July and everyone is outside, right? Well, if you are fortunate enough to have the right kind of device and Wi-Fi then you can watch HBO content out by the pool as the kids play or while you are toasting marshmallows by the bonfire in the evening. The rest of us need to come in and find that TV remote. But, no matter what way you watch our favorite premium channel you can count on finding something to watch. The following information proves that there is entertainment across all of HBO’s platforms. Enjoy it and this look at What’s On for July 2014.
Originals: We have our original programming at the forefront as two of summer’s dramatic series take off. We have new seasons of a brand new show and the return of one coming to its end. Our top look of the post has got to be the show that is presenting its seventh and final season – TRUE BLOOD.
That is right fang-bangers and faerie fans all hell breaks loose with our last look at the denizens of Bon Temps. The ten-episode, seventh and final season of the HBO hit series TRUE BLOOD continues SUNDAY, JULY 6 (9:00-10:00 p.m.), exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, the series takes place in a world where vampires and humans co-exist, after vampires have come out of the coffin, thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood that means they no longer need humans as a nutritional source. The series follows waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people’s thoughts, and vampires Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård). Alan Ball created the show, which is based on the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.
Four episodes are at play in July, but remember there are only ten episodes total. Episode # 72: “I Found You” plays on 07.01, 07.02 and 07.04. July’s debuts follow:
— Episode #73: “Fire in the Hole”: Sookie hatches a dangerous plan; Pam looks to motivate Eric. (Written by Brian Buckner; directed by Lee Rose. Air dates – 07.06, 07.07, 07.08, 07.09 and 07.11.
The Viking returns! You knew he would, right?
— Episode #74: “Sick of Goodbyes”: Sookie enlists a band of vampires and humans to track down the H-Vamps. (Written by Daniel Kenneth; directed by Gregg Fienberg.) Air dates: 07.14, 07.15, 07.16 and 07.18.
Now who are we saying goodbye to, the whole damn town?
— Episode #75: “Return to Oz”: Sookie hosts a mainstreaming party; Eric and Pam head to Dallas for a fundraiser. (Written by Craig Chester; directed by Howie Deutch.) Air dates – 07.20, 07.21, 07.22, 07.23 and 07.25.
What? This is the end as we know it. Is this an appropriate time for a party and a fundraiser?
— Episode #76: “Karma”: Sookie makes a shocking discovery; Eric and Pam forge an unlikely alliance. (Written by Angela Robinson; directed by Angela Robinson.) Air dates: 07.27, 07.28, 07.29 and 07.30
Oh man, the words ‘shocking discovery’ are never good.
Stay close fans. HBOWATCH will hold your hand every step of the way no matter what.
THE LEFTOVERS: From Damon Lindelof (Emmy winner for “Lost”) and acclaimed novelist Tom Perrotta (Academy Award® nominee for “Little Children”), the drama series continues its ten-episode season. Based on Perrotta’s bestselling novel of the same name, the show follows a town searching for answers three years after a global event dubbed “The Sudden Departure,” when 140 million people around the world disappeared without a trace. Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Charlie Carver, Max Carver, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd, Michael Gaston, Emily Meade, Annie Q, Margaret Qualley, Amanda Warren and Chris Zylka star. Lindelof serves as the series showrunner.
The show continues its ten-episode season SUNDAY, JULY 6 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT. The four episodes in July are the following:
— Episode #02: “Penguin One, Us Zero”: Kevin visits a therapist; Meg must decide whether she can let go of the past; Tom and Christine are put in a precarious situation. (Written by Damon Lindelof & Kath Lingenfelter; directed by Peter Berg.) Air dates: 07.06, 07.07, 07.08, 07.10, 07.11, 07.12 and 07.18.
They said this would be a dark series. In this episode we have therapy, letting go and a precarious situation. It doesn’t sound good for our poor leftovers.
— Episode #03: “Two Boats and a Helicopter”: Mapleton’s Rev. Matt Jamison struggles to hold onto his church in the face of threats and debts. (Written by Damon Lindelof & Jacqueline Hoyt; directed by Keith Gordon.) Aid dates: 07.13, 07.14, 07.15, 07.17, 07.18, 07.19 and 07.25.
