Man, time sure flies. Here we are almost through summer and I haven’t even gone on my week-long vacation yet. The beach is calling, but so is what is on HBO in August. We will see the conclusion of yet another set of our Sunday series already and soon HBO will be promoting its Fall season. I hope everyone is eagerly anticipating what will appear soon starting with the big movies and specials coming up in August 2015. Here is What’s On.
Originals: Just how will our Sunday night originals end this month? TRUE DETECTIVE must wind up its case in Vinci, California and the gangs from BALLERS and THE BRINK will give their antics a rest for a while. As of this date we know that the comedies will be back for Season Two.
TRUE DETECTIVE continues its eight-episode second season SUNDAY, AUG. 02 beginning at 9:00pm. ET followed by the season finale on 08.09 at the same time. All our big players are doing their own dealing and snooping to solve the Caspere murder. Are we going to believe how it all plays out in the end? Don’t miss the last two episodes airing in August. Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch star.
The last two episodes are entitled “Black Maps and Hotel Rooms” and “Omega Station.” Note: The final episode extends to 87 minutes long! Yeah, I know you wish you had a bit more information there, but we don’t want to give away any spoilers in our episode description, do we?
Here though is a behind-the-scenes look of the sort of thing you’ve been missing if you don’t watch TRUE DETECTIVE Season Two.
The new comedy series BALLERS continues its ten-episode season SUNDAY, AUG.02 at 10:00pm followed by other episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time, leading up to the season finale 08.23. Looking at the lives of former and current football players, the show follows former superstar Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) as he gets his life on track in retirement while mentoring other current and former players. And what do you think? Is he all right in that mentoring thing or not so much?
Here is a hint of how the premiere season concludes:
Episode #7: “Ends” debuts 08.02 at 10:00pm. Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) decides to take the hit for Vernon (Donovan Carter), but finds himself in even deeper trouble. Julie (Jazmyn Simon) and Bella (Anabelle Acosta) commiserate over their men, while Ricky (John David Washington) lashes out. Jason (Troy Garity) is unsettled by his mother’s new boyfriend. Spencer and Charles (Omar Miller) say goodbye to Rodney (LaRoyce Hawkins), and reflect on their love of the game. Written by Rob Weiss; directed by Simon Cellan Jones. Other HBO playdates: 08.02 at 1:10am & 3:15am; 08.03 at 12:05am; 08.04 at 11:30pm; 08.05 at 1:30am; 08.06 at 8:30pm; 08.07 at 12:30am and 08.08 at 11:40pm.
Episode #8: “Gaslighting” debuts 08.09 at 10:30pm due to the extended TRUE DETECTIVE finale. Written by Evan Reilly; directed by Simon Cellan Jones. Spencer is forced to face up to his past to try to save Vernon, while Joe (Rob Corddry) makes a very permanent commitment to his future. Charles puts his football skills to work at the car dealership. Ricky shells out the big bucks to win back Bella. It also airs 08.09 at 2:00am & 4:30am; 08.10 at 1:00am; 08.11 at 11:00pm; 08.12 at 1:30am; 08.13 at 8:00pm; 08.14 at 12:30am and 08.15 11:35pm.
Episode #9: “Head-On” debuts date: 08.16 at 10:00pm. Written by Steve Sharlet; directed by Julian Farino. Spencer tries to make amends. Joe feels slighted when he’s overlooked at work. Charles gets some life-changing news. Bella challenges Ricky to grow up. Vernon goes MIA after learning some truths about Reggie (London Brown). Other HBO dates are 08.16 at midnight & 3:05am; 08.17 at 3:25am; 08.18 at midnight; 08.19 at 1.30am; 08.20 at 8:30pm; 08.21 at 12:30am and 08.22 at 11:00pm.
Episode#10: “Flamingos” (season finale) debut date: 08.23 at 10:00pm. Written by Stephen Levinson & Evan Reilly; directed by Julian Farino. Spencer faces a major decision when Joe tries to sell him on a new start. Ricky is confronted by his dad. Charles gets a second chance. Jason and Spencer look to talk sense into Vernon. Also airs on 08.23 at midnight & 3:10am; 08.24 at 1:00am; 08.25 at 11:00pm; 08.26 at 1:30am; 08.27 at 8:30pm; 08.28 at 12:30am and 08.29 at 12:05am.
