)
- Raised by Wolves (an excellent, bizarre sci-fi series with echoes of Dune and Prometheus)
- The Gilded Age (the American version of Downton Abby made by the same showrunner)
- The White Lotus (comedy about privileged vacationers)
- Peacemaker (the DCEU expands to TV with John Cena starring in a Suicide Squad spin-off)
- The Sex Lives of College Girls (hilarious comedy that is somewhat less scandalous that the title would suggest)
- Mare of Easttown (Kate Winslet crime drama)
- Julia (brilliant portrayal of Julia Child’s life)
Again, I could go on into HBO’s back catalog that you also get with HBO Max but you get the idea.
All of these, all of these, I would recommend. So if you’re on a budget, take a month or two off Netlfix, and sign up for these two instead. Get through these shows and go back to Netflix if you really want to. I don’t think you’ll regret the change of pace.