Here we go! We are starting off fresh and new into 2021 and you don’t know how hard I wish for everyone to have a kick-ass, rocking time in the year ahead. One constant we have will be to let lost in some quality entertainment via the Home Box Office. Be forewarned, we knew the content was going to be light at some point, due to the unnamable scourge, and that point has arrived. I bet there are still works you haven’t watched yet (HBO Max didn’t take them all) so explore and enjoy HBO across all its platforms!
A few quick points:
- EUPHORIA Returns with a Special Episode
- An HBO International Series Surfaces
- We introduce John Lurie to the lineup
- the mystery that is C. B. STRIKES Season 2
- and, THE LITTLE THINGS has a dual debut in theaters & HBO Max
Original Series: EUPHORIA returns with the second of two special episodes. This time out it follows Jules, played by Hunter Schafer, over the Christmas holiday as she reflects on the year. We already know that Jules and Rue (Zendaya) had a parting of the ways at the train station and that Rue spent her holiday moping about it. We will now look at that relationship from Jules’ perspective when “F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob” debuts SUNDAY, January 24 at 9:00pm ET/PT. It is followed at the 10:00 hour with another airing. Schafer serves as co-executive producer on this second special episode, which she co-wrote with EUPHORIA creator Sam Levinson. Now, what’s up with the seaweed?
Usually, when HBO International content makes its way to the U. S. it uploads to the HBO streaming site and some announcement advertises it is there to view. It is not very often that such content, whether it is from HBO Europe, HBO Asia or elsewhere, not only hits the sites but can also be watched on the HBO channel. But, this month, there is an exception and it is a show called 30 COINS from HBO Espana.
This eight-episode drama series, which debuts MONDAY, JANUARY 04 at 9:00pm and produced by HBO Europe in Spain, introduces viewers to a world where nothing is as it seems, and nobody can be trusted. Father Vergara (Eduard Fernández) is an exorcist, boxer and ex-convict who is exiled by the church to be the priest of a remote town in Spain. He wants to forget and be forgotten, but his enemies will soon find him. Strange things begin to happen, and an unlikely task force of Mayor Paco (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and local vet Elena (Megan Montaner) seek the truth, while reality is distorted by a cursed coin at the heart of a global conspiracy.
It is directed by Álex de la Iglesia and co-written by Álex de la Iglesia and Jorge Guerricaechevarría. Executive Producers for HBO Europe are Steve Matthews, Miguel Salvat and Antony Root. Álex de la Iglesia and Carolina Bang are Executive Producers for Pokeepsie Films. The series was produced with participation from HBO Latin America and production services for the series were provided by Pokeepsie Films.
–Season 1, Episode 01 – “Cobwebs” (Telarañas)
Debut Date: MONDAY, JANUARY 04 (9:00-10:21pm)
Series premiere. The quiet town of Pedraza is shaken by the unsettling birth of a mysterious child. As local vet Elena and Mayor Paco form a tenuous alliance to investigate the incident, they begin to unravel the troubling past of their recently appointed priest, Father Vergara and the significance of a curious coin in his possession.
–Season 1, Episode 02 – “Ouija”
Debut Date: MONDAY, JANUARY 04 (10:21-11:30pm)
Elena confronts a seemingly skeptical Father Vergara over his connection to the sudden disappearance of a neighborhood girl. As untimely deaths befall the town, marquess Roque presents Elena with an enticing job offer, and Merche urges Paco to keep his distance from the mayhem.
–Season 1, Episode 03 – “The Mirror” (El Espejo)
Debut Date: MONDAY, JANUARY 11 (9:00-10:10pm)
Elena and Paco learn the ancient origins of a book in the haunting reflection of a local couple’s mirror. When Father Vergara spends the night investigating the mirror’s trickery, he risks getting swept into a deathly portal
–Season 1, Episode 04 – “Memories” (Recuerdos)
Debut Date: MONDAY, JANUARY 18 (9:00-10:05)
Old acquaintances Sandro and Santoro delight in Father Vergara’s return to Rome. Meanwhile, in Pedraza, the townspeople struggle to make amends with an embittered Elena as Paco fights to keep her close.
