Here we go with another month of HBO content and we are in the thick of it. We still have series weaving their stories, pundits chatting their observations and big name movies and big name stars. Plus with news, kids programming and sports it adds up to thirty days of brilliant entertainment. As the leaves fall and families gather we can be thankful HBO is still one of the top TV choices out there. Yeah, you can be thankful for simple inconsequential stuff like that too. Thanks, HBO!
Original Series: New episodes await us in our Sunday series still. They have played pretty well so far. So don’t miss a second of WESTWORLD, DIVORCE and INSECURE. Oh, and that weekly 2-hour block is just for starters. Below are the details.
The drama series WESTWORLD continues its ten-episode season with a new episode debuting SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 06 at 9:00pm followed by other episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time. The series is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin, exploring a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged. That concept has proved to be clearly manifested in what we have seen so far.
We love to give complete information but no episode breakdowns have surfaced from HBO beyond episode titles:
— Episode #6: “The Adversary”
Debut date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 06 at 9:00pm
— Episode #7: “Trompe L’Oeil”
Debut date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 at 9:00pm
— Episode #8: “Trace Decay”
Debut date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20 at 9:00pm
— Episode #9: “The Well-Tempered Clavier”
Debut date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27 at 9:00pm
After more than a decade of marriage and two children, Frances has suddenly begun to reassess her life and her strained relationship with her husband. But she soon discovers that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought. Serving as an executive producer, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Frances in the comedy series DIVORCE, which continues its ten-episode season SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 06 (10:00-10:30 p.m.), followed by other episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time. Thomas Haden Church stars as Robert, Frances’ husband, who is struggling to cope with their marriage falling apart. The show also stars Molly Shannon, Talia Balsam, Tracy Letts, Sterling Jerins and Charlie Kilgore. Series created by Sharon Horgan; executive produced by Paul Simms, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sharon Horgan, Alison Benson and Aaron Kaplan.
Again, only titles.
— Episode #5: “Gustav”
Debut date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 06 at 10:00pm
— Episode #6: “Christmas”
Debut date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 at 10:00pm
— Episode #7: “Weekend Plans”
Debut date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20 at 10:00pm
— Episode #8: “Church”
Debut date: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27 at 10:00pm
Starring Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis and Lisa Joyce, INSECURE continues its eight-episode season SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 06 (10:30-11:00 p.m.), exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time, including the Nov. 27 season finale. The comedy series follows the friendship of two black women as they deal with their own real-life flaws while attempting to navigate different worlds and cope with an endless series of uncomfortable everyday experiences. Created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore; executive produced by Issa Rae, Prentice Penny, Melina Matsoukas, Michael Rotenberg, Dave Becky and Jonathan Berry. Larry Wilmore serves as a consultant.
— Episode #5: “Shady as F**k”
Debut: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 06 at 10:30pm
In the wake of her 29th birthday, Issa Dee (Issa Rae) reconsiders her dead-end relationship with Lawrence (Jay Ellis), her live-in boyfriend. Meanwhile, Issa’s best friend, Molly (Yvonne Orji), mourns her singledom and the state of her “lady parts.” Later, Issa uses an open-mic night as an excuse to reconnect with an ex. Written by Issa Rae & Larry Wilmore; directed by Melina Matsoukas. Other HBO playdates: 10.09 at 12:30am & 3:30am, 10.11 at midnight, 10.12 at 3:05am, 10.13 at 10:45pm and 10.15 at 10:05pm & 2:20am
— Episode #6: “Guilty as F**k”
Debut: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 at 10:30pm
After the unexpected events of the previous night, Issa (Issa Rae) tries to decide what to do about Lawrence (Jay Ellis), while sticking to her plan to embrace a bolder side of herself. Molly (Yvonne Orji) treats herself to a “fancy day” and goes on a promising date. Lawrence gets advice from an unexpected source. Written by Issa Rae; directed by Cecile Emeke. Other HBO playdates: 10.16 at 12:30am & 3:30am, 10.17 at 12:45am, 10.18 at 11:45pm, 10.20 at 10:30pm, 10.21 at 3:15am and 10.22 at 4:00am.
