Some could say HBO is a bit light in August as the network saves big events for later to compete with TVs Fall Schedule. But, if you are fans of certain shows and personalities than the dog days of summer will be just right for you. We have more from Bon Temps, LA, Mapleton, NY and the Cathouse as well as Katt, Nixon, Falcons and Smaug. That sounds like an interesting assortment, doesn’t it? Plus, I’m sure there are more treats across the platforms to explore. Let’s find out What’s On for August 2014.
Originals: Three original scripted shows sit in the month of August. We add the comedy of Chris Lilley and on the dramatic side we have more from Lindelof’s latest and a series finale. I think that last one should be are main focus. It is, of course, TRUE BLOOD, a gory, sexy and polarizing series ending after seven seasons.
It continues SUNDAY, AUG. 3 (9:00-10:00pm) followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time, leading up to the series finale on 08.24. Life, as we know it, has always been dangerous in Bon Temps and this season with H-Vamps swarming it looks like it truly could be the end. How does it all play out? Don’t miss the four final episodes to find out.
— Episode #77: “May Be the Last Time”: Sookie searches for a miracle; Eric and Pam close in on Sarah; Adilyn and Wade find refuge with Violet. (Written by Craig Chester; directed by Simon Jayes.) Air dates on HBO are 08.03, 08.04, 08.05, 08.06, 08.08 and 08.09.
It going to be the last time for a lot of things as this series sees its endgame, but maybe it is the last time Sookie saves the day.
— Episode #78: “Getting Closer… To the Ground”: Sookie risks her life for Bill; Eric reconsiders his options; Lettie Mae finds closure; Violet eyes payback. (Written by Kate Barnow; directed by Jesse Warn.) Air dates are on 08.10, 08.11, 08.12, 08.13 and 08.15.
It states that “Sookie risks her life for Bill” for this one. You knew it had to get back around to this couple, right?
–– Episode #79: “Love Is to Die”: Bill alienates Sookie; Hoyt is reminded of the past; Eric faces a dilemma. (Written by Brian Bruckner; directed by Howard Deutch.) Air dates are on 08.17, 08.18, 08.19, 08.20 and 08.22.
This episode, however, says Bill alienates her so are they going to be the super couple or not?
— Episode #80: “Karma”: In the series finale, Sookie and her Bon Temps friends close one chapter while opening several new ones. (Written by Brian Bruckner; directed by Scott Winant.) Air dates on HBO are 08.24, 08.25, 08.26, 08.27 and 08.29.
What, It doesn’t end with a neat little bow wrap around it? This seems to indicate the final episode is open ended. I guess we’ll have to wait and see and HBOWatch will be there every step of the way.
(Created by Alan Ball; based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris; executive producers, Alan Ball, Gregg Fienberg, Brian Buckner, Angela Robinson; co-executive producer, Howard Deutch; supervising producer, Kate Barnow; producer, David Auge; co-producers, Christina Jokanovich, Ronald Cosmo Vecchiarelli and Sunday Stevens.)
THE LEFTOVERS continues its ten-episode season SUNDAY, AUG. 3 (10:00-11:00 p.m.), exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Based on Tom Perrotta’s bestselling novel of the same name and complete with embellishments from Damon Lindelof we resume the story. (Created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta; based on the book by Tom Perrotta; executive producers, Damon Lindelof, Tom Perrotta, Peter Berg, Sarah Aubrey.)
Damn, this show doesn’t have any descriptions for the back half of its run. I hate that. I guess we’ll have to wing it, but I bet whatever happens it will be filled with angst, grief and a headload of conundrums – and that is just the viewer!
HBO air dates are #06: “Guest”: 08.03, 08.04, 08.05, 08.07, 08.08, 08.09 and 08.15; #07: “Solace for Tired Feet”: 08.10, 08.11, 08.12, 08.14, 08.15, 08.16 and 08.22; #08: “Cairo”: 08.17, 08.18, 08.19, 08.21, 08.22, 08.23 and 08.29; #09: “The Garveys at Their Best”: 08.24, 08.25, 08.26, 08.28, 08.29 and 08.30. Here is a clip though about what is ahead.
Australia’s Chris Lilley, creator of “Summer Heights High” and “Ja’mie: Private School Girl,” brings back one of his groundbreaking characters, the rebellious 14-year oldJonah, in the six-episode comedy series JONAH FROM TONGA, debuting with two episodes back-to-back FRIDAY, AUG. 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m.), followed by single episodes on subsequent Fridays at the same. Lilley created, wrote and stars in the title role of the new show. (Created and written by Chris Lilley; executive produced by Chris Lilley and Laura Waters; produced by Chris Lilley and Laura Waters; directed by Chris Lilley and Stuart McDonald.)