Season 1, Episode 05 – “The Double” (El Doble)
Debut Date: MONDAY, JANUARY 25 (9:00-10:05)
The village is further undone by Mario’s return, sending Paco on an urgent quest for answers. As Sandro and Santoro each appeal to Father Vergara’s better nature, the hunt for the final coin puts Elena in greater danger than ever before.
A new unscripted series arrives. This one is PAINTING WITH JOHN. Part meditative tutorial, part fireside chat, each episode of this series finds cult favorite musician, actor, director and painter, John Lurie ensconced at his work table, where he hones his intricate watercolor techniques and shares his reflections on what he’s learned about life. Combining stunning images of Lurie’s paintings, original music, and irreverent point of view on tapping into your childlike artist side, his overall ambivalence toward fame, and more, the series reminds us to prioritize a little time every day for creativity and fun. It is written and directed by John Lurie; executive producers, Adam McKay, Todd Schulman; co-producer, Matt Dwyer; photographed and edited by Erik Mockus.
Hey, enough of us liked HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON to get it a second season so, you might as well check this one out also. It debuts FRIDAY, JANUARY 22 (11:00-11:20) with “Bob Ross was Wrong” and runs in that time slot for six episodes. “The Explosion Story” premieres on JANUARY 29.
REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER will return for its 19th season FRIDAY, JANUARY 15 (10:00-11:00pm live ET/tape-delayed PT), with a replay at 12:30am. Allowing Maher to offer his unique perspective on contemporary issues, the show includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists and interviews with guests.
Movies: Five Saturdays in January but only three of them actually debut new titles. We will announce what fills the rest of the schedule below, but for now, we focus on THE HIGH NOTE, THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND and DON’T LET GO.
Starting off the new year SATURDAY, JANUARY 02 (8:00-9:55pm) is THE HIGH NOTE. Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross star in this entertaining showbiz tale about the relationship between a high-maintenance pop diva and her overworked personal assistant who aspires to be a record producer. Co-starring Kelvin Harrison, Jr., and Ice Cube. Directed by Nisha Ganatra; written by Flora Greeson. The following weekend, SATURDAY, JANUARY 09 (8:00-10:20pm) has Pete Davidson’s THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND. Davidson delivers a “persuasively raw” (Observer) performance in this semiautobiographical comedy-drama. Scott Carlin (Davidson) is a 24-year-old dropout with a host of issues, not the least of which is that he lost his firefighter father on 9/11. When his mother (a superb Marisa Tomei) begins dating a fireman, the troubled Scott is set on a course to try to change his life. Co-starring Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow, and Steve Buscemi. Directed by Judd Apatow; screenplay by Judd Apatow & Pete Davidson & Dave Sirus. The last new movie of the month arrives SATURDAY, JANUARY 23 (8:00-9:45pm). It is the R-rated drama DON’T LET GO. A murder mystery that packs an emotional punch, this riveting film builds breathtaking suspense off a shocking supernatural twist: a detective receives a call from his recently murdered niece. David Oyelowo stars as the lawman who must reach across time to uncover the disturbing truth behind the crime and possibly prevent it. Co-starring Mykelti Williamson, Brian Tyree Henry with Storm Reid and Alfred Molina. Directed by Jacob Aaron Estes; screenplay by Jacob Aaron Estes, story by Jacob Aaron Estes and Drew Daywalt.
HBO Documentary Films:Believe it or not, but there is no regular documentary premiere to start off the new year. We will look at a Sports Documentary in a bit, but consider January to be a time to catch up on the films you’ve missed. For example, did you see the six-part MCMILLION$ or the six-part I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK or the twelve-part THE VOW or the recently concluded four-part MURDER ON MIDDLE BEACH? Well, what are you waiting for? The docu-series AXIOS gears up for a fourth season to end the month. Find the debut installment SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31 at 6:00pm and repeating at 11:00pm. Also look for an exclusive AXIOS post from HBOWatch forthcoming.
HBO Sports: From HBO Sports and Jigsaw Productions in association with Our Time Projects comes TIGER, a two-part documentary illuminating in sweeping scope and vast detail the rise, fall, and epic comeback of global icon Tiger Woods. Part I premieres SUNDAY, JANUARY 10 (9:00-10:30pm), followed by Part II on SUNDAY, JANUARY 17 (9:00-10:45pm).
This documentary event is driven by never-before-seen footage and revealing interviews with those who know the golfer best, including his former caddy and close friend, Steve Williams; golf legend and six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo; Earl Woods’ friend and biographer, Pete McDaniel; Tiger’s first true love, Dina Parr; as well as Rachel Uchitel, the woman at the center of the sex scandal that forever altered Tiger’s world, breaking her silence with her first-ever sit-down interview about their relationship. Academy Award winner Alex Gibney executive produces alongside Sam Pollard, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello, Armen Keteyian, and Jeff Benedict. Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman and Emmy nominee Matthew Hamachek serve as directors of the two-part television presentation. REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL kicks off Season 26 on TUESDAY, JANUARY 26 (10:00-11:00pm).
Other Movies & Shows: As promised, we highlight what fills the primetime slots on the two Saturday nights without a new movie premiere. Oh, you still get movies but they will specially themed modern classics. On SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 you get two from Quentin Tarantino with KILL BILL VOL 1 beginning at the 8:00 hour and KILL BILL VOL 2 starting at 9:50pm. You remember this one, right? A blood-spattered bride left for dead at the altar. With the acid of vengeance pulsing through her veins, she has but one mission: to kill Bill. But before she can execute her final revenge, the samurai-swinging sweetheart must carve her way through Bill’s skilled legions. Uma Thurman is The Bride in this electrifying martial-arts saga. A different saga takes over the night of SATURDAY, JANUARY 30 with a triple-feature. THE MUMMY begins at 8:00 followed by THE MUMMY RETURNS at 10:05pm followed by THE SCORPION KING at 12:15am. Join Brandon Fraiser & Arnold Vosloo in the retelling of the disturbed Egyptian king and end with Dwayne Johnson (BALLERS) battling in ancient days. It will likely become the norm for a while, as production on movies had halted for months, to find these themed movie runs appearing. Enjoy them.
HBO Channels: Going into the new year we change up this section. Unless there is something truly unique, we will eliminate looking at titles from HBO Signature, HBO Comedy, HBO Family and HBO Zone. You can always find what is on these channels by going to the schedule-bot at HBO.com. Here are some interesting titles from the channel schedules. HBO2: This channel likes to run mini-marathons from time to time for you to binge watch. In January it has scheduled the ALIEN franchise to lead off the year. ALIEN airs on 01.01 at 9:05pm followed by ALIENS at 11:02pm with ALIEN 3 on 01.02 at 1:20am and then ALIEN: RESURRECTION at 3:15am. It concludes with AVP: ALIEN VS PREDATOR at 5:05am. All twelve episodes of I MAY DESTROY YOU air on 01.02 beginning an 12:00pm-6:20pm. Season One of PERRY MASON plays on 01.03 from 12:00-8:00pm. HBO Latino: Debuting on 01.01 on this channel is EL AMOR NO PUEDE ESPERAR (Love Can’t Wait). Filmed in one continuous shot, this romantic comedy follows a man and a woman who form a bond while they are trapped together in the last video store in the city. Starring Monica Huarte, Adal Ramones, Arturo Beristain, Jorge Adrian Espindola, Andres Chairez, and Daniel Shain. Written and directed by Juan Carlos Carrasco. SI YO FUERA RICO (If I Were Rich) arrives on 01.15. After his wife files for divorce, a man wins millions in the lottery and tries to hide it from her until the split is finalized so he won’t have to share any of the money. Alex Garcia, Alexandra Jimenez, Jordi Sanchez, and Adrian Lastra star in this comedy. Directed by Alvaro Fernandez Armero; written by Angela Armero, Alvaro Fernandez Armero, Tom Fernandez. On 01.29 we get ANIMO JUVENTUD! (Go, Youth). This coming-of-age tale told in a series of intertwined, nonchronological stories explores the loves, dreams, and fears of four teens in Mexico City who rebel against the adult world. Starring Inaki Godoy, Daniela Arce, Rodrigo Cortes, Mario Palmerin. Written and directed by Carlos Armella. All three of these movies begin at 8:00pm.