Also on a ten-episode streak is THE BRINK. A new episode debuts SUNDAY AUG. 02 at 10:30pm followed by new episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time, leading up to the 08.23 season finale. What about this hot political mess? Will the bumbling team save the day? Episode descriptions follow.
Episode #7: “Sticky Wicket” debuts 08.02 at 10:30pm. Written by Aasif Mandvi; directed by Scott Winant. Zeke (Pablo Schreiber) is challenged to a fight. En route to DC, Walter (Tim Robbins) fakes a medical emergency to force an unscheduled landing. With the American embassy on lockdown, Alex (Jack Black) plots an escape.Other HBO playdates: 08.02 at 12:40am & 3:45am; 08.03 at 11:35pm; 08.04 at midnight & 3:25am; 08.05 at 7:30pm; 08.06 at 8:00pm and 08.07 at midnight.
Episode #8: “Who’s Grover Cleveland?” debuts 08.09 at 11:00pm due to extended TRUE DETECTIVE finale. Written by Wes Jones; directed by Michael Lehmann. With tensions rising in Islamabad, Walter tries to convince the president to act with caution. On the aircraft carrier, Zeke must deal with the women in his life before he and his fellow pilots get new orders. Inside the Embassy, Alex tries to make amends with Rafiq (Aasif Mandvi) and Fareeda (Melanie Kannokada). It also runs on 08.09 at 1:30am & 5:00am; 08.10 at 12:30am; 08.11 at 11:30pm & 5:05am; 08.12 at 7:00pm; 08.13 at 7:30pm and 08.14 at midnight.
Episode #9: “Just a Little Crazy Talk” debuts 08.16 at 10:30pm. Written by Roberto Benabib & Kim Benabib & David Holstein; directed by Adam Bernstein. Walter tries to strike a deal with Zaman’s highest-ranking general. Zeke and Glenn (Eric Ladin) find a way to pass the time after being grounded. With Rafiq translating, Alex tries to figure out if and when he should initiate Walter’s “Plan B.” Other HBO airings are 08.16 at 11:30pm & 3:35am; 08.17 at 2:55am; 08.18 at 12:30am & 4:05am; 08.19 at 6:45pm; 08.20 at 8:00pm and 08.21 at midnight.
Episode #10: “There Will Be Consequences” (season finale) Written by Roberto Benabib & Kim Benabib & David Holstein; directed by Michael Lehmann. It debuts 08.23 at 10:30pm.With a global crisis looming, Zeke and Glenn once again find themselves in a compromised state. Walter tries to defuse the situation with various heads of state via videoconference; Alex attempts to connect with Zaman (Iqbal Theba) on a personal level. Also find it on 08.23 at 11:30pm & 3:45am; 08.24 at 12:30am; 08.25 at 11:30pm & 3:20am; 08.26 at 6:45pm; 08.27 at 8:00pm and 08.28 at midnight.
Also, continuing its second season, with a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues with a new edition SUNDAY, AUG. 2 (11:00-11:30 p.m.), followed by other weekly editions subsequent Sundays at the same time. REALTIME WITH BILL MAHER continues its 13th season with a new edition FRIDAY, AUG. 7 (10:00-11:00 p.m.), followed by other new editions subsequent Fridays at the same time. We give Mr. Oliver some attention below. We won’t give you a full length Deep Dive, but here is an online bit done over the July Fourth Holiday.
HBO Miniseries:From David Simon (HBO’s TREME and THE WIRE) and director Paul Haggis (Crash) and based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Lisa Belkin, SHOW ME A HERO explores notions of home, race and community through the lives of elected officials, bureaucrats, activists and ordinary citizens in Yonkers, NY, with Parts 1 and 2 debuting SUNDAY, AUG. 16 (8:00-10:00 p.m.) followed by two parts on Aug. 23 and Aug. 30 at the same time. The HBO Miniseries presentation stars Oscar Isaac, Catherine Keener, Alfred Molina, Winona Ryder, LaTanya Richardson-Jackson, Bob Balaban and Jim Belushi.
