Schools are now ending for the season and gardens & vacations are in the planning stages. Itcan be a busy time of year so when you do finally get to sit in front of a TV you want to enjoy quality programming and that is why you sit in front of HBO. We hope this post will make planning your HBO viewing schedule a bit easier. Let’s look at what is in store for June.
Theatrical Movies: June is packed with five (5) weekends and we all know HBO places all their big premieres on Saturdays & Sundays. Saturday nights are reserved for the network’s premieres of theatrical movies. A different movie debuts on that night throughout the month and repeats a number of times and also shows up on HBOGo. The movies in June are TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE; DARK SHADOWS; THE DARK KNIGHT RISES; PITCH PERFECT and THE WATCH.
Starting us off is my man Clint Eastwood. I like most of his earlier work as opposed to the movies from his senior years. Of course, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE is one from his latter period. He plays a baseball recruiting scout who, due to failing health, should retire. But, there is one more scouting trip ahead of him as long as he doesn’t go alone. The team management arranges for his estranged daughter to go with him and in that lies the story. The movie is more about their poor relationship than it is about the importance of baseball. Mr. Eastwood does not direct this one; Robert Lorenz does. Also in the movie is Amy Adams as the daughter and Justin Timberlake & John Goodman. Some reviews claimed it was watchable though predictable.
The next week (06.08) has another favorite starring in DARK SHADOWS. Our lead is Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins a campy vampire back from the dead. This movie, directed by Tim Burton, shares characters and the locale from the original ABC soap opera of the same name and that is about it. It has the typical, lush visual appeal that Burton uses but that didn’t seem to help it at the box office or in the reviews. Apparently Collins was a part Depp always dreamed of playing and got his favorite director to come on board. If you are fans of either talent than check it out and if you are old enough to remember Dark Shadows don’t expect it here, though the original Barnabas, Jonathan Frid, does cameo.
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES appears 06.15. I’m sure I really don’t have to launch into some quick sentences about plot here for this one. It had strong box office dominance when it hit cinemas and is the ultimate finish to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. If you need to watch Bane and Batman square off again, however, I’ll understand. On 06.22 HBO airs a comedy called PITCH PERFECT. Though Tony nominee Anna Kendrick was the lead in this movie a stand out performance was noted by the Australian comedienne Rebel Wilson. The movie is al about college student who end up feeling proud and empowered being in an a cappella singing competition. Squeezing one more movie into the month on 06.29 is THE WATCH. This comedy teams up Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill as friends dedicated to be a part of a Neighborhood Watch. They do it not for civic-minded reasons but to get out of household chores and end up saving the world. Of course they do.
HBO gives you plenty of opportunity to watch it and the other movies making their HBO debuts in June. For me, if I happen to be at the TV at the right time I might check out one myself. That was the case in May when I caught ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER. I watched it on my laptop by the glow of my keyboard and it was a good but absurd romp. My Beloved and I enjoyed MOONRISE KINGDOM together as well. It is a nice piece of storytelling if you haven’t seen it. Now, before we get to what you really want to know about, HBO’s original content, here is the movie trailer of the month –
Originals: In June we have a lot coming and going. On the dramatic series front we have one series concluding and another one starting up another run. That is also the case for comedic series on the network. First, the dramatic side of things: the conclusion of GAME OF THORNES and the return of TRUE BLOOD.
GAME OF THRONES airs it final two (2) episodes of the season on 06.03 & 06.09. First is episode # 29 – The Rains of Castamere in which, among other things, Jon faces his hardest test yet and Bran discovers a new gift. The season finale is entitled Episode # 30 – Myhsa. Here we will seeJoffrey challenging Tywin; Daenerys awaiting her destiny and in Dragonstone we learn that mercy comes from strange quarters. Intrigued? I bet you are.