— Episode #7 “Real as F**k”
Debut: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20 at 10:30pm
Issa (Issa Rae) and Lawrence (Jay Ellis) try to move past their issues at home, as she deals with her colleagues’ doubts and he gets a reality check from a head hunter. Molly (Yvonne Orji) introduces Jared (Langston Kerman) to her friends and later struggles to give words of wisdom to a new summer associate at work. Written by Dayna Lynne North; directed by Melina Matsoukas. Other HBO playdates: 10.23 at 12:30am & 3:30am, 10.25 at 11:00pm, 10.27 at 10:45pm and 10.29 at 12:40am.
— Episode #8 (Season Finale) “Broken as F**k”
Debut: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27 at 10:30pm
Although things are better than ever with Lawrence (Jay Ellis), Issa (Issa Rae) turns to Daniel (Y’lan Noel) for help during Career Day. Molly (Yvonne Orji) finds herself in a tough position when a partner asks her to give Rasheeda (Gail Bean) a talking-to. Facing disappointment at his new job, Lawrence bonds with a surprising confidante. Written by Laura Kittrell; directed by Kevin Bray. Other HBO playdates: 10.30 at 12:30am & 3:30am and into November.
TRACEY ULLMAN’S SHOW stars the HBO veteran as a wide array of everyday people and famous faces in an all-new six-episode sketch comedy series, which looks at modern life on the British side of the pond. Ullman brings her masterful skills to take on such people as Dame Judi Dench and Angela Merkel, as well as a host of others. A new episode debuts FRIDAY, NOV. 4 (11:00-11:30 p.m.), followed by other episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time. Let’s see which characters she has for us this month.
— Episode #2
Debut: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 04 at 11:00pm
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, babysits Prince George; a man treats the local coffee shop as his personal office; a couple returns from vacation to find an illegal immigrant hiding under their motor home; Dame Judi Dench causes trouble in a five-star hotel; the tutor in a seniors’ computer class offers extraordinary tips; and Angela Merkel treats the embassy staff to a song. Written by Georgia Pritchett, Jonathan Harvey, Jeremy Dyson, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Gemma Arrowsmith, Carrie Quinlan, Laurence Rickard; directed by Dominic Brigstocke. Other HBO playdates: 11.04 at 12:30am, 11.05 at 1:20am, 11.07 at 11:30pm, 11.08 at 3:55am, 11.09 at 6:55pm and 11.10 at 8:00pm & 4:40am.
Debut: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11 at 11:00pm
A pair of naive American tourists find their rose-tinted view of London put to the test; a member of Parliament holds her first constituency meeting topless; Dame Judi Dench breaks into a cinema; a man pitches his latest half-baked idea for a weather app from his coffee shop “office”; and a model agent learns that her clumsy attempts to scout new faces aren’t helped by her unfortunate choice of an agency name. Written by Jeremy Dyson, Georgia Pritchett, Laurence Rickard, Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Bert Tyler Moore, George Jeffrie, Jonathan Harvey; directed by Dominic Brigstocke. Other HBO playdates: 11.11 at 12:30am, 11.14 at 12:30am, 11.15 at 3:10am and 11.17 at 4:20am.
VICE NEWS TONIGHT, the half-hour nightly newscast from VICE Media and HBO, debuts a new edition TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 01 at 7:30pm, with other new editions airing subsequent weeknights on HBO. Presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, the Emmy-winning LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues its third season with a new edition SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 06 (11:30pm), followed by the NOVEMBER 13 SEASON FINALE. Outspoken comedian/social commentator Bill Maher continues the 14th season of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 04 at 10:00pm, followed by the NOVEMBER 11 SEASON FINALE. Devoted primarily to news and comedy, the show’s format includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with special guests, and interviews with guests. You know both Oliver & Maher can’t sign off until after the election. And the clip of the month here goes to – REAL TIME and a recent monologue.
