In a world that seems so turned upside down for all of us those constant and steadfast things are what keep us grounded. In one small way the constant entertainment we are getting from HBO helps out – and you can watch it without a mask on! Here is what is coming in June.
A few quick points:
Erle Stanley Gardner’s PERRY MASON returns to TV.
INSECURE’s Yvonne Orji is out to make you laugh
More Stephen King on HBO with DOCTOR SLEEP
What? A New CINEMAX series?
HBO MAX !!
Original Series: 1931, Los Angeles. While the rest of the country struggles through the Great Depression, this city is booming! Oil! Olympic Games! Talking Pictures! Evangelical Fervor! And a child kidnapping gone very, very wrong. Based on characters created by author Erle Stanley Gardner, the drama series PERRY MASON follows the origins of American fiction’s most legendary criminal defense lawyer, Perry Mason. When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself. It stars Matthew Rhys (The Americans) in the title role joined by John Lithgow, Tatiana Maslany, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Stephen Root, Gayle Rankin, Nate Corddry, Veronica Falcon, Jefferson Mays, Lili Taylor, Andrew Howard, Eric Lange and Robert Patrick. The drama debuts SUNDAY, JUNE 21 beginning at 9:00pm.
Another new series coming on in June. HBO’s new half-hour series I MAY DESTROY YOU, executive produced, co-directed, written by, and starring Michaela Coel, debuts SUNDAY, JUNE 7 (10:30-11:00pm), exclusively on HBO. Note, after PERRY MASON’s debut, this series moves to MONDAY nights at 10:30pm. The series, starring Michaela Coel, is a fearless, frank and provocative series that explores the question of sexual consent in contemporary life and how, in the new landscape of dating and relationships, we make the distinction between liberation and exploitation. We actually have episode breakdowns for this one:
After visiting her aspirational long-distance boyfriend in Italy, burgeoning writer Arabella (Michaela Coel) returns to London, where she’s greeted by a deluge of frantic messages from her literary agents. With a matter of hours left to finish a draft of her second book, she plans to pull an all-nighter – but is soon tempted to join a friend on a night out. Written by Michaela Coel; directed by Sam Miller.
–Episode 2: “Someone Is Lying” Debut Date: SUNDAY. JUNE 14 (10:50-11:20 p.m. ET/PT)
Lunch with Terry (Weruche Opia) gets Arabella (Michaela Coel) thinking about the hazy events of the previous night, prompting her to probe Simon (Aml Ameen) for answers. Growing increasingly desperate to put together the pieces, Arabella drops by Simon’s apartment – and, later, finds herself at an unwelcoming doorstep. Meanwhile, Terry has a lousy audition, and a concerned Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) rushes to Arabella’s side. Written by Michaela Coel; directed by Sam Miller.
–Episode 3: “Don’t Forget the Sea”
Debut Date: MONDAY, JUNE 22 (9:00-9:30 p.m. ET/PT)
Three months earlier, Terry (Weruche Opia) visits Arabella (Michaela Coel) in Ostia, Italy, where she’s living large on her agents’ dime. After procuring party favors, Arabella and Terry each have a wild night of their own. Written by Michaela Coel; directed by Sam Miller.
–Episode 4: “That Was Fun Debut Date: MONDAY, JUNE 29 (9:00-9:30 p.m. ET/PT)
Back in London and two months after the incident, Arabella (Michaela Coel) meets with a therapist who encourages her to find relaxing and creative ways to cope with her trauma. Still anticipating the first draft of Arabella’s book, her agents assign another client, Zain (Karan Gill), to help her with the writing process. Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) introduces his modest new love interest, Damon (Fehinti Balogun), to a stranger he met online. Written by Michaela Coel; directed by Sam Miller and Michaela Coel.
Continuing in June is WE KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE on Sunday nights. The work, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance runs two more episodes starting SUNDAY, JUNE 7 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT).