Are you as equally intrigued by the return on TRUE BLOOD? Here is a brief look at the three episodes airing in June: Episode #61 – Who Are You, Really? where we will seeBill’s bloody reincarnation ushering in a new era for vampires, faeries and humans alike. It premieres on 06.16. Circle that date on your calendar in blood red ink. On 06.23 is Episode #62 – The Sun. In this one Sookie meets a handsome stranger; Eric takes on the governor & Bill contemplates his new powers. Ending the month on 06.30 is Episode #63 – You’re No Good. That episode showsBill looking for a solution to an impending catastrophe; Eric taking a hostage, while Sam tries to recover one. And before you know it we are three episodes in but, remember, this is a shortened season so don’t miss it!
Let’s move on to the comedies that grace the channel. Concluding a riotous Season Two is VEEP. There are still four (4) episodes to go for Selina Meyer’s and staff beginning on 06.02 at 10:00pm. That one is called Episode # 15 – Shutdown. Amidst a government shutdown, Selina is forced to furlough some of her staff. She has no control over the inanity to follow. The 06.09 show is Episode #16 – First Response in which another interview, this time at home, goes horribly wrong for the VP. Episode # 17 – Running (06.16) finds Selina ignoring the POTUS’s wishes to limit public appearances. The season finale on 06.23 finds everyone in hot water once again as the administration ends up in full crisis mode leaving the VEEP’s future in doubt and the entire staff on a frenzied job hunt. As that show winds down though another one, FAMILY TREE, has just started up. It airs Sunday night at 10:30pm. Five episodes air in June. First is Episode #03 – The Austerity Games (06.02) in which Tom Chadwick learns why his great-aunt left him the chest of curios. Episode # 04 – Country Life (06.09) finds Tom connecting with his American kin. Episode # 05 – Welcome to America (06.16) has Tom finally meeting family in the States. Episode # 06 – Civil War (06.23) shows Tom in a Civil War reenactment as he explores the American side of his family. And finally Episode # 07 – Indians (06.30) gives us Tom as he discovers his Native American roots. All this unfolds weekly with tip-top improv and wordplay. It is not to late to enjoy FAMILY TREE.
Other original content on HBO includes REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER which has four (4) new episodes Friday nights at 10:00 on 06.07, 06.14, 06.21 & 06.28. Concluding in June, sadly for this writer, right after Maher is VICE. Episode # 09 airs 06.07 and the season finale is 06.14. Keep a look out right here on HBOWatch for posts about all these shows. We got them covered.
Documentary: The HBO Documentary Summer Series begins in June.That means every Monday night in June, July and into August HBO will air a different documentary, ten in total. All the details can be found in this post but here are the titles that start off the series. PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER starts it off on 06.10; LOVE, MARILYN graces the screen on 06.17 and MISS YOU CAN DO IT appears on 06.24. Again, check the linked post for more detail.
Another documentary, however, airs in June and oddly it is not associated with the summer series. It is called THE OUT LIST. It debuts Thursday, 06.27 at 9:30pm. In this piece a diverse cross-section of interviewees share personal and professional stories, both heart-wrenching and triumphant, of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer experience. In this enlightening one-hour portrait of contemporary gay life in America, director/producer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (creator of THE BLACK LIST and THE LATINO LIST, both seen on HBO) films an extraordinary array of people of varying backgrounds and experiences. From actor Neil Patrick Harris and athlete Wade Davis to politician Christine Quinn and the Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, the subjects speak to the unique struggles and triumphs they have faced.
Specials: Nothing is scheduled for June, but just to test to see if you are reading this – I can tell you Warwick Davis has a special coming up in July.
