We are still unsure, due to persistent COVID cases, just when the big series we love and the new titles we hope for are going to be on the schedule. All that doesn’t mean HBO is not going to have interesting content in the meantime. The choices for August are a good example of that. Here is what is of note for August 2021.
A few quick points:
HARD KNOCKS Returns with a returning team.
A double bill from Same-Day Premiere Movies!
An interesting set of HBO Documentary Films
The Return of Bob Costas
And a new Issa Rae show on HBO MAX
Original Series: August has the remaining three episodes of the limited series THE WHITE LOTUS for us to take in. Not only is the Mike White series a satire on white privilege but it also set up a bit of a mystery to be solved. Are you into seeing the story from the Maui resort play out? Find it continuing SUNDAY AUGUST 01 (9:00-10:00). It plays for three more episodes. Here are details:
–Episode 4: “Recentering”
Debut date: SUNDAY, AUGUST 01 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT)
After Shane (Jake Lacy) shoots down her latest career plans, Rachel (Alexandra Daddario) is further blindsided by an unexpected arrival. Just as Belinda (Natasha Rothwell) begins to take her business proposition seriously, Tanya’s (Jennifer Coolidge) attention turns to an intriguing hotel guest. Meanwhile, Armond’s (Murray Bartlett) renewed commitment to sobriety is put to the test. Written by Mike White; Directed by Mike White.
–Episode 5: “The Lotus-Eaters”
Debut date: SUNDAY, AUGUST 08 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT)
As Armond (Murray Bartlett) attempts to do damage control, Belinda (Natasha Rothwell) tries to redirect Tanya’s (Jennifer Coolidge) focus to her business proposal. Paula (Brittany O’Grady) grows increasingly disillusioned with the Mossbachers. A sidelined Rachel (Alexandra Daddario) begins to question her future. Nicole (Connie Britton) rebuffs Mark (Steve Zahn) for airing their dirty laundry to Quinn (Fred Hechinger). Written by Mike White; Directed by Mike White.
–Episode 6: “Departures”
Debut date: SUNDAY, AUGUST 15 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT)
Rachel (Alexandra Daddario) shares some harsh truths with Shane (Jake Lacy) and confides in Belinda (Natasha Rothwell), who’s reeling from bad news of her own. As the Mossbachers turn the page on their harrowing scare, Quinn (Fred Hechinger) reveals major life plans. With nothing left to lose, Armond (Murray Bartlett) goes on an all-out bender – and exacts the ultimate revenge on his nemesis. Written by Mike White; Directed by Mike White.
Both Maher & Oliver have been off for the month of July and it is about time they got back to work. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER does have a new installment on JULY 30 then continues in August on FRIDAY, AUGUST (10:00-11:00pm live ET/tape-delayed PT), with a replay at 12:30am. He fills his timeslot with new installments all month. LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER returns for the month on SUNDAY, AUGUST 01 (11:00-11:30pm ET) and appears with new installments all month. Here is a web exclusive clip he did while off.
Originals Exclusive to HBO Max: As I teased above Issa Rae is back with another show but she serves as executive producer not the star. It is an unscripted work entitled SWEET LIFE: LOS ANGELES. PR states it gives an honest and unique look into what it means to be young, Black, and in constant pursuit of one’s dreams in the heart of South Los Angeles. The series follows a group of ambitious childhood friends showcasing their relatable, authentic and sometimes stumbling mid-20s moments as they embrace the joy and struggles of adulthood, navigating love and family, and building their careers as tastemakers in the city where they grew up. It uploads THURSDAY, AUGUST 19. Another unscripted show lands in August also, on THURSDAY, AUGUST 12 to be precise. It is a series calledTHE HYPE. It is a streetwear competition show where fashion visionaries elevate their designs and entrepreneurial sense to avoid elimination while remaining authentic to their style. Produced by the Emmy-winning team at Scout Productions, Speedy Morman hosts the eight-episode season, which will feature co-signers, including Grammy-nominated recording artist and designer, Offset; creative director and founder of Bephies Beauty Supply, Bephie Birkett; and Emmy nominated costume designer and renowned stylist, Marni Senofonte. The panel of judges will critique the competing streetwear’s unique DNA, combining fashion, music, art and lifestyle to refine the idea of a “runway” and the balance between art and commerce. The series will also feature special guests including A$AP Ferg, Cardi B, Dapper Dan, and Wiz Khalifa.
