Well, here we are in the heart of summer. Let’s hope July is not as rain-soaked as June and that we all can find some HBO content to entertain us. We moved into another set of Sunday shows and have a special popping up so after your fun in the sun this coming month sit down to Home Box Office. Her is what is scheduled for July 2015.
Originals: We are just a couple of episodes into the return of HBO’s anthology series and two new comedies. Have you caught the start of TRUE DETECTIVE, BALLERS and THE BRINK?
Here is the nitty- gritty. TRUE DETECTIVE continues its eight-episode second season SUNDAY, JULY 5 at 9:00pm ET with other new episodes debuting subsequent Sundays. If you haven’t been watching we find that a bizarre murder brings together three law-enforcement officers and a career criminal, each of whom must navigate a web of conspiracy and betrayal in the scorched landscapes of California. Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch star. Here is what the critics have been saying:
Again, HBO is tight-lipped about episode details, but here are the titles of the episodes in July. “Maybe Tomorrow” debuts on 07.05; “Down Will Come” on 07.12; “Other Lives” on 07.19 and “Church In Ruins” debuts on 07.26.
The new comedy series BALLERS continues its ten-episode season SUNDAY, JULY 5 at 10:00pm 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 through the daily grind of the business of football. Rob Corrdry, Omar Miller, John David Washington, Donovan Carter, Troy Garity and Jazmyn Simon also star. Here are the episode details for July:
Episode #3 “Move the Chains” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 5 at 10:00pm. Hoping to attract new clients, Spencer and Joe hold a corporate event on a yacht. In their fight over Vernon, Spencer and Reggie’s rivalry hits the boiling point. Bored by retirement Charles lets loose for a night. Ricky learns his beef with his teammate, Alonzo (Antoine Harris), may be due to an unsavory connection. Written by Evan Reilly; directed by Julian Farino. Other HBO airdates: 07.05 at 1:00am & 3:00am; 07.06 12:45am; 07.07 at 10:00pm; 07.08 at 11:30pm; 07.09 at 9:00pm; 07.10 at 1:00am and 07.11 at 11:00pm.
Episode #4 “Heads Will Roll” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 12 at 10:00pm. Facing pressure from Tracy (Arielle Kebbel), Spencer pays a visit to a neurologist. Charles is pursued by a woman he met the night before, while Joe breaks the rules to bag a big client. Ricky, facing more trouble, finds himself a mantra. After Reggie tries to hijack Vernon’s re-negotiation, Spencer takes a stand. Written by Rob Weiss; directed by Julian Farino.It also airs on 07.12 at 1:00am & 3:00am; 07.13 at 1:00am; 07.14 at 11:00pm; 07.15 at 11:30pm; 07.16 at 8:30pm; 07.17 at 12:45amand 07.18 at 11:00pm.
Episode #5 “Machete Charge” Debut date SUNDAY, JULY 19 at 10:00pm
Episode #6 “Everything is Everything” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 26, at 10:00pm.
Here, before we leave this title get a peek inside the series.
The new comedy series THE BRINK continues its ten-episode season with a new episode debuting SUNDAY, JULY 5 at 10:30pm.This epic dark comedy focuses on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate, desperate men: Secretary of State Walter Larson (Tim Robbins), lowly Foreign Service officer Alex Talbot (Jack Black) and ace Navy fighter pilot Zeke Tilson (Pablo Schreiber), who must pull through the chaos around them to save the planet from World War Three. Aasif Mandvi, Maribeth Monroe, Eric Ladin, Esai Morales and Geoff Pierson also star. The episode breakdown follows.
Episode #3: “Baghdad My Ass” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 5 at 10:30pm. Alex (Jack Black) is tasked by Zaman’s (Iqbal Theba) half-brother, Raja (Bernard White), to get a message to Walter (Tim Robbins) – a mission Alex hopes will save him from being sent to Baghdad. Walter is greeted with personal and professional surprises at home before taking off for New Delhi. On the aircraft carrier, Zeke (Pablo Schreiber) and Glenn (Eric Ladin) await their inquiry into the downed drone. Written by Roberto Benabib & Kim Benabib; directed by Jon Poll. It also airs 07.05 at 12:30am & 3:30am; 07.06 at 12:15am; 07.07 at 10:30pm & 3:40am; 07.08 at 7:30pm; 07.09 at 8:30pm and 07.10 at 12:30am.
