Reviews of HBO Max Originals: Love Life, Looney Tunes Cartoons, Legendary and More


WarnerMedia’s HBO Max has officially launched, with more than 10,000 hours of movies and shows from the company’s extensive entertainment library. (Here are all the TV shows and movies available on HBO Max at launch.) For the price of a regular HBO subscription, you’ll have access to a library that includes Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty, HBO’s Game of Thrones, TNT’s The Alienist , and a series of anime from Studio Ghibli and Crunchyroll, as well as HBO Max’s own originals developed exclusively for the platform. At launch, the streamer has a small collection of scripted, unscripted and documentary shows for you binge games, including a new batch of Looney Tunes Cartoons, a rom-com series with Anna Kendrick, and a new late-night show starring Elmo as host. Below, we’ve looked at the first batch of HBO Max Originals, with more to come in the coming months, including the first of several Adventure Time specials, Doom Patrol season 2 and the creator of the regular show. JG Quintel’s new animated comedy Close Enough.

Looney Tunes Cartoons

Official plot synopsis: Looney Tunes Cartoons is a whole new series from Warner Bros. Animation featuring the beloved characters from Looney Tunes. Looney Tunes Cartoons echoes the high production value and process of Looney Tunes’ original short films with an approach to storytelling focused on cartoonists. The characters of Marquee Looney Tunes will be presented in their classic pairs in simple stories, motivated by the gag and visually vibrant. The new series will include 80 eleven-minute episodes, each consisting of animated short films of varying length and including scripts tailored to today’s audience. Fans can also look forward to special holiday-themed deals. Looney Tunes Cartoons is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and stars a talented group of voice members, including Eric Bauza, Jeff Bergman and Bob Bergen. Pete Browngardt (Uncle Grandpa) and Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) Are executive producers. Verdict: Warner Bros. ’90s zany animated franchise returns with a bunch of new adventures (80 in total, with 10 episodes available at launch) featuring iconic characters like Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird and Moreover. Looney Tunes Cartoons honors the past with its distinct animation and exaggerated comic antics that evoke classic stories – like Bugs battling a mad scientist and his furry monster Gossamer. Everything here (if you’re familiar) looks a lot like the Looney Tunes of yesteryear without trying to modernize the subject or the violence for today’s audience. It remains to be seen whether this new iteration will appeal to a new generation, but if you yearn for old school Looney Tunes, it should be itchy. (And if not, HBO Max also has all the classic Looney Tunes cartoons as part of its library.) – David Griffin

Goal: 8

Love life

Official plot synopsis: Love Life, the first full screenwriting series starring Oscar-nominated Anna Kendrick, tells of the journey from first love to last love, and how the people we are on the way make us who we are when we finally finish with someone forever. This new version of a series of romantic comedy anthologies is by creator and co-showrunner Sam Boyd (In a Relationship) and is produced by Lionsgate Television and Feigco Entertainment. The series will follow the quest for a different protagonist for love each season, each half-hour episode telling the story of one of their relationships. Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, A Simple Favor) plays in the first season with Zoë Chao (Downhill, Strangers), Peter Vack (Someone Great, The Bold Type), Sasha Compere (Miracle Workers, Uncorked) and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Another Year). Kendrick is executive producer alongside Paul Feig (A Simple Favor, Bridesmaids) and Dan Magnante (Someone Great). Sam Boyd, who wrote the pilot and directs, also produces in collaboration with co-showrunner and executive producer Bridget Bedard (Transparent and Ramy).Verdict: Anna Kendrick is reliably charming in her most important television role to date, giving Love Life her beating heart; it’s just a shame that the show around it is so conventional. After Hulu’s elegant (and much more adventurous) high fidelity, which also addresses the idea of ​​revisiting a person’s formative relationships over the course of a season, Love Life is a bittersweet but frustrating exploration of how our choices of encounters can have ripple effects throughout our lives, treading on ground that many dramas have explored before. Kendrick keeps things dynamic (assisted by Zoe Chao who steals the stage), and the episodic 30-minute structure of the series helps maintain momentum for an easy and entertaining frenzy, but for a show on the ups and downs of love it can’t help but feel strangely shy. – Laura Prudom

Goal: 7

The show not too late with Elmo

Official plot synopsis: Elmo is hosting his own talk show and he’s going to bring you fun (not too late) with a whole new series of celebrity-starred talk shows. This brand new “prime time” series brings familiar friends from Sesame Street like Elmo, Cookie Monster, famous guests and laughs that the whole family can enjoy! Elmo will interview guests such as late night host colleagues Jimmy Fallon and John Oliver, comedian John Mulaney, best-selling New York Times author Kwame Alexander, actress Blake Lively, and award-winning musicals Lil Nas X and The Jonas Brothers. The Not Too Late Show with Elmo is produced by Sesame Workshop.

