Can you believe that the daylight is getting shorter already? Can you believe that we are to July? Amongst all the summer fun you try to cram into your schedule, we can only assume by your presence here that you like to fit some of HBO into that schedule as well. We try out best here to spell out what is ahead from one of your favorite TV destinations. Below are some highlights for July. 2018.
Original Series: New to the channel is a long-gestating limited series, which is a format HBO has been quite successful at with the likes of THE YOUNG POPE, THE NIGHT OF and BIG LITTLE LIES.
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”), directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Emmy winner for HBO’s BIG LITTLE LIES) and with Marti Noxon (Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Unreal) as series showrunner, SHARP OBJECTS, an eight-episode limited drama series debuts SUNDAY, JULY 08 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT). The show stars five-time Oscar nominee five-time Academy Award-nominee Amy Adams (“Arrival,” “Nocturnal Animals”) as Camille Preaker, a city journalist with a troubled history, who returns to her rural hometown of Wind Gap, Mo. to cover the apparent murders of two preteen girls. Trying to put together a psychological puzzle from her past, Camille finds herself clashing with her overbearing mother, falling back into a dangerous habit and identifying with the young victims a bit too closely. The series also stars Patricia Clarkson and Chris Messina (HBO’s THE NEWSROOM) and Eliza Scanlen.
–Episode #1: “Vanish” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 08 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT)
Camille Preaker (Amy Adams), a reporter for the St. Louis Chronicle, is sent to her rural hometown of Wind Gap by her editor, Curry (Miguel Sandoval), to file a story about two missing girls, one of whom was found dead and presumed murdered. The assignment, which reunites Camille with her overbearing mother, Adora (Patricia Clarkson), stepfather, Alan Crellin (Henry Czerny), and half-sister, Amma (Eliza Scanlen), brings back traumatic childhood memories, including the death of Camille’s younger sister, Marian (Lulu Wilson), when both were schoolgirls. Tormented by her past and seeking refuge through alcohol, Camille joins Detective Richard Willis (Chris Messina) and Chief of Police Vickery (Matt Craven) in following leads around town that might shed light on the fate of the most recent missing girl. Written by Marti Noxon; directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
–Episode #2: “Dirt” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 15 (9:00-10:0pm)
Camille (Amy Adams) searches for clues at the funeral and wake for Wind Gap’s latest victim and clashes with her mother (Patricia Clarkson) over Camille’s presence in the town. Richard (Chris Messina) finds a surprising way to arrive at a conclusion about the murderer’s profile. Camille pays a visit to the working-class home of a young boy (Matty Evers) who says he witnessed the abduction and confronts Chief Vickery (Matt Craven) about why he ignored the boy’s claim. Written by Gillian Flynn; directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
–Episode #3: “Fix” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 22 (9:00-10:00pm)
Camille (Amy Adams) relives a recent tragedy as she struggles to piece together the murders in Wind Gap. Richard (Chris Messina) grows frustrated with Chief Vickery’s (Matt Craven) assumptions regarding potential suspects. A defiant Amma (Eliza Scanlen) shows off her wild side to Camille, while Adora (Patricia Clarkson) admonishes Camille for meddling in the investigation and a town in mourning. Written by Alex Metcalf; directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
–Episode #4: “Ripe” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 29 (9:00-10:00pm)
Camille (Amy Adams) agrees to show Richard (Chris Messina) some of Wind Gap’s crime scenes, though the tour opens up old wounds. Alan (Henry Czerny) confronts Adora (Patricia Clarkson) about her sharing confidences with Chief Vickery (Matt Craven), who is concerned about the Crellins hosting the annual “Calhoun Day” attended by Wind Gap’s youth. Fired from his job at Preaker Farms, John (Taylor John Smith) shares off-the-record revelations with Camille that raise fresh concerns for her. Written by Vince Calandra; directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
The drama series SUCCESSION continues with new episodes SUNDAY, JULY 01 (10:00-11:00pm), followed by other new episodes debuting subsequent Sundays at the same time. The series explores themes of power, politics, money and family, played out within a rich and dysfunctional family whose patriarch, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), is CEO of one of the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerates. In light of his advancing years, it is widely anticipated that Logan’s retirement is imminent, and each of his four grown children is focusing on a personal agenda that may or may not sync with those of their siblings, or of Logan himself. HBOWatch has been keeping you in touch with the series each week and will continue to do so in July.
