Diving into the shortest month of the year doesn’t mean the HBO schedule is short on content. There are plenty of returning shows and exciting documentaries waiting. So curl up on a cold frosty night and take in the entertainment coming our way as we look at what is on for February 2015. You might be surprised.
Originals: HBO continues its line-up of Sunday night originals after a one week hiatus. It seems that very few attempt to counter program against the Super Bowl. There will not be new episodes of GIRLS, TOGETHERNESS or LOOKING on 02.01 (the night of the game), but they will return on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 08 beginning at 9:00pm.
The Sunday fare leads off with GIRLS. As we know Hannah is separated by her friends by hundreds of miles and it will be interesting to see how the relationships stay intact or quite possibly don’t stay that way. There are three episodes to watch this month.
— Episode #36: “Cubbies”: Hannah is confronted by her classmates after leaving a non-apology apology letter in their cubbies. After getting rejected at yet another job interview, a frustrated Shoshanna spends a day with Ray. Creative and romantic tensions between Marnie and Desi reach their breaking point. (Written by Bruce Eric Kaplan; directed by Jesse Peretz.) Air dates: 02.08, 02.09, 02.10, 02.11, 02.12, 02.13 and 02.14.
— Episode #37: “Sit-In”: Friends try to help Hannah through a crisis; Hannah and Adam have an honest conversation about the status of their relationship. (Written by Paul Simms & Max Brockman; directed by Richard Shepard.)Air dates: 02.15, 02.16, 02.17, 02.18, 02.19, 02.20 and 02.21.
— Episode #38: “Close Up”: Some soul-searching leads Hannah to an epiphany. Meanwhile, another disastrous interview for Shoshanna ends in a positive; Ray attempts to solve his neighborhood noise issue at a community board meeting; Marnie and Desi disagree on how to define their sound; and Adam is shocked by a revelation. (Written by Murray Miller; directed by Richard Shepard.) Air dates: 02.22, 02.23, 02.24, 02.25, 02.26, 02.27 and 02.28.
We do know that Hannah has to return to NYC at some point, right?
TOGETHERNESS: Brett and Michelle (Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey) are struggling to rekindle the spark in their relationship, which has puttered out from the stresses of marriage and children. When Brett’s friend Alex (Steve Zissis) and Michelle’s sister, Tina (Amanda Peet), move in with them, the foursome engage in a tragically comedic struggle to follow their personal dreams, while still remaining good friends, siblings and spouses to each other. And so far it has been entertaining HBOWatch. Here is what the critics say:
The show continues SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 08 at 9:30pm with these episodes:
— Episode 4: “Houston We Have a Problem”: Alex and Tina fly back to Houston to pack up her things. During a night of drinks and dancing, Tina finds herself unexpectedly jealous of Alex. Back in LA, Brett whisks Michelle away for some much needed intimacy. (Written and directed by Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass.) HBO air dates are on 02.08, 02.09, 02.10, 02.11, 02.12, 02.13 and 02.14.
— Episode 5: “Kick the Can”: After an intense therapy session, Michelle organizes a day of fun with old friends, despite Brett’s lack of enthusiasm. When a group of hipsters look to sour their plans, Michelle challenges the lot of them to a brutal game of “kick the can.” (Written by Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass & Amanda Lasher; directed by Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass.) HBO air dates are on 02.15, 02.16, 02.17, 02.18, 02.19, 02.20 and 02.21.
— Episode 6: “Ghost In Chains”: During a morning hike, Brett meets Linda, a new age believer who encourages him to get in touch with himself. Tina tries to make up to Alex by getting him an audition; Michelle helps David with the charter school; Brett takes a stand at work and opens up about his feelings. (Written by Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass; directed by Nicole Holofcener.) HBO air dates are on 02.22, 02.23, 02.24, 02.25, 02.26, 02.27 and 02.28.
LOOKING continues its ten-episode second season with a new episode debuting SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 08 beginning at 10:00pm followed by other episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time. It stars Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett.
Here is a look at the three episodes forthcoming:
— Episode #12: “Looking Down the Road”: As he tests the waters with Richie to see if they can still be friends, Patrick starts questioning his relationship with Kevin after spotting him at the farmers’ market. Agustín gets inspiration from spending a day at the shelter with Eddie; Doris helps Dom set up a Kickstarter campaign, and Dom is later greeted by an unexpected guest at Lynn’s. (Written by Roberto Aguirre Sacasa; directed by Ryan Fleck.) HBO dates: 02.08, 02.09, 02.10, 02.11, 02.12, 02.13 and 02.14.
