My how times flies. Here we are moving into March and as the months go on HBO tries to get us excited for its content. Two premieres happen in March, but mostly we have the continuation of our Sunday nights series. Many feel it is slim pickings, but there is still something on worth entertaining you whether you want to be there for the end of GIRLS or catch a movie you wouldn’t or couldn’t go to the Super 6 Cinema to see. Let’s see what HBO has to offer with What’s On.
Original Series: Based on Liane Moriarty’s best-selling book of the same name, the subversive, darkly comedic BIG LITTLE LIES tells the tale of three mothers of first-graders whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. The first two episodes have already played out setting up the characters and their attitudes towards each other. In March we have four more episodes of the limited series. Find it starting SUNDAY, MARCH 05 from 9:00-10:00pm.
Below is what we know about the upcoming episodes:
–Episode #3: “Living the Dream”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 05 at 9:00pm
Hoping to get under Renata’s (Laura Dern) skin, Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) organizes a trip to compete with Amabella’s (Ivy George) birthday party. After another argument, Celeste (Nicole Kidman) succumbs to Perry’s (Alexander Skarsgård) charms before their first session with Dr. Amanda Reisman (Robin Weigert), a therapist. Madeline gets called for a meeting with Abigail’s (Kathryn Newton) guidance counselor. Principal Nippal (P.J. Byrne) announces the theme for the Fall Gala Fundraiser. Later, Jane (Shailene Woodley) seeks Madeline’s help with Ziggy’s (Iain Armitage) family tree project, and opens up about her past. Written by David E. Kelley; directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
–Episode #4: “Push Comes to Shove”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 12 at 9:00pm
Nathan (James Tupper) invites Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) and Ed (Adam Scott) to a couples’ dinner to discuss a “parenting paradigm” for Abigail (Kathryn Newton). Celeste (Nicole Kidman) prepares for a city-council meeting about Madeline’s play, and bristles at Perry’s (Alexander Skarsgård) concerns about her returning to work. Jane (Shailene Woodley) meets with Ms. Barnes (Virginia Kull), Ziggy’s (Iain Armitage) teacher, who suggests her son be medically evaluated in light of further evidence of classroom bullying. While Madeline is confronted by a skeleton from her past, her internet sleuthing reveals a key player from Jane’s past instead. Written by David E. Kelley; directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
–Episode #5: “Once Bitten”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 9:00pm
Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) receives encouraging news about the play from her director, Joseph Bachman (Santiago Cabrera), but is left concerned by his newly icy demeanor. Principal Nippal (P.J. Byrne) and Ms. Barnes (Virginia Kull) share their conclusions about Ziggy (Iain Armitage) and Amabella (Ivy George) with Jane (Shailene Woodley). Celeste (Nicole Kidman) has a solo session with Dr. Reisman (Robin Weigert), who tries to get to the bottom of her relationship with Perry (Alexander Skarsgård). Written by David E. Kelley; directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
–Episode #6: “Burning Love”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 26 at 9:00pm
Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) worries about the can of worms she’s opened for Jane (Shailene Woodley). Jane confronts Renata (Laura Dern). Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) tells Nathan (James Tupper) about a secret project Abigail (Kathryn Newton) has been working on. Meanwhile, Ed (Adam Scott) and Madeline have a frank conversation about the lack of passion in their marriage. Written by David E. Kelley; directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
GIRLS continues its ten-episode, sixth and final season with a new episode debuting SUNDAY, MARCH 05 (10:00-10:30 p.m.). In this last season of the Emmy-winning comedy series, created by and starring Lena Dunham, our four familiar friends attempt to get closer to becoming the women they always envisioned – even as life sometimes gets in the way. Judd Apatow, Jenni Konner, Lena Dunham, Ilene S. Landress, Murray Miller and Bruce Eric Kaplan executive produce the show. The cast also includes Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky, Andrew Rannells and Ebon Moss-Bachrach. The four episodes in March are as follows:
–Episode #56 (season 6, episode 4): “Painful Evacuation”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 5 at 10:00pm
Hannah (Lena Dunham) interviews influential writer Ode Montgomery (TraceyUllman), who offers eye-opening advice on being a woman and a writer. When Adam (Adam Driver) storms off the set of his latest acting job, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) suggests they embark on a creative endeavor of their own. Ray (Alex Karpovsky) considers the course of his life after a regular at the coffee shop dies suddenly. Marnie (Allison Williams) is confronted with her narcissism. Written by Lena Dunham & Jenni Konner; directed by Jesse Peretz.
