How to watch
At its core, this series is a socio-economic commentary wrapped in heavy discrimination of poor and queer communities with a sprinkle of Disney Channel music numbers. It tackles issues like gentrification, climate change, the refugee crisis, and homophobia, but even for a teen drama, this all feels like too much, especially since it forwards a forbidden romance above all else. It tries to save face with music; the show uses songs and musical expression to bridge the divide between the people about to lose their neighborhood and the rich kids oblivious to it all. But the talent show quality eclipses the impact. One should expect the large cast and storylines to iron themselves out after two episodes, but with the class-difference romance carrying the bulk of the story forward, the investment isn’t worth it.
Formerly HBO Max, Max is a subscription-based on-demand platform that is only available in the US. New subscribers can choose from three monthly tiers ranging from $10 (with ads) to $15 (no ads) to $20 (no ads, plus more concurrent streams, downloads, and 4K streaming). An annual subscription option is also available.
When you subscribe, you’ll get HBO’s world-class exclusives, such as The Wire and Game of Thrones but Max also functions as a bundle: you’ll get content from Discovery, DC, Criterion Collection, Looney Tunes, Studio Ghibli, Turner Classic Movies, and Crunchyroll. And as of September 2023, you will also get a live stream of CNN.
Most mobile devices that can stream video support Max, although there is yet no app for Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices.