We are around to August already. No better time to give that sunburn some relief and get out of the sun and in front of the fan. While you’re at it take in some HBO. There is content on all fronts in the coming month so let us get to it. Here is What’s On.
Original Series: What a shock to say that GAME OF THRONES, which just began its seventh season, ends this month. Time flies faster than fire-fueled dragons, doesn’t it? The season finale is SUNDAY, AUGUST 27 (9:00-10:00pm.) Sorry, all we can give you is a new video clip.
BALLERS is going strong. As of this writing, we are only two episodes in on a ten episode season. It continues SUNDAY, 08.06, 08.13, 06.20 & 06.27 at 10:00pm. At least with this one, can give you some titles.
–Episode # 23: “In The Teeth” – perhaps that is just the turn of phrase as in someone figuratively takes one in the chops. It could be anyone in this show. Debuts 08.06
–Episode # 24: “Ride and Die” – when I see that all I can think of is that someone is getting a one-way ride into the Vegas desert. Nah, can’t be. Debuts 08.13
–Episode # 25: “Make Believe” – Which Baller is slaking? Somebody better wake up to reality because there is too much money at stake around here. Debuts 08.20
–Episode # 26: “I Hate New York” – Road trip! But a big deal must have gone bad, right? Debuts 08.27.
Perhaps the following will add some insight.
Issa Rae’s INSECURE is two episodes in on an eight episode run. It appears behind BALLERS at 10:30pm Sunday nights. Same routine as far as additional info goes.
–Episode # 11: “Hella Open” – Open for what? More angst and relationship woes? Debuts 08.06.
–Episode # 12: “Hella LA” – Issa must be spending yet another offbeat night in the city. Debuts 08.13.
–Episode # 13: “Hella Shook” – Someone gets rattled to the core of their being? We hope not, but it would make for a good episode. Debuts 08.20.
–Episode # 14: “Hella Blows” Hmm? Either sex, drugs or fisticuffs, who knows. Debuts 08.27.
Get a taste of what’s ahead right here.
In my opinion ROOM 104 should not be regulated to late night debuts. Get brave HBO and put more original series on during primetime hours beside just Sunday nights. Just having debuted on 07.28 this series tells assorted tales of the various characters who pass through a single room of an average American motel. Find it Friday nights at 11:30pm. Here is a hint of the episodes coming in August:
–Episode #2: “Pizza Boy”
Debut: FRIDAY, AUG. 4 (11:30pm-midnight)
A pizza delivery boy gets caught up in a couple’s twisted games. James Van Der Beek and Davie-Blue star. Written by Mark Duplass; directed by Patrick Brice.
–Episode #3: “The Knockadoo”
Debut: FRIDAY, AUG. 11 (11:30pm-midnight)
A woman (Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris) seeking salvation is visited by a cult priest (Orlando Jones) promising to help her transcend the ordinary world for another realm.
Written by Carson Mell; directed by Sarah Adina Smith.
–Episode #4: “I Knew You Weren’t Dead”
Debut: FRIDAY, AUG. 18 (11:30pm-midnight)
A visitor (Jay Duplass) in Room 104 seeks advice about his marital troubles from a long-lost friend. Will Tranfo and Frank Ashmore also star.
–Episode #5: “The Internet”
Debut: FRIDAY, AUG. 25 (11:30pm-midnight)
In 1997, a son (Karan Soni) must teach his mother (Poorna Jagannathan) how to use the Internet over the phone after leaving behind an important document on his laptop.
Written by Mark Duplass; directed by Doug Emmett.
Wow, now isn’t that just trippy?
Bill Maher returns to the lineup after a brief summer hiatus so the social commentary & news front is in full force in August. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER resumes on FRIDAY, August 04 at 10:00pm and continues in that timeslot for the remainder of the month. LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER just took a couple of weeks off and has all new installments beginning 07.30 and runs through August. That is on SUNDAY nights at 11:00pm. Taking viewers around the globe as its correspondents investigate the stories not being told, season five of the Emmy-winning weekly news magazine series VICE continues with a new episodes FRIDAY, August 04 (7:30pm), followed by other episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time and repeated at 11:00pm and VICE NEWS TONIGHT, the half-hour nightly newscast from VICE Media and HBO, weeknights Monday through Thursday. In August that will start on MONDAY, August 06. Here is a look at one of the latest topics covered.
Movies: Theatrical movies are always a big draw on HBO. Often times the network is the first place a movie drops when it makes its TV debut. August offers up some good ones on Saturday nights in August with Collateral Damage, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Nocturnal Animals and Jackie. Here is a closer look.