–Episode #57 (season 6, episode 5): “Gummies”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 12 at 10:00pm
Adam (Adam Driver) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) begin shooting scenes for their film, but she questions his creative direction. In town to visit Hannah (Lena Dunham), her mother, Loreen (Becky Ann Baker), has a hard time accepting the next phase of her life. Marnie (Allison Williams) does a less-than-stellar job of being there for a grieving Ray (Alex Karpovsky). Written by Sarah Heyward; directed by Jesse Peretz.
–Episode #58 (season 6, episode 6): “Full Disclosure”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 10:00pm
Marnie (Allison Williams) tries to convince a resistant Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) to follow through with their planned gig at her mom’s birthday party in New Jersey. After rebuffing Adam’s (Adam Driver) request to watch his film, Hannah (Lena Dunham) gets advice on an important decision from her dad (Peter Scolari) and his new partner, Keith (Ethan Phillips). Elijah’s (Andrew Rannells) thespian talents are rekindled when he helps a coworker run lines for an audition. Written by Murray Miller; directed by Jamie Babbit.
–Episode #59 (season 6, episode 7): “The Bounce”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 26 at 10:00pm
Elijah (Andrew Rannells) prepares for an open-call audition for a new Broadway musical, but is thrown off his game by an unexpected visitor. In need of cash, Marnie (Allison Williams) tries to pawn a family heirloom and gets a wakeup call from an unlikely source. Hannah (Lena Dunham) reconnects with Paul-Louis (Riz Ahmed). Written by Murray Miller & Tami Sagher; directed by Richard Shepard.
As Rannells says – “You’re welcome, nerds.”
The new comedy series CRASHING continues its eight-episode season with a new episode debuting SUNDAY, MARCH 05 (10:30-11:00 p.m.). Are you watching? The show was created by and stars Pete Holmes as an aspiring standup comic who discovers that his wife is unfaithful, forcing him to reevaluate his priorities and plunging him into the rough-and-tumble New York City comedy scene. Also featured are Lauren Lapkus and George Basil. Among the notables appearing as versions of themselves on the show are Dave Attell, Hannibal Burress, Artie Lange, T.J. Miller, Jim Norton, Rachael Ray and Sarah Silverman. Executive produced by Judd Apatow and Pete Holmes.
–Episode #3: “Yard Sale”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 05 at 10:30pm
While staying at T.J. Miller’s place, Pete (Pete Holmes) has the unsettling experience of witnessing a comic who can’t “turn it off.” Hearing from his wife, Jessica (Lauren Lapkus), Pete and T.J. travel upstate to her yard sale, where Pete unexpectedly teams up with Jess’ new boyfriend, Leif (George Basil), to get back a prized possession. After Jess voices her true feelings to Pete, the sale comes to a dramatic end. Written by Pete Holmes & Judd Apatow; directed by Chris Kelly.
–Episode #4: “Barking”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 12 at 10:30pm
In an effort to get stage time, Pete (Pete Holmes) spends the night handing out fliers for a comedy club, or “barking,” as he later learns it’s known in the comedy world. On the streets of New York, he finds himself encountering disinterested locals, befriending up-and-coming comics, engaging in a turf war with a rival barker and getting a pep talk from a veteran comedian. Written by Pete Holmes & Eric Slovin; directed by Jeff Schaffer.
Episode #5: “Parents”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 10:30pm
When Pete’s parents decide to come to New York for his mother’s birthday, Pete (Pete Holmes) begs Jess (Lauren Lapkus) to come along and keep up the charade of their marriage, but an incredibly tense dinner reveals harsh truths about their relationships, as Jess struggles to keep quiet. Pete faces a turning point. Written by Pete Holmes & Judah Miller; directed by Jeff Schaffer.
Episode #6: “Warm-up”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 26 at 10:30pm
Homeless once more and facing professional disappointment, Pete (Pete Holmes) turns to Artie Lange, who invites him to be a guest on his podcast. Pete meets Sarah Silverman, who takes pity on him and invites him to stay with her and her collection of stray comedians. When Sarah suggests that he try to find work as an audience “warm-up” comedian, Pete is presented with a job opportunity, where he’s tasked with saving the day. Written by Pete Holmes & Beth Stelling; directed by Ryan McFaul.
ANIMALS. kicks off its ten-episode second season FRIDAY, MARCH 17 (11:30 p.m.-midnight). Created by Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano and produced by Duplass Brothers Television, this animated adult comedy series focuses on the downtrodden creatures native to Earth’s least-habitable environment: New York City. Whether it’s lovelorn rats, gender-questioning pigeons or aging bedbugs in the midst of a midlife crisis, the awkward small talk, moral ambiguity and existential woes of non-human urbanites prove startlingly similar to our own. Here is out first look at the Season Two Trailer:
–Episode #11 (season 2, episode 1): “Rats.”
Debut: FRIDAY, MARCH 17 at 11:30pm
While stuck in an animal testing lab, rats Mike and Phil enter a love triangle with their imaginary friend, which inadvertently reveals the truth of their situation. Two fleas discuss their basketball dreams and ponder life while stuck on a monkey’s back. An algae questions its existence. Written and directed by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano.
–Episode #12 (season 2, episode 2): “Pigeons.”
Debut: FRIDAY, MARCH 24 at 11:30pm
As a virus sweeps New York, teen pigeon Jacob’s jealousy over his angelic little brother prompts a wacky spirit quest that teaches him about courage and responsibility. Two foxes rap about a hard-knock life on the city streets. Written and directed by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano.
Episode #13 (season 2, episode 3): “Roaches.”
Debut: FRIDAY, MARCH 31 at 11:30pm
When an exterminator puts a roach town in crisis, the survivors band together to travel to the world outside their wall and guarantee the survival of their species. Stuck together by a piece of litter, a group of seagulls struggles to live as one. Written and directed by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano.
The always controversial Bill Maher continues the 15th season of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER on FRIDAY, MARCH 03 (10:00-11:00 p.m.), followed by other shows subsequent Fridays at the same time. Devoted primarily to news and comedy, the show’s format includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with special guests, and interviews with guests. Season Four of LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues with a new edition debuting SUNDAY, MARCH 05 (11:00-11:30 p.m.), followed by other shows subsequent Sundays at the same time. He is only three installments into his season and he is already on a roll. In his first show of the season alone, Oliver asked – How did get a pathological liar get into the White House? Where are his lies coming from? Why do so many people believe him? And what can be done about it? In a later show, he addressed the end of ObamaCare. It isn’t all about the current POTUS as the following light fluff attests.
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 episode debuting FRIDAY, MARCH 03 (11:00-11:30pm.This season will feature 30 episodes, up from 18 episodes in season four. At this time we are only privy to the first installment for March:
–Show #56 (season 5, edition 2)
Debut: FRIDAY, MARCH 03 at 11:00pm
“Trans Youth”: As the debate continues over which bathroom transgender people should use, a more complex question is emerging about how early the medical transition begins for trans kids. Families and doctors are rewriting the rules as they decide when and how to start medical intervention before transgender youth hit puberty. Gianna Toboni explores this emotionally charged and rapidly evolving issue with trans youth and their parents in the midst of that intense process.
Here is a preview:
VICE NEWS TONIGHT, the half-hour nightly newscast from VICE Media and HBO, debuts a new edition WEDNESDAY, MARCH 01 (7:30-8:00pm), with other new editions airing subsequent weeknights on HBO.
Movies: We are hit with a string of sequels this month. That is no surprise as studios continue to cash in on films that made money and squeeze out another film to keep the money train coming. In March we have X-Men: Apocalypse, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Ice Age: Collision Course and Independence Day: Resurgence. Have a need to catch up on one of these franchises? Then get in front of HBO on the right Saturday night or an HBO streaming site.
The famed mutant heroes reunite to save the world from the threats of the original evil mutant Apocalypse when X-MEN: APOCALYPSE debuts SATURDAY, MARCH 04 (8:00pm). James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till star in the film, directed by Bryan Singer with a screenplay by Simon Kinberg. When a family discovers their new neighbors are a wild sorority, they call their former enemy for reinforcement in NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING, debuting SATURDAY, MARCH 11 (8:15pm). The raucous comedy stars Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne and Chloe Grace Moretz. The Ice Age gang is back to defend the world from a massive meteor when ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE debuts SATURDAY, MARCH 18 (8:00pm). Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Adam Devine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Max Greenfield, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg and Seann William Scott lend their voices with Jennifer Lopez and Queen Latifah in the charming animated hit, directed by Michael Thurmeier and co-directed by Galen Tan Chu, with a screenplay by Michael Wilson and Michael Berg and Yoni Brenner. Twenty years after the original film, Earth is threatened by a new source of evil in INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE, debuting SATURDAY, MARCH 25 (8:00pm). Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Travis Tope, William Fichtner, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Judd Hirsch star in a film directed by Roland Emmerich with a screenplay by Nicholas Wright & James A. Woods and Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich and James Vanderbilt. This month we give it up for the Scrat and company. Don’t ask me why.
