May continues strong with new episodes of the Sunday series’ and is stuffed with social commentary, non-fiction and films all contained in thirty-one days. Yes, it is finally getting nice for many, but you still can come inside and get a gander of what HBO has to offer. There is plenty to go around including a big music tribute at the end of the month. Let’s discover what is on.
Originals: Front and center is our beloved original programming that reigns on Sunday nights. All eyes are on GAME OF THRONES which continues each week at 9:00pm for just three more episodes. There are plenty of posts on HBOWatch about this show that explain its plot in far more detail than we can here, plus its weekly reviews, so here we just offer the bare bone plot points for May’s episodes. Note: this is no new episode on May 25.
— Episode #35: “First of His Name”: Cersei (Lena Heady) and Tywin (Charles Dance) plot the Crown’s next move. Dany (Emilia Clarke) discusses future plans. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) embarks on a new mission. (Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Michelle MacLaren.) Air dates are on 05.04, 05.05, 05.06, 05.07, 05.08, 05.09, 05.10 and 05.16
— Episode #36: “The Laws of Gods and Men”: Stannis (Stephen Dillane) andDavos (Liam Cunningham) set sail with a new strategy. Dany meets with supplicants. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) faces down his father in the Throne Room. (Written by Bryan Cogman; directed by Alik Sakharov.) Air dates are05.11, 05.12, 05.13, 05.14, 05.15, 05.16, 05.17 and 05.23
— Episode #37: “Mockingbird”: Tyrion enlists an unlikely ally. Daario (MichaelHuisman) entreats Dany to allow him to do what he does best. Jon’s warnings about the Wall’s vulnerability fall on deaf ears. Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) follows a new lead on the road with Pod. (Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Alik Sakharov.) Air dates are 05.18, 05.19, 05.20, 05.21, 05.22, 05.23 and 05.24.
If you stick with the channel on Sunday night then you get a block of comedy next starting with the new series SILICON VALLEY which seems to be getting good buzz. The cast, including Thomas Middleditch, TJ Miller, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Josh Brener, Christopher Evan Welch and Amanda Crew offers up three new episodes in May. Check out this tech crew Sunday night at 10:00pm.
— Encore air dates for Episode #04 are on 05.01 and 05.02.
— Episode #05: “Signaling Risk”: Erlich (T.J. Miller) convinces a graffiti artist to create Pied Piper’s logo, with controversial results. Jared (Zach Woods) tries to make the company more efficient. After Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) and Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch) unexpectedly come face to face, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) learns that he only has eight weeks to prepare for a live demo at TechCrunch Disrupt. (Written by Jessica Gao; directed by Alec Berg.) It plays on05.04, 05.05, 05.06, 05.07, 05.08 and 05.09.
— Episode #06: “Third Party Insourcing”: Richard feels threatened when the team hires “The Carver,” a hacker with a notorious reputation, to help with Pied Piper’s cloud. Jared finds himself taken for a ride when he seeks out Peter Gregory’s signature. Erlich and Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) compete for the attention of Tara (Milana Vayntrub), Gilfoyle’s (Martin Starr) visiting girlfriend; later, Dinesh is faced with a sexual dilemma. (Written by Dan O’Keefe; directed by Alec Berg.) Is air dates are 05.11, 05.12, 05.13, 05.14, 05.15 and 05.16.
— Episode #07: “Proof of Concept”: At TechCrunch Disrupt, Richard feels the pressure to finish his demo, but finds himself distracted by a girl he dated briefly who’s spreading rumors about him. Jared worries that Monica (Amanda Crew) is taking his place in the company; Dinesh develops a crush on a girl at a neighboring booth; Erlich’s scandalous past connection to one of the judges threatens Pied Piper’s chances. (Written by Clay Tarver; directed by Mike Judge.) Air dates: 05.18, 05.19, 05.20, 05.21, 05.22 and 05.23. Note: no new episode on 05.25.
Our favorite VP is in the running Sunday nights at 10:30pm in VEEP. It is running along the same schedule with three episodes and no new one on May 25. How are the campaign plans coming along? We’ll find out.