Episode #4: “I’ll Never Be Batman” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 12 at 10:30pm. In New Delhi, Walter defies doctor’s orders and meets with the Indian foreign minister (Ajay Mehta) to urge him to withdraw his troops. Zeke contemplates the merits and perils of leading a double life before he and Glenn take off on a recon mission. In Islamabad, Alex encounters resistance as he tries to deliver a package to Raja. Written by Dave Holstein; directed by Michael Lehmann. Also find it on 07.12 at 12:30am & 3:30am; 07.13 at 12:30am; 07.14 at 11:15pm & 2:45am; 07.15 at 7:30pm; 07.16 at 8:00pm and 07.17 at 12:15am.
Episode #5: “Swim, Shmuley, Swim” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 19 at 10:30pm. Zeke and Glenn narrowly escape two armed men in a tribal region before being picked up by Martin (Rob Brydon) and Vanessa (Michelle Gomez), an eccentric British couple. With Fareeda (Melanie Kannokada) missing, Alex and Rafiq (Aasif Mandvi) head to her school and encounter a group of girls with nowhere to go. Against the president’s orders, Walter pays an unscheduled visit to the Israeli foreign minister (Iris Bahr). Written by Jack Kukoda; directed by James Muro. Other HBO playdates are 07.19 at 12:30am & 3:30am; 07.20 at 11:30pm; 07.21 at 11:30pm & 2:50am; 07.22 at 7:30pm; 07.23 at 8:00pm and 07.24 at 12:45am.
Episode #6: “Tweet Tweet Tweet” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 26 at 10:30pm. Ordered to return to DC, Walter runs into Joanne (Carla Gugino) in Tel Aviv, and angles to use her new position to his advantage. Held hostage by Martin and Vanessa, Zeke and Glenn agree to participate in role-playing games in hopes of release. Later, Alex meets with Kittredge (John Larroquette), who shares a revelatory dream. Written by Sam Forman; directed by Michael Lehmann. Other HBO dates: 07.26 at 12:30am & 3:30am; 07.27 at 2:30am; 07.28 at 10:30pm & 3:20am; 07.29 at 7:30pm; 07.30 at 8:00pm and 07.31 at 11:50pm.
Hey, it’s all about diplomacy. Check the tease.
Presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues its second season with a new edition SUNDAY, JULY 12 at 11:00pm and continues on subsequent Sundays in July.
Theatrical Movies: Hey, how about a movie? Yeah, there are plenty of ways to pick a flick of choice, but we just want to remind you that Saturday nights on HBO is movie night and July has four debuts you might want to consider. They are THE BOOK OF LIFE, HORRIBLE BOSSES 2, THE MAZE RUNNER and THE DROP.
A man pursues his great love in THE BOOK OF LIFE, but there has got to be more to it than that in this charming animated adventure. How about saying it is a vibrant fantasy-adventure, which tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village. That sounds better. It debuts SATURDAY, JULY 4 at 8:00pm. It is directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez with the voices of Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Kate Del Castillo, Hector Elizondo, Diego Luna, Ron Perlman, Zoë Saldana and Channing Tatum. Debuting SATURDAY, JULY 11 at 8:00pm is yet another comedy. It is HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudekis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz. In this sequel three men plan to start their own business, but when funds run low, they attempt a kidnapping to raise money for their endeavor. Is it as funny as the first one? We’ll find out.
The last two weekends of July offer up some action. THE MAZE RUNNER debuts SATURDAY, JULY 18 at 8:00pm. After his memory is erased, a young man (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up to find himself trapped with other teenage boys in a mysterious community in this YA novel brought to life. Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter and Patricia Clarkson also star in the post-apocalyptic thriller, directed by Wes Ball, with a screenplay by Noah Oppenheim and Grant Pierce Myers and T.S. Nowlin. Then two men are caught in a robbery gone wrong, leaving them on the hook for a debt they can’t pay back in THE DROP which debuts SATURDAY, JULY 25 at 8:00pm. Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts and John Ortiz star in the gritty drama, which is directed by Michael R. Roskam with screenplay by Dennis Lehane. Since this might be the most unfamiliar film in the lineup we offer up a promo right here.
