We are heading into April and it is going to be HUGE! It is not only full of dragons and swords but also has a Kaiju and a VEEP. It is also bejeweled with Crystal, Silicon and Steel and a dose of High Hopes and VICE and that’s not all. Wait, enough of the corny play on words let’s get to the specifics of What’s On!
Originals: April is the month for switching the lineup to its Spring programming. Both HBO and HBOWatch have been gearing up with promotional footage about the returning and new shows forthcoming. The biggest buzz, of course, has been all about GAME OF THRONES. The show returns for its ten-episode fourth season on Sunday, April 6 at 9:00pm ET. Finally the wait for fourth season is over. This site has all the videos you could possibly want; so I’ll skip all that and go straight to the information on the April episodes. The Press Release states –
Encouraged by the Red Wedding slaughter in the Riverlands that wiped out many of their Stark nemeses, the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne remains intact…but can they survive their own egos, as well as new and ongoing threats from the south, north and east? While an unbowed Stannis Baratheon continues to rebuild his army in Dragonstone, a more immediate danger comes from the south, as Oberyn Martell, the Lannister-loathing “Red Viper of Dorne,” arrives at King’s Landing to attend Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell, and perhaps act on an ulterior agenda. In the north, a depleted Night’s Watch seems overmatched against the inexorable Wall advances of Mance Rayder’s army of wildlings, which in turn is being trailed by an even more formidable foe: the undead White Walkers. As if that weren’t enough, Daenerys Targaryen, accompanied by her menacing trio of dragons and army of Unsullied, is poised to liberate Meereen, the largest city in Slaver’s Bay, which could ultimately provide her with enough ships to sail to Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne.
— Episode #31: “Two Swords”: Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) welcomes a guest to King’s Landing. At Castle Black, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) finds himself unwelcome. Dany (Emilia Clarke) is pointed to Meereen, the mother of all slave cities. Arya (Maisie Williams) runs into an old friend. (Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by D. B. Weiss.) Air dates are 04.06 at 11:00pm; 04.07 at 1:00am & 11:00pm; 04.08 at 9:00pm & 11:00pm; 04.10 12:30am & 10:00pm; 04.11 at 9:00pm; 04.12 at 10:15pm and 04.18 at 8:00pm.
— Episode #32: “The Lion and the Rose”: Tyrion lends Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) a hand. Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery (Natalie Dormer) host a breakfast. At Dragonstone, Stannis (Stephen Dillane) loses patience with Davos (Liam Cunningham). Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) finds a purpose for his pet. North of the Wall, Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) sees where they must go. (Written by George R.R. Martin; directed by Alex Graves.) Air dates: 04.13 at 9:00pm & 11:00pm; 04.14 at 1:00am & 11:30pm; 04.15 at 9:00pm & 11:00pm; 4.16 at 12:15am; 04.17 at 10:00pm; 04.18 at 9:00pm; 04.20 at 12:45am and 04.25 at 8:00pm.
— Episode #33: “Breaker of Chains”: Tyrion ponders his options. Tywin (Charles Dance) extends an olive branch. Sam (John Bradley) realizes Castle Black isn’t safe, and Jon proposes a bold plan. The Hound (Rory McCann) teaches Arya the way things are. Dany chooses her champion. (Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Alex Graves.) Air dates: 04.20 at 9:00pm & 11:00pm; 04.21 at 1:00am; 04.22 at 12:00am, 8:00pm & 11:00pm; 04.24 at 12:00am & 10:00pm; 04.26 at 3:30am; 04.26 at 3:30pm and 04.27 at 12:45am.
— Episode #34: “Oathkeeper”: Dany balances justice and mercy. Jaime tasks Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) with his honor. Jon secures volunteers while Bran, Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Meera (Ellie Kendrick) and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) stumble on shelter. (Written by Bryan Cogman; directed by Michelle MacLaren.) Air dates: 04.27 at 9:00pm & 11:30pm; 04.28 at 2:00am & 10:30pm; 04.29 9:00pm & 11:00pm and 04.30 at 12:30am.