— Encore playdates: #22: 05.01 and 05.02
— Episode #23: “Fishing”: As Amy (Anna Chlumsky) and Dan (Reid Scott) vie for position as Selina’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) campaign manager, Ben (Kevin Dunn) arranges a secret lunch for the Veep with hotshot strategist Bill Ericsson (Diedrich Bader). Meanwhile, Mike (Matt Walsh) tries to maintain his strict fertility schedule; Jonah (Timothy C. Simons) is offered a job on Maddox’s (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) team; and Gary’s (Tony Hale) mysterious shoulder pain threatens his job. Later, Selina is invited by Maddox to his country house, and Amy has a dinner party with the staff as part of her pitch. (Teleplay by Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith; story by Armando Iannucci & Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith; directed by Becky Martin.) It appears on HBO on 05.04, 05.05, 05.06, 05.07, 05.08 and 05.09.
— Episode #24: “Detroit”: At an economic summit in Detroit, Selina’s staff and family are peeved by the presence of her new personal trainer. Meanwhile, Jonah and Mike negotiate a photo-op with Selina and Maddox. Later, Catherine (Sarah Sutherland) protects her mom from a protester, and Selina attends a women’s gun show. (Teleplay by Kevin Cecil & David Quantick & Andy Riley; story by Armando Iannucci & Kevin Cecil & David Quantick & Andy Riley; directed by Tim Kirkby.)The dates to air are 05.11, 05.12, 05.13, 05.14, 05.15 and 05.16
— Episode #25: “Special Relationship”: In the U.K. for the 100th anniversary of World War I, Selina’s staff worries about Ray’s growing influence on the Veep. Meanwhile, Dan’s nerves begin to fray as Ben gets news that sends him back to D.C. Later, Jonah arrives in London to spy for Team Maddox, and Amy leaks a secret. (Teleplay by Simon Blackwell & Tony Roche; story by Simon Blackwell & Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche; directed by Becky Martin.) Air dates: 05.18, 05.19, 05.20, 05.21, 05.22 and 05.23. Check out this clip.
So, why are there no fresh shows of the usual Sunday lineup on 05.25? Because that is the premiere date for HBO Films: THE NORMAL HEART. Now most times, the original film presentations take over a Saturday night, but HBO is extra proud of this work and so it gives the movie a Sunday night debut instead.
Directed by Emmy winner Ryan Murphy and written by Academy Award nominee Larry Kramer, adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award winning play of the same name, this HBO Films drama tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. The film stars Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Emmy winner Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina and Academy Award winner Julia Roberts, along with Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff, Denis O’Hare, Stephen Spinella, Corey Stoll, Finn Wittrock and BD Wong. WOW, what a cast! It debuts Sunday, May 25 and runs from 9:00pm to 11:15pm ET. It can also be seen on 05.26, 05.28, 05.29, 05.31 and into June as well as on HBOGo. HBO is not offering up additional footage beyond the teases we have already posted. Here is one of them.
The weekends are also for news of both the satirical and serious kind. If you want your weekly news recapped than there is LAST WEEK WITH JOHN OLIVER debuting new editions starting Sunday, 05.04 at 11:00pm . Edition # 1 encores on 05.01, 05.03, 05.25 & 05.26;Edition #2 airs: 05.04, 05.05, 05 07, 05.08, 05.10 and 05.26; Edition #3 is 05.11, 05.12, 05.14, 05.15, 05.17, 05.28 and 05.29; Edition #4 airs 05.18, 05.19, 05.21, 05.22, 05.24 and 05.31. Note: A new edition doesn’t air 05.25 of this show either. If you want more outspoken rants than REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER, continuing its 12th season, can be found starting Friday, 05.02 at 10:00pm. Edition #316: 05.02, 05.04, 05.05, 05.06 and 05.07; Edition #317: 05.09, 05.11, 05.12, 05.13 and 05.14; Edition #318: 05.16, 05.18, 05.19, 05.20 and 05.21; Edition #319: 05.23, 05.25, 05.26, 05.27 and 05.28. Unfortunately, as mentioned before I believe, beyond the format we don’t know what to expect from these shows. Guest panels and interviews don’t line up far in advance so we have nothing to announce. Both shows strive to be topical and timely so there ‘gets’ often materialize at the last minute at times.
