Some big titles return to HBO in March and the big event that is THE LAST OF US concludes. WBD wants to make sure we stick around because the big transition approaches. Will HBO Max just become MAX and just how much Discovery+ content will we be seeing? Hah, will we stick around to find out? I think we agree a lot of the content keeps us engaged but is that enough to keep us all on board? Time will tell, but for now, let’s enjoy what is on the March slate and if this forthcoming month is any indication 2023 is going to be a tough year for HBO. Enjoy.
A few quick points:
- THE LAST OF US concludes Season 1
- Rhys & Roys Return
- HBO Lands another Oscar-nominated documentary
- Plus, a Wayans out to make you laugh
- and the sounds of Mariachi!
HBO Original Series: Okay, we know everyone’s mind is on the Cordyceps Pandemic, but we need to start off with what is new to HBO first. It’s what we do. So, we need to lead off with RAIN DOGS, one of those small little half-hour shows that can leave a big impression if it is any good. The eight-episode HBO original comedy series, from BBC One and Sid Gentle Films Ltd, debuts MONDAY, MARCH 06 (10:00-10:30 pm ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. It is tagged as an unconventional love story between a working-class single mum named Costello Jones (played by AVENUE 5’s Daisy Mae Cooper), her 10-year-old daughter Iris (a debut role for Fleur Tashjian), and a privileged gay man named Selby (played by Poldark’s Jack Farthing). The dark comedy also stars Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo as good friend and Iris’ godmother Gloria Duke. The work comes from Cash Carraway, a noted stage director of London’s West End. This is her first TV tale about and is all about a dysfunctional family on the fringes of society attempting to go straight in a crooked world.
–Episode 01 – “It’s Hard to Be A Saint in the City”
Debut Date: MONDAY, MARCH 06 (10:00-1030 pm ET)
After getting kicked out of their apartment, Costello and Iris scramble to find housing before nightfall. Meanwhile, Selby‘s return from prison receives mixed reactions from Costello, Iris, and Gloria.
–Episode 02 – “Scenes From a Crucifixion”
Debut Date: MONDAY, MARCH 13 (10:00-10:30 pm ET)
Joining the new show on Monday nights will also be the return of PERRY MASON. As the origin story of the famed defense lawyer continues it is months after the sensational Dodson kidnapping case of Season One. This time around the scion of a powerful oil family is brutally murdered. When the DA goes to the city’s Hoovervilles to pinpoint the most obvious of suspects, Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys), Della Street (Juliet Rylance) and Paul Drake (Chris Chalk) find themselves at the center of a case that will uncover far-reaching conspiracies and force them to reckon with what it truly means to be guilty. Also cast in Season Two are Diarra Kilpatrick, Eric Lange, Justin Kirk, Katherine Waterston, Hope Davis, Fabrizio Guido, Peter Mendoza, Mark O’Brien, Paul Raci, Jen Tullock, Jon Chaffin, Onahoua Rodriguez, Jee Young Han, Sean Astin, Tommy Dewey, Shea Whigham, and Wallace Langham. They and viewers will get embroiled in the case when it premieres MONDAY, MARCH 06 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT).
Created by Jesse Armstrong, the ten-episode fourth and final season of the Emmy-winning HBO Original drama series SUCCESSION debuts SUNDAY, MARCH 26 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. Over the course of three seasons, it has brilliantly explored themes of power and family dynamics through the eyes of patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four grown children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin), and Connor (Alan Ruck). What is looming beyond the sale of the company Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) is uncertain but whatever it is it is going to be bitter and nasty to the end. Or are the Roys all going to hug it out and make up nice? Hah!
Sorry, all we have is still that same little Teaser. But note, the prospect of this seismic sale provokes existential angst and familial division among the Roys as they anticipate what their lives will look like once the deal is complete. A power struggle ensues as the family weighs up a future where their cultural and political weight is severely curtailed. Don’t miss it, HBOWatch won’t.
Now we can talk about THE LAST OF US. The last two episodes of the season are all we have left as they pick up on the story beginning SUNDAY, MARCH 05 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT and concluding the following week. It has been a hard road but, on that sojourn, there has been some real bonding taking place. Anyone who has played the game can tell you that those bonding moments stick with you. It is not all about the Clickers and the Bloaters. The series has also explored those moments and even expounded on them in some ways; other times they just lift straight from the game. I think there is no question that we will ride it out to the end.
–Episode #8 – “When We Are in Need”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MARCH 05; Start Time: 9:00 pm
When we are in need is when we buckle down the most and persevere. Ellie must do just that.
–Episode #9 – “Look for the Light”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MARCH 12; Start Time 9:00 pm
Is there hope with the Fireflies?
REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER skipped a week at the end of February but is right back at it all through March starting FRIDAY, MARCH 03 10:00-11:00 pm ET. The show, with various guests and panelists, has tackled big issues like violent police actions, ‘woke’ culture, objectivity in media, Chinese surveillance, and the Ohio train derailment. For Maher, there will always be hot topics to debate. LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER just got started and is one show in on its new season. Though he too passed comment on the toxic accident he also looked at the Fox News lawsuit, but his main topic, of all things, was about the history and potential of psychedelic assisted therapy. Who knew that was a needed discussion? New topics await throughout March. Oliver’s show is sandwiched between airings of THE LAST OF US right now. Find it beginning SUNDAY, MARCH 05 (11:00-11:30 pm ET). Here’s a bit from Maher. Yeah, why not?
Original Series Exclusive to HBO Max: The streamer has something going called ONLY YOU: AN ANIMATED SHORTS COLLECTION. Since there is no big original series bowing in March, I will take a moment to focus on this programming here. As part of the HBO Max x Warner Bros. Discovery Access Animated Shorts Program, a diverse group of underrepresented artists bring their personal tales to life with eight original adult animated shorts. It’s billed as a visually exhilarating and emotion-fueled journey as these shorts welcome us into the hearts, minds, and communities of the next generation of storytellers. The shorts will be shown collectively under the above title as of THURSDAY, MARCH 23.
Indulge me as I tell you about them. BURNING RUBBER by Chris Fequiere – Duane Ruiz is out of college and out of options. Down on his luck, he has to choose between responsibilities at work and home or competing in the high-stakes Burning Rubber Wallball (AKA NYC handball) tournament. WELCOME TO 8TH STREET by Yoo Lee & Xin Li – When newcomers attempt to settle into their New Jersey neighborhood on 8th Street, some odd encounters make them question their decision to move. However, that changes when a wild turkey shows up on their block. KENT HAMMER by Dominick Green – Kent Hammer, a confident and highly successful businessman with a loving family, slowly loses touch with reality through a psychotic episode and descends into madness. Kent befriends his briefcase as it talks to and guides him through his journey, but other office supplies may not be as trustworthy or helpful. YELLOWBIRD by Tsvetelina Zdraveva & Jerred Nort – While living in New York, a young immigrant receives tragic news from overseas, and must choose between going home or staying in the US to maintain her legal status.
There is also MONSTR by Tank Standing Buffalo & Xstine Cook – How do you go on living when everything is taken from you in the blink of an eye? A true story of a young artist who confronts his inner demons while apprenticing with a northwest totem carver after the death of his beloved. AROON by Miriam Presas – A deluded hero has trapped himself within a storybook legend where he always saves the day. After a harrowing experience, the hero starts to question his morality, his purpose, and what makes his life worth living. KIMOTIWIN: THE ACT OF STEALING by Keara Lightning & Caeleigh Lightning – To steal back a flower that is special to her lover, Tiska embarks on a dangerous journey across an overgrown landscape, fighting demons in a post-apocalyptic city. And LEECH by Aalaa Mohamed – A vampire obsessed with the quality of the blood they consume poses as a health coach to ensure they can control their clients’ lifestyles. This is the story of Minna, one victim who attempts to break free.
I’ve been telling you about short subject films over at HBO Latino for years and of course, HBO had them in between programs back in the beginning. It took a while for HBO Max to come around, but this content and the Black Film Shorts last month make a good case for short subject content.
HBO International Titles: If you follow the international titles obtained for HBO then I hope you like mariachi bands because we’ve got a show that has them right in the title. It is MARIACHIS uploading THURSDAY, MARCH 02. It follows Rosendo Cuevas’ life changes when he begins to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s. To help him, his family revives Rosendo’s musical past and creates a mariachi group, but betrayals and ghosts return and as the group’s popularity grows, more secrets come to light. Can the music ease the burden, I wonder? It is a Mexican production from the crew to the writers, director and cast. It stars a well-respected Mexican performer Pedro Fernandez as Rosendo. All on the interesting and beautiful backgroud of the country. It may even inspire you to buy some Mexican real estate.
HBO Theatrical Movies: One thing HBO/HBO Max is not presenting is recent theatrical movies. They used to appear a lot more regularly but with every studio having its own streamer now the only movies available, it seems, are in-house works. Plus, we were spoiled by those Same-Day Premieres during the COVID pandemic. And WBD movies are at a crawl, and some are not deemed worthy (looking at you Batgirl) and on and on. Add to all that, the fact that HBO is not as forthcoming with all details when you want them, and some deals seem to fall in place at the last minute.
Having got that off my chest, I can say we have one new run. It’s finally time for HOUSE PARTY debuting SATURDAY, MARCH 04 (8:00–9:45 pm ET/PT). This was actually one of the movies on the tail end of the Same-Day Premieres but it never happened. COVID put a halt to the production and it never debuted until much later. It is a 2023 American comedy film directed by Calmatic (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Jamal Olori and Stephen Glover, serving as a reboot and remake of the 1990 film of the same name. The film stars Tosin Cole, Jacob Latimore, Karen Obilom, D.C. Young Fly, and Kid Cudi, and follows two young aspiring club promoters working as house cleaners who throw a party at their latest job site: LeBron James’ mansion. Popping up in cameos are names like Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Mark Cuban, Mya, Lena Waithe, and Kid ‘n Play (who starred in the original).
