Autumn is upon us. As they say, time flies when you’re engrossed in HBO. October offers changing leaves and cooler temperatures for most. Also shorter daylight hours, but no matter what it is doing outside we have HBO to keep us content. At least we hope you can find something to watch. We help you sort it out below. Here is what’s on for October.
Original Series: Episodes # 4 – # 8 of THE DEUCEoccupies us Sunday nights in October. By the time the month concludes we will have the first season of the show behind us. It all starts SUNDAY, OCTOBER 01 beginning at 9:00pm ET, followed by other episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time. Starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the show was created by George Pelecanos and David Simon; George Pelecanos, David Simon, Nina K. Noble and James Franco executive produce. Along with the breakdown this month we also introduce you to some pimps. Why not?
–Episode #04: “I See Money” Debut date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 01 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT)
Rudy (Michael Rispoli) dangles a lucrative offer in front of Vincent (James Franco). Longo (Daniel Sauli) uses strong-arm tactics to restore order among Bobby’s (Chris Bauer) unhappy construction workers. Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) attracts unwanted attention and is intrigued by a legitimate suitor. Paul (Chris Coy) questions his place at the Hi-Hat; Frankie (James Franco) hits a hot streak; Darlene (Dominique Fishback) gets a gift from Abby (Margarita Levieva); Alston (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) sees through Sandra (Natalie Paul). Bristling after a police shakedown, Vincent adds muscle in the person of Black Frankie (Thaddeus Street), a Vietnam War vet. Story by George Pelecanos and Lisa Lutz; teleplay by Lisa Lutz; directed by Alex Hall.
–Episode #05: “What Kind of Bad?” Debut date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 08 (9:00-10:00pm)
Looking for a way out of his construction gig, Bobby (Chris Bauer) tries to change Vincent’s (James Franco) mind about Rudy’s (Michael Rispoli) offer. Darlene (Dominique Fishback) returns from a trip home with a new girl, disappointing Abby (Margarita Levieva). Roughed up by a john, Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) contemplates a change of careers. After getting busted, Paul (Chris Coy) explores the underbelly, and the exhilaration, of gay life in the city. With an assist from Alston (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.), Sandra (Natalie Paul) scores a key interview with a pimp. Story by Richard Price; teleplay by Will Ralston & Chris Yakaitis; directed by Uta Briesewitz.
Episode #06: “Why Me?” Debut date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15 (9:00-10:00pm)
An end-of-the-year crackdown by police in and around The Deuce sparks Vincent (James Franco) and Bobby (Chris Bauer). Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) tries to persuade Harvey (David Krumholtz), her adult-film director, that she can do more than act. Rudy (Michael Rispoli) witnesses a pivotal lower-court ruling on obscenity, and enlists Frankie (James Franco) and Big Mike (Mustafa Shakir) to protect his interests in the peeps. Alston (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) tries to convince Sandra (Natalie Paul) that he’s not just a “source.” Story by Richard Price and Marc Henry Johnson; teleplay by Marc Henry Johnson; directed by Roxann Dawson.
Episode #07: “Au Reservoir” Debut date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22 (9:00-10:00pm)
With police pushing their business off the streets, C.C. (Gary Carr), Larry (Gbenga Akinnagbe), Rodney (Cliff Smith/Method Man) and other pimps worry about becoming obsolete. Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) eyes a different job on Harvey’s (David Krumholtz) set as Lori (Emily Meade) struggles with the demands of porn acting. At her wit’s end, Ashley (Jamie Neumann) hangs out with Frankie (James Franco) and, later, washes up on Abby’s (Margarita Levieva) door. Bobby (Chris Bauer) is smitten with an employee while dealing with shakedowns, flare-ups and a medical emergency. Frankie is tasked by Rudy (Michael Rispoli) to turn a peep-show concept into reality. Alston (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) finds himself singled out by the 14th Precinct’s new captain, McDonagh (Ed Moran). Abby asks Vincent to be her escort at her family’s lavish party. Story by David Simon and Megan Abbott; teleplay by Megan Abbott; directed by James Franco.
Episode #08: “My Name Is Ruby” (season finale) Debut date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29 (9:00-10:15pm)
Vincent (James Franco) balks at getting in deeper with Rudy (Michael Rispoli), as expansion fever hits Frankie (James Franco) and Bobby (Chris Bauer). Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) gets a taste of directing, and enjoys the red-carpet perks of a major premiere. Alston (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) finds himself in limbo at his precinct. Abby (Margarita Levieva) changes up the Hi-Hat’s clientele; Sandra (Natalie Paul) faces editorial and legal hurdles; Barbara (Kayla Foster) and Thunder Thighs (Pernell Walker) connect with the wrong sort of clients; Vincent settles a score. C.C. (Gary Carr) encourages Ace (Clarke Peters), a former pimp, to get back in the game.Written by David Simon & George Pelecanos; directed by Michelle MacLaren.