–Episode 5 Debut date: SUNDAY, JUNE 7 (9:00-10:00pm)
Upon learning the details of his Sicilian grandfather’s arrival in the early 1900s to Three Rivers, Dominick (Mark Ruffalo) becomes convinced his family is cursed – a conclusion that Dr. Patel (Archie Panjabi) pushes back against. A startling update on Thomas (Mark Ruffalo) from an unlikely source prompts Dominick to take drastic action. Written for Television by Derek Cianfrance and Anya Epstein; directed by Derek Cianfrance.
–Episode 6 (Series Finale) Debut date: SUNDAY, JUNE 14 (9:00pm-10:00pm)
A lifetime of animosity between Dominick (Mark Ruffalo) and Ray (John Procaccino) spills over in public at an inopportune time. After an unexpected tragedy, Dominick seeks reconciliation with those he has hurt. The question that has plagued Dominick all his life is finally answered. Written for Television by Derek Cianfrance and Anya Epstein; directed by Derek Cianfrance.
Also concluding in June is Season Four of INSECURE. Find it SUNDAY, JUNE 7 (10:00-10:30pm).
Issa (Issa Rae) considers doing Nathan (Kendrick Sampson) a platonic favor. Meanwhile, both Dr. Rhonda (Denise Dowse) and Andrew (Alexander Hodge) ask Molly (Yvonne Orji) to consider a different approach in dealing with people who’ve wronged her, and Issa extends a timely olive branch. Written by Grace Edwards & Eli Wilson Pelton; directed by Kerry Washington.
Molly (Yvonne Orji) takes Andrew (Alexander Hodge) to a work function and they struggle to see eye-to-eye. Issa (Issa Rae) continues to search for happiness. The girls get a distressing call about a friend. Written by Prentice Penny; directed by Prentice Penny.
Yet another girl posse ends it run in June as BETTYsees its premiere season finale on FRIDAY JUNE 5.
–Episode 6: “Ladies on Fire”
Debut date: FRIDAY, JUNE 5 (11:00-11:30)
Betties, assemble – it’s time for another all-girls skate sesh. Written by Lesley Arfin; Directed by Crystal Moselle.
WE’RE HERE skips an episode on 05.28 to conclude its six-episode run THURSDAY, JUNE 4 (9:00-10:00pm). The destination is unknown as the pandemic hits. When COVID-19 disrupts their production schedule, the queens do what they do best: they make it work. Featuring some never-before-seen performances, Bob, Eureka, and Shangela reflect from the comfort of their homes on how drag changed and even saved, their lives. As the queens explore their show’s impact, they shed new light on the life-changing experiences they’ve had traveling across the country and meeting local LGBTQ community members.
Bill Maher & John Oliver are still at it in some form or fashion. Maher gives us glimpses into his house and property but Oliver still sticks to that white screen and all the imagery he can throw at it. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER continues its 18th seasonFRIDAY, JUNE 05 (10:00-11:00pm)hitting episode #535 on 06.26 and LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVERholds his time slot beginningSUNDAY, JUNE 07 (11:00-11:30pm). Maher’s remote guests, as of late, have included Rolling Stone contributing editor and podcast host, Matt Taibbi, Libertarian presidential candidate and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan and Academy Award-winning filmmaker and podcast host, Michael Moore. Oliver’s top topics he doesn’t do guests much have centered on coronavirus issues. He has talked about the lack of COVID-10 testing and the effect the pandemic has had on the sports industry. This month’s clip, however, features John on a completely different topic.
Movies:Eventually HBO is going to have a problem with Saturday night premieres as no movies have been in production for a time. But, for now it still has a few lined up. We will explore a bit about AD ASTRA, THE GOOD LIAR, FORD V FERRARI and DOCTOR SLEEP.