On the scripted side of things, the service presents Season Two of THE OTHER TWO arriving THURSDAY, AUGUST 26. With their pop star brother, ChaseDreams (Case Walker), officially entering retirement at the ripe old age of fourteen, Brooke and Cary (Heléne Yorke and Drew Tarver) must now contend with a new famous family member: their 53-year-old mother Pat (Molly Shannon), and her eponymous daytime talk show. Humiliated at being The Other Two yet again, they double down and make it their mission not to be. Also making its way to HBO Max is the continuation of TITANS. The first three episodes of season three will debut THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, with subsequent episodes launching weekly every Thursday through October 21 on HBO Max. The series follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find where they belong. In season three, circumstances draw our heroes to Gotham City, where they will reunite with old friends and face new threats. The series stars Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Conor Leslie, Curran Walters and Joshua Orpin with Alan Ritchson, Minka Kelly, Damaris Lewis, Savannah Welch and Vincent Kartheiser. Jay Lycurgo will recur this season. FBOY ISLAND concludes on AUGUST 12.
HBO Saturday Night Movies: Just when I thought the months were going to fill in with all new titles we are hit with a month like August, which has only one theatrical debut. Just what does take up the Saturday primetime slot? We have All My Life, followed by a night of dinosaurs on 08.14 with Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III playing. That’s followed by Godzilla Vs Kong and Magic Mike XXL on the 21st and 28th respectively.
Here is a look at ALL MY LIFE, debutingSATURDAY AUGUST 07 (8:00-9:31pm). Inspired by a true love story, this four-hankie romance follows the tale of a newly engaged couple whose relationship is rocked by a tragic diagnosis. Jessica Rothe and Harry Shum Jr. star as the lovestruck couple. Directed by Marc Meyers; screenplay by Todd Rosenberg.
Though it may have had a healthy run on HBO Max, new to HBO and its channels is GODZILLA VS KONG. Talk about a clash of the titans! Godzilla and King Kong go toe to toe in this epic monster mash until they learn there is a bigger threat to the entire world. The Associated Press calls this fourth film in the Legendary MonsterVerse a “rock ’em-sock ’em monster movie revival.” Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza Gonzalez, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, and Demian Bichir. Directed by Adam Wingard; screenplay by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, story by Terry Rossio and Michael Dougherty & Zach Shields. Again, it appears SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, but note the special start time (9:00-11:00pm).
Movies Exclusive to HBO Max: Not one, but two big Same-Day Premieres launch in cinemas and on HBO Max in August. Since Harley Quinn seems to hit it off with the masses she appears in another escapade and this time she has cohorts. From writer/director James Gunn comes Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero action-adventure THE SUICIDE SQUAD, featuring a collection of the most degenerate delinquents in the DC lineup—including Bloodsport, Peacemaker,
Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn—who will do anything to get out of prison—even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X on a do-or-die mission. It will be available on the ad-free version of the service for 31 days beginning THURSDAY, AUGUST 05. August also brings action thriller REMINISCENCE starring Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson and Thandie Newton. In this one, Nick Bannister (Jackman), a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. Living on the fringes of the sunken Miami coast, his life is forever changed when he takes on a new client, Mae (Ferguson). A simple matter of lost and found becomes a dangerous obsession. It uploads for 31 days beginning FRIDAY, AUGUST 20.
HBO Documentary Films: We lead off with a documentary series in August. SMALL TOWN NEWS: KPVM PAHRUMP, a six-part, half-hour documentary series, pulls back the curtain on life at a privately-owned TV station in the small desert town of Pahrump, Nevada, revealing a colorful cast of characters in front of and behind the cameras. It provides an entertaining glimpse into a scrappy, hardworking local news broadcaster looking to expand into a bigger market during challenging times. With warmth and humor, the series celebrates the can-do spirit, community pride and political diversity among the station’s charismatic and often humorous employees. It debuts with two back-to-back episodes MONDAY, AUGUST 02 (9:00-10:00pm), with new episodes airing back-to-back subsequent Mondays at the same time.