The show also stars Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Alan Ruck, Hiam Abbass, Nicholas Braun and Matthew Macfadyen. Created by Oscar and WGA nominee Jesse Armstrong; Armstrong, Adam McKay, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick, Will Ferrell, Jane Tranter and Mark Mylod executive produce; Armstrong serves as showrunner.
–Episode #5: “I Went to Market” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 01 (10:00-11:00pm)
After hearing Logan’s plan to expand to local TV, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) begins to plot a vote of no confidence against his father. Greg (Nicholas Braun) drives his ornery grandfather, Ewan (James Cromwell), from Canada to New York for a Thanksgiving reunion with Logan (Brian Cox). Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) grows increasingly concerned about the terms of his prenuptial agreement with Shiv (Sarah Snook) and recruits Greg for a clandestine task. The family is surprised by Connor’s (Alan Ruck) choice of date at Thanksgiving dinner. Written by Georgia Pritchett; directed by Adam Arkin.
–Episode #6: “Which Side Are You On?” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 08 (10:00-11:00pm)
With the vote of no confidence against Logan (Brian Cox) approaching, Roman (Kieran Culkin) attempts to sway a neutral board member, while Kendall (Jeremy Strong) frantically shores up his “yea” votes. Logan arrives in Washington to meet with the president, but worries he’s been snubbed following a last-minute cancellation. After successfully thwarting a potential scandal, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) introduces Greg (Nicholas Braun) to fine dining, while Shiv (Sarah Snook) explores her options in D.C. Written by Susan Soon He Stanton; directed by Andrij Parekh.
–Episode #7: “Austerlitz” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 15 (10:00-11:00pm)
In an effort to fix his public image, Logan (Brian Cox) agrees to a family therapy session at Connor’s (Alan Ruck) New Mexico ranch, intending it to double as a publicity stunt. Lying low, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) spends time with the locals and finds his sobriety tested. Shiv (Sarah Snook) considers putting herself in a precarious situation when Nate (Ashley Zuckerman) pushes her to join the team of Gil Eavis (Eric Bogosian), a potential presidential candidate who goes against everything her father stands for. As Willa (Justine Lupe) spends more time with his family, Connor makes a hard-to-refuse proposal. Written by Lucy Prebble; directed by Miguel Arteta.
–Episode: #8: “Prague” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 22 (10:00-11:00pm)
Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) has a bachelor party to remember. Kendall (Jeremy Strong) eyes a new business opportunity with a pair of idealistic entrepreneurs. Roman (Kieran Culkin) looks to land a deal for local TV stations with his father’s longtime nemesis. Logan (Brian Cox) tasks Greg (Nicholas Braun) with acting as Kendall’s babysitter during Tom’s party. Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Gil (Eric Bogosian) get ambushed during a TV interview on a Waystar network. Written by Jon Brown; directed by SJ Clarkson.
–Episode: #9: “Pre-Nuptial” Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 29 (10:00-11:00pm)
The Roys assemble at Eastnor Castle in England to prepare for Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Tom’s (Matthew Macfadyen) wedding. The children reunite with their mother, Caroline (Harriet Walter), who is every bit as acerbic as Logan (Brian Cox). As guests mingle and clash, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) learns from Stewy (Arian Moayed) and Sandy (Larry Pine) that their plot for a hostile takeover of Waystar has been fast-tracked in order to catch Logan off-guard. Written by Jesse Armstrong; directed by Mark Mylod.
Season five of LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues with a new edition debuting SUNDAY, JULY 01 (11:00-11:30pm), followed by a brief hiatus, and a new show on July 29. I’m sure the show is no doubt demanding, but he takes a hell of a lot of time off. Nevertheless, he still takes a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, as well as addressing broader issues. Hosted by VICE Media founder Shane Smith, the innovative weekly news magazine show VICEcovers the kinds of stories often overlooked by mainstream media outlets. The Emmy-winning weekly series continues its sixth season FRIDAY, JULY 06 (7:30-8:00pm), followed by other editions subsequent Fridays at the same time.VICE NEWS TONIGHT, the half-hour nightly newscast from VICE Media and HBO, debuts a new edition MONDAY, JULY 02 (7:30-8:00pm), followed by other new editions subsequent weeknights Monday through Thursday. See below to find out why REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER is on hiatus, but first a hot topic covered on VICE.