HBO Documentary Films: HBO is going strong with unique documentaries. The Dwayne Johnson one takes BRIGHT LIGHTS’ spot because it sadly was bumped up to an earlier premiere date. Here is a quick look at what is ahead. THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE, debuting MONDAY, MARCH 06 (8:00-9:35pm), tells the extraordinary story of the renowned international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma. This group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers explores the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope. The Grammy-nominated film is directed by Morgan Neville. CRIES FROM SYRIA, a searing account of the Syrian civil war from the inside out, debuts MONDAY, MARCH 13 (10:00pm-midnight). The documentary draws on hundreds of hours of war footage from Syrian activists and citizen journalists, as well as testimony from child protestors, revolution leaders, human rights defenders, ordinary citizens and high-ranking army generals who have defected. Their collective stories are a cry for attention and help from a world that little understands their reality or agrees on what to do about it. Directed by Evgeny Afineevsky. HBO has confirmed that the documentary ROCK AND A HARD PLACE will debut MONDAY, MARCH 27 at 10:00pm. The HBO Documentary film looks at incarcerated young people who are granted a second chance: the opportunity to trade an extensive prison sentence for a fresh start by completing the famed Miami-Dade County Corrections & Rehabilitation Boot Camp, a one-of-a-kind, six-month program in which drill sergeants push inmates to their limit, encouraging them to learn from past mistakes and become constructive members of society who are substantially less likely to return to prison. Dwayne Johnson, whose own experiences with the law as a youth inspired the special, appears in the documentary. Which one do you like?
HBO Special: Jerrod Carmichael returns to HBO for his second stand-up special on the network when JERROD CARMICHAEL: 8 debuts SATURDAY, MARCH 11 (10:00-11:00pm). Taped in December before a live audience at historic Masonic Hall in New York City, the show features his subversive, thought-provoking take on cultural norms. Performing in the round and engaging audience members during his act, Carmichael addresses a wide range of subjects, including Trump’s victory, climate change, supporting the troops, animal rights, being a good boyfriend and his top four fears, as well as exploring larger themes like race, politics, love and family. Here is our first look:
HBO Kids: For more than four decades, SESAME STREET has helped children grow smarter, stronger and kinder by providing preschoolers with the gold standard in quality educational programming. The show continues its 47th season with a new episode debuting SATURDAY, MARCH 04 (9:00-9:30am), followed by other episodes subsequent Saturdays at the same time. And I bet you didn’t think I could find an episode breakdown, but, HA, I did.
–Season 47, Episode 9: “Norbert’s Birthday”
Debut: SATURDAY, MARCH 04 at 9:00am
Rosita, Zoe and Grover give Norbert the Robot a surprise birthday party to show how much they care about him.
–Season 47, Episode 10: “Elmo Comes Clean”
Debut: SATURDAY, MARCH 11 at 9:00am
Elmo keeps hiding from Nina because he wants more play time before his bath, but Ernie helps him realize that he can play in the bathtub, too.
–Season 47, Episode 11: “Baby Bear Learns About Bees”
Debut: SATURDAY, MARCH 18 at 9:00am
Baby Bear is afraid of bees – until Abby shows him and Chris just how amazing they really are.
–Season 47, Episode 12: “Big Bird’s Song”
Debut: SATURDAY, MARCH 25 at 9:00am
Abby and Elmo help Big Bird calm down so he won’t be nervous singing on the show “The Squawk.” Guest star: Sia.
HBO Sports: The unscripted series UCONN: THE MARCH TO MADNESS chronicles the 2016- 17 season of the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team as it pursues a fifth consecutive national championship. Scheduled to run through the conclusion of the Huskies’ season, the show features exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, offering a unique look at the personalities who shape the powerhouse program. Here is our first look at this sports documentary series:
Executive produced by Will Staeger, Mike Antinoro and Fred Christenson, the series debuts WEDNESDAY, MARCH 01 (10:00-11:00pm), followed by other episodes subsequent Wednesdays at the same time. 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, MARCH 21 (10:00- 11:00pm. Former IBF Middleweight champion and current NABO Middleweight champ David Lemieux (36-3, 32 KOs) will go toe-to-toe with Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stevens (29-5, 21 KOs) to battle for Lemieux’s NABO title. Scheduled for 12 rounds, Lemieux vs. Stevens will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. It will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark SATURDAY, MARCH 11 beginning at 11pm.