After a hotshot New York advertising exec suffers a personal tragedy, he falls into a deep depression and a downward spiral. But when he starts writing letters to ‘Love,’ ’Time’ and ‘Death,’ he receives startling responses that help him deal with his grief. Will Smith, Edward Norton and Keira Knightley head an all-star ensemble cast in the poignant drama. COLLATERAL BEAUTY. Co-starring Michael Pena, Noamie Harris, Jacob Latimore, with Kate Winslet and Helen Mirren. Directed by David Frankel; written by Allan Loeb. It debts SATURDAY, August 05 at 8:15pm. FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM is next on SATURDAY, August 12 beginning at 8:00pm. Prepare for an inspired return to the “Harry Potter” universe of magic, muggles and more in this epic fantasy from author J.K. Rowling. Set long before Harry’s own adventures, this tale focuses on British wizard and “magizoologist” Newt Scamander (Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne) whose arrival in New York is marked by monstrous mayhem when the creatures he holds captive in his magically expandable suitcase escape into the “no-maj” (non-magical) world.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 19 offers us NOCTURNAL ANIMALS at 8:00pm. It is a riveting psychological neo-noir about an art-gallery manager who finds herself engrossed in a manuscript written by her ex-husband–a dark allegorical tale that sends her reeling into their past. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star; it also features Michael Shannon, in an Oscar-nominated performance. A clip might help explain it better.
And then there is JACKIE on SATURDAY, AUGUST 26 at 8:00pm. From “Camelot” to national tragedy, this searing drama creates a “remarkably raw portrait” (Hollywood Reporter) of Jackie Kennedy in the aftermath of her Presidential husband’s stunning assassination. Natalie Portman earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her stark, spot-on portrayal of the iconic First Lady as she meets with a reporter to cement their legacy in the White House…while planning JFK’s memorial service.
HBO Documentary Films: Only one is on the schedule but by the time the next 31 days are out another could slip on the schedule. Such was the case in July with the Princess Diana tribute from her sons. The documentary on the slate is entitled Brillo Box (3¢ Off). It blends a humorous family narrative with Pop Art history as it follows this iconic Andy Warhol work from a New York family’s living room to the contemporary global art market. Yeah, the graphic here is the art work in question, but what do you expect, it is Warhol.
HBO Special: George Lopez returns to HBO and he is red hot. He appears fuming actually. GEORGE LOPEZ: THE WALL, LIVE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. will debut SATURDAY, AUG. 05 (10:00-11:00pm). His fourth live solo stand-up special on the network, the exclusive presentation will feature Lopez performing all-new material before an audience at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Naturally, since it is a live broadcast there is no trailer of his material to see here, but he did create a promo. Take a look.
HBO Kids: SESAME STREET is not done yet. It has far too many kids to educate. The show continues its 47th season with a new episode debuting SATURDAY, AUGUST 05 (9:00-9:30am, followed by other episodes on subsequent Saturdays at the same time.
–Season 47, Episode 31: “Hello Rudy” Debut: SATURDAY, AUGUST 05 at 9:00am
–Season 47, Episode 32: “Rudy Lets Loose” Debut: SATURDAY AUGUST 12 at 9:00am
–Season 47, Episode 33: “Hide and Seek Rudy” Debut: SATURDAY, AUGUST 19 at 9:00am
–Season 47, Episode 34:”The Four Sneezons” Debut: SATURDAY, AUGUST 26 at 9:00am
HBO Sports: If there is sports programming it is usually boxing, but not this time of year because it is time to ramp up for football! HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team up for HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE TAMPA BY BUCCANEERS This time it chronicles head coach Dirk Koetter as he bands together with an intriguing mix of young emerging stars, Pro Bowl veterans, free agents and rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the preseason. Tuesday night is a sports night on HBO so the five-episode run of the show debuts TUESDAY, AUGUST 8 at 10:00pm. It airs four installments in August on 08.08, 08.15., 08.22 & 08.29.
Boxing is still represented in August with a block of programming on SATURDAY, AUGUST 26. First is a boxing bout. It is WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: COTTO VS KAMEGAI beginning at 9:45pm that evening. Afterward, there is 24/7 CANELO/GOLOVKIN Show# 1. It checks out both pugilists as they prepare for their upcoming bout in September. And as always you can count on Bryant Gumbel in the latter half of the month. REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL. His show doesn’t air until 11:00pm on TUESDAY, AUGUST 22 due to HARD KNOCKS but, don’t worry he’ll be there.