In an America generations removed from the greatest civil rights struggles of the 1960s, the young mayor of a mid-sized American city is faced with a federal court order that says he must build a small number of low-income housing units in the white neighborhoods of his town. His attempt to do so tears the entire city apart, paralyzes the municipal government and, ultimately, destroys the mayor and his political future.
Debut for Parts 1 and 2: SUNDAY, AUG. 16 (8:00pm – 10:00pm Written by William F. Zorzi & David Simon; directed by Paul Haggis. In Part 1 Nick Wasicsko becomes the youngest big-city mayor in America, but at what cost? Even before he is inaugurated, the obligation to build public housing in the white neighborhoods of Yonkers looms over his new administration. In Part 2 all hell breaks loose as the Yonkers mayor and city council are given an ultimatum by a federal judge weary of further delay. Meanwhile, public housing residents trapped in the deteriorating projects of West Yonkers watch and wait as the white residents of East Yonkers make clear just how opposed they are. Other HBO playdates for Parts 1 and 2: 08.16 at 1:05am; 08.17 at 12:10am; 08.18 at 5:00pm; 08.19 at 9:00pm and 08.22 at 11:30pm.
Debut for Parts 3 and 4: SUNDAY, AUG. 23 (8:00pm-10:00pm) Teleplay by William F. Zorzi; story by William F. Zorzi & David Simon; directed by Paul Haggis. In Part 3 Mayor Wasicsko finally achieves some consensus and rams through a housing plan with a tough vote, and housing officials begin to plan to build the new townhomes. But even as they do, the political cost to Wasicsko becomes apparent. In Part 4 a new mayor pledges to oppose the housing, even though it is never quite clear what he might be able to do in that regard. Meanwhile, Nick Wasicsko tries to reconcile himself to life out of power as constructions of the townhomes begin. Other HBO air dates for Parts 3 and 4 are 08.23 at 1:10am; 08.24 at 10:30pm; 08.25 at 6:15pm; 08.26 at 9:00pm and 08.29 at 12:40am.
Debut for Parts 5 and 6: SUNDAY, AUG. 30 (8:00pm-10:00pm. Written by William F. Zorzi & David Simon; directed by Paul Haggis. In Part 5 armed with a growing recognition that he had fought on the side of angels in the battle over the housing, Nick Wasicsko plans his political comeback, while the residents for the new townhouses are screened and chosen. In Part 6 A comprehensive orientation process awaits the incoming residents, and many have second thoughts about moving into neighborhoods that don’t welcome them. At the same time, Mary Dorman, long a vocal opponent of the housing, is recruited to serve the incoming residents in a way that even she finds startling. Meanwhile, Nick Wasicsko begins the long road back to political viability, even as the residents take possession of their new townhomes. But in the end, a second act for the wounded young politician proves elusive. Other airings for Parts 5 and 6 are 08.30 at 11:45pm; 08.31 at 12:30am and into September.
Here for the first time to the site is the trailer.
Theatrical Films: HBO is dropping a few big movies on you. Here is the opportunity to catch the award winning and acclaimed ones again and catch a couple lesser known ones if you missed them. BIRDMAN: THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE, THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING,DUMB AND DUMBER and TO AND KILL THEMESSENGER are in the lineup. Hey, three big blockbusters, an inane comedy and a crime -buster aren’t too shabby.
An egotistical former Hollywood superhero (Michael Keaton) attempts to reclaim his family and career in the days leading up to the opening of his ambitious Broadway play when BIRDMAN: THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE debuts SATURDAY, AUG. 01 (8:00 p.m.). Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts also star in the hit film. Winner of four Oscars, including Best Director and Best Motion Picture, it was directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu with a screenplay by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo.
Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) lead Thorin Oakinshield (Richard Armitage) and his team of dwarves against dark forces who wish to destroy the Lonely Mountain when THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES debuts SATURDAY, AUG. 8 (8:00 p.m.). The gripping finale to the epic trilogy of films adapting the J. R. R. Tolkien book is directed by Peter Jackson and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro.
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING tells the story of renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking (Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, pictured), diagnosed with ALS at age 21, and his future wife, Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones), who fights tirelessly to help him break new ground in medicine and science. Debuting SATURDAY, AUG. 15 (8:00 p.m.), the biopic is based on the memoir “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen” by Jane Hawking, and directed by James Marsh.
Twenty years after their first cross-country adventure, Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) go on another road trip to find Harry’s newly discovered daughter in DUMB AND DUMBER TO, debuting SATURDAY, AUG. 22 (8:00 p.m.). Rob Riggle, Rachel Melvin and Laurie Holden also star in the outrageous comedy, directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly.
Based on a true story, KILL THE MESSENGER trails Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) as he tries to expose the CIA’s role the 1980s cocaine trade when it debuts SATURDAY, AUG. 29 (8.00 p.m.). Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta, Tim Blake Nelson, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lucas Hedges and Andy Garcia also star in the political thriller, directed by Michael Cuesta and written by Peter Landesman.
Specials: In my opinion there isn’t enough stand-up on HBO. Back in the day it was on all the time and I’m talking big name starts before they were big. Let’s have more of it like the special coming in August. TIG NOTARO: BOYISH GIRL INTERRUPTED features the stand-up favorite in her first HBO comedy special. It is an hour of all-new material recorded in front of a live audience at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston and it debuts SATURDAY, AUG. 22 at 10:00pm. I’ll take it. How about you?
Documentary: The debut films are sparse but are interesting topics or at least I think so. I know most don’t go to HBO for its documentaries, but come on; they are the most intriguing fare month after month. This time around we have the following:
Debuting MONDAY, AUG. 3 (9:00-10:30 p.m.), TOE TAG PAROLE: TO LIVE AND DIE ON YARD A is a vérité look by Oscar-winning documentarians Alan and Susan Raymond at an experimental yard in a maximum-security California prison, where many inmates are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole. On a remote mountaintop in the Himalayas sits a very special community called Jhamtse Gatsal: a school and home to 85 orphaned and neglected children. Debuting MONDAY, AUG. 17 (8:00-8:40 p.m.), TASHI AND THE MONK reveals the life of the former Buddhist monk who runs the orphanage and his relationship with its newest arrival, a troubled five-year-old named Tashi.
They are supplemented with some great encores: THE NEWBURGH STING on 08.10, CROSSFIRE HURRICAINE on 08.24 and ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW on 08.31. There are two more episodes of the late night series SEX ON// which focuses on some of the ways women and men are cashing in on the online sex craze when the late-night documentary series continues with a new edition, debuting THURSDAY, AUG. 06 at 11:00pm followed by the season finale debuting 08.13 at the same time.
HBO Sports: the sports division has some worthwhile content as well. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis is universally recognized as the greatest diver ever, but his greatest impact may ultimately come from being one of the first openly gay athletes in America. The intimate documentary BACK ON BOARD: GREG LOUGANIS looks at the public triumphs and private struggles of this LGBT trailblazer when it debuts TUESDAY, AUG. 4 (10:00pm-11:30pm. Other HBO air dates: 08.07 at 3:15pm & 1:00am; 08.09 at 10:45am; 08.12 at 10:00am & 2:00am; 08.13 at 1:15am; 08.15 at 7:30am and 08.21 at 4:50pm.
HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Houston Texans team up for an all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE HOUSTON TEXANS debuts TUESDAY, AUG. 11 (10:00- 11:00 p.m.), with other new episodes debuting subsequent Tuesdays at the same time. The first sports-based reality series – and one of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV – begins its five-episode tenth season this month and will focus on the daily lives and routines of players and coaches as the Houston Texans, who play in the hard-nosed AFC South, conduct the franchise’s 14th training camp and prepare for the 2015 NFL season. REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL goes behind the box scores and statistics to tackle timely subjects in the world of contemporary sports. The next monthly edition debuts TUESDAY, AUG. 18 at 9:00pm.