Movies: There are some diverse and interesting movies to settle in front of on a hot summer’s night. The movies for July are JUSTICE LEAGUE, BATTLE OF THE SEXES, THE SNOWMAN and VICTORIA AND ABDUL. Gal Gadot, Emma Stone and Judi Dench in one month. Can you handle it?
When a new threat arises, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) recruit Aquaman (Jason Momoa of GAME OF THRONES), Cyborg (Ray Fisher, soon to be seen in TRUE DETECTIVE Season 3) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) to help save the planet in JUSTICE LEAGUE, debuting SATURDAY, JULY 07 (8:00-10:00pm). The film also stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams (of SHARP OBJECTS) as Lois Lane and Ciarán Hinds as the voice of the big baddie. Starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, BATTLE OF THE SEXES, debuting SATURDAY, JULY 14 (8:00-10:05pm), tells the true story of the 1973 tennis match between world champion Billie Jean King and amateur Bobby Riggs. The film was directed by Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton; written by Simon Beaufoy. Relive the ‘70’s and all the ramifications this big sports media event represents. A detective investigates the disappearance of a woman using mysterious clues in THE SNOWMAN, debuting SATURDAY, JULY 21 (8:00-10:00pm). The film stars Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson and Charlotte Gainsbourg. It looks chilling! Based on the book of the same name by Shrabani Basu, VICTORIA AND ABDUL, debuting SATURDAY, JULY 28 (8:00-9:55pm), tells the true story of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, who finds an unlikely friend in her young, Indian servant. The film stars Judi Dench and Ali Fazal.
HBO Documentary Films: A funny, intimate and heartbreaking portrait of one of the world’s most beloved and inventive comedians, ROBIN WILLIAMS: COME INSIDE MY MIND debuts MONDAY, JULY 16 (8:00-10:00pm). Told largely through Williams’ own words, the film celebrates what he brought to comedy and to the culture at large, from the wild days of late-1970s L.A. to his death in 2014. Directed by Marina Zenovich, the film explores Williams’ extraordinary life and career, revealing what drove him to give voice to the characters in his mind. With previously unheard and unseen glimpses into his creative process through interviews with Williams, as well as home movies and onstage footage, this insightful tribute features in-depth interviews with those who knew and loved him including Billy Crystal, Eric Idle, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Pam Dawber and his son, Zak Williams.
HBO Comedy Special:BILL MAHER: LIVE FROM TULSA, OKLAHOMA, his 11th solo special on the network, will air live SATURDAY, JULY 07 (10:00-11:00pm). The special is executive produced by Bill Maher, Beth McCarthy-Miller, Marc Gurvitz and Neal Marshall; directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller.
HBO Kids: Children’s penultimate series SESAME STREETcontinues its 48th season SATURDAY, JULY 07 (9:00-9:30am), followed by the July 14 season finale.
HBO Sports:REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL does its thing yet again in July. This long-running show really has highlighted all the angles and ins & outs of sports around the world. The next monthly edition debuts TUESDAY, JULY 24 (10:00-11:00pm).
Other Movies and Shows: He is a handful of new content to seek out on the main channel. BLOW stars Johnny Depp who is exhilarating as a small-town kid who rises to become a cocaine kingpin for the Medellin Cartel; MIGHTY JOE YOUNG The late Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron star in this remake of the 1949 classic of the BFF that is a 15’ gorilla; BEING JOHN MALKOVICH in which John Cusack as a street puppeteer accidentally discovers a portal that leads directly into the brain of actor John Malkovich; THE BOY DOWNSTAIRS with Zosia Mamet (HBO’s GIRLS) as an aspiring writer who returns to New York after a few years abroad following a bad breakup, only to discover that her ex-boyfriend (Matthew Shear) is living in the same Brooklyn apartment building. Also on is MYSTERY, ALASKA starring Russell Crowe about a hockey team from the tiny Alaskan town of Mystery that prepares for the game of their lives; THE SPY NEXT DOOR with Jackie Chan who mixes kung-fu and slapstick in this family film about a former superspy who wants to settle down; abducted from the side of the road, a single mom finds herself the subject of a terrifying experiment when Noomi Rapace stars in RUPTURE and Morgan Freeman narrates the Oscar-winning documentary MARCH OF THE PENGUINS. Also find FIRST LOOK: MAMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN.