Other Movies and Shows: Well, how about if I single out some First Runs not in primetime? These are movies said to be airing on the main channel for the first time, though they could have played umpteen times on the other channels. I found three, so how about THE LAST WITCH. Cursed with immortality, forever separated from his beloved family, rogue Witch Hunter Vin Diesel is left to track down the evil witches that still live among us. Lucky him. There is also WITHIN in which a widow buys a new home with his daughter and new wife, but then strange things start occurring and there is THE GREEN INFERNO, an Amazonian cannibal film! In other content there is the opportunity to follow Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs in the days leading up to their middleweight title fight with 24 / 7 GOLOVKIN/JACOBS. That title fight, by the way, is on HBO PPV 03.18.
HBO’s Other Platforms: Some of these channels are in need of fresh content and soon. HBO Latino: This channel is not one of them it always has something new to offer. How about UNA NOCHE DE AMOR (One Night of Love)? It seems after 12 years of marriage, an Argentine couple tries to shake up their stale relationship by going out for a wild night on the town. It is a romantic comedy, so nothing bad happens. Another movie is EL ACOMPANANTE (The Companion). Here a disgraced boxer gradually forms an unlikely friendship with an AIDS patient he is tasked with monitoring at a military-run sanatorium in 1980s Cuba. It is safe to say it is not a romantic comedy. There is also MI AMERICA about a Mexican-American detective investigating the murders of five migrant laborers. MADRE (Mother) is a short film. HBO Family: This channel, however, needs some help. I keep repeating the same titles over and over. Just how many times do you need to see HOTEL FOR DOGS and STUART LITTLE? Of course, little tykes don’t mind watching the same thing over & over. HBO Signature: I am going to keep it down to three. I offer you THE CIDER HOUSE RULES with based on the John Irving novel; AMERICAN PSYCHO from Bret Easton Ellis’s highly controversial novel and RABBIT HOLE David Lindsay-Abaire’s multi-award winning play brought to film. HBO Comedy: This channel needs some help also. Perhaps you might appreciate GEORGE LOPEZ: AMERICA’S MEXICAN. It is his stand-up from 2007. Man, I hope he isn’t an illegal immigrant! HBO Zone: Again, a three movie limit. How about COCOON, COCOON: THE RETURN and something called COSMIC COVER GIRLS. I know, I should have quit while I was ahead.
In case, he is going to be deported how about some Lopez!
HBONow/Go: Let’s keep it simple here as well. In Action movies alone debuting in March is THE BROTHERS BLOOM, BULLET TO THE HEAD, CATCH THAT KID, END OF DAYS, LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, TERMINAL VELOCITY, THE TUXEDO and UNDER SEIGE. In the Comedy category, there are 20 listed. I think you might be able to find something.
Cinemax: We will do the quick title drill here this month as well. Cinemax has no series running new episodes right now. A tough American political consultant (Sandra Bullock) competes with her longtime rival (Billy Bob Thornton) on a controversial campaign in Bolivia when OUR BRAND IS CRISIS debuts FRIDAY, MARCH 03 at 8:00pm. A woman (Teresa Palmer) tries to save
her younger brother (Gabriel Bateman) from an evil spirit who has attached herself to her mother in LIGHTS OUT, debuting FRIDAY, MARCH 17 8:00pm. The terrifying horror yarn also stars Billy Burke and Maria Bello. A brutal bank heist raises suspicions of an inside job when MARAUDERS debuts SUNDAY, MARCH 19 8:00pm. Christopher Meloni, Bruce Willis, Dave Bautista and Adrian Grenier star in the tense thriller. An expert assassin (Jason Statham) must kill three targets to save the love of his life (Jessica Alba) in MECHANIC: RESURRECTION, debuting FRIDAY, MARCH 24 8:00pm. Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Yeoh also star in the action film. IN THE HEART OF THE SEA recounts the real-life events that inspired the classic novel “Moby Dick” when the adventure debuts FRIDAY, MARCH 31 (8:00 p.m.). Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy and Tom Holland star with Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson.
Next Month’s Tease: Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley saunter onto HBO screens as these two broads in what movie?
To answer last month’s Tease we needed to know that Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano provide characters & voices for ANIMALS. returning this month.
Final Clip: We are going off the norm to pay tribute this month. Rest In Peace Bill Paxton.