Movies: Four Saturdays in November which means only four big movie premieres launching in primetime on the 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th. They are HOW TO BE SINGLE, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT, RACE and BATMAN VS SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. We flesh them out a bit below.
After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, a woman (Dakota Johnson) tries to navigate the dating world in New York City when HOW TO BE SINGLE debuts SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 05 at 8:00pm. And we care why? Oops, I guess I shouldn’t speak for you; watch if you want. The comedy also stars Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie and Leslie Mann. Based on the popular book series, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT continues a young woman’s (Shailene Woodley) search for save humanity in a dystopic society. Debuting SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 at 8:00pm, the hit film also stars Jeff Daniels, Maggie Q, Naomi Watts, Daniel Dae Kim, Zoe Kravitz, Theo James, Miles Teller, Octavia Spencer and Ansel Elgort. I didn’t even know people were still watching this genre; apparently they are. On its debut night INSURGENT airs at 6:00pm. Debuting SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 at 8:00pm, RACE tells the story of Jesse Owens (Stephan James), an African American who competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, in his quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in the world. Based on a true story, the moving drama also stars Jason Sudeikis, Jeremy Irons and William Hurt. Now that movie interests this writer. Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill star when two iconic superheroes face off in an epic battle in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, debuting SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26 at 8:00pm. As for this one well, no comment. Picking a clip, we go for –
Wait, isn’t this the series that was doing so poorly that its concluding chapter was going straight to TV or video?
HBO Documentary Films: We are hit with a few of them this month including a double dose of Cuba. The doors are open to that island nation now if you haven’t heard.
Debuting MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14 (8:00-9:15 p.m.), UNDERFIRE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF PFC. TONY VACCARO tells the story of the World War II vet, who played two risky roles: a combat infantryman on the front lines and a photographer who took and developed roughly 8,000 photographs of the war. Director Max Lewkowicz traces his evolution from a young GI eager to record the war, to an elderly man increasingly horrified at man’s ability to wage it. Through interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers and Vaccaro himself, this intimate film delves into issues raised by witnessing and recording conflict, how photography defines the way wars are perceived by the public, and the sheer difficulty of survival while taking photos in a dangerous war zone. MARATHON: THE PATRIOTS DAY BOMBING recounts the dramatic story of the April 2013 terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon through the experiences of individuals whose lives were affected. Ranging from the events of the day to the death-penalty sentencing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the film features surveillance footage, news clips, home movies and exclusive interviews with survivors and their families, as well as first responders, investigators, government officials and reporters from the Boston Globe, which won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the bombing. In the wake of terrorism, a newlywed couple, a mother and daughter and two brothers – all gravely injured by the blast – face the challenges of physical and emotional recovery as they and their families strive to reclaim their lives and communities. Directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, and produced in association with the Boston Globe, the films debuts MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21 (8:00-10:00 p.m.). Debuting MONDAY, NOV. 28 (8:00-9:00 p.m.), PATRIA O MUERTE: CUBA, FATHERLAND OR DEATH looks at Cuba and its people, providing a contemporary context for a country that has experienced limited growth since its revolution in the 1950s. Including revealing interviews with a prize-winning author who could not be published in Cuba until recently, an artist and political activist who was imprisoned for his passion for freedom, and an architect who escaped oppression but remains scarred, the film shows how people live in political unrest and economic inequality when a country is on the cusp of cultural, social and economic change. Directed by Olatz López Garmendia and executive produced by Julian Schnabel. MARIELA CASTRO’S MARCH: CUBA’S LGBT REVOLUTION debuts MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28 (9:00-9:45 p.m.), immediately after PATRIA O MUERTE. The film follows the crusade of Mariela Castro, Raul Castro’s daughter (and Fidel Castro’s niece), to establish equal rights for for her nation’s LGBT community, and profiles a number of gay, lesbian and transgender Cubans who tell stories of love and hardship. Emmy winner Jon Alpert directs.