–– #1: “Episode 1”: After a stint in Tonga, Jonah Takalua tries to be a “good boy” at his new school in Sydney. Air dates on HBO are on 08.08, 08.09, 08.12 and 08.13
— #2: “Episode 2”: Jonah meets the new youth counselor, Kool Kris, and finds ways to get back at Graydon. Air dates: 08.08, 08.09, 08.12 and 08.13.
— #3: “Episode 3”: Fobba-liscious enters an anti-bullying music contest, while Jonah and Moses try to impress the Soldierz. Air dates: 08.15, 08.16, 06.19 and 08.20.
— #4: “Episode 4”: Jonah and his crew are scrutinized by education inspectors, ending up in trouble after things go too far. Air Dates: 08.22, 08.23, 08.26 and 08.27.
— #5: “Episode 5”: Jonah adjusts to life in juvie and prepares for his parole hearing. Air dates: 08.29 and 08.30 and into September.
HBOWatch has a writer who gets all giggly for Chris Lilley so expect a few posts about this series in the next few weeks.
HBO hits a double punch with its outspoken comedic commentators each week, but one of them heads to hiatus. LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues its inaugural season with a new edition SUNDAY, AUG. 3 (11:00-11:30 p.m. ET/PT), followed by other weekly editions debuting subsequent Sundays at the same time. Air dates on HBO are: Edition #13: 08.03, 08.04, 08.06 and 08.07; Edition #14: 08.10, 08.11, 08.13 and 08.14; Edition #15: 08.17, 08.18, 08.20 and 08.21. Bill Maher continues the 12th season of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER, with a new edition on FRIDAY, AUG. 1 (10:00-11:00 p.m.) before going on hiatus, with the season to resume Sept. 12. Air dates: Edition #327: 08.01, 08.03, 08.04, 08.05 and 08.06.
Theatrical Movies: With all your summertime activities maybe, a movie on HBO could fit into your schedule? Each Saturday night in August you are guaranteed a new premiere. With their first-time run on HBO who have KICK-ASS 2, BAGGAGE CLAIM, 2 GUNS, VERONICA MARS and THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG. If it looks like a fun lineup to you and if you haven’t seen a title or want to catch it again HBO has them running throughout the month. Here is a brief look at each. Remember, HBOWatch will have reviews of these movie as they arrive.
KICK-ASS 2: I’ll admit I never saw this one or the original that this one is obviously a sequel to, but I do know it is based on a comic book series. It seems that the teen superheroes Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) are still do-gooders. They return to their lives as normal high school students, until a self declared super-villain (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) vows to avenge his father’s death, causing them to team up with a motley crew of masked crusaders. Jim Carrey also stars in the action comedy sequel. It is not PG fare like most of the superhero flicks out there; it is R-rated. Air dates are 08.02, 08.03, 08.07, 08.15, 08.25 and 08.28.
BAGGAGE CLAIM: Comedies all seem to be so hit and miss lately. I never saw this one so I can’t say whether it is a good one or not. In it a single woman (Paula Patton) embarks on a 30-day journey to turn an ex into a fiancé. This comedy is based on the David E. Talbert novel of the same name and was directed by him. Can Montana, a flight attendant, find Mr. Right while bouncing around the friendly skies? Of course she can. The fun, I guess, happens as we watch how she does it. Derek Luke, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott, Boris Kodjoe, Trey Songz, Adam Brody, Tia Mowry, Lala Anthony and Djimon Hounsou also star. PG13. Air dates are 08.09, 08.10, 08.14, 08.17, 08.20, 08.23, 08.26 and 08.30. 2 GUNS: After two undercover operatives fail to take down a drug cartel, they find themselves on the run together, neither knowing that the other is a federal agent from a rival bureau. Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg star in this action film. Also in this one is the chick from the prior week’s movie, Paula Patton. Now Denzel and Mark sound like a great pair up and their guns are surely blazing in this one. Air dates are 08.16, 08.17, 08.21, 08.25 and 08.31.Rated R.
VERONICA MARS: A woman (Kristen Bell) returns to her hometown for a high school reunion, only to uncover a murder mystery in the feature film follow-up to the cult favorite TV series. Just when she thought she was safe she gets pulled back into the world of sleuthing. Fans of the show surely are going to love this Kickstarted picture. Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter, Ryan Hansen, Francis Capra, Percy Daggs III, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino and Enrico Colantoni also star. Even though it is PG-13 I’m sure te movie is a bit more violent than the old show was. Air dates are 08.23, 08.24, 08.27, 08.29 and 08.31. How about the trailer for all you fans!