If you want serious global news then it has to be VICE, Friday nights at 11:00pm also starting 05.02. This show is bit tight-lipped about what its topics are in advance as well, but I have been able to find segment titles: the 05.02 segments are The Pink Gang Rebellion & Genetic Passport (also airs 05.03, 05.06 & 05.08); the 05.09 segments are The Resource Curse & Deliver Us from Drought (also airs 05.10, 05.13 & 05.15); that is followed on 05.16 by Crude Awakening & The Enemy of My Enemy (also airs 05.17, 05.20 & 05.22). Edition #20 airs 05.23, 05.24, 05.27 and 05.29. If you check them out along with Oliver and Maher then you can consider yourself duly informed for the week.
Theatrical Movies: Movie premieres slip in with an extra one this month making five big movies debuting Saturday nights. I think it is safe to say that you might find at least one of them that you haven’t seen yet. They are WE’RE THE MILLERS, PRISONERS, FAST & FURIOUS 6, RED 2 AND R.I.P.D. Truthfully I am familiar with all of them but that last one. HBOWatch already has writers in place to review each one as they arrive.
Let’s forge ahead with the only comedy debut in the starting position. It is WE’RE THE MILLERS. The Millers are a fake family created by a pot dealer who needs a gimmick to get his stash across the border and to its destination. According to the movie’s poster he snags a stripper, a virgin and a runaway to pose as his family. It stars Jason Sudeikis as the dope smuggler and Jennifer Aniston as Rose, a stripper. I think this just might be the best movie our ‘friend’ Jennifer has ever made or was that Horrible Bosses? This R-rated comedy debuts 05.03 and also airs on 05.04, 05.07, 05.19, 05.22 & 05.28.The mood totally changes on Saturday, 05.10 when PRISONERS premieres. It also airs on HBO on 05.11, 05.14, 05.26 & 05.29. After his young daughter and her friend go missing, a man (Hugh Jackman) who is dissatisfied with the police investigation decides to take matters into his own hands. That certainly sounds like trouble; this guy is so angry that he doesn’t even need blades shooting out of his fists to deal with this problem. Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Paul Dano also star in this tense R-rated thriller. To get a hint of how tense it gets check out this trailer.
The adrenaline keeps pumping for the next weekend when FAST & FURIOUS 6 burns rubber on 05.17. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson reprise their roles in the blockbuster car-racing franchise, this time joining forces to take down an evil mastermind. Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Sung Kang, Luke Evans, Gina Carano and John Ortiz also star. It is rated PG-13 and also runs on 05.18, 05.21, 05.25, 05.29 and 05.31. It is a red-hot franchise even after the tragic loss of one of their own. Movie # 7 is already in the works. You heard of The Expendables, right? It is a series of movies featuring an older set of action stars. Well, the Red franchise carries that theme also but with better results I think. HBO airs RED 2, debuting on 05.24. It continues with airings on 05.25, 05.28 and into June. In this sequel a retired government agent (Bruce Willis) reunites with a motley crew of elite operatives to find a missing nuclear device. This sequel to the hit action-comedy also stars John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Byling Hun Lee, with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. It is PG-13. It sounds fun to me. As I stated above the last movie of the month is one that I never heard of being in the theater. It is called R.I.P.D. Doesn’t that mean “Rest In Peace/Police Department?” Oh, I guess that is the whole idea. Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds play slain cops who partner up in order to return to Earth to protect the living from those who refuse to cross over to the other side. Kevin Bacon, Mary Louise Parker and Stephanie Szostak also star in this supernatural action-adventure flick. It is rated PG-13 and premieres on 05.31 and can be seen into June. This one warrants a trailer just in case there are others as clueless about this movie as I am.
