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What’s On: HBO Schedule for June 2024

by Jef Dinsmore
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Yeah, we know. We are hoping that Season Two of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON is big, bold and thrilling also, but there is plenty of other content in June too. Some of it is new, that’s what we feature here, and some of it is older works worth rediscovering. That’s short and sweet and to the point. Let’s explore some of what’s on.   

A few quick points:  

  • Not only will there be dragons but…
  • Summertime fun at REN FAIRE
  • More quirky weirdness from Julio Torres 
  • More laughs from HACKS’ Hannah Einbinder
  • Plus, the new A24 movie PROBLEMISTA 
  • And New Jersey’s most famous consigliere to Bruce Springsteen and Tony Soprano – Stevie Van Zandt!

Fantasma_PosterHBO Original Series: To be fair, new series come before the returning favorites so, that means the Julio Torres comedy title FANTASMAS gets top placement. It is another oddball mix of absurdities just like LOS ESPOOKYS minus the spooky business. Writer, director, and comedian Julio Torres spins a fantastical six-part tale of when he lost a gold oyster earring. In his search to find the precious object, Julio reflects on the offbeat characters he encounters in introspective, often eerie, and always comedic vignettes set in a dreamy, alternate version of New York City. 

I warned you it was odd. The HBO Original comedy series debuts FRIDAY, JUNE 07 (11:00–11:30 pm ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on Max. New episodes of the six-episode season will debut weekly. It stars Torres as Julio, Martine Gutierrez as Vanesja, Tomas Matos as Chester, and Joe Rumrill as the voice of Bibo. That must be the robot. Nearly two dozen guest stars will make special appearances throughout the series’ six episodes, including Steve Buscemi, Paul Dano, Julia Fox, Alexa Demie, Emma Stone, Aidy Bryant, Bowen Yang, Kim Petras, Ziwe, and more. If you have a place for quirky weirdness in your viewing then seek out FANTASMAS. 

I warned you that it would be odd. 

– Season 1, Episode 01 – “Cookies and Spaghetti”
Debut Date: Friday, June 07 (11:00 -11:30 pm ET/PT)

While ignoring his landlord’s urgent letters, Julio obtains a gold oyster earring… then promptly loses it at the club. Later, Julio explains his sensitivity to shapes, colors, numbers, and the alphabet to his fellow rideshare passengers.

–Season 1, Episode 2 – “Valued Customer”
Debut Date: Friday, June 14 (11:00 – 11:30 pm ET/PT)

While his “agent” Vanesja and robot assistant Bibo insist he obtains proof of existence for a new apartment, Julio fixates on finding the oyster to prove that his “mole” has grown. He starts his search with Skyler, an influencer desperate to stay relevant.

HouseOftheDragon_Choose

As the promos say, Westeros is on the brink of a bloody civil war with the Green and Black Councils fighting for King Aegon and Queen Rhaenyra, respectively. Each side believes theirs to be the rightful seat on the Iron Throne but there is only room for one of them! Whose side are you taking in HOUSE OF THE DRAGON? The eight-episode second season of the HBO Original drama debuts SUNDAY, JUNE 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.

The returning cast includes Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Eve Best, Steve Toussaint, Fabien Frankel, Ewan Mitchell, Tom Glynn-Carney, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rhys Ifans. Additional returning cast includes Harry Collett, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Phia Saban, Jefferson Hall, and Matthew Needham. New cast to the series include Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull, Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers, Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower, Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong, Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull, Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome, Kieran Bew as Hugh, Tom Bennett as Ulf, Tom Taylor as Lord Cregan Stark, and Vincent Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne. 

LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER rolls out its 303rd installment on SUNDAY, JUNE 02 at 11:00 pm ET/PT and continues for the month. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER has its first episode for June falling on FRIDAY, JUNE 07 at 10:00 pm ET/PT.

Original Series Exclusive to Max: Only one unscripted title debuts on Max in June. It is called BREAKING NEW GROUND in which host Robert Hartwell takes on the challenge of transforming a PrettyLittleLiarsSummerSchool_Pic-300x219200-year-old house with a complicated history into a home filled with love. It’s a renovation story that celebrates the resilience of Robert’s journey, as well as those who came before him. So, why isn’t it just on HGTV, then? Anyway, it debuts THURSDAY, JUNE 27 on the streamer and runs for six episodes debuting weekly. Continuing shows for June are PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: SUMMER SCHOOL and THIRST WITH SHAY MITCHELL

HBO International Titles: The only international work I coud find for the upcoming month is a documentary about Argentina’s first transgender celebrity. THe piece is entitled CRIS MIRO: (SHE/HER/HERS). It uploads on Max MONDAY, JUNE 24. THe biggest news on the international front is that Max is now available in more foreign countries. That presence could open the Max_Europeopportunity for more projects out of these countries to be generated for Max’s viewership. The streaming service is officially live and available to watch in 20 countries across the Nordics, Iberia, and Central and Eastern Europe. The countries include Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. It is coming soon to places like France and Poland and to Southeast Asia later this year.