After the battle for the throne each week is a comedy block kicking off with the new show everybody has got to at least watch once to see if they like it. It is SILICON VALLEY. Mike Judge (Office Space, King of the Hill) brings his irreverent brand of humor to HBO when the show kicks off its eight-episode season Sunday, April 6 at 10:00pm. It takes a look at the modern-day epicenter of the high-tech gold rush. The cast includes Thomas Middleditch, TJ Miller, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Josh Brener, Christopher Evan Welch and Amanda Crew.Here is the episode breakdown –
Episode #1: “Minimum Viable Product.” Attending an elaborate launch party, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) dreams ofmaking it big along side his computer programming friends Big Head (Josh Brener), Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) and Gilfoyle (Martin Starr). Instead, they’re living in the communal Hacker Hostel owned by former programmer Erlich (T.J. Miller), who gets to claim ten percent of anything they invent there. When it becomes clear that Richard has developed a powerful compression algorithm for his application, Pied Piper, he finds himself courted by Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), his egomaniacal corporate boss, who offers a $10 million buy-out by his firm, Hooli. But Richard holds back when well-known investor Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch) makes a counteroffer. (Written by John Altschuler & Dave Krinskey & Mike Judge; directed by Mike Judge.) Other HBO air dates: 04.06 at 12:30am & 2:00am; 04.07 at 12:30am; 04.08 at 10:00pm; 04.09 at 8:00pm; 04.10 at 9:30pm & midnight; 04.11 at 1:00am; 04.16 at 7:30pm and 04.23 at 7:00pm.
Episode #2: “The Cap Table”. After a celebratory party at the Hacker Hostel, Richard and Erlich learn that Peter Gregory won’t pay up until they deliver a viable business plan that includes a slimmed downed staff. A desperate Richard hires former Belson underling Jared (Zach Woods),and they set about trying to trim the fat. While Gilfoyle and Dinesh prove essential, Big Head’s place in the company is less certain. (Written by Carson Mell; directed by Mike Judge.) HBO air dates: 04.13 at 10:00pm, 12:30am, 2:00 am; 04.14 at 1:00am; 04.15 at 10:00pm; 04.16 at 8:00pm; 04.17 at 9:30pm & midnight; 04.18 1:00am and 04.23 at 7:30pm.
Here is the site debut of Promo # 2 before we look at the other two episodes in April!
Episode #3: “Articles of Incorporation.” While Gavin Belson begins to hype Nucleus, a competing compression platform, Richard learns that the name Pied Piper is already registered to a sprinkler company, forcing him to negotiate. Meanwhile, Erlich goes on a vision quest for a new company name, and Peter Gregory proves elusive when one of his companies asks for money. (Written by Matteo Borghese and Rob Turbovsky; directed by Tricia Brock.) Air dates: 04.20 at 10:00pm, 12:30pm & 2:00pm; 04.21 at 1:30am; 04.22 at 9:00pm; 04.23 at 8:00pm; 04.24 at 9:30pm & midnight and 04.25 at 1:00am.
Episode #4: “Fiduciary Duties.” At Peter’s toga party, Richard drunkenly promises to make Erlich a board member, which he regrets the next morning. After being unassigned at Hooli, Big Head finds others like him who have made careers out of doing nothing. Richard struggles to put Pied Piper’s vision into words for a presentation without Erlich; later, he discovers an interesting connection between Peter and Gavin Belson. (Written by Rob Weiner; directed by Maggie Carey.) Air dates: 04.27 at 10:00pm, 1:00am & 3:00am; 04.28 at midnight; 04.29 at 10:00pm and 04.30 at 8:00pm.