HBO Streaming: Now for the C.B. STRIKE: LETHAL WHITE conundrum. Do you recall the Cinemax series? Based on the bestselling novels written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, miniseries C. B. STRIKE follows a war veteran turned private detective, who operates out of a tiny office in London’s Denmark Street. Although wounded both physically and psychologically, his unique insight and background as a military police investigator prove crucial in solving complex crimes that have baffled the police. Cinemax aired the three sets of episodes called “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” in three parts, “The Silkworm” and “Career of Evil,” each with two parts. Well, the next season is called “Lethel White” and it can be found everywhere but on Cinemax! Though its site announces it, it is not on Cinemax’s schedule but, can be found on HBO, HBO Max and the HBO Channel beginning with Part I on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20 at 10:00pm. Part II is on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27 at the same time with a third installment, at least, in February. WarnerMedia’s methods are confounding, aren’t they? But, at least, the obligation of more C. B. Stike has been met. Note, there isn’t even a WarnerMedia trailer; we had to use the BBC one.
Both seasons of Cinemax’s WARRIOR will also be parked on the site. There is also the newly uploaded “Film Festival Shorts” Collection. Included here are 19 films like FINE CHINA, DAYS AFTER YOUR DEPARTURE, SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS, LONELY BLUE NIGHT, THE FISHERMAN and FLIGHT. Seek them out for quick films about 15-20 minutes each. Movies coming to the streamer include THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN, DIM SUM FUNERAL, THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN, HEAVEN HELP US, ROLLERBALL and WALK OF SHAME.
HBO Max:I never can figure out why it is so hard to lock in an upload date for works prior to announcement but it is a frequent occurrence here. Here are premieres with no confirmed date. There is also no key art or trailers. Sometime is January you can begin the series ARTHUR’s LAW, THE EVENT, PERFECT LIFE and POSSESSIONS and the movie LOCKED DOWN. Here is a look at each:
ARTHUR’S LAW – The unemployed Arthur Ahnepol (Jan Josef Liefers) ekes out a bleak existence. Drawn from the strains of his unhappy marriage and bored to death, he makes a morbid plan: he wants his obnoxious wife to die. With the money from the life insurance there’s no obstacle for a restart with his beloved mistress. But an unwritten law dominates the life of the unlucky fellow: every problem solved by Arthur has a far worse effect. And so, he sets off an avalanche of disastrous events. THE EVENT – An unprecedented look behind the scenes of the extraordinary events created by Wolfgang Puck Catering and legendary restaurateur Wolfgang Puck. From Renegade 83, each one-hour episode will follow various members of Puck’s team as they strive to amaze clients and surpass even the highest expectations. I know, with a title like that you thought you were getting a THE LEFTOVERS, THE 100 or UNDER THE DOME type action series. PERFECT LIFE – Maria, Esther and Cristina are three women in the middle of a life crisis. They have realized that the plans they had made for themselves haven’t really gotten them the long-promised happiness they yearned for. Together, they will find alternatives and make decisions that will lead them away from what society expects from them. They will soon realize that life doesn’t necessarily have to be what they always imagined. POSSESSIONS – The series tells the story of Natalie, a young French expatriate in Israel, who is charged with the murder of her husband on their wedding night. Karim, a French diplomat in charge of helping French citizens who have to deal with the Israeli authorities, slowly falls for Natalie. He cannot figure out whether the young lady is deeply lost and vulnerable, or dangerously manipulative. Obsessed with this case, Karim dives into Natalie and her family’s mysterious past. The Max Original Film LOCKED DOWN is a story that fits perfectly in 2020. Just as they decide to separate, Linda (Anne Hathaway) and Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) find life has other plans when they are stuck at home in a mandatory lockdown. Co-habitation is proving to be a challenge, but fueled by poetry and copious amounts of wine, it will bring them closer together in the most surprising way.
