Just when I thought Netflix and Disney+ were all I needed, HBO Max knows right where to hit me.

Three words: Friends. Is. Back.

When the new HBO Max streaming service kicks off in May, it’ll be the exclusive home to Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross — and their unscripted Friends reunion special, airing May 27, 2021.

So is HBO Max worth it? If you’re a Friends fan, you’ll want to pay attention.


Friends is streaming on the $15/month HBO Max service.

And not just the Friends reunion — the complete series. HBO Max’s $14.99/month price tag is pretty high, especially compared to HBO Max’s streaming competitors:

Netflix: $9-$16/month
Disney+: $5.83-$7/month
Hulu: $6-$12/month
CBS All Access: $6/month
NBC/Comcast’s upcoming Peacock service: $5-$10/month
Apple TV Plus: $4.17-$5/month


Only want Friends? Get a box DVD set.

The DVD box set of the entire Friends series costs $69.99 — equal to almost five months of an HBO Max subscription.


There’s no longer an HBO Max free trial.

When HBO Max first debuted, they had a 7-day free trial. That’s gone now, so if you want to watch the Friends reunion, you’ll have to pay $14.99 for a month of service. But you can cancel anytime.


HBO Max has been showing brand-new movies at the same time as they’ve hit theaters.

Besides just the Friends special, HBO Max has more than 10,000 hours of content, including Warner Bros. films, all the HBO originals like Game of Thrones and gobs of TV shows — like Friends.

Compare that to 763 hours on Disney+, 15,000 hours on Peacock, 10,000+ TV episodes on CBS All Access, and a whopping 35,000 content hours on Netflix.

Plus, they’ve been releasing all of the new Warner Bros. films for 2021 on the platform at the SAME TIME as in theaters.


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Have HBO on cable? You might get HBO Max for free.

If you are one of the 10 million people who get HBO through an AT&T-owned pay-TV package, you’ll get it for free. That includes:

Certain AT&T wireless customers who added the premium channel


If you don’t already have cable, though, don’t get it now.

The average base price of a cable bill is $157/month. Getting HBO adds $5-$20 per month to a standard cable package. Not worth it — there are so many cheaper options.


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You could always just watch reruns.

If you already have the TBS channel through cable or a service like Sling TV for YouTube TV, Friends reruns air from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

And hey — we found the Friends spin-off, Joey, streaming on Dailymotion for free.


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Is the 'Friends' Reunion Worth an HBO Max Subscription?