Sports: BOXING AFTER DARK plays big in June starting on 06.08 at 10:00pm. It is a doubleheader with CHAD DAWSON VS. ADONIS STEVENSON and YORIORKIS GAMBOA VS. DARLEY PEREZ. The first fight, a scheduled 12-round bout has southpaw Dawson (31-2,17 KOs) return to the light heavyweight division to face Haitian-born Stevenson (20-1, 17 KOs) who dukes it in his home country of Canada. The second bout of the night, also a 12-rounder, matches two fast rising, undefeated lightweights. Gamboa is 22-0, 16 KOs and Perez stats are 28-0, 19 KOs. Someone is going to walk away with their first loss here but, HBO Boxing fans certainly won’t lose out. If a doubleheader isn’t enough then on 06.29 (with a 9:45pm start time) check out the tripleheader event. BOXING AFTER DARK offers GENNADY GOLOVKIN VS. MATTHEW MACKLIN followed by THOMAS OOSTHUIZEN VS. BRIAN GONZALEZ and wrapping up with WILLIE NELSON VS. LUCIANO CUELLO. In the first bout Golovkin (26-0, 23KOs defends his middleweight title against Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) Next another pair of undefeated pugilists take to the ring when Oosthuizen (21-0-1, 13 KOs) takes on Gonzales (17-0, 10 KOs). The third matchup that night features light middleweight prospect nelson (20-1 , 12 KOs) trading punches with Argentina’s Luciano Cuello (32-2, 16 KOs).Also up in sports for June is both current sport magazines. A new edition of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL debuts 06.25 at 10:00pm and THE FIGHT GAME JIM LAMPLEY delves into boxing debuting 06.29 at 12:30am.
Other Movies & Shows: Since HBO viewers should be spending more times outdoors being active as the weather gets nicer it is more likely when you do finally come in for TV that you might find a random entertainment choice on the channel and/or the other channels in the family. So here is the usual random samplings of shows that might catch your eyes in June. The movie CHRONICLE appears five times through the month and Steven Soderbergh’s CONTAGION appears seven different times. You can also catch a few episodes of FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS and the HBO Original Film: THE LARAMIE PROJECT. There are some more flicks but they only appear once or twice on the schedule. I’m sure you’ll stumble across something.
HBO’s Other Platforms: As usual we offer a few items from the other channels in the HBO network. HBO Latino has ELLIOT LOVES. It is a story showing two different stages in a Dominican-American’s life; first as a boy trying to bond with his young mother, then a 21-year-old looking for love in New York City. HBO Family premieres THE ODD COUPLE II. In it Oscar and Felix take a road trip to their son and daughter’s wedding. I only mention it because I didn’t even know there was a sequel with the original actors Walter Matthau (Oscar) and Jack Lemmon (Felix). HBO Signature shows two debuts to the channel. Has anyone heard of SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD? It is about how they tidy up their lives as an asteroid nears Earth. Well, it is one I missed starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightly. There is also LOLA VERSUS. The premise is – dumped by her boyfriend just three weeks before their wedding, Lola enlists her close friends for a series of adventures she hopes will help her come to terms with approaching 30 as a single woman. HBO Comedy lists a short film in its lineup. It is called LOVE, NY and is only sixteen minutes long. They must be showing this because they think the director/writer must be an up-and-comer. His name is Vincent Lin and his piece is about a jaded bartender who takes a lost tourist on an unforgettable adventure in the city that never sleeps. This reminds me of the day when HBO showed short films on the channel all the time. HBOGO: Coming up on the site in June are some diverse titles. The MATRIX trilogy, ANNIE HALL, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, ANNA AND THE KING, DUNE and CATHOUSE: THE MUSICAL all appear in June. Unfortunately, FAMILY TREE is the only addition in the series category. Cinemax highlights in the Online Guide the following movies: THE CAMPAIGN on 06.01; KILLER JOE on 06.03; SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN on 06.08; THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL on 06.11 and ROCK OF AGES on 06.22
I think you get the idea; HBO will be there when you decide to come inside. You should find something, interesting, shocking or funny and that is just the reason why we love HBO. I leave you with a sample of the funny; I leave you with VEEP.
About The Author
Editor at Large of HBOWatch.com and the internet's foremost HBO expert.