Wasn’t the actor who plays Rev. Jamison (Christopher Eccleston) The Doctor? Can’t he use that screwdriver gizmo and make things right?
— Episode #04: “B.J. and the A.C.”: Kevin encounters unexpected holiday surprises, while Tom and Christine run into more trouble on the road. (Written by Damon Lindelof & Elizabeth Peterson; directed by Lesli Linka Glatter.) Air dates: 07.20, 07.21, 07.22, 07.24, 07.25 and 07.26.
Something tells me the Holidays won’t be so merry.
— Episode #05: “Gladys”: Laurie is put to the test in the wake of a brutal crime. Kevin turns down an outside offer of assistance. (Written by Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta; directed by Mimi Leder.) Air dates: 07.27, 07.28, 07.29 and 07.31.
Kevin, you all are having a tough go with this, maybe you shouldn’t refuse help.
Here is a clip to remind us just how much they struggle to move on.
In other originals our comedic desk jockeys continue their commentary on all things worthy of satire. Presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues its inaugural season with a new edition SUNDAY, JULY 13 beginning at 11:00pm and comedian/social commentator Bill Maher continues the 12th season of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER, with a new edition on FRIDAY, JULY 11 starting at 10:00pm. Here is a salty dose of Bill Maher humor for you after talking about the darker tones of our dramatic series.
As stated above LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER doesn’t have a new installment until 07.13. I know he is a U. S. citizen now, but he is also still British. Why is he taking the Fourth of July weekend off? Air dates are Edition # 10 on 07.13, 07.14, 07.16 & 07.17. Edition # 11 is on 07.20, 07.21, 07.23 & 07.24 and edition # 12 airs 07.27, 07.28, 07.30 & 07.31. That will put him halfway through his first season. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER also takes a week off and resumes with new stuff with Edition # 324 on 07.11, 07.13, 07.14, 07.15 & 07.16. Edition # 325 airs 07.18, 07.20, 07.21, 07.22 & 07.23 and Edition # 326 runs 07.25, 07.27, 07.28, 07.29 & 07.30.
Theatrical Movies: Everything comes in fours in July. The four Saturdays in the month offer us four different movie debuts. Here is a brief look at each. You can check in with HBOWatch for proper reviews throughout the month ahead. Our movies this month are THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY, GRAVITY, THE INTERNSHIP and GETAWAY.
THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY starts us off with Christmas in July. Get ready for a “feel-good celebration” says the Boston Herald, as the ensemble cast from the 1999 hit The Best Man returns for this comedy sequel. Getting together for the first time in years, the college friends gather for a joyful holiday reunion, only to find that long-simmering rivalries, romances and secrets are revealed. Starring Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau. Written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee (R – 2013) Air dates: 07.05, 07.06, 07.09, 07.14, 07.17 and 07.25. These guys look like they are getting their Hoilday groove on!
The highly touted movie GRAVITY with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney is the following weekend. It is simply stated as a story of an astronaut struggling to survive after a major catastrophe in space. Audiences saw a lot more to it than that as it was awarded seven Oscars alone including Best Cinematography and Best Director to Alfonso Cuaron. This “white-knuckle space odyssey restores a sense of wonder, terror and possibility to the big screen” says Variety. (PG-13 – 2013) Air dates: 07.12, 07.13, 07.16, 07.18, 17.20, 07.22, 07.24, 07.26, 07.28 & 07.31. Here is a preview.
Google is doing well for itself. It even stars in a movie called THE INTERNSHIP. In this movie two unemployed salesmen talk their way into an internship at Google, where they must compete against young tech phenoms for a coveted full-time job. Call them “Google Crashers”! Wedding Crashers co-stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson(pictured) reteam for this raucous comedy as a pair of downsized watch salesmen who enter the internship program at Google. Hoping to land permanent positions with the search engine giant, the duo injects their old-school tactics and ideals into a youth-infused environment. The result: big-time laughs with a lot of heart. It is directed by Shawn Levy with the story concept by Vince Vaughn and the screenplay by Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern. (PG-13 – 2013) Air dates are on 07.19, 07.20, 07.23, 07.24, 207.7 & 07.29. GETAWAY gets the last Saturday.Washed-up race car driver Brent Magna finds himself in a race against time to save his abducted wife in this heart-pounding thriller. Told to commandeer a souped-up Mustang outfitted with surveillance cameras by an anonymous voice on his cell phone, Magna (Ethan Hawke) is ordered to perform a series of dangerous tasks-or his
wife will die. Co-starring Selena Gomez, Jon Voight, Rebecca Budig, Bruce Payne. Directed by Courtney Solomon; written by Sean Finegan & Gregg Maxwell Parker. (PG-13 – 2013) Air dates: 07.26, 07.27, 07.30 and into August.