HBO Specials: He launched a host of today’s comedy superstars in the ‘90s on the HBO series RUSSELL SIMMONS’ DEF COMEDY JAM. Now, Russell Simmons returns to the network for ALL DEF COMEDY, debuting SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 (10:00-11:00pm), exclusively on HBO. Taped before a live audience September 07 at the Avalon Theatre in Los Angeles, the special is based on “All Def Comedy Live,” a weekly comedy experience produced by All Def Digital (ADD), Simmons’ cross-platform media company.
Hosted by Tony Rock (All of Us, The Tony Rock Project, Apollo Live with DJ Drama (Atlantic Records, T.I., L’il Wayne), the uncensored special features stand-up performances in a variety of styles from up-and-coming comics, discovered at ADD’s weekly comedy showcase: Chris Powell, Zainab Johnson, Kevin Tate, and Robert Powell, as well as HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” veteran Tony Roberts. Other HBO playdates: 11.12 at 12:55am & 4:05am, 11.14 at 3:00am, 11.18 at 10:00pm, 11.23 at 11:30pm and 11.29 at 3:45am and into December.
HBO Sports: ANY GIVEN WEDNESDAY WITH BILL SIMMONS, a weekly talk show hosted by one of the most influential figures in contemporary sports media, continues its 20-show season WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 02 at 10:00pm, with other editions debuting subsequent Wednesdays at the same time, exclusively on HBO. 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, NOVEMBER 22 at 10:00pm. Hosted by the four-time Sports Emmy winner, THE FIGHT GAME WITH JIM LAMPLEY is a provocative, engaging and informative experience that delves into intriguing storylines, newsmakers and issues that are top-of-mind in boxing. The latest edition debuts WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16 at 11:00. Here are some recent words from Gumbel.
Also there is a BAD matchup. For you don’t recall that is BOXING AFTER DARK and the fight is Luiz Ortiz versus Malik Scott on SATURDAY,NOVEMBER 12 at 4:00pm. Knockout machine Luis “King Kong” Ortiz is one of the most exciting fighters in the tradition-rich heavyweight division. Now, he makes his first ring appearance across the Atlantic when this bout from Monte Carlo airs. I know some of us change clocks, but even then it is not dark at that hour to have this under the BAD banner. Plus there is ROAD TO KOLALEV/WARD debuting SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 at 12:30am. The main boxing event then is WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: LOMACHENKO VS WALTERS. The bout is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26 beginning at 10:30pm. In this highly anticipated junior lightweight title showdown, reigning champ Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs), originally from Odessa and now training in Oxnard, Cal., faces off against undefeated knockout artist Nicholas Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) of Montego Bay, Jamaica in a scheduled 12-round contest seen over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Other Movies and Shows: Snooping around this what we found new to the channel. HITMAN: AGENT 47 has appeared on the other channels but never on the main one; based on the video game. BLAST FROM THE PAST is a comedy that has been around. After 35 years in a fallout shelter with his quirky parents, naive man/child Brendan Fraser comically emerges into the modern world where he is befriended by lovely Alicia Silverstone. Before you say “Nah,” Roger Ebert said in was “funny.” HBO FIRST LOOK: JACKIE looks at the upcoming movie with Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy. The movie EDDIE THE EAGLE debuts on FRIDAY, 11.25 at 8:00pm. It is about Britain’s first and most unlikely Olympic ski jumper Eddie Edwards. The return of older documentaries like LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL: 50 YEARS LATER from 2007 and IN VOGUE: THE EDITOR’S EYE from 2012 also surface. HBO’s Other Platforms: Be thankful you got the likes of these titles to complete you entertainment interests. HBO Latino: Can I interest you in one of these three titles? There is MILLE AND THE LORDS in which a young Puerto Rican woman living in the projects yearns for better things and just might get them when revolutionaries arrive. Also is QUIERO SER FIEL (WHY DO MEN CHEAT?) a romantic comedy about a womanizing writer who finally gets married, but finds himself tempted to cheat after being commissioned to write a book about why men are unfaithful. The last offer is VICTOR MANUELLE: QUE SUENEN LOS TAMBORES as the multi-platinum salsa sensation presents a concert of his hits. HBO Family: There may not be new