— Episode #13: “Looking for the Truth”: On an excursion to San Leandro, Patrick gets to see where Richie grew up, and finally has a chance to apologize for the way things ended. Agustín decides to pay a visit to Eddie after hearing he’s sick at home. Meanwhile, wrought over the situation with Patrick, Kevin considers what to do next. (Written by Tanya Saracho; directed by Andrew Haigh.) HBO dates: 02.15, 02.16, 02.17, 02.18, 02.19, 02.20 and 02.21.
— Episode #14: “Looking for Gordon Freeman”: Patrick decides to be a “fun gay” by throwing a party for Halloween, dressing up as his favorite video-game character. Agustín suggests Eddie stay over after the party, but Eddie doesn’t want to move too fast. Forgoing her usual joint costume with Dom, Doris agrees to a couples costume with Malik, though she’s hesitant to define their relationship. Eddie brings a friend for Patrick to the party, who’s distracted by Richie and his new beau, Brady. (Written by JC Lee; directed by Jamie Babbit.) HBO dates: 02.22, 02.23, 02.24, 02.25, 02.26, 02.27 and 02.28.
Are you looking? And while you’re at it look for reviews of this show and its companions from Sunday night each week right here at HBOWatch.
Bill Maher is not alone on late night any longer as John Oliver returns in February. That means a double dose of social and political commentary that challenges the norms, grills the guests, stages the stunts and just has a good ole time. Check them out on Friday and Sunday nights respectively. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER continues its 13th season with a new edition debuting FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 06 at 10:00pm. (Executive producer/host, Bill Maher; executive producers, Bill Maher, Scott Carter, Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Brad Grey, Billy Martin and Dean E. Johnsen; produced by Matt Wood; director, Paul Casey.) HBO air dates: Edition #342: 02.06, 02.08, 02.09, 02.10 and 02.11; Edition #343: 02.13, 02.15, 02.16, 02.17 and 02.18; Edition #344: 02.20, 02.22, 02.23, 02.24 and 02.25 — Encore playdates of Edition #341: 02.01, 02.02, 02.03 and 02.04. LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER: This weekly series presents a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events. It returns SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 08 at 11:00pm. Emmy- and Writers Guild Award-winning writer Oliver hosts. (executive producers, John Oliver, Tim Carvell, Jon Thoday and James Taylor; producer, Liz Stanton. HBO dates: Edition #25: 02.08, 02.09, 02.11 and 02.12; Edition #26: 02.15, 02.16, 02.18 and 02.19; Edition #27: 02.22, 02.23, 02.25 and 02.26. How about a clip?
Theatrical Movies: Okay, for our debut movies it can’t be a surprise that lady-centric movies are favored with Valentine’s Day in the midst of the twenty-eight days. There is a good sci-fi action picture in there though. The titles are EDGE OF TOMORROW, WALK OF SHAME, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and ENDLESS LOVE.
Okay, guys this first one is for you. A military officer (Tom Cruise) who has never seen combat undertakes a suicide mission against alien enemies, repeatedly reliving his last day, but getting stronger with each incarnation when EDGE OF TOMORROW debuts SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 07 beginning at 8:00pm. Movie dates: 02.07, 02.08, 02.10, 02.13, 02.16, 02.20, 02.21, 02.24 and 0.28. It would have been perfect if it had debuted just one week before. This movie about a guy looping through time over and over would have been great on Groundhog Day, right?
Following an uncharacteristic one-night-stand, an aspiring news anchor (Elizabeth Banks) learns she’s up for her dream job – if she can make it to the interview on time. James Marsden also stars in the outrageous comedy called WALK OF SHAME, debuting SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14 beginning at 8:15pm. (Rated R) Movie dates: 02.14, 02.15, 02.18, 02.23 and 02.27. It seems a one-night stand leads to all kinds of trouble the next day. Who would have guessed?
Ah, here is the movie that will garner attention during the month! Teenagers (Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort) fall in love after meeting at a terminal cancer support group in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Laura Dern, Sam Trammell (HBO’s TRUE BLOOD), Nat Wolff and Willem Dafoe also star in this romantic drama, based on the bestselling novel of the same name and debuting SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21 at 8:00pm. (Directed by Josh Boone; screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber.) (Rated PG-13) Movie dates: 02.21, 02.22 and 023.25. Those dates are just for HBO; we are sure it also appears across the other channels, like HBO2 and on HBOGo – not that those who wanted to see it haven’t already. Here is a chance for an encore viewing and here is a trailer.
In our last premiere of the month we have ENDLESS LOVE. The 1981 original starred Brooke Shields at fifteen . Someone thought it needed an update. The story remains the same; a sheltered young girl falls for a charismatic boy with a mysterious past, but their summer love affair is threatened when her protective parents intervene. It debuts SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28 at 8:00pm. Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde star. (Rated PG-13) Hell, the original was Rated R! Movie date: 02.28 and into March.