Documentary: For the past couple of years the Documentary Films banner, under the management of Sheila Nevins, has offered a summer marathon of films offering one new documentary a week star throughout July into August. HBO didn’t do that this year and spread out its offerings over the summer instead. The upcoming works for July would have surely been the crown jewels of that event if it had happened. I think what is presented will shock viewers. HBOWatch will review each one as they premiere. Here is a brief look.
The first one is entitled DANGEROUS ACTS STARRING THE UNSTABLE ELEMENTS OF BELARUS, debuting MONDAY, JULY 7 (9:00-10:30 p.m.) by director Madeleine Sackler. Creating provocative theater carries great personal risks: emotional, financial and artistic. For the members of the Belarus Free Theatre (BFT), there are additional risks: censorship, imprisonment and worse. The director goes behind the scenes with the acclaimed troupe of imaginative and subversive performers who, in a desolate country choked by censorship and repression, defy what is often considered Europe’s last remaining dictatorship. When authorities forbid critical examinations of such topics as sexual orientation, alcoholism, suicide and politics, the Free Theatre responds by injecting these taboos into performances that are staged underground. And yet, because of the power of their message, they receive critical acclaim overseas. (Directed and produced by Madeleine Sackler; executive producer, Andrea Meditch; associate producer, Leigh Johnson; edited by Anne Barliant and Leigh Johnson; original music, Wendy Blackstone; directors of photography, Daniel Carter and Larissa Kabernik. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.) HBO air dates are 07.07, 07.09, 07.10, 07.13, 07.16 and 07.19.
THE NEWBURGH STING, debuts MONDAY, JULY 21 (9:00-10:30 p.m.). This is an unbelievable story and this clip teases the piece just right.
THE NEWBURGH STING: Four street criminals with no history of violence or political ties, from an impoverished and largely African-American community, were drawn by a Pakistani FBI informant into a carefully orchestrated plot to bomb Jewish synagogues in a wealthy suburb of New York City and fire Stinger missiles at U.S. military supply planes. Their dramatic arrest, complete with armored cars, a SWAT team and FBI aircraft, played out under the gaze of major television outlets, and resulted in 25-year prison sentences. Many political figures lauded the case as a victory in the war on terror, but others lambasted the sting as entrapment. The film features interviews with Muslim leaders and high-level Washington insiders, including former FBI assistant director Thomas Fuentes, U.S. congressman Keith Ellison and former FBI undercover agent Mike German, as well as wrenching interviews with the families of the “Newburgh Four.” (Directed and produced by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner; executive producer, Dan Cogan.) Air dates are 07.21, 07.24, 07.27 and 07.29. The final documentary of the month is LOVE CHILD, debuting MONDAY, JULY 28 (9:00-10:30 p.m.). It documents the first trial for Internet addiction and subsequent ruling that set a global precedent in a world where virtual is the new reality. In 2010 a young South Korean couple stands accused of manslaughter when “Internet addiction” to an online fantasy game – featuring a virtual world in which players care for a fairy child avatar (or Anima) – costs them the life of their own infant daughter. (A film by Valerie Veatch; produced by David Fox; director of photography, Daniel B. Levin; executive producers, John Legere, Christina Legere, Elizabeth Legere and Andrew Teng; producers, Daniel B. Levin, Danny Kim and Minji Kim. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Bernstein, executive producer, Sheila Nevins.) Dates are 07.28 & 07.31 and into August and along with the other documentaries listed appearing on HBOGo.