–Episode 1: “Our Top Story”
Debut date: MONDAY, AUGUST 02 (9:00-9:30 ET/PT)
January 2020. KPVM owner Vern Van Winkle is poised to realize his dream of expanding his small town Pahrump station into Las Vegas. But as the staff discuss the viability of scaling up programming while managing existing deadlines, tensions boil over between news director Deanna O’Donnell, co-anchor Eunette Gentry, and the rest of the news team.
September 2020. With his expansion plans delayed due to COVID-19, Vern focuses on making a commercial to attract local advertisers. Meanwhile, as the station welcomes a new husband-and-wife team, weatherman John and news reporter Missey Kohler, a string of unexpected departures sends Deanna’s stress soaring.
Just as election season takes KPVM by storm, the Trump campaign comes to town. Though Deanna, Eunette, and Missey try their best to maintain neutrality and ensure both sides of the aisle are represented, Vern’s conservative views take centerstage. Meanwhile, weatherman John dons several hats as reporter, technician, and fill-in host of the station’s recurring “Save a Pet” segment.
–Episode 4: “Trunk or Treat”
Debut date: MONDAY, AUGUST 09 (9:30-10:00pm ET/PT)
As the election and Halloween come knocking at Pahrump’s door, Deanna organizes a socially-distanced trick or treat event for the community. Vern and the team prepare for their live election coverage, while Eunette returns to the station after dealing with several personal losses.
–Episode 6: “Vegas or Bust” Debut date: MONDAY, AUGUST 16 (9:30-10:00pm ET/PT)
As Vern’s vision to build a KPVM branch in Las Vegas comes to fruition, Eunette and Missey eye opportunities in the new market, while Deanna remains skepticalabout shifting her focus from Pahrump. Meanwhile, weatherman John takes on a new role in sales, and Vern’s wife Ronda composes a jingle for an advertiser.
The other entry for the month is OBAMA: IN PURSUIT OF A PERFECT UNION debuting TUESDAY, OCTOBER 03 (9:00-10:40pm). This three-part documentary, with additional parts airing Wednesday and Thursday at the same time, chronicles the personal and political journey of President Barack Obama, as the country grapples with its racial history. Weaving together conversations with colleagues, friends and critics, and interspersed with his own speeches and news interviews, the series begins with Obama’s childhood and takes us through his perspective as the son of a white mother from Kansas and an African father, his spiritual formation by a generation of Black leaders, and his hopes for a more inclusive America.
Part One looks back over Obama’s upbringing by a single mother from Kansas and white grandparents, his early schooling in Hawaii and his education at Columbia University and Harvard Law School. Part Two takes us from Obama’s presidential bid to his election to the White House in November 2008, exploring the obstacles and successes along the campaign trail. Part Three takes us to the White House years and the formidable hurdles that Obama faced trying to pass legislation in a bitterly divided Congress.
HBO Max Original Documentary: Two films debut this month. The first takes us back to a key modern event the other looks back on a modern cinematic masterwork. Debuting first is BETRAYAL AT ATTICA. It comes to the service on SUNDAY, AUGUST 01. On September 13, 1971 the State of New York shot and killed 39 of its own citizens, injured hundreds more, and tortured the survivors. The plan to retake D Yard led to one of the bloodiest days in American history and set the stage for the worst aspects of modern policing. Radical lawyer Elizabeth Fink tells the story of the Attica prison rebellion, and how she exposed the cover up that went on for decades. The second work, which uploads on THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, is EYES ON THE PRIZE: HALLOWED GROUND. The critically acclaimed documentary series on civil rights in America, Eyes On The Prize, tells the landmark story of the era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement like no other. Now this documentary special honors that PBS masterpiece and conjures ancestral memories, activates the radical imagination and explores the profound journey for Black liberation through the voices of the movement. The original work is available on HBO Max now.
HBO MAX Original Special: Standup seems far, few and in between nowadays so we like to single a gig out when it happens. So, here we note MARLON WAYANS: YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS. Check it out beginning THURSDAY, AUGUST 19. What is Marlon’s life-long fear? Exactly what you would expect: people with outie belly buttons. Marlon digs deeper to explore other fears as well, such as raising a daughter, dealing with a rebellious teenage son, and probably his greatest fear, the realization that his bad decisions are what tore his family apart. Marlon’s journey towards self-awareness can be encapsulated in the simple phrase… “You know what it is.” The special is produced by Ugly Baby Productions and Dakota Pictures. Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez, Troy Miller, Michael Rotenberg, and Steve Harris serve as executive producers. This marks the first project to debut through Wayans overall deal with HBO Max.