The tumultuous school year at North Jackson High continues and a new semester brings changes as VICE PRINCIPALS continues to sort out who shot Neal Gamby. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 01 beginning at 10:30pm is the time to find out just how the series concludes. Now that he is the principal is Russell just praying that Gamby solves the mystery without jeopardizing the school? Huh, like he cares.
–Episode #12: “The King” Debut: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 01 (10:40-11:10pm ET/PT)
Gamby’s (Danny McBride) search for his shooter leads him into a novelist’s graduate-school class; Russell’s (Walton Goggins) ire is fueled by an unflattering caricature. Written by Danny McBride & John Carcieri & Adam Countee; directed by David Gordon Green.
A death in Russell’s (Walton Goggins) family forces Gamby (Danny McBride) to step up to the plate as North Jackson’s acting principal. Written by Danny McBride & John Carcieri & Jeff Fradley; directed by David Gordon Green.
Russell’s (Walton Goggins) birthday bash is marred by a revelation about his wife’s college boyfriend. Written by Danny McBride & John Carcieri & Jeff Fradley; directed by David Gordon Green.
–Episode #15: “The Most Popular Boy” Debut: SUNDAY, OCT. 22 (10:30-11:00pm)
A plot to sabotage a standardized test jeopardizes Russell’s (Walton Goggins) job as Gamby (Danny McBride) is caught in the middle. Written by Danny McBride & John Carcieri & Hayes Davenport; directed by David Gordon Green.
Gamby (Danny McBride) gets unexpected company on spring break; Amanda (Georgia King) is illuminated during a writer’s retreat. Written by Danny McBride & John Carcieri & Jeff Fradley; directed by David Gordon Green.
Telling assorted tales of the various characters who pass through a single room of an average American motel, ROOM 104continues FRIDAY, OCTOBER 06 at 11:30pm, followed by the season finale on October 13. Here is a look at the last two episodes:
–Episode #11: “The Fight” Debut: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 06 (11:30pm – midnight)
Two female Mixed Martial Arts fighters (Natalie Morgan, Keta Meggett) work together to score a bigger payday in an upcoming bout. Stephen Rannazzisi also stars. Written by Mark Duplass; directed by Megan Griffiths.
An octogenarian couple (Philip Baker Hall, Ellen Geer) returns to Room 104 to relive their first night together. Jacqueline Wright also stars. Written by Mark Duplass; directed by Marta Cunningham.
Adding to the mix are two celebrities that are always welcome, Larry David and Tracey Ullman. Here is a detailed look at what they offer upon their return in their respective shows.
Six years after CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM ended its last season, Larry David’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning hit comedy series returns for its ten-episode ninth season SUNDAY, OCTOBER 01 (10:00-10:40pm ET/PT), followed by other episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time. The show stars David as an over-the-top version himself as he gets into everyday predicaments with both fictional and real-life personalities. Returning cast regulars include Jeff Garlin (as manager Jeff Greene), Susie Essman (as Jeff’s wife Susie), Cheryl Hines (as Larry’s ex-wife Cheryl) and JB Smoove (as Larry’s live-in friend Leon); also appearing on new episodes are returning favorites Richard Lewis, Bob Einstein, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, as well as Elizabeth Banks, Ed Begley, Jr., Carrie Brownstein, Bryan Cranston, Lauren Graham, Jimmy Kimmel, Nick Offerman, Nasim Pedrad, Elizabeth Perkins and others. This season, Larry has a big idea that elicits promising feedback from a number of prospective investors – until a string of missteps undermines the plan, at least temporarily.
Larry tries to rid himself of an inept assistant, offends Jeff’s barber and gets into hot water over a new project. Story by Larry David & Jeff Schaffer; directed by Jeff Schaffer.
–Episode #82 (season 9, episode 2): “The Pickle Gambit” Debut date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 08 (10:00-10:30pm)
Larry reaches out to a familiar face, gives a hotel guest sartorial advice and looks to create a diversion to help a friend’s nephew. Story by Larry David & Jeff Schaffer & Justin Hurwitz; directed by David Steinberg.