Brad Pitt stars in the visually stunning sci-fi epic AD ASTRA playing an astronaut traveling across the solar system in search of his long-missing father, whose doomed expedition now threatens humanity. Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler and Donald Sutherland co-star. Directed by James Gray; screenplay by James Gray & Ethan Gross. It debuts SATURDAY, JUNE 06 (8:00-10:00pm). The next week, SATURDAY, JUNE 13 (8:00-9:50pm) is THE GOOD LIAR. In this one, Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen engage in a delicious cat-and-mouse duel. It is all about a roguish con man who gets more than he bargained for when he sets out to swindle a wealthy widow. Co-starring Russell Tovey and Jim Carter. Directed by Bill Condon; screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the novel by Nicholas Searle. You’ll want to race to your favorite seat for FORD V FERRARI, right? Its HBO debut is SATURDAY, JUNE 20 (8:00-10:08pm). It was a rivalry that could only be settled on the racetrack. In one corner was the mighty master of speed, Ferrari; in the other was an American upstart, Ford. Matt Damon stars as master car builder Carroll Shelby who is tasked by Ford to craft a car that can defeat Ferrari in one of world’s most grueling races: the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Christian Bale co-stars as the volatile, but fearless driver Ken Miles who Shelby feels must be behind the wheel. Nominated for four Oscars, the film won for Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing. Co-starring Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts and Josh Lucas. Directed by James Mangold; written by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth and Jason Keller. Debuting SATURDAY, JUNE 27 (8:00-10:32pm) is DOCTOR SLEEP to end the month. In this sequel to Stephen King’s “The Shining,” the troubled, now-adult Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) meets a teen who shares his extrasensory gift of the “shine” and tries to protect her from a cult whose members feed off the shine of innocents to become immortal. Creepy!
HBO Documentary Films:First up this month isBULLY. COWARD. VICTIM. THE STORY OF ROY COHNwhich debuts FRIDAY, JUNE 19 (8:00-938pm). This film offers an unflinching look at the infamous attorney who prosecuted Ivy Meeropol’s grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and later argued persuasively for their execution in what became known as the “atomic spies” case. The film examines Cohn’s life as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy in the late 1950s, through the 1980s when he became a darling of the Reagan White House, a rabid anti-homosexuality activist and political mentor to Donald J. Trump before meeting his death from AIDS in 1986. The film draws from extensive, newly unearthed archival material, recorded at the height of Cohn’s career as a power broker in the rough and tumble world of New York City business and politics. Directed by Ivy Meeropol. Documentaries are now all over the week as the next one airs on a Wednesday. To be precise on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24 (9:00-10:36pm) is the premiere of TRANSHOOD. Filmed over five years in Kansas City, this documentary follows four transgender kids – beginning at ages 4, 7, 12, and 15 – as they redefine “coming of age.” These kids and their families show us the intimate realities of how gender is re-shaping the family next door in a unique and unprecedented chronicle of growing up transgender in the heartland. The film is a nuanced story of how parents and children are challenged, transform, and sometimes find unexpected purpose in their identities as transgender families. Moving, surprising and inspiring, this story teaches us something new about being human. Directed and produced by Sharon Liese. Another intriguing documentary series starts a six-part run on SUNDAY, JUNE 28 (10:00-11:00pm). It is I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK.This series based on the book of the same name explores writer Michelle McNamara’s investigation into the dark world of a violent predator she dubbed the Golden State Killer. Terrorizing California in the 1970s and ‘80s, the Golden State Killer was responsible for 50 home-invasion rapes and 12 murders. This series gives voice to the survivors and their families, documenting an era when sex crimes were often dismissed or hidden in shame. A timely inquiry into our macabre preoccupation with true crime and a cautionary tale of the dangerous lure of addiction, the series is a riveting meditation on obsession and loss, chronicling the unrelenting path of a mysterious killer and the fierce determination of one woman to bring the case to light. WELCOME TO CHECHNYArounds out a busy June. In the present-day Russian republic of Chechnya, gay and transgender citizens are targeted as part of a deadly “cleansing” campaign. This searing documentary shadows a group of brave LGBTQ activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing persecution, working undercover to rescue the victims of this aggression. Through a succession of safe houses and a global underground network of collaborators, the LGBTQ advocates provide victims temporary safety and urgent visa assistance, because fleeing Russia is their only chance for survival. Directed by David France. It debuts TUESDAY, JUNE 30, (10:00-11:47pm).AXIOS also continues in June. Installments air MONDAY, JUNE 8 and JUNE 22 (11:00-11:30pm.). It is a bi-weekly report.