Specials: Is it a comedy special or is it a documentary? Anymore you just can’t be sure. Either way it is something worth noting. Debuting SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14 at 10:00pm is ROSIE O’DONNELL: A HEARTFELT STAND UP is a hybrid form of standup comedy, inspired by her recent near-fatal heart attack. In a comic and touching performance, she shares her experience with heart disease, the leading cause of death among American women, and explores topics ranging from the challenges of raising five children to her continued infatuation with Barbra Streisand. O’Donnell’s return to the stage is an honest, hilarious and intimate take on life. (Written by Rosie ’Donnell; directed & produced by Dan Chaykin; director of photography, Sam Painter; edited by Geof Bartz; produced by Larissa Bills; supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; executive producers, Sheila Nevins and Rosie O’Donnell.) HBO air dates are 02.14, 02.17, 02.20, 02.22, 02.23 and 02.26.
Documentary: Another exciting documentary series is on the way, though it will be brief. THE JINX: THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST spotlights Robert Durst, the scion of New York’s billionaire real estate family, who has been accused of three murders over the past 30 years, but never convicted. Brilliant, reclusive and the subject of relentless media scrutiny, Durst has never spoken publicly – until now.
Directed and produced by Andrew Jarecki and produced and shot by Marc Smerling (the Oscar nominees behind “Capturing the Friedmans”), the groundbreaking six-part documentary series tracks Durst’s strange history against the backdrop of unimaginable wealth and privilege. The filmmakers’ seven-year investigation and the extraordinary relationship that evolves between filmmaker and suspect ultimately reveal secrets that have baffled authorities for 30 years. The series debuts SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 08 at 8:00pm followed by other new parts subsequent Sundays at the same time, leading up to the March 15 finale. (Directed by Andrew Jarecki; produced by Marc Smerling and Andrew Jarecki; director of photography, Marc Smerling; co-producer and Editor, Zac Stuart-Pontier; executive producer, Jason Blum.) Air dates: “Part One”: 02.08, 02.09, 02.10, 02.12, 02.13, 02.14, 02.19 and 02.26; “Part Two”: 02.15, 02.16, 02.17, 02.19, 02.20 and 02.26; “Part Three”: 02.22, 02.23, 02.24, 02.26 and 02.27. You can be sure this HBOWatch writer will review each and every one!
Equally interesting is the story of Edward Snowden and HBO has the definitive story in February. One of the most acclaimed films of 2014, CITIZENFOUR is a real-life thriller that unfolds by the minute. Debuting MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23 at 9:00pm the film follows director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald as they encounter Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, where he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA). The timely film is an inside look at the media storm raging after the release of Snowden’s revelations and showing how Poitras, Greenwald and Snowden attempt to manage it.(Directed, filmed and produced by Laura Poitras; edited by Mathilde Bonnefoy; produced by Dirk Wilutzky; co-producers, Katy Scoggin, Kirsten Johnson; executive producers, Steve Soderbergh, Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, David Menschel, Tom Quinn; supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.)HBO dates: 02.23, 02.27 and into March.
Sports: The only programming we seem to be short on is in this category. However, we do have the award winning show REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL. It always goes behind the box scores and statistics to tackle timely subjects in the world of contemporary sports. The next monthly edition debuts TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 beginning at 10:00pm. Play dates for Edition #215: are 02.24, 02.26 and 02.28. Also there is a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: match that is not getting much attention yet. It is Golovkin vs. Murray on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21 at 5:45pm.
Other Movies and Shows: Okay, let me throw out some random titles here that might be a fun treat for a viewer to discover in the month ahead. All titles are found on the main channel in February. How about HANNIBAL or THE ALAMO? The former is Mr. Lector’s reappearance and the latter is the historic Mexican standoff. Both are great movies to see again. For something different I can offer TRICK ‘R TREAT which HBO lists in its description as “the best Halloween-themed movie since John Carpenter’s Halloween.” Is it? Or debuting on the channel at odd times are BELLE, BULLETPROOF MONK and RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL. I’m liking the one with Bowie, Crockett and company myself.