–Episode #83 (season 9, episode 3): “A Disturbance in the Kitchen” Debut date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15 (10:00-10:30pm)
Larry turns to a writer for advice; searching for Susie’s missing “little sister,” he gets ticketed by an overzealous cop. Story by Larry David & Jeff Schaffer; directed by Jeff Schaffer.
–Episode #84 (season 9, episode 4): “Running with the Bulls” Debut date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22 (10:00-10:30pm)
Larry’s therapist accuses him of overstepping; Susie grows suspicious of Jeff; Larry bribes an usher at a funeral. Story by Larry David & Jeff Schaffer; directed by Bryan Gordon.
–Episode #85 (season 9, episode 5): “Thank You for Your Service” Debut date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29 (10:15-10:45pm)
Larry commits a faux pas with Sammi’s fiancé and tries to start over with his mail carrier and golf club security guard. Story by Larry David & Jeff Schaffer; directed by Larry Charles.
Celebrated British actress/comedian Tracey Ullman returns for season two of her Emmy-nominated HBO sketch-comedy seriesTRACEY ULLMAN’S SHOW on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20 (11:00-11:30pm), followed by other episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time. Ullman reprises her famed impersonations of Dame Judi Dench, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dame Maggie Smith, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and many more, all with her signature brand of sharp satire. Parodying modern life in the UK, Ullman also introduces such fresh impressions as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, model and new Murdoch family member Jerry Hall, and pop singer Adele. Over the course of the six new half-hour episodes, Ullman shape-shifts with impressive ease from well-known public figures to zany original characters, including a therapist who can’t resist sharing her patients’ secrets, a dying mother with surprising last wishes, and a military intelligence spy making personal use of surveillance resources. Upcoming episodes:
Delinquent Dame Judi Dench relies on her “national treasure” status to get her out of trouble; overachieving BBC broadcaster Clare Balding can’t keep herself off-camera; dinner gets dramatic at the Murdoch family home; German Chancellor Angela Merkel sings a heartfelt song to express her loneliness; Doctor Peluzzi practices outside the law when prescribing “medication” for a patient; and Scottish politician Nicola Sturgeon kidnaps a famous British author in service of Scotland. Guest stars include Ben Miller (Rupert Murdoch), Samantha Spiro (Birgit), Colin Salmon (Patricia’s date) and Ricky Champ (police constable). Written by Gemma Arrowsmith, Abigail Burdess, Cicely Giddings, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Jeremy Dyson, Laurence Howarth, Lucy Montgomery and Laurence Rickard; directed by Dominic Brigstocke and Nick Collett.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, makes unexpected purchases; a news anchor brings her cats to work; Kay and her elderly mother get caught in a flood, but refuse to leave their home; Dame Maggie Smith starts a YouTube channel; and “Northern Powerhouse” Pam Garrity is less than thrilled when she meets her son’s fiancé. Meanwhile, urban planners enter into a rap battle about the pros and cons of gentrification; feminist icon Germaine Greer rants at a bus stop; and a Murdoch family movie night gets uncomfortable for the kids. Guest stars include Ben Miller (Rupert Murdoch), Kevin Bishop (Larry Garrity), Ben Ashenden (Tom), Joan Linder (Kay’s mother), Jaygann Ayeh (Hassan) and Kadeem Ramsay (Nonso). Written by Gemma Arrowsmith, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Jonathan Harvey, Katherine Jakeways, George Jeffrie, Bert Tyler Moore, Lucy Montgomery and Georgia Pritchett; directed by Dominic Brigstocke and Nick Collett.
You know the drill with these next two guys. You never know what is going to come out of their mouths. One of them just won an Emmy for what comes out of his and the other was nominated in the same Variety Show Host category. Outspoken comedian/social commentator Bill Maher continues the 15th season of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 06 from 10:00-11:00pm, followed by other shows subsequent Fridays at the same time. LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVERcontinues its fourth season SUNDAY, OCTOBER 01 (11:00-11:30pm), followed by new episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, as well as addressing broader issues. It is an Emmy-winning show now two seasons in a row.
VICE NEWS TONIGHT, the half-hour nightly newscast from VICE Media and HBO, debuts a new edition MONDAY, OCTOBER 02 (7:30-8:00pm), followed by other new editions subsequent weeknights Monday through Thursday, resuming Friday night shows beginning Oct. 20. Taking viewers around the globe as its correspondents investigate the stories not being told elsewhere, season five of the Emmy-winning weekly news magazine series VICEcontinues with a new episode FRIDAY, OCTOBER 06 (7:30-8:00pm), followed the season finale on October 13. Look for an HBOWatch report highlighting the season.