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG: The dwarves of Erebor try to reclaim their homeland from the evil dragon Smaug in the latest installment of the smash-hit “Hobbit” series. Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt and Orlando Bloom star. Everyone seems to enjoy these pictures even if they are epic-length opuses. PG13. Air dates are 08.30 and 08.31 and into September. If you recall last month’s Tease a dragon was promised and he is coming at the end of the month.
Specials: A Comedy Special is on the docket as Kat Williams returns to HBO. He offers his second HBO stand-up comedy special, this one directed by Spike Lee and taped at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, Cal. when KATT WILLIAMS: PRICELESS debuts SATURDAY, AUG. 16 (10:00-11:00 p.m.). HBOWatch wil have a review. Air dates on HBO are on 08.16, 08.18, 08.26 and 08.31. Here is the hype.
Documentary: HBO offers up three new documentaries in August and one of them appears in late night. We haven’t seen an after-hours documentary since SEX/NOW way back in January. So what are we going to see? Is it another installment of SEX/NOW or does TAXICAB CONFESSIONS return or what? Wait for it and I’ll tell you after we look at the two new primetime docs forthcoming.
Exploring the complex facets of Richard Nixon through thousands of hours of recently declassified audiotapes recorded in the White House, NIXON BY NIXON: IN HIS OWN WORDS debuts MONDAY, AUG. 4 (9:00-10:15 p.m.). This revealing documentary captures his blunt and candid observations on the Vietnam War, the Pentagon Papers leak and his Supreme Court appointments, as well as his thoughts on women, people of color, Jews and the media. Produced by Peter Kunhardt; edited by Phillip Schopper; original music by Michael Bacon. For Kunhardt McGee Productions: executive producers, Peter Kunhardt and Dyllan McGee. For HBO: supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; executive producer, Sheila Nevins. Air dates: 08.04, 08.07, 08.09, 08.12, 08.17 and 08.22.Taking a new look at the trial of the then 21-year-old New Hampshire woman Pamela Smart, who was accused of plotting the 1990 murder of her husband, the documentary CAPTIVATED: THE TRIALS OF PAMELA SMART debuts MONDAY, AUG. 18 (9:00-10:45 p.m.). As the first fully televised, gavel-to-gavel, court case, the trial gave birth to reality TV. The film explores how the media’s coverage of the story may have influenced the trial and sentencing, and features an intimate new interview with Smart herself. Directed by Jeremiah Zagar; produced by Lori Cheatle; editor, Keiko Deguchi; director of photography, Naiti Gámez; executive producers, John Battsek, Nicole Stott, Andrew Ruhemann. For Sky Atlantic: executive producers, Celia Taylor and Siobhan Mulholland. For HBO: senior producer, Lisa Heller; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.) Air dates: 08.18, 08.21, 08.24, 08.25 and 08.26.
For the first time since 2011, HBO returns to Nevada for CATHOUSE: KING OF THE HOUSE, spotlighting the fun-loving, hard-working girls at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch – a bustling, legal brothel located 35 miles outside of Reno – and the Ranch’s boisterous owner, Dennis Hof. The adults-only special debuts THURSDAY, AUG. 14 (11:00-11:30 p.m.). (Directed & produced by Patti Kaplan; co-producer, Larissa Bills; editor, Kathleen Dougherty; cinematography, Tom Hurwitz, ASC and Larissa Bills. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.) Air dates are 08.14, 08.20, 08.23 and 08.29. HBOWatch may just review this one and recall the whole CATHOUSE series in the coming month.
Sports: HBO’s hit late-night boxing franchise returns for an all-action tripleheader of fights from two sites when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: BRANDON RIOS VS. DIEGO CHAVES, SERGEY KOVALEV VS. BLAKE CAPARELLO AND JESSIE VARGAS VS. ANTON NOVIKOV is seen SATURDAY, AUG. 2 (9:45 p.m.), exclusively on HBO. Presented from the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the main event of the evening marks the 2014 debut of fan-favorite Brandon Rios (31-2-1, 22 KOs) of Oxnard, Cal. as he takes on Diego Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs) of Buenos Aires in a ten-round welterweight fight. The middle bout is a 12-round world title fight as Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs) defends his light heavyweight crown against Australian Blake Caparello (19-0-1, 6 KOs) from the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The evening’s opening bout comes from Las Vegas, with undefeated hometown darling Jessie Vargas (24-0, 9 KOs) facing Anton Novikov (29-0, 10 KOs) of Kopeysk, Russia, in a super lightweight contest scheduled for 12 rounds. HBO Sports teams will be ringside at both events, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino. Air dates are: 08.02, 08.03 and 08.05.
HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Atlanta Falcons team up for an all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE ATLANTA FALCONS debuts in August. The first sports based reality series – and one of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV – kicks off its five-episode ninth season TUESDAY, AUG. 5 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. The series focuses on the daily lives and routines of players and coaches as the Atlanta Falcons, who play in the talent-rich NFC South, conduct the franchise’s 49th training camp and prepare for the 2014 NFL season, while chronicling seventh-year head coach Mike Smith and an intriguing mix of high-profile veterans, emerging stars, free agents and rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the four-game preseason schedule. Air dates: Episode #1: 08.05, 08.06, 08.07, 08.08, 08.09, 08.10 and 08.11; Episode #2: 08.12, 08.13, 08.14, 08.15, 08.16 and 08.18; Episode #3: 08.19, 08.20, 08.21, 08.22, 08.23, 08.24 and 08.25; Episode #4: 08.26, 08.27, 08.28, 08.29, 08.30 and 08.31.
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL goes behind the box scores and statistics to tackle timely subjects in the world of contemporary sports. Featuring a top lineup of contributors, the next monthly edition debuts TUESDAY, AUG. 19 (10:00-11:00 p.m.). Executive producer, Rick Bernstein.) Air dates for Edition #209 are 08.19, 08.21, 08.23, 08.25, 08.27 and 08.31.
Other Movies and Shows: What to draw your attention to in August? Well, how about movies like CRAZY IN ALABAMA or THE FAMILY STONE? The first one is truly crazy. A backwoods Alabama boy named Peejoe -short for Peter Joseph- gets a quick education in grown-up matters like freedom in 1965. The catalyst is an unlikely source – his glamorous, eccentric Aunt Lucille, who escapes from her abusive husband and takes off for Hollywood to pursue her dreams of TV stardom. It is from 1999 and stars Lucas Black and Melanie Griffith. It is directed by Antonio Banderas. The other movie offers a different family and in this one the favorite son brings his uptight girlfriend home for the Christmas holiday, with plans of proposing. Overwhelmed by the hostile reception, she begs her sister to join her for emotional support, triggering further complications and then everything gets absurd. Claire Danes, Diane Keaton Dermot Mulroney star among others. You can also find RAIN MAN and BIG DADDY appearing as well.
Two late night movies are listed as debuts on HBO in August. They are WOO and THE WORLD’S END. WOO, played by Jada Pinkett Smith, is a sassy party girl looking for a man. She agrees to go on a date with a nerdy law clerk, played by Tommy Davidson and their romp to the big city turns into comical misadventures. Dave Chappelle and LL Cool J costar. The next title sounds like a riot by one of the hot directors of the moment, Edgar Wright. 20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King, a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries. It is written by and stars Simon Pegg.
HBO’s Other Platforms: The post is getting long so we’ll go light on this last esection. HBO Latino: I spot two movies for you over there. The first is EL CARTEL DE SAPOS (The Snitch Cartel). Variety calls it a “snazzy, fast paced” crime drama that follows two Colombian crooks that become big time cocaine kings. The other movie is LOS LUNES AL SOL (Mondays in the Sun). Unemployed shipbuilders in northern Spain survive the struggles of life. HBO Family: HBO no longer has a site for this channel so other means are employed to tell you movies like LADYHAWKE, TOP GUN and THUNDERSTRUCK are on the channel as well as the continual run of series that always replay. HBO Signature: This channel is worth checking out as it always plays titles not seen concurrently on the others. As a promise to keep it short thought I will leave it at two titles this month. How about 8 MILE with Eminem and repeats of and ROME? HBO Comedy: You can laugh it up with the likes of SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT and the HBO comedy BORED TO DEATH, plus there is always standup. HBOGO: Last Chances to catch before they leave the site include THE GANSTER SQUAD, BABY GENIUSES, CINDERELLA MAN, COBB and THE GODFATHER I, II & III. What are they replaced by? I offer Bond, James Bond in DR. NO and a few more in the 007 opus, plus SPAWN, HOT FUZZ and THE HUSTLER. There are plenty more coming and going so check it out. Cinemax: We already know that there are several movies to be seen on HBO’s sister channel, but the must-see entertainment has got to be THE KNICK. Damn, why couldn’t this be on HBO? It debuts FRIDAY, AUG. 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) with other new episodes debuting subsequent Fridays at the same time. Set in downtown New York in 1900, THE KNICK centers on Knickerbocker Hospital and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff, who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics. Steven Soderbergh directs Clive Owen in the entire ten-episode season. André Holland, Eve Hewson, Juliet Rylance, Jeremy Bobb, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour, Eric Johnson, David Fierro, Maya Kazan, Grainger Hines, Leon Addison Brown and Matt Frewer round out the ensemble cast.
Next Month’s Tease: It sounds like a mouthful but they’re all joining Enoch on HBO next month: Chiwetel, Quvenzhane, and Nyong’o.
Final Clip: This post has been video heavy, but I want to see the dragon and dwarves.