HBO’s Other Platforms: What else is out there, you ask? We answer below. HBO Latino: The series PSI, mentioned last month, continues with new episodes. There is also ROOMMATES, which is a series cross between SEX AND THE CITY and LOOKING. But the big news might be another concert event. Grammy-winning Latin popsters Reik belt out their hit singles and romantic ballads live from Mexico City’s legendary el Auditorio Nacional. REIK: LIVE FROM EL AUDITORIO NACIONAL is intercut with an intimate documentary featuring total access to the three charismatic band members–Jesus Navarro, Julio Ramirez and Gilberto Bibi Marin–on their tour bus as they discuss life on the road, their music, and their relationship to each other. HBO Family: This channel stays with some tried and true family classics and occasionally mixes in some new stuff. If your weather is anything like mine than the movie SNOW DAY seems most appropriate. And with Tom Cruise’s latest movie on this month how about checking an early work of his called LEGEND? A remake of the classic horse film FLICKA is also available. HBO Signature: ORIGINAL SIN, LIVING OUT LOUD and FREE RIDE are three titles coming on this channel for the first time. They are not coming to mind for me but, Banderas/Jolie team up for the first one; the second is an older movie with Holly Hunter and Danny De Vito and the last one offers Anna Paquin (TRUE BLOOD) as a single mom in the 1970’s. I’m just throwing those out there. HBO Comedy: from this channel I suggest a few HBO ONE NIGHT STAND routines. They are a series of HBO standup acts through the years; there are a slew of them. Bill Hicks, Damon Wayans, Joel Bolster, Kevin Brennan and Caroline Rhea each have one running here throughout the month. It is a great way to test the humor you never heard of before or catch an early routine from some one more famous. Check them out. If you still want a movie from the channel how about VOLUNTEERS? In this one Peace Corps volunteers spread goodwill and laughs with Tom Hanks and John Candy. You don’t have to watch the whole thing but, here is a dose of stand-up HBO style.
HBOGO: Haven’t had enough titles yet? Then here are some from our favorite go to site. HBO Latino’s PSI series comes onboard; as do the final episodes of THE NEWSROOM. On the movie front there are modern classics like PLATOON, A FISH CALLED WANDA, ALL THE RIGHT MOVES, DANCES WITH WOLVES and NORMA RAE to watch again. There is a new batch of ONE NIGHT STAND comedy bits in addition to the ones mentioned above and the Reik concert will pop up as well. Cinemax: In February, CINEMAX continues to be the only premium channel presented in 100% True HD. It showcases the best selection of the most movies, including new top theatrical films, timeless favorites, classics, critically acclaimed independents and more. Season three of the Emmy-winning BANSHEE continues with a new episode FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 06 at 10:00pm. Here is a breakdown of episodes.
— Episode #25: “Tribal”: All hell breaks loose as Chayton and an army of Redbones invade Banshee, looking to avenge Tommy’s death at the hands of Raven, the Kinaho tribesman-turned-deputy. Holed up in the Cadi with Lucas and his deputies, Proctor is frustrated by his inability to attend to his ailing mother at home. As the assault reaches a fever pitch, Bunker tries to prove to Medding he’s not the man he used to be. (Written by Adam Targum; directed by Ole Christian Madsen.) Air dates: 02.06, 02.07, 02.08, 02.09 and 02.11
— Episode #26: “We Were All Someone Else Yesterday”: Reduced to the status of observer as the FBI plans a raid on the Redbone wilderness compound, Lucas decides to take matters into his own hands in his pursuit of Chayton. Still stung by Proctor’s rebuke over her initiative in dealing with the Black Beards, Rebecca is further chagrined to learn of her uncle’s burgeoning romance with Emily, Brock’s ex and Leah’s caregiver. Deva is drawn to handsome stranger Charlie Knowles. (Written by Adam Targum; directed by Ole Christian Madsen.) Air dates: 02.13, 02.14, 02.15, 02.16 and 02.18.
— Episode #27: “You Can’t Hide From the Dead”: Despite Job’s reservations, Lucas and his team pull off a daring heist at Camp Genoa. Lucas and Chayton are haunted by their recent deadly encounter. Calling a truce, Gordon and Carrie attempt an unusual intervention with Deva. Unbeknownst to her uncle, Rebecca heads to Philly to work out a deal with a spurned Proctor client. (Written by Chris Kelley; directed by Greg Yaitanes.) Air dates: 02.20, 02.21, 02.22, 02.23 and 02.25.
— Episode #28: “All the Wisdom I Got Left”: Lucas and Brock head to Louisiana, and the infamous Underground fight club in search of Chayton. Stowe pieces together details about the Camp Genoa heist, and who might be responsible. Burton’s torment turns to resolve; Sugar looks to repay an old boxing debt; Rebecca’s initiatives put Proctor and Emily in harm’s way. (Written by Chris Kelley; directed by Greg Yaitanes.) Air dates: 02.27 and 02.28 and into March.
Forget the frigid cold and curl up in front of a home box office right in the comfort of your home. That has always been the idea and with exciting HBO plans in the future you don’t want to miss out.
Next Month’s Tease: Don’t live next door to a fraternity house.
Final Clip: A double dose of what you’re missing. If you don’t watch the rants of Bill Maher on REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER then you are missing out of some controversial stuff.
Also if you don’t watch HBO documentaries like the upcoming THE JINX the you are missing out on some intense stuff.