Other Movies and Shows: The best I can do for you is just to give you a sampling of the programming that pads the rest of the schedule. But, you knew that. We have GODZILLA stomping through again; Josh Whedon’s SERENITY, the documentary STATE OF PLAY: TROPHY KIDS and the first run movie DOM HEMINGWAY. In that one a gangster seeks recompense–and gets more than he bargained for–after taking the fall for his boss and serving 12 years in jail. Jude Law (pictured) stars as the reckless mobster. If you explore the channel and HBO2 you will find more. In fact, I love just checking in and being surprised by a good program I haven’t seen in a while.
HBO’s Other Platforms: Turning to the other platforms we find some variety. They are a part of your subscription to the network if you go that route so it is worth exploring the channels. HBO Latino: We explode with BOMBA (The Bomb). In this tense thriller, a teenager climbs into a taxi and discover that it’s a car bomb. From that moment, the driver and his passenger become prisoners of each other. Also there is MANOS SUCIAS (Dirty Hands) in which an impoverished Colombian fisherman and his younger brother try to transport drugs up the Pacific coast to Panama while contending with the coast guard, a thief and local paramilitaries. God, don’t you hate that. HBO Family: Netflix might have Turbo, but HBO goes retro with TURBO: A POWER RANGERS MOVIE. Okay, the little ones are excited. For the teens there is BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD. Yes, it is about the young World Chess Champion. HBO Signature: I said this before i think, but next to the main channel this one is a favorite destination of mine. In August I can see the likes of FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, BANDIDAS, A STAR IS BORN, EYES WIDE SHUT, MOULIN ROUGE and THE TRUMAN SHOW. HBO Comedy: Focusing on comedy movies here how about THE BIG BOUNCE with Owen Wilson? It is an Elmore Leonard comedic-thriller. Or the Farrrelly brothers’ SHALLOW HAL with Gwyneth Paltrow or the first run picture BOSSA NOVA. That one features Amy Irving as an English teacher in Brazil. It is an older movie, but a fun steamy tale for August. Oh, what the hell, here is the trailer. “Don’t knock it til you try it.”
HBOGo/HBONow: If you spend viewing time on one of HBO’s sites than how about checking out some of these titles. There is the classic western HANG EM HIGH with Clint Eastwood; Woody Allen’s BANANAS; Kevin Costner’s DANCES WITH WOLVES; the remake of THE OMEN and in Late Night catch up with THE BEST OF KATIE MORGAN. Wow, maybe we should stop there! Cinemax: A press release from the sister channel is promoting the following – The Emmy-nominated action series STRIKE BACK continues its fourth and final season with a new episode debuting FRIDAY, AUG. 07 beginning at 10:00pm. Plus from director Paul Thomas Anderson and based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon, INHERENT VICE follows a drug-fueled Los Angeles private investigator (Joaquin Phoenix) as he uncovers the disappearance of an old flame when it debuts FRIDAY, AUG. 07 at 7:25pm. Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon and Benicio Del Toro also star in the crime comedy-drama. Based on the popular book series, DIVERGENT follows a young woman (Shailene Woodley) who rebels against a society where all citizens are judged by their virtues. It debuts FRIDAY, AUG. 14 at 7:35pm. Revealing the origin of the horror icon, DRACULA UNTOLD debuts FRIDAY, AUG. 28 at 8:25pm). Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon and Charles Dance star in the fright yarn, directed by Gary Shore.
Next Month’s Tease: For September – the director of a 2014 film coming to HBO also directed the award-winning story of young Mr. Woodroof.
This proved tough. If you search “Love’s A Bitch” it translates in Spanish as Amores Perros , which was the title of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s first movie. His 2014 award winner was BIRDMAN which airs in August.
Final Clip: Wait, I know you want the trailer for DUMB AND DUMBER TO, right? Hey, watch it, some people like inane.
And on that quirky note we leave you to schedule your likes and enjoy what is coming in August.
About The Author
Editor at Large of HBOWatch.com and the internet's foremost HBO expert.