HBO’s Other Platforms: Get in front of a fan or air conditioner and catch out these titles from across the channels.HBOLatino: Short films are prolific on this channel. You can find the eleven-minute THESE COLORS DON’T RUN is case in point. Movies include MISION ESTRELLA (The Highest Goal) about a grocery store delivery boy who is obsessed with a reality TV show and finally gets to live his dream of participating in the program. TESOROS, set on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, is a tale that follows young siblings Dylan and Andrea as they search for lost pirate treasure. There is also OFF THE MENU about a feisty female chef known for the best authentic food in all of the Southwest who falls for the unlikely heir to a Mexican fast-food franchise. It sounds like a Hallmark movie. Plus, we mention REINBOU (Rainbow). In this modern-day fairy tale, the son of a young revolutionary embarks on a risky mission to reconnect with him after reading about the treasure at the end of a rainbow. HBO Family: It seems like the same-old-same-old to me, but youngsters might find something new & fun. May I suggest Dwayne Johnson in TOOTH FAIRY, 2010’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON or SHREK FOREVER AFTER? Well, you got to get the kiddies out of the pool sooner or later! HBO Signature: Some modern classics to watch again here like THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, YOU’VE GOT MAIL, GOOD WILL HUNTING, SEABISCUIT, BIRD ON A WIRE and AVATAR. HBO Comedy: He is to the hope that AT&T can look at and turn channels like this one around. It needs something fresh. While we wait, watch LAUREL CANYON, LEWIS BLACK: RED, WHITE & SCREWED, JOHN LEGUIZAMO’S GHETTO KLOWN and TOUR DE PHARMACY again. HBO Zone: This is a teen-oriented channel and gives us TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE, STAR TREK: NEMESIS, DIE HARD, NINJA ASSASSIN. Out of all the tiles above let’s single out Reinbou.
HBONow/Go: The Season Four premiere of SR. AVILA appears first on the streaming sites on 07.29 before landing on TV. For those clueless the series has a retired assassin drawn back in deep to the hitman life; if you follow the series than the following is of interest: Sr. Avila is a slave to himself and, even more so, to the organization. Fear has settled inside him, and also a deep desire to take revenge. Returning from death, Avila has won a new and unexpected ally and is more determined than ever to fulfill his destiny. Will he be so lucky?
Not only are the titles mentioned elsewhere in this post on the sites, but a few more are added for you to seek out like the story of author A.A. Milne’s complicated relationship with his son Christopher Robin and how he was inspired to create the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh stories in GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, Jim Carrey in LIAR, LIAR, Kidman & Bulloch in PRACTICAL MAGIC, Witherspoon in WHIP IT and Megan Fox is the luscious teen temptress Jennifer in JENNIFER’S BODY, whose night out with an occult-obsessed rock band leaves her beaten, bruised and lusting for blood. It’s up to her mousy BFF Amanda Seyfried to find a way to stop the demonic diva before she kills again. A hilarious ensemble cast including Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Lisa Kudrow and Stephen Merchant serve up the laughs in the comedy TABLE 19. The “Coming Soon” Collection offers up episodes of BALLERS and INSECURE before their season premiers in August plus a sneak peek of some upcoming movies. Seek them and all of HBO’s series and current movies and specials on your schedule this summer and enjoy!
Cinemax: The sister channel in July features the season premiere of OUTCAST and the season finale of the miniseries C.B. STRIKE and offers exclusive movies. The suspense-horror series OUTCAST returns for its ten-episode second season FRIDAY, JULY 20 (10:00-11:00pm), followed by new episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time. The series continues to probe the mystery of what lies behind supernatural manifestations in the town of Rome, West Virginia, and why these forces are drawn to Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), a young man who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life. With the help of Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister), a preacher whose faith has been put to the test by the supernatural incidents in town, Kyle tries to protect those he holds most dear, now that the otherworldly threats prove greater in scope and number than anticipated. His struggle will grow into a fight for all of his hometown, as he discovers the haunting secrets of his own past. Created and executive produced by Robert Kirkman (“The Walking Dead”) and based on the Skybound/Image comic title by creator Robert Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta.