And there is still more as April also sees the return of award-winning Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale (pictured) in the political romp called VEEP. It takes the second comedy slot on Sunday nights debuting Sunday, April 6 at 10:30pm. From the Press Release – Following the revelation that the president will not seek reelection, Vice President Selina Meyer, eying a promotion, begins courting Iowa caucus voters at a signing for her new book. Soon, however, she learns that the secretary of defense, war vet Danny Chung, is resigning – setting the stage for a possible clash with her nemesis in the presidential primaries. The comedy series VEEP kicks off its ten-episode third season in April.
— #19: “Some New Beginnings”: In Iowa, Selina courts possible caucus voters at a book signing for her new autobiography, while her team is in D.C. attending a staff wedding. As the day proceeds, Selina and her staff get word of a rumor that could affect the next election (Teleplay by Sean Gray & Will Smith; story by Armando Iannucci & Sean Gray & Will Smith; directed by Chris Addison.) Air dates are 04.06 at 10:30pm, midnight and 2:30am; 04.07 at midnight; 04.08 at 10:30pm & 12:30am; 04.09 at 8:30pm; 04.10 at 9:00pm and 04.11 at 1:30am.
— #20: “The Choice”: After a quick visit to their new campaign HQ, Selina and her team go on a ride-along with the Coast Guard, where they learn the president has flipped on a major issue – which makes Selina reexamine her stance. Meanwhile, Gary questions his role with the Veep, and Jonah’s new political blog causes trouble. (Teleplay by Roger Drew & Ian Martin; story by Armando Iannucci & Roger Drew & Ian Martin; directed by Becky Martin.) Air dates: 04.13 at 10:30pm, midnight & 2:30am; 04.14 at 12:30am; 04.15 at 10:30pm & 12:30am; 04.16 at 8:30pm; 04.17 at 9:00pm and 04.18 at 1:30am.
–#21: “Alicia”: While Selina and her staff prepare for an Annapolis event where she will announce her candidacy, Dan gets word that “Saturday Night Live” has done a not-so-flattering sketch on the Veep. (Teleplay by Sean Gray & Ian Martin; story by Armando Iannucci & Sean Gray & Ian Martin; directed by Christopher Morris.) Air dates: 04.20 at 10:30pm, midnight & 2:30am; 04.21 at 1:00am; 04.22 at 9:30pm & 12:30am; 04.23 at 8:30pm; 04.24 at 9:00pm and 04.25 at 1:30am.
— #22: “Clovis”: On a fundraising trip in Silicon Valley, Selina is challenged by an anti-fracking mom and visits the campus of Clovis, a tech company with a young, ambitious CEO. Back in D.C., Jonah makes a crude viral video of the Selina-mom encounter, and Dan, with Ben’s help, gets an idea for a rumor he can spread against Chung. (Teleplay by Kevin Cecil & Roger Drew & Andy Riley; story by Armando Iannucci & Kevin Cecil & Roger Drew & Andy Riley; directed by Armando Iannucci.) Air dates: 04.27 at 10:30pm, 12:30am & 3:30am; 04.28 at 11:30pm; 04.29 at 10:30pm & 12:30am; 04.30 at 8:30pm and into May.
DOLL & EM squeaks in there with the finale episodes of its short but witty season. This little comedy is going fast so if you want to catch it you’d better hurry. Both episodes appear Wednesday April, 02 beginning at 10:00pm
— Episode #5: As production winds down on her film, Em undergoes prosthetic makeup to make her look older, adding to her insecurities. Visiting the set to talk to Doll about becoming his new assistant, Andy Garcia is surprised when she tells him she’s leaving for London to do a screen test – for a role that Em failed to land. The revelation drives a stake between the two friends, who part ways after an emotional confrontation. It is followed by Episode #6: Finale. Returning to London for the holidays with her husband and kids, Em has an unsettling encounter with Doll, still working as a waitress after failing to win the role she’d coveted. Pained by their continued estrangement, Em learns that Doll is acting in a local performance of “The Tempest” and decides to attend, hoping to put the LA disaster behind them and reconcile.