How about a bonus movie! I am not sure why, except that HBO is experimenting with testing theatrical movie premieres on Sunday nights before the original series start but Johnny Depp in TRANCENDENCE premieres SUNDAY JULY 5 at 6:55pm. Odd and I mean both the movie and the scheduling.
Specials:Depending on where you look this work is listed as a sports “documentary” and oter places as a comedy special. Since HBO is awful light on its comedy specials these days I choose to put it here. It is 7 DAYS IN HELL (which I think is not a very good title considering what it is about). It brings together Andy Samberg and Kit Harington (yes, GAME OF THRONES Jon Snow) for a look back at a pair of fictional players from the not-too-distant past, who played the longest and greatest tennis match of all time: a seven-day, five-set marathon that took literally everything out of them. In addition to highlights (and lowlights) from the match, the special looks back at the lives and careers of the competitors: Aaron Williams (Samberg), a hyper-malcontent, and Charles Poole (Harington), a dim-witted prodigy who carried England’s hopes for a tennis champion on his shoulders. It debuts SATURDAY, JULY 11 at 10:00pm. Here is a trailer that sets up just great the humor that awaits.
Documentary: Four Monday nights with non-fiction films. There are two encore presentations and two premieres. The repeats are FIRST COMES LOVE on 07.06 and CASTING BY on 07.27. First to debut, through inventive animation and music, is MY DEPRESSION (THE UP AND DOWN AND UP OF IT) which explores writer/director/composer Elizabeth Swados’ lifelong struggle with depression, as well as her efforts to keep her “cloud” at bay. Many people battle depression and if this documentary helps than more power to it. It debuts MONDAY, JULY 13 at 9:00pm. The other film is PACKED IN A TRUNK: THE LOST ART OF EDITH LAKE WILKINSON. It follows Emmy-winning writer-director Jane Anderson on her decades-long quest to find answers to the mysteries surrounding the life of her great-aunt, artist Edith Lake Wilkinson. It is always cool to discover family mysteries, right? This heartwarming documentary debuts MONDAY, JULY 20 at 9:00pm.
HBO is at it again. It loves to talk about sex. First was REAL SEX, then they tried to launch SEX/NOW and now they try again with the late night documentary series SEX ON//. According to estimates, 25% of all Internet searches are sex-related, and an annual estimate of $100 billion is spent on sex online. SEX ON// focuses on some of the ways women and men are cashing in on the craze when the late-night documentary series debuts THURSDAY, JULY 9 at 11:00pm with other new editions debuting subsequent Thursdays at the same time for six weeks.
HBO Sports: We are real light on sports in July. But we can trust our long-running sports series to be there. 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, JULY 21 at 10:00pm. Here is the type of reporting you get from this award-winning series.
Other Movies and Shows: You know there has got to be other content just to flesh out the 24-hour schedule. There are a lot of repeats and a few items that appear on the channel only once a twice within the month. Just a couple of examples are FAST AND FURIOUS 6; NORBIT, MUHAMMAD ALI’S GREATEST FIGHT and TAXICAB CONFESSIONS. On July Fourth HBO2 runs the 7-part miniseries JOHN ADAMS, which is a great HBO masterpiece if you never seen it.