At 8:00 pm on SATURDAY, MARCH 11 is Gerard Butler in 2008’s Rocknrolla and SATURDAY MARCH 18 is Baz Luhrmann’s ELVIS! What plays SATURDAY, MARCH 25 is a mystery because the schedule doesn’t play out that far. Well, that isn’t helpful.
HBO Documentary Films: HBO is good at being present when it is time to obtain Oscar contenders in this category. It locks in yet another one (ALL THAT BREATHES was another) with ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED. It arrives SUNDAY, MARCH 19 with no definite start time listed. It is an epic, emotional, and interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, intimate interviews, groundbreaking photography, archival family snapshots and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the opioid overdose crisis. The Academy Award, DGA, and BAFTA-nominated documentary originally debuted at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival, where it was awarded the Golden Lion.
HBO Max Original Special: MARLON WAYANS: GOD LOVES ME, the latest special from comedian Marlon Wayans, delivers a hilarious hour-long performance, unleashing his spot-on impressions and fearless physical comedy to address one of the most infamous recent events in pop culture – “the slap” that took place at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony. A daring tour-de-force, this special is a hysterical yet thoughtful exploration of friendship, family, mistakes, and redemption. It uploads THURSDAY, MARCH 02.
HBO Max Kids & Family: Despite WBD saying they were cutting a lot of content in this category, this category always had something to offer. Looks like they are finally holding up to their promise as I only have one title to share. I mean, even most animated DC content is no longer canon I guess so all they have fresh right now is a month of SESAME STREET content. Sometime this month, Rosita informs the viewer that a new shoe store is opening on Sesame Street, owned by none other than Cinderella, played by Lucy Liu and in another episode Oscar the Grouch learns the importance of exercise. Hey, he shouldn’t be cooped up in that trashcan all the time. New episodes upload every THURSDAY beginning MARCH 02.
HBO Sports: It was not mentioned in the press release, but if I’m not mistaken, the last installment of the season for GAME THEORY WITH BOMANI JONES should be FRIDAY, MARCH 03 (11:00-11:35 pm ET/PT). In February he had something to say about the state of the NBA and the supposedly ‘woke’ NFL. What will be close the season with? REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL should have its latest on TUESDAY MARCH 21 (10:00-11:00 pm ET). in February the show examined why nearly all of the world’s sports federations, including FIFA, have chosen to make Switzerland their home and looks into allegations that the Swiss government’s hands-off approach has led to rampant corruption and bribery scandals. Plus, a look at the North Shore of Oahu lifeguards.
Other Movies & Shows: Most times I can drop a lot of movie titles on you, right? It seems they skimped on them a bit this month, but here are a few. How about Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Bloodsport, Creed, Creed II, Spawn and I Love You Man. Also, to be found will be The Circle, Speed Racer and Tangerine. Plus, importing over from Discovery + is Beach Cottage Chronicles. THE LAST OF US has proven an outstanding videogame adaptation and we feature here another game title, Mortal Kombat (2021) which was one of the Same-Day Premieres that year. For the first time, it returns to the rotation.
Next Month’s Tease: Candy and Pat Montgomery and Betty and Allan Gore – two churchgoing couples enjoying their smalltown Texas life…until what happens?
Last month’s answer – We asked if you knew which show British actress Daisy Mae Cooper was appearing in this month. Now you know that she has the lead in RAIN DOGS debuting 03.06.
Final Clip: We offer up the PERRY MASON Season Two trailer!
Enjoy HBO & HBO Watch!
White House Plumbers RIP. Now in the vaults with the Batgirl movie.
Hey, I agree that it is taking an incredibly long time for this content to get in front of our eyes. Yes, incredibly long, but there is nothing on our radar that says this project is dead. Perhaps it is just a scheduling issue; perhaps we will see it in May, as April is pretty full.
We will report if the cancellation is indeed a fact or when its premiere date is certain.
They announced it for March 2023 last year, then ran a few promos. Then…it vanished. No more promos, no rescheduling, it’s like it never existed.
All that is true and I agree it is a mystery. At this point, we hope it is a scheduling issue. It is clearly not debuting in what is left of March and April is filling up fast. A deep dive search comes up with nothing including news from the production companies involved and Dave Mandel, the director/writer.
Thanks so much for your inquiry regarding.
Thin content this March….I am looking forward to Perry Mason, though and I am going to be sad when The Last of Us ends. Love it.
I just hope HBO surely does survive the big change coming soon.