episodes of SESAME STREET for the rest of the year but you can direct the kids to such titles as THE SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING, based on a YA fantasy novel or classics that have been on the channel forever like THE IRON GIANT, KUNG FU PANDA and THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL. HBO Signature. If we can throw out quick titles for the kids we can just as easily offer up a few for adults. How about Adrien Brody in THE PIANIST, Ralph Fiennes in THE ENGLISH PATIENT, Morgan freeman in HIGH CRIMES or Redford & Hoffman in ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN? One First-Run on this channel is INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, a horror prequel to the first two in the series. HBO Comedy: Due to THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW and ALL DEF COMEDY I got standup comedy on my mind. Alas, this channel seems to have less and less of the kind. In November I found DAVE CHAPPELLE: KILLIN’ THEM SOFTLY, DANA CARVEY: SQUATTING MONKEYS DON’T TELL LIES and HBO HALF COMEDY HOURS with Steve Harvey, Colin Quinn and Jeff Garlin. Hopefully, some classic DEF COMEDY JAM will show up. HBO Zone: HBO Zone is evidently thankful for Clint Eastwood as we get a sample alongside the turkey this year. The channel will air DIRTY HARRY, MAGNUM FORCE and THE DEAD POOL. Also, there are debuts of THE YOUNG MESSIAH which tells the story of Jesus as a young boy; Paul Newman and Tom Cruise in THE COLOR OF MONEY and a zombie pic called ROUTE 666. HBONow/Go: Ask and you shall receive. The last three seasons of DEL COMEDY JAM (2006 – 2008) are coming to the sites 11.07. The older ones would be better. On site is all the stand-up I may want with 132 titles listed. You can also watch VICE NEWS TONIGHT if you don’t watch the daily newscast. New episodes of series will upload weekly, but that it is on the series front. In movies, however, we can find quite a bit. Included are AVPR: ALIENS VS. PREDATOR REQUIEM, EXCALIBUR, BEING THERE with Peter Sellers, John Goodman in KING RALPH and THE SAND PEBBLES. It is also the month of The Batman. Perhaps due to BATMAN VS SUPERMAN debuting the sites decided to give a dark knight marathon. You can find BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS, both with Michael Keaton; George Clooney’s turn in BATMAN & ROBIN featuring Bat Nipples and BATMAN FOREVER with Val Kilmer. There is also the animated BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS PART 1 and PART 2; BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD and BATMAN: YEAR ONE.
Out of the above cornucopia of entertainment, what do we feature? How about a classic in honor of Veteran’s Day this month?
Cinemax: With this channel sitting without new series episodes in November the movies take the forefront but, then again, Cinemax always touts the most movies. A current press release is promoting the following: An aspiring DJ (Zac Efron) pursues romance and dreams of fame and fortune when WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS debuts FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 04 at 10:00pm. Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski and Jonny Weston also star in the drama. A woman (Sarah Wayne Callies) pays the price when she upsets the delicate balance between life and death in THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR, debuting SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 at 10:00pm. Jeremy Sisto also stars in the horror yarn, directed by Johannes Roberts, with a screenplay by Johannes Roberts and Ernest Riera. Four millennials become entangled in a mystery when a former classmate goes missing in SEARCH PARTY, debuting SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 at 10:00pm. The dark comedy stars Alia Shawkat, Brandon Michael Hall and John Reynolds. Rusty Griswald (Ed Helms) takes his family on a road trip to reconnect when VACATION debuts SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26 at 10:00pm Christina Applegate and Leslie Mann also star in the comedy with Chris Hemsworth.
Lastly, and I don’t think we’ve ever done this before, head over to MAXGo to see what the streaming site offers. Of course, you have to subscribe to Cinemax to watch any of it, but poking around the site just might get you to subscribe.
Next Month’s Tease: He plays a tough guy name Cheddar next month but also was on HBO’s THE WIRE as Cheese. Who is he and what does he purloin in December?
Last month’s clue was all about Tracey Ullman, now on HBO Friday nights for a limited run series. If you didn’t know The Simpsons first appeared on her Fox series years ago.