HBO Kids & Family: Two big specials are here for the kiddies, both from classic characters. OnAUGUST 05catch FURRY FRIENDS FOREVER: ELMO GETS A PUPPY. Yay! In this special, Elmo and Grover discover a sweet, stray puppy – whom they quickly name Tango – and embark on an adventure throughout the neighborhood with Sesame Street friends Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, and Oscar the Grouch. Together, they search for the local pet adoption fair in the hopes of finding her a “forever home.” Then onAUGUST 19go crazy with LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS BACK TO SCHOOL.
HBO Sports:This first sports title technically debuted onFRIDAY, JULY 30 (11:00pm-12:00am)but the announcement happened well after this post went up for July. So, I will give it its due here. 29-time Emmy winner Bob Costas, the only broadcaster to receive Emmys in the news, sports and entertainment categories, returns to HBO for BACK ON THE RECORD WITH BOB COSTAS. Each episode of the series will feature extended conversations with the biggest names in sports, from present-day superstars to legends of the past to commissioners and other newsmakers from the sports landscape; roundtable discussions with compelling figures from the sports world and beyond; and signature commentaries from Costas himself that capture his distinctive voice and point of view. Also in August, another favorite sports series returns. Get excited for HARD KNOCKS: DALLAS COWBOYS. This season’s five-episode series highlights the five-time Super Bowl champion NFC East franchise and debutsTUESDAY, AUGUST 10 (10:00-11:00pm ET).Other hour-long episodes of the first sports-based reality series – and one of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV – debut subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, culminating in the September 07 season finale. HARD KNOCKS will have encore plays Wednesday nights and will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max.
The series 100 FOOT WAVEwipes out with its last episode onSUNDAY, AUGUST 22. REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL offer episode #292 onTUESDAY, AUGUST 24 (10:00-11:00pm). Recently the show gave screen time to NBA Players in the cannabis business; animal hunting contests and a chess prodigy.
HBO Latino:Three new movies are presented in August. The latest is SINALIENTO (Breathless) in which Santo Domingo DNCD detective Manolo Perez battles cancer while trying to bring down an infamous drug cartel. It plays FRIDAY, AUGUST 06 (8:00-9:50pm) starring Elvis Nolasco.HALF BROTHERSis the other movie and it debuts FRIDAY, AUGUST 20 (9:40-10:10pm.) This 2020 movie is also on HBO that night but starts there at the earlier time of 8:15pm. Preceding it is the other flick called REEFA; that’s FRIDAY, AUGUST 20 (8:00-9:40pm). This poignant, fact-based story chronicles the life of the late Colombian graffiti artist Israel ”Reefa” Hernandez Jr., who died at the age of 18 after he was tasered by Miami police. Also, on the channel and uploading to HBO’s International section is Season Three of HARD. It begins FRIDAY, AUGUST 16 (11:00-1135pm). Oh, that’s the show about the widow who inherits her late husband’s unknown porn film studio.
Other Movies & Shows:First a slew of movie titles for you. HBO (both on its channels and on its site) offers such works as 1996’s 2 Days in the Valley, 1982’s Anna to the Infinite Power, 2014’s Blue Ruin, both the 1974 and 2013 versions of The Great Gatsby, 20212’s Nobody Walks and 1980’s Popeye (pictured). Exclusively playing on HBO Max are titles like 1994’s Woodstock (Director’s Cut), 1997’s Spawn, Sex and the City and Sex and the City 2, 2018’s Mr. Soul and 1958’s Horror of Dracula.
In series content, uploading on AUGUST 03 will be Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman from 1998; on AUGUST 08 find A Different World from 1987-1993 and on AUGUST 12 Top Gear Season 29 appears.
Next Month’s Tease:This might be a tough one – do Johan and Marianne of Scener ur ett äktenskap ring a bell?
Last month’s answer – No sooner had I raised the question than HBO came up with last month’s answer. We asked if you could guess the NFL team to be featured on HARD KNOCKS this year. The Dallas Cowboys take the prize!
Final Clip: Sorry guys, but I am old school HBO so, I’ve got to go with the return of Bob Costas.
Enjoy the month! Discover HBO.
About The Author
Editor at Large of HBOWatch.com and the internet's foremost HBO expert.