HBO & Max Theatrical Movies: Another A24 title arrives in June, on FRIDAY, JUNE 28 to be exact. It is titled PROBLEMISTA and it stars, what do you know, Julio Torres! Also in the 2023 film are Tilda Movies_Problemista-300x252Swinton, RZA, Greta Lee, Catalina Saavedra, James Scully, Larry Owens, Laith Nakli, Kelly McCormack, Spike Einbinder, Greta Titelman and River L. Ramirez. It is directed by Julio Torres and narrated by Isabella Rossellini. In it Torres plays Alejandro, who is an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador, struggling to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. As time on his work visa runs out, a job assisting an erratic art-world outcast becomes his only hope to stay in the country and realize his dream. From writer/director Julio Torres comes a surreal adventure through the equally treacherous worlds of New York City and the U.S. Immigration system. It seems very one brand for Julio. Take a look – 

Another movie, this one exclusive to Max, is also on the slate. Wait, a minute didn’t we hear Zaslav say at one point that budgets would not be wasted on exclusive movies to the streamer? I mean they ditched theatrical movies for tax write-offs so, you thought for sure they’d not waste dollars in exclusives, but we had Turtles All The Way Down last month, and now comes AM I OK?. Allow me to scratch my head as I write this. In this original film, debuting THURSDAY, JUNE 06, we find that Lucy and Jane have been best friends for most of their lives and think they know everything there is to know about each other. But when Jane announces she’s moving to London, Lucy reveals a long-held secret. As Jane tries to help Lucy, their friendship is thrown into chaos. It is co-directed by Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne. The film is written and produced by Lauren Pomerantz. Producers include Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Erik Feig, Lucy Kitada, Dakota Johnson, Ro Donnelly, Notaro, and Allynne. It stars Dakota Johnson, Sonoya Mizuna, Jermaine Fowler, and Kiersey Clemons. 

HBO Films: Technically this next title slipped in on us but HBO Film Presentations are far, few and in between, as they say. THE GREAT LILLIAN HALL debuts on  FRIDAY, MAY 31 (8:00-10:00 pm ET/PT) but was announced far too late to get into our “What’s On” post for May. The acclaimed actress Jessica Lange graces us with her appearance as the title character. As beloved Broadway star Lillian Hall pours her heart, soul, and time into preparing for her next big role, she finds herself blindsided by confusion and forgetfulness. Battling against all odds to make it to opening night, while holding on to her fading memories and identity, she must navigate a tumultuous emotional journey – balancing her desire for the spotlight and the stark demands of the real world. Lange is joined by Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe, Jesse Williams, and Pierce Brosnan.

TheGreatLillianHall-Lange

HBO Documentary Films: A total of four documentaries of diverse topics make it on the schedule for June, If we look at them chronologically we start on SUNDAY, JUNE 02 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT) with a three-part work entitled REN FAIRE. Now you’d think this would be a fun look at the popularity of Renaissance Faires and how they are run. Instead, it is a close examination of the most successful Faire ever and the eccentric genius behind it. The press material states, that for half a century, 86-year-old George Coulam, known to his employees as King George, has reigned with an iron fist over the Texas Renaissance Festival, the largest such “faire” in the world. He has power, as the elected mayor of the town he incorporated. He has glory, as the undisputed employer and self-proclaimed ruler of thousands. He has vast wealth, as the majority shareholder of the festival. Now, he is ready to give it all up and spend the last years of his life in the quest for a romantic companion. But before he retires, George will finally choose which of his longtime employees will take his crown.

