HBO Max is slowing down on new releases in the month of May, but no matter, there are still plenty of worthy contenders for rewatches this weekend. As a big fantasy epic says goodbye to HBO Max this weekend, and other networks say goodbye to their biggest (and most questionably long-running) shows this week, HBO Max has movies and television shows to fall back on. In addition, HBO Max has been previewing big releases to come, so it’s time to take a trip down memory lane for childhood classics. Here are CBR’s picks for the best movies and TV shows to watch on HBO Max this weekend.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Proves Sequels Are (Almost) Always Better
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be leaving HBO Max on May 24, so this weekend should be spent watching the near three-hour installment of The Hobbit trilogy. The film acts as the second installment of the prequel trilogy based on the novel The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien and follows Bilbo Baggins as he attempts to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug.
While it doesn’t reach the level that any of the Lord of the Rings movies were ever on, The Desolation of Smaug is widely considered to be the best Hobbit movie for its fantasy-epic action and character development. The film doesn’t lean on either aspect too heavily and satisfies the audience with a healthy balance. The new addition of the Elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and bringing back Orlando Bloom as Legolas was a highlight for fans, along with Benedict Cumberbatch’s surreal work of him as the rich and psychopathic dragon.
Fast Foodies Season 2 Puts a Twist on Favorite Fast Food Dishes
Fast Foodies is one of HBO Max’s most enjoyable reality shows, and its second season is heading to the service this Sunday, May 22. The series is hosted by chefs Jeremy Ford (winner of Top Chef: California), Kristen Kish (winner of Top Chef: Seattle) and Justin Sutherland (winner of an Iron Chef America) as they recreate celebrities’ favorite fast food dishes with their own take on it.
The featured celebrities of Season 2 include modern-family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, former SNL cast member Horatio Sanz, comedian and musician Reggie Watts and more. Some featured recreations and remixed items include the sofritas burrito and chips from Chipotle, vegan chicken McNuggets from McDonald’s and the Baconator burger from Wendy’s. The show works on a nostalgic level, especially as the featured celebrities reminisce on their favorite fast-food dishes that the audience may relate to and contemplate how the chefs would be able to recreate their own favorites.
The Knick Is a Bloody, Brilliant Medical Show
The gory medical drama Knicks has been on HBO Max for over a year now, but it’s never too late to ponder why the show was canceled by its original distributor, Cinemax. While it’s not the most popular show to date, Knicks holds a dedicated fanbase, and rightfully so. In a world full of Grey’s Anatomy, doctor and The Resident, Knicks provides a much richer and spellbinding take on the medical drama genre.
The series begins in 1900, following Dr. John W. “Thack” Thackery, the chief surgeon at Knickerbocker Hospital (“The Knick”). what sets Knicks apart from the medical dramas mentioned above is its tone and stylish imagery. Director Steven Soderbergh utilizes his talents to make the camera a character itself, making every visual a revolutionary stand-out. It’s gritty and definitely not a show to be watched alongside dinner with its intense and stomach-turning surgeries, but it’s a gem among medical shows.
Scooby Doo! Camp Scare Is a Family-Friendly Version of Friday the 13th
With the exciting prospect of an adult-only Velma series heading to HBO Max, it’s time to look back on some of the best Scooby Doo Movies available on HBO Max. Scooby Doo! camp scare is often regarded as one of the best Scooby Doo installations and is even ranked as the second-best Scooby Doo movie on IMDb with a 7.2 rating.
Scooby Doo always focuses on the monsters and frights, but camp scare leans on the horror aspect more than anything else. While not overly scary enough to be classified as a full-on horror, there are jumpier moments that might make the kids run and shield their eyes. camp scare gives Fred a chance at being a camp counselor at his old summer camp, Camp Little Moose, but the gang finds that the myth of the murderous Woodsman is haunting the camp. Relying on the tropes of Friday the 13th, Creature of the Black Lagoon and I Know What You Did Last Summerthis is a classic horror camp adventure.
Lean on Katy Keene After Riverdale’s Cancellation
Maybe some people are surprised by the recent announcement that Riverdale will end after Season 7 — which even Lili Reinhart predicted — but this isn’t the first time a Riverdale property got booted. Back in 2020, a little Riverdale spin-off called Katy Keene both aired and was canceled in a matter of just months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Katy Keene got favorably better reviews than Riverdale ever did, mostly because it leaned on its campy aesthetic that didn’t take itself too seriously.
Starring teen drama icon Lucy Hale, Katy Keene is a musical comedy-drama series and follows four Archie Comics characters: Katy Keene, Josie McCoy, Jorge/Ginger Lopez and Pepper Smith. The series is set five years after the events of Riverdale in New York City as the four artists aspire to achieve their dreams of being a fashion designer, a musician, a Broadway performer and the most well-rounded socialite in New York City, respectively.
The Matrix: Resurrections, Hacks and Other Movies & TV Shows on HBO Max This Weekend