Sports: The world has been focusing on Futbol, but HBO is still working on its Boxing game. In July’s edition of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: GENNADY GOLOVKIN VS. DANIEL GEALE, debuting SATURDAY, JULY 26 (9:30-11:45 p.m.), features one of boxing’s fastest rising stars Gennady Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) of Kazakhstan taking on Australia’s Daniel Geale (30-2, 16 KOs) in the main event – a scheduled 12-round super middleweight title fight from Madison Square Garden in New York City. The opening bout will be announced when fighters are confirmed. The HBO Sports team will be ringside for the event, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino. Air dates: 07.26, 07.27 and 07.29. Plus, another round of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL appears as it continues to go behind the box scores and statistics to tackle timely subjects in the world of contemporary sports. Air dates: Edition #208: 07.22, 07.24, 07.26 and 07.30. Encore play dates: Edition #207: 07.02, 07.04, 07.07, 07.09, 07.10, 07.13 and 07.18.
Other Movies and Shows: It is always difficult to sift though the filler programming HBO has to fill the hours, but we will give it another go with the following offerings. I note two late night premieres across the schedule; they are SECONDS APART and DARK CITY. In the first one tyrannical twins use powers to get people to hurt themselves. Variety calls it an “off-beat and ambitious” shocker. The other film offers a film noir premise set in a sci-fi world as a man (Rufus Sewell) takes on the dangers in a dark city. A few repeats to catch could be the movies NOW YOU SEE ME and CHASING MAVERICKS. HBO2 is offering a marathon showing of HBO Films: JOHN ADAMS with all seven parts back-to-back on the Fourth of July.If you haven’t seen it you should.
HBO’s Other Platforms: let’s throw out some other titles from across the platforms. HBO Latino: SR. AVILA about the professional killer hiding as an insurance salesman is still offering new episodes in July and the sports news series DESTINO DEPORTES is as well with Episode 20 and beyond. A new movie premiering on the channel is EL CALLEJON (Blind Alley) and it is a horror movie set in, catch this, a laundromat in Spain. HBO Family: For the family time in your household this channel offers works like THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, the movie not the old series; SWEET DREAMS, the biography of Patsy Cline, of whom kids today never heard of before and MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS which could inspire your kids to take up a musical instrument. HBO Signature: How about a movie with the title LAKE MUNGO? Shot mock-documentary style this horror picture gives the haunting from a drowned girl at the title locale. The other movie debuting is PROWL. An unfortunate gal with car trouble is picked up by an odd truck driver and it all turns to hell from there in this movie. HBO Comedy: ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER is a comedy? Maybe, it is an unintentional one. But repeats of GIRLS and CHRIS ROCK: NEVER SCARED and HBO Films: CLEAR HISTORY sure are. HBOGO: There are a number of programs rotating off of the site for a while. Here are a few that are listed as ‘Last Chance’ opportunities. A RAGE IN HARLEM, HBO COMEDY HALF HOUR: CARLOS MENCIA; MUPPETS FROM SPACE; ANNA AND THE KING and PACIFIC RIM. Being added to HBOGo in their place are such titles as Episodes 10-13 of SR. AVILA; THE GODFATHER PART III; MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND and THE SHINING and dozens more. Also look for the site to create some kind of patriotic themed movie collection in observance of Independence Day. Cinemax: Here straight from a Press release is what the sister channel is promoting. RIDDICK: When notorious escaped convict Riddick (Vin Diesel) is left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, he must fight for survival against alien predators. Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista and Karl Urban also star in this third installment of the popular series “The Chronicles of Riddick.” MAN OF STEEL: Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) must use his super powers to save the world in this latest reboot of the Superman legend. Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne and Russell Crowe also star. And PACIFIC RIM: A ragtag group of heroes mobilizes to battle forces threatening life on Earth in this dazzling sci-fi film, starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini and Ron Perlman, and directed by Guillermo del Toro. “FRIDAY AFTER DARK” has TOPLESS PROPHET. This new MAX After Dark series follows the dancers and managers of Detroit’s premier “gentleman’s clubs,” offering a look inside their entertaining but complicated world and THE GREAT BIKINI BOWLING BASH; when the landlord decides to sell Candy’s bowling alley, her friends pitch in for a “Bikini Bowling Bash” fund raising event to save it. I’m not making this shit up!
Next Month’s Tease: Haven’t had enough dragons? How about one from Erebor?
Final Clip: Please indulge me here. It bears repeating as it is the final season!