Other cast members in the second season include: Wrenn Schmidt (The Looming Tower, HBO’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE) as Kyle’s adopted sister, Megan Holter, a child psychologist who makes it her mission to fix the people around her; Reg E. Cathey (HBO’s THE WIRE) as Chief Giles, Rome’s chief of police, who has seen enough to know there’s some truth to his friend Rev. Anderson’s assertions about demons; Kate Lyn Sheil (HBO’s HIGH MAINTENANCE) as Kyle’s former wife, Allison Barnes, who has lingering doubts about what happened in their marriage; Julia Crockett (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) as Kyle’s mother, Sarah Barnes, whose apparent mental illness tainted his childhood; David Denman (13 Hours) as Megan’s husband, Mark Holter, a by-the-book small-town cop whose temper can get him in trouble; and Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Sidney, whose dapper appearance and smiling demeanor hide malevolence.
C.B. STRIKE continues with a new episode FRIDAY, JULY 06 (10:00-11:00pm), followed by the July 13 season finale. This miniseries is based on the best-selling crime novels by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
–Episode #6: “Career of Evil (part 1)” Debut date: FRIDAY, JULY 06 (10:00-11:00pm)
Robin (Holliday Grainger) arrives at the office to accept a package from an impatient motorbike courier. Opening it, she is horrified to discover a severed leg inside, accompanied by famous song lyrics. Interpreting this as a vendetta against him, Strike (Tom Burke) begins to pull together a list of potential suspects from his past, any of whom may have sent the macabre delivery.
One of the names, Jeff Whittaker (Matt King), relates directly to Strike’s late mother, Leda (Kierston Wareing), and he asks his longtime friend Shanker (Ben Crompton) to help him track down the degenerate musician, while Robin begins to research all three suspects. Strike and Robin’s time-consuming, close-working relationship begins to rile her fiancé, Matthew (Kerr Logan), and the couple’s arguments become more frequent. Adding fuel to the fire, their investigation takes Strike and Robin to Barrow-in-Furness for an overnight stay.
Episode #7: “Career of Evil (part 2)” Debut date: FRIDAY, JULY 13 (10:00-11:00pm)
Strike (Tom Burke) visits several London strip clubs to find out more about Niall Brockbank (Andrew Brooke), who is one of the murder suspects. Robin’s (Holliday Grainger) relationship with Matthew (Kerr Logan) hits a low point and she questions her commitment to marriage. Strike begins to narrow his field of suspects, but the killer continues to taunt them, hitting close to home when he leaves a severed thumb in Robin and Matthew’s tea kettle. Outraged and determined to trap Brockbank, Robin, unbeknownst to Strike, pays Shanker (Ben Crompton) to lead her to Niall’s home, where she tries to question his girlfriend (Emanuella Cole). Brockbank returns home and Robin finds herself in a fight for her life. “Career of Evil” also stars Andrew Brooke, Emmanuella Cole, Matt King and Killian Scott; directed by Charles Sturridge; written by Tom Edge; executive produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts, J.K. Rowling, Tom Edge and Neil Blair.
To conclude, the movies the channel is touting for July include THE GREAT WALL directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Matt Damon on FRIDAY, JULY 06 (8:15-10:00pm); KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD with Charlie Hunnam debuting FRIDAY, JULY 13 (7:50-10:00pm); the FF gang inTHE FATE OF THE FURIOUS beginning FRIDAY, JULY 20 (7:40-10:00pm). Then there is HAPPY DEATH DAY. Murdered on her birthday, a college student must relive the day repeatedly until she figures out who killed her. It debuts FRIDAY, JULY 27 (8:20-10:00pm) starring Jessica Rothe.
Next Month’s Tease: HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?
Last month we gave you an actor’s name and his role. If you watch OUTCAST you know that Patrick Fugit plays the possessed Kyle Barnes in that Cinemax series.
Final Clip: Only five months until December. As we swelter in the heat here is a glimpse of THE SNOWMAN.
Discover HBO. Stop back here for more news, reviews and schedules.
About The Author
Editor at Large of HBOWatch.com and the internet's foremost HBO expert.