HBO’s Other Platforms: Pickings seem slim but here are a few titles for July. HBO Latino: If you follow it the Season Two finale of SR. AVILA airs in July. Avila goes to great depths to erase incriminating evidence. Meanwhile, war has been declared on him by the Board of Directors and with limited options he tries to use their rules to his advantage and get out of his death sentence. ANINA premieres. Anina (pictured) is a little girl whose name is a palindrome (it’s spelled the same way in reverse)–and it’s that very fact that gets her relentlessly teased. When she fights back against a bully, both kids are given a unique punishment: they are each given a black envelope that they cannot open for one week. Over the course of those seven days, both come to learn a bit about themselves in this animated tale. Then there is PANCHO, EL PERRO MILLIONARIA (Millionaire Dog). After winning the lottery, a pampered pooch discovers that being rich isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when he becomes the target of kidnappers and unscrupulous businessmen. Ivan Massague, Patricia Conde, Armando del Rio and Alex O’Dogherty star in this family comedy. Directed and written by Tom Fernandez. HBO Family: Speaking of animals this channel always features all sorts of them. I know I have mentioned these before but this channel is really repetitive. How about FIREHOUSE DOG, DOLPHIN TALE 2, HILDAGO, DUMA and FLICKA? HBO Signature: Two supposedly first time runs on the channel include THE HOLLOW MAN, a modern day Invisible Man spin with Kevin Bacon and TWO NIGHT STAND in which a mutually agreed upon one-night fling takes an unexpected turn when the two participants get snowed in together. Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton star as the 20-somethings who hook up and shouldn’t have. But what I treally wanted to tell you about is a movie with TRUE DETECTIVE’s Rachel McAdams in it. From Richard Curtis, the director of Love Actually, comes this charming romantic comedy with a twist. After learning that he comes from a family of time-travelers, a geeky young Brit (Domhnall Gleeson) sets out to correct his past romantic blunders and woo a pretty American (Rachel McAdams) he once had a blind date with. Boy has she grown up! Here s a clip.
HBO Comedy: Another repetitive channel sadly, but it is all new stuff if you’ve never seen it, right? STORY OF US, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM and THE TRUMAN SHOW. ROBERT KLEIN: UNFAIR & UNBALANCED is my choice though. I always check out the stand-up on this channe and relive some old ones. This one was Klein’s ninth stand-up special for the network; he started way back in 1975, and I’ve seen them all. HBOGo/HBONow: Besides keeping up to date with the series episodes the biggest additions to the streaming sites are movies. Here is a title from each genre that is coming in July. Action: Chow Yun-Fat in BULLETPROOF MONK; Comedy: Whoopi Goldberg in JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH; Drama: Barbra Streisand in NUTS; Family: Eddie Murphy in THE HAUNTED MANSION; Horror/Sci-Fi: Haley Joel Osment in AI: ARTIFICIAL INTELLEGENCE; Latino: from Mexico is IN THE MIDDLE OF HEAVEN; Romance: Sandra Bullock in THE LAKE HOUSE and in Suspense: Denzel Washington in INSIDE MAN. Cinemax: The Emmy-nominated action series STRIKE BACK returns to CINEMAX for its fourth and final season on FRIDAY, JULY 31 beginning at 10:00pmThe high-octane, globe-spanning show follows two members of Section 20, a secret British anti-terrorist organization: Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), a consummate British soldier struggling to overcome tragedy in his life, and Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), a disgraced U.S. Delta Force operative who has found redemption with S-20. Michelle Lukes, Robson Green and Milauna Jackson also star. A press release singled out these two movies, OUJIA and LUCY. A circle of friends must meet their darkest fears after unleashing the evil powers of an ancient spirit board when OUIJA debuts SUNDAY, JULY 19 at 8:30pm. Olivia Cooke, Douglas Smith, Bianco Santos and Daren Kagasoff star in the horror yarn. And a woman (Scarlett Johansson) gains superpowers from a dangerous new drug that allows 100% brain capacity in LUCY, debuting FRIDAY, JULY 31 also at 8:30pm.
Next Month’s Tease: For August – this isn’t much fun when you can just Google for the quick answer, so I’m making it a bit harder this time. Al you get is – “Love’s A Bitch.”
Daedalus was the inventor of the labyrinth or maze thus the MAZE RUNNER was our tease for July. Hope you enjoy that movie and all the other content ahead.
Final Clip: What to choose? I could give you TRUE DETECTIVE title credits to enjoy yet again or a trailer for an upcoming movie or a LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER clip. Uh, and the SEXON// trailer might get me in trouble with the Editor-In-Chief for being NSFW. So here is a shout out to the Season Four premiere of Cinemax’s STRIKE BACK!
About The Author
Editor at Large of HBOWatch.com and the internet's foremost HBO expert.