Other Movies and Shows: Eight First Runs pop up throughout the month. Look for them across the channels. They are VIGILANTE DIARIES; CHANGING LANES; BAD COMPANY; THE LIZZIE MCQUIRE MOVIE; THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS; THE ROOKIE; RULES DON’T APPLY and STARRING ADAM WEST. Lizzie, the Tenenbaums and the rookie movies have all played hard over on HBO FAMILY and now debut over on HBO. Here is look at some of those other titles. VIGILANTE DIARIES gives us a video-blogger who chronicles the exploits of a one-man army known only as ‘The Vigilante,’ as he travels around the globe to fight crime and injustice. CHANGING LANES stars Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson and chronicles the fallout from a minor car accident between a yuppie attorney and a recovering alcoholic that triggers an all-out war. Get ready for nonstop action, suspense and laughs in the spy thriller/ buddy comedy starring Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock called BAD COMPANY. There is also RULES DON’T APPLY but the one of most interest to me is STARRING ADAM WEST.
HBO’s Other Platforms: No rhyme or reason to what follows, but hopefully you’ll find something you like. HBO Latino: It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: hiring a new babysitter who turns out to be a psychopath in EMELIE; Award-winning Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Pedro Capo honors a variety of leading Latin artists he grew up with by performing a selection of their hits in PEDRO CAPO EN LETRA GE OTRO. A security guard finds that a flaw in the system has given him the opportunity to make off with the fortune he transports every day in VERDE (Green); Costa Rica’s foreign-language Oscar submission PRESOS (Imprisoned) is a drama about a young woman whose safe existence begins to unravel when she secretly befriends a prison inmate and JUEGOS DE FAMILIA (Family Games) is a Spanish comedy-drama in which a man befriends his wife’s lover in an attempt to understand what has happened to their marriage and win her back. HBO Family: Tim Allen does the Disney remake of THE SHAGGY DOG here. There is also STORKS, SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON and OPERATION DUMBO DROP. Hey, there all feature animals so gather the family. HBO Signature: The horrifying legend of the Blair Witch makes its evil presence known once again in this harrowing sequel BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2; Whoopi Goldberg stars as a housekeeper who lights up the life of a grieving widower (Ray Liotta) and his young daughter in the 1950s in CORRINA, CORRINA. Two estranged sisters–one a working-class mother, the other a flighty socialite–are forced to deal with their issues when they return to their childhood home in Pittsburgh to look after their father, who’s on the verge of dementia. Parker Posey, Demi Moore, Rip Torn and Ellen Barkin star in this quirky dramedy called HAPPY TEARS. There is also MIMIC. The miracle cure for a deadly disease soon becomes a deadly threat in this frightening thriller from Guillermo Del Toro. HBO Comedy: May I suggest BLAST FROM THE PAST, HAIRSPRAY, MR. WOODCOCK and DIM SUM FUNERAL? HBO Zone: A few quick suggestions off this channel would be THE LEGEND OF TARZAN; THE SIMPSONS MOVIE; 9, THE GREEN INFERNO and director Louis Leterrier’s & writer Zak Penn’s version of THE INCREDIBLE HULK. To single out a trailer we offer HAPPY TEARS.
HBONow/Go: I hate to just throw titles at you, but that is what we do here. So, some added titles to the sites include ADAPTATION, DOWN WITH LOVE, ENOUGH, FROST/NIXON, GARFIELD, GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING, LOVE LIZA, MARTIAN CHILD, MAX PAYNE, ROCKNROLLA, SUNSHINE STATE, TANGO AND CASH, THE RING, THE ROCKER, THE STRANGERS, THIRTEEN CONVERSATIONS ABOUT ONE THING and TIN CUP. Okay, okay, I know it is a lousy way to get more titles in your face, but you get the idea.
Cinemax: You know, I could just throw some more titles at you but that would be cruel just about now. Those who have Cinemax know it is all about movies, movies, movies. We actually started including content from this channel, however, because of its series which, especially as of late, are far and few between. It all started with THE KNICK. Well, a series hasn’t surfaced here in a while, but hopefully, that will change soon. We’ll keep you posted. Oh, what the Hell – INCARNATE. There, a movie to consider about a doctor able to enter the mind of a demon-possessed young boy.
Next Month’s Tease: Her name is Eileen “Candy” Merrell. You don’t know her yet but you will, especially if you flash a couple of bucks on the street corner.
To answer last month’s Tease we needed to know that IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU was the last comedy special we saw on HBO from George Lopez. He is back with another one in August (see above).
Final Clip: I leave you with something unrelated to what we have discussed above but should get blood pumping nevertheless.