HBO Specials:Comedian and actress Yvonne Orji (HBO’s INSECURE, Night School) celebrates her Nigerian-American upbringing in her first hour-long HBO comedy special, YVONNE ORJI: MOMMA, I MADE IT!,premiering SATURDAY, JUNE 6 (10:00-11:00pm),exclusively on HBO. Interspersed with vibrant, personal footage shot in Nigeria, Yvonne’s native home, during a milestone trip in early January 2020, this comedy special takes an intimate, hilarious look at what being Nigerian-American means to Yvonne – from her international haggling addiction and having her phone tapped by her parents as a kid, to the fine line between cursing people out and putting curses on them. The special was filmed before a live audience at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.
HBO Kids:Now in its 50th season, the award-winning SESAME STREETcontinues on HBO. But youll knew that; here is what you don’t know – the episodes for June.
“Making The Band”
Debut date: SATURDAY, JUNE 6 (9:00-9:30am ET/PT)
A rock star is performing on Sesame Street, but his equipment is in the wrong town. The gang helps build and design replacements so the show can go on. Topic: Music
“Rudy Blows His First Bubble” Debut date: SATURDAY, JUNE 13 (9:00-9:30am ET/PT)
Rudy feels frustrated that he can’t blow a bubble. With help from Elmo, Alan, and Rosita, Rudy realizes that he needs to breathe out instead of breathing in when blowing a bubble. Topic: Bubbles
“Big Bird’s Fairytale”
Debut date: SATURDAY, JUNE 20 (9:00-9:30am ET/PT)
Big Bird makes up a fairy tale about a bird named Birdie who helps a Beast learn how to be a good friend. Topic: Kindness
“Lucky’s Unlucky Day”
Debut date: SATURDAY, JUNE 27 (9:00-9:30am ET/PT)
It’s Lucky’s first day on the job as a bulldozer. When he gets upset about making mistakes, Big Bird and Nina tell him that it’s ok to make mistakes and explain that Lucky just needs to tell himself “I can do it” and try again. Topic: Construction Vehicles
HBO Sports: The stalwart still stands. REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL airs a new installment, the 278th one, on TUESDAY, June 23 (10:00-11:00pm). Here is a recent segment:
Other Movies and Shows:Just scanning the schedule I can offer up some titles to the main channel that might be of interest. How about Tom Cruise in VALKYRIE, Jamie Foxx in RAY or Robin Williams in PATCH ADAMS? Author, playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer (pictured) recently died at 84 so HBO has put into rotation its award-winning HBO Films: THE NORMAL HEART by Kramer and the documentary LARRY KRAMER: IN LOVE & ANGER. Speaking of documentaries BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN and DAVID BOWIE: THE LAST FIVE YEARS are also on the schedule. The featurette THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND: THE MAKING OF also plays.
Other HBO Platforms: It gets harder to find fresh titles for this section. HBOLatino: EL ASESINO DE LOS CAPRICHOS (The Goya Murders)debuts FRIDAY, JUNE 12 at 8:00pm. In this movie a veteran police detective and her young assistant hunt down a serial killer whose victims are art collectors and who uses their bodies to reproduce scenes from famous drawings by Goya. Ah, interesting. The following week, FRIDAY JUNE 19 beginning at 7:50pm is BAJO EL MISMO TECHO (Under the Same Roof). It is a comedy about a couple who decides to break up but can’t afford to leave the beautiful home they bought, so they end up declaring war on each other while living under the same roof; starring Jordi Sanchez and Silvia Abril. FRIDAY, JUNE 26 at 8:00pmis the date for another movie premiere on the channel. It is HORMIGAS (The Awakening of the Ants).No, it is not about mutant ants gone rouge but about a 28-year-old seamstress trying to balance her life as a wife, mother and daughter-in-law as she starts to rebel when her husband pressures her to have another child. Daniela Valenciano, Leynar Gomez and Isabella Moscoso star. HBO Signature: I’ll point out a few titles that I particularly like from this channel. I offer WATER FOE ELEPHANTS (pictured), THE LOVELY BONES, REGARDING HENRY and AMERICAN PIE.HBO Comedy:Have you heard of BIGGER THAN THE SKY, GREEN CARD, THE HOT CHICK or LITTLE? Well, you can find them on this channel alongside titles I know you have heard of like MRS DOUBTFIRE, BENNY & JOON and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.HBO Family: Let’s look at fantasy titles as ERAGON, THE BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA and FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD which can be found here.HBO Zone: JERSEY GIRL, CHOCOLAT, SHAZAM! And QUANTUM OF SOLACE, just to get a few titles up there.