Movies: The movies debuting Saturday night primetime are FIFTY SHADES DARKER, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER TWO and SPLIT. We may have a full five Sundays in the month, but only four Saturdays. So, where is the fourth movie? In a bit of abnormal scheduling a documentary (see below) has a Saturday spot. Here is a closer look at each movie.
Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele’s (Dakota Johnson) search for stability and trust is challenged in FIFTY SHADES DARKER, debuting SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 (8:00-10:00pm). After Anastasia leaves town to explore a new career opportunity, she and Christian continue to build a relationship but are surprised to find their pasts getting in the way. Assassin John Wick is called back from retirement when an Italian gangster orders him to kill his sister in the thriller JOHN WICK: CHAPTER TWO, premiering SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 (8:00-10:05pm). Keanu Reeves stars in the title role of the sequel. After three teenage girls Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula) are kidnapped, they come to realize their kidnapper (James McAvoy) has multiple personalities – 23, to be exact. One of his villainous personalities attempts to take over the others and the girls must fight for survival inSPLIT, debuting SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28 (8:00-10:00pm).
HBO Documentary Films: Now for that documentary. It is all about the cinematic wunderkind Steven Spielberg. I think you’ve heard of him. Acclaimed documentarian Susan Lacy pulls back the curtain on the remarkable career of Steven Spielberg, one of the most famous filmmakers in the world in SPIELBERG, debuting SATURDAY, OCTOBER 07 from (8:00 –10:30pm. In this exclusive HBO documentary, Spielberg steps out from behind the camera to open up about his directorial influences and motivations, while sharing little-known stories behind some of his most iconic films. Acclaimed producer/director Susan Lacy charts the evolution of this iconic filmmaker, having conducted nearly 30 hours of exclusive interviews with the famously private director, as well interviews with his family, friends and colleagues. Here is a sample.
HBO Special: The short film TOKYO PROJECT, starring Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Men), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (HBO’s GIRLS) and Shu Kakizawa (HBO’s GIRLS) debuts SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 (10:00-10:30pm), on HBO. Exploring a mysterious romance between two strangers, the exclusive presentation is written and directed by Richard Shepard (GIRLS), executive produced by Lena Dunham (GIRLS), Jenni Konner (GIRLS) and Karen J. Lauder, and produced by Stacey Reiss and Richard Shepard.
In it, Sebastian (Moss-Bachrach) is on a business trip to Tokyo. Handsome and hip, he represents a high-end Brooklyn men’s grooming product company that has been successful in Japan. But there’s a sadness in Sebastian that’s not hard to notice, a past that’s haunting him. He’s also a film nerd, fascinated by Tokyo’s visual splendor and its rich cinematic history. Sebastian is also fascinated by Claire (Moss), a beautiful and mysterious woman he keeps running into, first at a noodle shop, and later at a hidden jewel of a sake bar. There’s clearly something between them. Claire is a photographer and roams the rich streets of this amazing city in search of images that will linger. Like Sebastian, there’s more to her than meets the eye – a haunted sadness that proves an undeniable attraction for him. So begins an erotic, highly charged night between two Americans in a foreign land. Here is our first look at it.
HBO Sports: Ouch, we are really light on sports. HBO needs some revitalization in boxing, but at least it still has Gumbel & company and Lampley. 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, OCTOBER 24 (10:00-11:00pm) and THE FIGHT GAME WITH JIM LAMPLEYgoes another round WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18 (11:00 – 11:30pm). There is an unspecified BOXING AFTER DARKslated for SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 at 10:05pm.
Other Movies and Shows: There is a slew, I mean count them, a slew of First Runs on HBO & HBO2. Some of these works have had airings on the other channels but they have since been bumped up to the main channel. Here is a sampling. VIEW FROM THE TOP in which a small-town girl played by Gwyneth Paltrow is flying high as she chases her dream of becoming a flight attendant; EVERYTHING MUST GO – talk about a bad day. For troubled salesman Will Ferrell, it can’t get much worse than losing your job and your marriage all in one afternoon. Also, you can find MR. 3000, a baseball airing before the World Series commences; FINDING NEVERLAND, SPY KIDS, DARK WATER and LIGHTS OUT and one I don’t remember called ROCK DOG which is an animation that is just what you think it is – a dog longing to be a rock star.
Since Halloween is this month you can be sure there are horror movies (I’m still waiting for a rebroadcast of TALES FROM THE CRYPT). HBO2 has THE NINTH GATE, THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR, STIR OF ECHOES and THE DARKNESS debuting.