Documentary: HBO is going a bit light on the documentary front in May. It only lists one new debut and it premieres on 05.12 at 9:00pm. It is entitled THE (DEAD MOTHERS) CLUB which shares the stories of three women who lost their mothers during childhood and are now navigating adulthood without them. The catch is that the daughters in question are celebrities. Jane Fonda, Rosie O’Donnell and Molly Shannon speak candidly about their own experiences growing up without mothers and reflect on the complicated nature of the mother-daughter relationship. We will, of course, pick up on that train of thought after it debuts on 05.12 at 9:00pm. It also airs on 05.15, 05.18, 05.21, 05.23, 05.28 & 05.31.
Specials: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2014 Induction Ceremony rocks HBO in May! This exclusive special features highlights from the 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held in New York City in April. You might already know what happened at the ceremony, but if not HBO encapsulates into a great concert and this year it premieres on 05.31 and carries into June. It is an 2½ hour event beginning at 9:00pm ET. Here is a reminder of who the latest inductees were this year – and they are quite an awesome representation of our musical heritage.
Sports: We may skimp on documentaries in May but we pad up the sports a bit. HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise, which has captured 17 Sports Emmy Awards, kicks off its 19th boxing installment with 24/7 COTTO/MARTINEZ. It debuts on Saturday, 05.31 at midnight( making it really June 1, but I won’t quibble.) The all-access series follows world-class fighters Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez as they prepare for their high-stakes pay-per-view middleweight title fight on June 7 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ VS. MIKE ALVARADO, presented on Saturday 05.17, features the return of future Hall of Famer Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) and Alvarado (34-2, 23 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round welterweight world title eliminator. One of the most anticipated fights of this season, The bout will be presented from the Forum in Inglewood, Cal beginning at 10:15pm ET. The usual HBO Sports team will be ringside for the event. B. A. D., that’s BOXING AFTER DARK for those not sure, has a bout that dukes it out on 05.31 beginning at 4:00pm. How is that after dark? Oh, the bouts are overseas fights. First Live from London is FROCH vs. GROVES II followed by a matchup in Macau with DONAIRE vs. VETYEKA. Big time fans will know who I mean. REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL goes behind the box scores and statistics to tackle timely subjects in the world of contemporary sports. We wouldn’t expect anything less. The latest edition‘s first run is on 05.20, a Tuesday, at 10:00pm.
Other Movies and Shows: All right there you go with the big debuts for May; now about some of the repeats that appear at all hours to complete the schedule. I suggest ABOUT A BOY, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY and HBO Films: THE GIRL. There is also a classic America Undercover piece TAXICAB CONFESSIONS 2013: GIRLS LIKE IT HOT. Plus, there is a MAKING OF THE LEFTOVERS special coming out in late May.
HBO’s Other Platforms: I’ll just throw you a title or two here this go-around. HBO Latino: If you love the sounds of Carlos Santana then you are going to want to check out the exclusive concert on this channel. It is SANTANA – CORAZON, LIVE FROM MEXICO: LIVE IT TO BELIEVE IT. Guitar legend and musical icon Carlos Santana and his band appear on 05.03 in a concert from Guadalajara, Mexico. It was recorded LIVE and covers the greatest hits of the Latino legend. HBO Family: How about the SISSY DUCKLING (pictured – come on its spring!) or THE MIGHTY DUCKS? No, no CURIOUS GEORGE? Listen, I know the channel is not for everybody. HBO Signature: BIG LOVE is repeating on this channel beginning with episode one weeknights at 8:00pm. There is also ERIN BROCKOVICH and THE MAJESTIC. HBO Comedy: There is alwaya laugh here if you need one. There is BOWFINGER, ACE VENTURE and BIG DADDY if you need to see them again. HBOGO: The site has a slew of HBO HALF-HOUR COMEDY if you want a quick laugh. Movies include AQUAMARINE about girls helping a mermaid; BOOTMEN about hard working men learning to tap dance for a good cause and the horror/comedy TALES FROM THE HOOD. Face it, there is always something to find on HBOGO. Cinemax: The online guide showcases 2 GUNS, NOW YOU SEE ME and THE WORLD’S END has the big debuts on the sister channel in May, but there is tons of other movies there as well.
Next Month’s Tease: The Rapture is upon us and Bon Temps too.
Final Clip: I’m actually going to conclude with a clip not from HBO but from HBO Latino – Santana!