What we can share with you in more detail are the series SEARCH PARTY and GOMORRAH that have new seasons available soon. In SEARCH PARTY Season 4, “Dory” (Alia Shawkat) is held prisoner by her psychotic stalker “Chip” (Cole Escola), who is determined to make Dory believe that they are best friends. Meanwhile, “Portia” (Meredith Hagner) is starring in a film about the trial, although not as herself; “Elliott” (John Early) has switched party lines to become a far-right conservative talk show host; and “Drew” (John Reynolds) is trying to escape his dark past by working as a costumed cast member in a theme park. It uploads JANUARY 14. Coming to the site on JANUARY 21 is GOMORRAH Season 3. The iconic Italian crime series Gomorrah is based on Roberto Saviano’s bestselling book that examines the account of the decline of Naples under the rule of the Camorra. Also with new episodes in January are SELENA + CHEF and LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS. In this latest batch, Taz stars in his first full-length Looney Tunes Cartoons short when he takes on Bugs Bunny in a Roman coliseum. If Bugs makes it out of the arena, there will be plenty of foes waiting to match wits with him including Elmer Fudd, a leprechaun and Cecil Turtle. Daffy and Porky continue their misadventures from skydiving to solving the mystery of Porky’s missing pants! Fan-favorites Sylvester and Tweety along with Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner also come along for the ride in these ten all-new animated episodes. It’s an all-new year with all-new Looney!
The biggest news in movies is the announcement of another dual debut (both in theaters & HBO Max) of another big–screen movie. This time out it is Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto sharing the screen in THE LITTLE THINGS. They star in John Lee Hancock’s suspenseful psychological thriller about two California sheriffs and their growing obsession with a suspect while embroiled in the search for a killer targeting women. It releases on JANUARY 29. Plus, don’t forget that WONDER WOMEN 1984 closes its HBO Max run on JANUARY 24. Other movies arriving on site include: 42ND STREET, ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, BLADE, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, CHINATOWN, THE COLOR PURPLE, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, MYSTIC RIVER, PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE and THIS IS SPINAL TAP.
Plenty of shows are dropping to the site in the next weeks as well. Most of the titles are classics or imports from other Warner networks. A number of Batman animated works drop including the acclaimed BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and BATMAN BEYOND. Some Cartoon Network titles appear as well including ED, EDD N EDDY, COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG, THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY & MANDY and CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR. In live-action titles TNT’s SNOWPIERCER Season One pulls in as does THE ALIENIST Season 2 and all six seasons of GOSSIP GIRLS arrive. Plus, the revered miniseries from 1977, ROOTS uploads.
And there is still plenty more to find SESAME STREET is rocking its 51st season and recently added has been such titles as WONDER WOMAN, the original 1975 series with Lynda Carter and also THE MIDDLE and SOUTHLAND, Movies like GLADIATOR, MISERY, THE CROW, WESTWORLD and BILLY ELLIOT have uploaded. There are plenty of titles to explore – have at it!
Now, that is how a woman is supposed to be built! I knew I was heterosexual that day!
Cinemax: The movies Cinemax is featuring right now are: GOOD BOYS, THE KITCHEN, STUBER, 8 MILE, THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, GAMER, BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, THE FIGHTER, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM and SHAFT.
Next Month’s Tease: One of the few works Jon Stewart wrote and directed.
Last month’s answer – You had to know that the name we dropped “Eldrick Tont” was the first and middle name of the person we know as Tiger Woods. Remember, HBO Sports gives him the documentary treatment in January.
Final Clip: We showed the Coming in 2021 clip at the top of all this so, – Happy New Year!!
Enjoy the month! Discover HBO.