HBONow/Go: Being brought to your attention for the first time is the recently loaded up SLEEPERS.It is a six-part drama series from HBO Europe which follows an incredible story taking place at the end of 1989 in Czechoslovakia when the Soviet Empire was crumbling – an era that has rarely been documented on screen. In the midst of the Velvet Revolution, which brought 40 years of Moscow’s dominance in the country to an end, an ordinary woman gets caught between the two worlds of State Security and the dissidents. She is gradually forced to uncover unexpected secrets kept by both. A look at that trailer in just a bit. A few of thecategories running right now and some of the titles curated are as follows. “Stay InWithThe Family” with SCHOOL OF ROCK, TWINS and 21 more; “TV To-Do List” says you’ve finally got time to binge the likes of BALLERS and ENTOURAGE and the “Bad Trips” Collection offers movies like SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS, THE GETAWAY and CASTAWAY as choices.
HBOMax: So have you subscribed yet? Or perhaps you have at least checked out the new site’s interface and scoped out the titles? Maybe, once the economy gets stabilized, you’ll seek out HBOMax? Here is a look at some of the content available. HBOMAX Originals at launch are LOVE LIFE(Anna Kendrick leads off this scripted anthology series about the love relationships we people have) CRAFTOPIA (a home crafts competition for kids), LEGENDARY (a completion series focusing on ballroom “voguing”), ON THE RECORD (a documentary on Drew Dixon, the music executive with bold accusations of sexual harassment against hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons), THE NOT TOO LATE SHOW WITH ELMO (yes, Muppet Elmo and celebrity guests) and LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS (new animated antics with Bugs Bunny and Co.). Find all their trailers here. Adding to them in June are kids’ adventure competition series KARMA. It takes sixteen contestants, ranging in age from 12 to 15, completely off the grid away from parents and the normal comforts of home to solve puzzles and overcome physical challenges, with the laws of karma setting the rules. The series debuts 6.18.
HBO Max theatrical highlights include Academy Award-winner Titanic, Veronica Mars, Magic Mike starring Channing Tatum, Chicago, Cabaret, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and timeless romantics You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally. There is plenty more to explore at HBOMax!
Cinemax:We have questions regarding this channel, which we will address, but for now know that a series(!) called TRACKERS debuts.
An adaptation of internationally acclaimed author Deon Meyer’s crime novel, the six-episode drama series TRACKERS, shot entirely in South Africa and debuting FRIDAY, JUNE 5 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT), deftly interweaves three story strands into a sophisticated action-packed thriller that covers the length and breadth of the country, explosively colliding in Cape Town in a violent conspiracy involving organized crime, smuggled diamonds, state security, black rhinos, the CIA and an international terrorist plot.
It stars James Gracie (Siberia, The Gamechangers), Rolanda Marais (Lied van die Lappop), Ed Stoppard (Knightfall, The Pianist), Sandi Schultz (NYPD Blue), Brendon Daniels (Lockdown), Trix Vivier (Waterfront), Thapelo Mokoena (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), and Sisanda Henna (This Life).All six episodes are directed by Jyri Kähönen (Bordertown) and shot by cinematographer Ivan Strasburg (HBO’s GENERATION KILL, TREME).
Next Month’s Tease:Rutherfordium.
Last month we gave you the location of Cape Town, South Africa., which, as we just mentioned, is the unique location of TRACKERS.
Final Clip:A lot we could choose from—but we settle for the fast cars!
Enjoy the month! Discover HBO. Stop back here for more news, reviews and schedules.