Again they air back-to-back on 04.02 at 10:00pm & 10:25pm; 04.04 at 2:oopm & 2:25pm; 04.05 at 10:00am & 10:25am and 04.07 at 5:15pm & 5:40pm.
Next look is at the non-fictional series on HBO. They may be real people but they are also great characters as well. And a new one joins the ranks! Presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER will debut SUNDAY, APRIL 27 at 11: with other weekly editions debuting subsequent Sundays at the same time. on HBO. An Emmy and Writer’s Guild Award-winning writer, John Oliver was previously a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He also has a recurring role on the comedy series Community. Episode #1: 04.27, 04.28 and 04.30.
It is still a bit of a mystery on how this show will look and what kind of guests it will attract, but we are excited to see it in whatever shape or form. The Brit is keeping tight-lipped about it all and just waiting for the big reveal or just a new spot right before GAME OF THRONES premiere, so all we can offer at this point is one more look at the clip that is already in circulation.
His compatriot in comedic commentary is still holding court on Friday nights. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER continues Friday, April 04 at 10:00pm and continues through the month. Edition #312 still airs on 04.01 & 04.02.Edition #313 airs 04.04, 04.06, 04.07, 14.08 and 04.09. Edition #314 airs on 04.11, 04.13, 04.14, 04.15 & 04.16 and Edition #315 airs 04.25, 04.27, 04.28, 04.29 & 04.30. Alas and often lamented here, guests are not known in advance.
Showing after Mr. Maher (pictured with Shane Smith) is VICE. It also continues with new installments beginning Friday, April 04 at 11:00pm.The innovative news magazine show will feature hot topics from around the world, but our intell right now can only come up with the subjects broached in the first two episodes in April. Episode #14 finds Thomas Morton going to the frontline of the battle for a Kurdish state in war torn lands. That is followed by Vikram Ghandi’s report on the illicit phenomenon of trading rhinoceros horn. It airs 04.04 at 11:00pm & 12:30am; 04.05 at 4:25am; 04.08 at midnight and 04.10at 12:30am. The following week, episode #15, Shane Smith has a report from Russia and the Muslim extremism in the region followed by Evangelical Christians interest in the Israel-Palestinian conflict covered by Thomas Morton. It airs 04.11 at 11:00pm & 12:30pm; 04.12 at 1:30am; 04.15 at midnight and 04.17 at 12:30pm. Episode #16 airs 04.25, 04.26 and 04.29. Note: the schedule is fuzzy on what is happening on Friday, 04.18. It appears boxing may occur moving Maher & Shane off for that night. We will clear that up later when we know for sure.
Theatrical Movies: Whew, and that is just the original programming. The cinema run entries for the month are pretty big as well. I think you just might like what is in the line-up. After all, HBO has your attention with GAME OF THRONES and such; they want to keep you around for the movies too. For April they are MAN OF STEEL, PACIFIC RIM, THE WAY, WAY BACK and BULLETT TO THE HEAD.
The start of the month takes off on heroic proportions with MAN OF STEEL debuting on 04.05. You know the deal with this icon character – Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) must use his super powers to save the world in this latest reboot of the Superman legend. It stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon General Zod (him again!), Kevin Costner as Pa Kent, Diane Lane as Ma Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Russell Crowe as Jor-El. It is produced by Christopher Nolan and directed by Zach Snyder. (Rated PG-13) Air dates are 04.05, 04.06, 04.09, 04.13, 04.4, 04.17, 04.19, 04.22 and 04.28. How does Cavill hold up to the suit? Is he as good as or better than others before him? Does this movie play with the origin story to much for you or maybe doesn’t rejuvenate it enough? An HBOWatch reviewer will weigh in on the matter as this movie premieres. 04.12 is the date the Jaegers and the Kaiju clash on HBO in PACIFIC RIM. Guillermo del Toro is the man behind the camera on this big movie which tells of a ragtag group of heroes who mobilize to battle forces threatening life on Earth. Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman and a horde of Kaiju star. For those clueless Godzilla (coming out with a new movie) is a Kaiju. HBOWatch’s forthcoming review will surely explain it all. Raed PG-13. Air dates are 04.12, 04.13, 04.16, 04.20, 04.24, 04.26 and 04.29.