HBO’s Other Platforms: Some different titles appear for a change. HBO Latino: A new series launches here and of course you can always subtitle it if you don’t speak the language. It is called LA VIDA SECRETA DE LAS PAREJAS (The Secret Lives of Couples) and offers the stories of a Brazilian therapist and his clients. That joins the continued entries from ENTRE NOS and the talk show CHUMEL CON CHUMEL. In movies, there is UN LUGAR EN CARIBE (A Place in the Caribbean) where love is in the air when a famous writer travels to a beautiful island to finish his latest novel, while a woman and her father who missed their cruise are forced to stay on the same island. Add to the lineup QUE DIOS NOS PERDONE (May God Save Us); in this thriller, two oddball police inspectors are assigned to work together to catch a serial killer in 2011 Madrid, just as the Pope is about to visit. In horror, we can add THE BROKEN. HBO Family: I looked for Horror here but, the closest might be THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE so instead I’ll offer THE WILD LIFE; THE PEANUTS MOVIE; FLIPPED; RICHIE RICH and THE SANDLOT and its sequel. HBO Signature: Next to the main channel I watch this one the most. I can always find something I’ve never seen or one I’d see again. I single out THE SHACK; CASANOVA; FROM WITHIN; DEAD PRESIDENTS; SHOT HEARD ROUND THE WORLD. The first one stars Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer and Tim McGraw; the second is about the legendary lothario; FROM WITHIN is a small town thriller; next is the Hughes Brothers 1995 hit and that last title is a documentary that takes an in-depth look one of the most heated pennant races ever witnessed. I was in 1951, look it up or better yet watch. HBO Comedy: Finally Johnny Knoxville goes where he belongs with JACKASS: THE MOVIE; there is also Steve Martin’s 2006 remake THE PINK PANTHER and REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES with America Ferrera. HBO Zone:This channel’s Horror flick is HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION. Plus there are the movies CHAOS and SEE NO EVIL. I like, however, the description of THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE. The title character is a troubled former child star who is facing 200 hours of community service thanks to his trashing a hotel room. But being assigned a menial custodial job at a church in his former hometown may be just the thing he needs to find himself–especially after he lands the lead role in the church play and begins falling for its director…who happens to be the pastor’s daughter. To wrap up this section here is the trailer for THE SHACK.
HBONow/Go: Over on the streaming sites you’ll find all of the movies and shows I’ve mentioned here are also accessible to you there. If you are interested in any of them but can’t watch when HBO schedule them then watch onsite at your convenience instead. You can binge watch CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM if you missed any starting with Episode 01 “The Pants Tent” or catch up on a series you missed like the one & only season of VINYL. You can also find episodes from all the recent Emmy winners, all five installments of THE GAME REVEALED, or a John Turturro Fest catching him in THE BIG LEBOWSKI, CLOCKERS, DO THE RIGHT THING, MO’ BETTER BLUES, Mr. DEEDS and THE NIGHT OF. There is a new series coming to the sites that never aired on HBO. On 10.06 all six episodes of WE CAN BE HEROES (aired here on Sundance Channel) from Australian comic Chris Lilley joins rank with the rest of his series that are a part of HBO’s stable. Cinemax: From the co-creator of HBO’s hit comedy series “Silicon Valley,” MIKE JUDGE PRESENTS: TALES FROM THE TOUR BUS is an animated half-hour series chronicling the tales of some of country music’s most eccentric characters. The eight-episode season continues FRIDAY, OCTOBER 06 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET), with other new episodes debuting subsequent Fridays at the same time; October’s shows spotlight George Jones and Tammy Wynette (two parts), Billy Joe Shaver and Waylon Jennings. The series was created by Mike Judge, Richard Mullins and Dub Cornett. Judge is executive producer; Glen Zipper, Sean Stuart and Dub Cornett are also executive producers. In movies the channel is touting the action comedy CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE, the thriller RUPTURE with Noomi Repace, the action picture THE LEGEND OF TARZAN and FIST FIGHT In that last one a wimpy high school instructor (Charlie Day) is challenged to a fight by the toughest teacher (Ice Cube) in the school. And there is plenty more where that came from. Cinemax has movies every night!
Next Month’s Tease: Do you know Rose Armitage? She is a character that appears in a favorable movie in November. She is played by someone who is not a stranger at HBO thanks to her girlfriends. Name the actress and the movie.
Last month’s Tease points us to filmmaker & mogul Steven Spielberg who gets our scrutiny via a 1 ½ documentary. We all know most of his work and now you can hear his side of his cinematic story.
Final Clip: I think we’ll give Bryant Gumbel the last word. You didn’t expect that, did you?