Verdict: In his latest adventure, Elmo tries to carve out on the spot on Mount Rushmore, emblematic television hosts like Carson, Letterman and Leno with his own talk show. The Not Too Late Show showcases everything you would expect in this genre, like a house group, a studio audience and famous guests like the Jonas Brothers. The problem with HBO Max’s vision for this type of show is that it does not offer anything new (despite the puppet host) and is sometimes a little embarrassing, as celebrities try to interact with Elmo in a natural way. But more often than not, conversations feel forced and the concept seems too adult for children to enjoy (the audience on Sesame Street really want a late night format?) And too young for the adults. Elmo, as adorable as he is, is not Conan O’Brien. – David Griffin

Goal: 5


Official plot synopsis: Craftopia is an epic show of children’s craft competition organized and directed by YouTube influencer Lauren Riihimaki aka (LaurDIY). Creating and demonstrating trades to more than 8.9 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, LaurDIY was considered the “Millennium Martha Stewart” by Forbes. On Craftopia, candidates aged 9 to 15 put their imaginations to the test and realize their craft dreams in a magical studio. After racing to fill their carts with inspiring materials from the studio’s “boutique”, the artisans are taking on larger-than-life challenges, creating truly inventive and amazing creations in order to bring the “Craftrophia” home. Craftopia is produced by Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher for B17 Entertainment.

Verdict: This delightful series of craft competitions, featuring candidates aged 9 to 15, showcases the unique talents of these young creatives in their quest to win a grand prize of $ 5,000. Each episode has a different competitive theme, such as creating a memorable wall hanging or inviting a party using the various craft tools and supplies found in the colorful studio store. YouTube star LaurDIY is a great host, who not only encourages applicants, but also offers insightful advice on how you can create similar creations at home. Whether you are a long time craftsman or a beginner, Craftopia is an inspiring and charming look at some of the best young talent in the world. – David Griffin

Goal: 8


Official plot synopsis: Pulling straight from the underground ballroom community, the sailing teams (aka “houses”) must compete in incredible balls and show off disgusting fashion in order to achieve “legendary” status. The cast includes MC Dashaun Wesley and DJ MikeQ as well as famous judges Law Roach, Jameela Jamil, Leiomy Maldonado and Megan Thee Stallion. From Scout Productions, Emmy Award® winners David Collins (Queer Eye), Rob Eric (Queer Eye) and Michael Williams (Queer Eye) are executive producers. Jane Mun (People’s Choice Awards, MTV Music Awards, America’s Best Dance Crew) and Josh Greenberg (Lip Sync Battle, Sunday Best, America’s Best Dance Crew) are executive producers and showrunners.

Verdict: The legendary is pure chaos, and you will like or hate it under these conditions. If you are a newcomer to the world of ball culture (or, like me, have only superficial knowledge thanks to FX’s Pose), Legendary does not offer much context or context on the diverse community at its heart – dive headlong into the flashy dance competition with only a brief introduction to each of the eight competing houses fighting for supremacy. This frantic pace – not to mention the breathtaking drops of death – makes this glittery series of competitions an attractive (albeit slightly overwhelming) watch, but it’s unlikely to serve as an easily digestible introduction for anyone. is not already interested in sailing it or the underground ballroom scene, and focusing only on the performances, one has the impression of missing the human connection that made RuPaul’s Drag Race an addictive success. – Laura Prudom

Goal: 6

What do you think of HBO Max’s launch day programming? Weigh below! If you’re still unsure how to sign up for HBO Max, check out our guide, the main differences between HBO Max, HBO Now and HBO Go, and what notable DC TV shows and movies are missing at launch. Also, find out why you can’t watch HBO Max on Fire TV and Roku yet, and get information on adding Darkseid to Zack Snyder’s Justice League Cup.


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