Next up is the celebration of a powerful play. Coming on THURSDAY, JUNE 20 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT) is SLAVE PLAY. NOT A MOVIE. A PLAY. “Slave Play” was one of Broadway’s most celebrated, genre-SlavePlay_Harris-300x169bending, and daring productions – breaking records and receiving critical acclaim for tackling race, sex, and interracial relationships in a way never before seen on stage. In this playful and provocative documentary, playwright Jeremy O. Harris takes viewers behind the scenes, from run-throughs to performance, as he strips down his own work and directs new actors through workshop rehearsals. As the acting students parse the text and bring meaning to the words on the page, Harris turns his critical eye to the thoughts, inspirations, and creative process that brought the play to life. Hopefully, this film will spell out the power of this play and the desire to see a production of it. Following that is a biography of an HBO favorite. Stevie Van People_StevieVanZandt-294x300Zandt, known as New Jersey’s most famous consigliere to Bruce Springsteen and Tony Soprano, takes center stage in this feature documentary, which traces Van Zandt’s career as a producer, musician, songwriter, activist, actor, and more, from the clubs of Asbury Park, N.J. to arena stadiums, to the Bada Bing Club and the Underground Garage. Seek out STEVIE VAN ZANDT: DISCIPLE when it arrives on SATURDAY, JUNE 22 (8:00-9:00 pm ET/PT). The last title of the month debuts on TUESDAY, JUNE 25 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT). ONE SOUTH: PORTRAIT OF A PSYCH UNIT is just what it says it is, a look behind the doors of the inpatient psychiatric unit at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Queens, NY. It is a facility that specializes in treating young adults in acute crisis. It may look more like a college dorm than a psychiatric hospital, but patients arrive every day in acute crisis. They are dealing with a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, personality disorders and psychosis, and many have contemplated or attempted suicide. A team of doctors, social workers, and nurses work together to stabilize the patients and prepare them to return to the outside world, but time is limited and there are many obstacles. The two-part film follows the trajectory of a hospital admission–from intake, through the ups and downs of treatment, to discharge–as a variety of patient and provider stories are blended to create a rich portrait of a unique place.

HannahEinbinder_StandUpMax Original Specials: Best known for her starring role in the Max Original comedy series HACKS, Hannah Einbinder taped her first stand-up comedy special in front of a live audience at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on April 20. The special will air exclusively on Max in June. It is described as a psychedelic thrill ride of storytelling, characters, jokes, and more. She does so with HANNAH EINBINDER: EVERYTHING MUST GO, debuting THURSDAY, JUNE 13 on the streamer. She is quoted as saying, “It has always been my dream to monetize my coping mechanism. Thanks, Max!” But, “Aw,” no trailer yet.

Max Kids & Family: Included for the younger set is another batch of episodes from JESSICA’S BIG LITTLE WORLD (uploading on SATURDAY, JUNE 01) and CRAIG OF THE CREEK (uploading on SUNDAY, JUNE 02). The anchor in kid programming is, of course, SESAME STREET which is having fun with dinosaurs in June. It uploads on THURSDAYS. Also in the lineup is some more of TOTAL DRAMA ISLAND. It starts up on JUNE 02 also. 

HBO Sports: Debuting on TUESDAY, JUNE 18 (9:00-10:21 pm ET/PT) is HERE TO CLIMB. The documentary follows professional climber Sasha DiGiulian rising from child prodigy to a champion sport Sports_HereToClimb-300x264climber, as she ultimately makes her mark by taking her talents to the biggest walls on the planet with a series of bold, first female ascents. Confronting both physical and mental obstacles head-on, Sasha charts her own course in a sport where a path didn’t exist, enabling her passion to become a viable profession. HBO Sports Documentaries presents the work which is a Red Bull Media House Production in association with Break Thru Films—directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. 

Of course, there are plenty of Bleacher Reports Sports on Max including baseball, soccer, and cycling.

Other Shows On HBO or Max: In this session, we focus on some content from the cable channels. HBO2 marathons all episodes of the premiere season of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON on JUNE 01; marathons TrixieMotelDragMeHome-300x176THE SYMPATHIZER on JUNE 02; marathons STAX: SOULSVILLE USA on JUNE 05 and marathons the first six movies in the STAR TREK franchise on JUNE 07. Some imports coming to Max include the documentary series SIX SCHIZOPHRENIC BROTHERS from Discovery and TRIXIE MOTEL: DRAG ME HOME, the renovation show by a drag queen over from HGTV. 

Next Month’s Tease: HBO will be chronicling the 100th anniversary of what institution in July? 

Last Month’s Tease: We hit you up with some HOUSE OF THE DRAGON last month. 

Final Clip: Since it wasn’t announced in time for last month’s post and since it got squeezed out from the listing above, here is a look at the Jessica Lange film THE GREAT LILLIAN HALL. 

Enjoy HBO & HBOWatch!

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