Here is a trailer for the next movie in April. It is THE WAY, WAY BACK which debuts Saturday, 04.19 at an earlier time than most at 7:15pm.
While on summer break at the beach house of his mom’s new boyfriend, a shy teen builds confidence by working at a waterpark. Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, and Liam James star in this sweet coming-of-age comedy. So is it too sweet or spot on? Check back for our review coming in April. Rated PG-13. Air dates are 04.19, 04.20, 04.23, 04.27 and 04.29. By the end of April we end up with a BULLET TO THE HEAD. Ouch, not literally. In this R–rated action film an aging hit man (Sylvester Stallone) teams up with a cop (Sung Kang) to avenge his former partner’s murder. It is based on the graphic novel of the same name. You can find Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje of OZ and Cinemax’s HUNTED and Jason Mamoa of Season One GAME OF THRONES in it. It premieres on 04.26 and runs 04.27, 04.28 and into May. This movie leads to the question of whether Stallone is grasping for very little to stay in the box office. You can weigh in on that when HBOWatch offers its review. All in all a good month for theatrical debuts I think.
Documentary: HBO has three diverse topics to broach in April. One offers a musical icon another shows us a political one and still a third presents a unique kind of grief counseling. Note: HBOWatch will review each of them as they arrive. Here is a brief look of each in chronological order. First is an infomercial of sorts, which is not unheard of on HBO, when it presents BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S HIGH HOPES. It chronicles the making of his 18th studio album and debuts Friday, 04.04 at 9:30pm. The half hour documentary by Grammy- and Emmy-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny explores the creation of “High Hopes,” which reached the No. 1 position in 20 countries after its January release. The film features rare behind-the-scenes studio and rehearsal segments, exclusive E Street Band tour footage and revealing interviews with Springsteen and album collaborator Tom Morello, guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. It shows 04.04, 04.06, 04.08, 04.09, 04.10, 04.11, 04.12, 04.15 and 04.18.
Next up, debuting 04.14, is ONE LAST HUG: THREE DAYS AT GRIEF CAMP. Testifying to the power of friendship and support, this documentary visits Camp Erin, a bereavement camp with 41 locations across the United States where children who have experienced the death of a loved one can go to deal with their pain. At the camp, founded by baseball star Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen, kids learn that by talking about their feelings, they can begin to heal. It airs 04.14, 04.17, 04.19, 04.23, 04.27 and 04.29. Just getting in at the tail end of the month is ALL ABOUT ANN: GOVERNOR RICHARDS OF THE LONE STAR STATE. This one chronicles the political life of former Texas Democratic governor Ann Richards, who rose to power in a conservative state and effected sweeping state reforms while becoming a national icon. The documentary features interviews with notables such as Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Michael Dukakis. She was force to be reckoned with in her day and gets a royal bio treatment debuting 04.28 and continuing into May.
Specials: Another HBO Comedy Special hits the schedule and since we have been mentioning icons how about a comedy icon – Billy Crystal. BILLY CRYSTAL 700 SUNDAYS is adapted from his smash Tony-winning stage production. It is a one-man show that is an autobiographical journey in which he remembers numerous characters who have influenced who he is today, dealing with his youth, growing up in the jazz world of Manhattan, his teenage years and, finally, adulthood. (Executive produced by Billy Crystal and David Steinberg; directed by Des McAnuff.) It debuts on Saturday, 04.19 at 9:00pm after the movie premiere. Air dates are 04.19, 04.21, 04.24, 04.27 and 04.29.
Sports: Holding down the fort on the sports front is REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL which always goes behind the box scores and statistics to tackle timely subjects in the world of contemporary sports. The next installment debuts Tuesday, 04.22 at 10:00pm.
Other Movies & Shows: Now for the hard part of the post which is trying to find out what else is for the viewing in the upcoming month. Here are some offerings that appear throughout April when, and if, you are caught up with all the Original programming. In movies there is JUST MY LUCK with Lindsay Lohan and Chris Pine; PITCH PERFECT; CONSTANTINE with Keanu Reeves; GOLDENEYE; TROUBLW WITH THE CURVE; THE LOVELY BONES and TRANCE, which is a movie people who comment on the “It HBO Giving Us the Shaft?” post are going to want to see, if they haven’t already. It stars Rosario Dawson (pictured) offering us full frontal nudity. The post will explain.
In April you can also catch up on missed documentaries like ONE NATION UNDER DOG; STATE OF PLAY: TROPHY KIDS and late night viewings of THE FIGHT GAME WITH JIM LAMPLEY.
HBO’s Other Platforms: Now shall we look at the other platforms and pick put a smorgasbord of cinematic morsels? I’m kind of full, but maybe a couple. HBO Latino: I’ve singled out three movies from this channel. There is one called NO TE ENAMORES DE MI (Don’t Fall In Love with Me) which offers three interconnected stories of Argentinean young adults directed by Frederico Finkielstain. I mention the director only because it is a unique Latino name, don’t ya think? MUSICA CAMPESINA (Country Music) finds a Chilean immigrant, dumped by his American girlfriend, wandering around Nashville, TN and MARIA FULL OF GRACE is a good one about a 17-year old Colombian girl made into a “drug mule” and starred Catalina Sandino Moreno, Oscar Best Actress nominee 2004 for the role, as the young chica. HBO Family: Maybe it is because Major League Baseball starts up soon that the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 and the comedy antics of HOT SHOTS PART DEUX both air on the channel. Ever heard of BOGUS starring Whoopi Goldberg? Me neither but it appears here if anyone is interested. Also on is the movie version of a classic 1960’s sitcom called MY FAVORITE MARTIAN, in which an alien, played by Christopher Lloyd makes life complicated for a poor bloke when he crashes on Earth and takes up the identity of the guy’s uncle. Jeff Daniels (of THE NEWSROOM) plays the Earthling. HBO Signature: This channel is going crazy for Bond…James Bond. Everyone’s favorite spy for Her Majesty is featured in such classics as DR. NO., DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (both with Sean Connery), THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (with Roger Moore) and DIE ANOTHER DAY (with Pierce Brosnan.) HBO Comedy: Some funny movies out there for your consideration are HOT FUZZ with Simon Pegg, IMAGINE ME AND YOU with Piper Perabo, REVENGE OF THE NERDS II with Peter Carradine and WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP with Woody Harrelson (TRUE DETECTIVE) and Wesley Snipes. Is he still in prison? HBOGO: The series we have come to know and love are always on the site, but the movies change up from time to time. Here are some that are going out of rotation soon: THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, SWINGERS, REVERSAL OF FORTUNE, AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER and a whole slew of HBO ONE NIGHT STAND episodes. But arriving on the site in April are such programming as CHILL FACTOR, EDTV, PRIMARY COLORS, and BODY SNATCHERS and more so check it out. Cinemax: The movies showcased on this channel in April are THE INTERNSHIP, OBIVION, GETAWAY and THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE but they are just the tip of the iceberg as Cinemax is jammed packed with movies and other interesting fare which HBOWatch will now cover from time to time.
Next Month’s Tease: Ryan Murphy comes to HBO
Final Clip: Maybe, it is because I like to say (and type) the word or maybe it is because I have nostalgic love for Godzilla – here are some Kaiju!