We are already coming into May leaving Winter behind, at least for a while. Huh, just like GAME OF THRONES, right? We will see it close this month but a prequel (I know, not exactly the same thing) is in the offing. All happens as it should. May see both season & series finales. Are you staying onboard? Below is what is ahead, or should I say, “What’s On” for May. HBO dropped a new kind of video clip to get us started so we start with that before the usual categories.
Original Series: Two huge shows on HBO say goodbye in May, without nary a drop of intel about their final moments. GAME OF THRONES continues its eighth and final season SUNDAY, MAY 05 (9:00-10:00pm ET), followed by another new episode MAY 12 (running 120 minutes) and the series finale on MAY 19 (also running 120 minutes). HBO, of course, is being as tight-lipped as it can and offers no descriptive text to help us out. We here will be excited and surprised as you are. Enjoy the final episodes! I’ll repeat once again that HBOWatch will review each episode, so stop back to get our thoughts. Our writers are just as excited as you are. But I can’t leave you dragonbone dry so, there’s this –
Didn’t expect that did you! The seventh and final season of the Emmy-winning comedy series VEEP, also continues SUNDAY, MAY 05 (10:50-11:20pm), followed by the series finale on May 12. Does Selina Meyers become the Prez? We’ll have to wait and see; we’ll also wait for a series retrospective to this outstanding comedy and its equally outstanding cast.
Bill Hader and Henry Winkler reprise their Emmy-winning roles in BARRY, HBO’s dark comedy series about a depressed war vet-turned-hitman who finds passion and romance in a local acting class while on a job in LA. The second season continues SUNDAY, MAY 05 (10:20-10:50pm), followed by another new episode May 12 and the season finale on May 19. Created and executive produced by Hader and Alec Berg.
Last month HBO.com had this program as Miniseries now this month it has been bumped to the Series category, so I’ll bump it up also. The HBO/BBC drama series GENTLEMAN JACK continues its eight-episode season MONDAY, MAY 06 (10:00-11:00pm), followed by new episodes subsequent Mondays at the same time. From Sally Wainwright, this series tells a remarkable and unlikely love story, set in the complex, changing world of 1832 Halifax, the cradle of the industrial revolution, just as it begins. Starring Suranne Jones, it focuses on landowner Anne Lister and her determination to change the fate of Shibden Hall, her faded ancestral home, by re-opening the coal mines and marrying well. The charismatic, single-minded, swashbuckling Lister – who dresses head-to-toe in black and charms her way into high society – has no intention of marrying a man. True to her nature, she plans to marry a seriously wealthy woman, heiress Ann Walker. Every part of the story is based in historical fact, recorded in the four million words of the real-life Anne Lister’s diaries, which contain the most intimate details of her life, once hidden in a secret code that is now broken.
The second season of WYATT CENAC’S PROBLEM AREAS continues FRIDAY, MAY 03 (11:00-11:30pm), followed by new episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time. Looking at social and cultural issues from the comedian and writer’s unique perspective, this season focuses on education in America. Cenac visits West Virginia, Oregon, California, Minnesota and other areas around the country to learn how communities navigate issues facing public education. Produced for HBO by Avalon Television; executive producers, Wyatt Cenac, Ezra Edelman, John Oliver, Hallie Haglund, Diane Fitzgerald, David Martin, James Taylor and Jon Thoday.
Presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, as well as addressing broader issues, the Emmy-winning LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues its sixth season SUNDAY, MAY 05 (11:20-11:50pm), followed by other editions subsequent Sundays, with a hiatus May 26, exclusively on HBO. As of late, he has been digging into topics like mobile home trends, the Healthy Holly scandal, an opioid abuse update, the Mueller Report and some Japanese cutie critter named Chiitan (had to be there). REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER continues its 17th season FRIDAY, MAY 03 (10:00-11:00pm), followed by other new editions subsequent Fridays at the same time, with a hiatus May 24. Plus, don’t forget his Overtime segment on YouTube. Some names on his slate that you may recognize have been Salman Rushdie, Chelsea Handler, Dave Barry, Seth Abramson, Moby and Bob Costas. Plus, a number of people you don’t. VICE NEWS TONIGHT, the half-hour nightly newscast from VICE Media and HBO, debuts a new edition WEDNESDAY, MAY 01 (7:30-8:00pm), followed by other new editions subsequent weeknights Tuesday through Friday. Hot topics for the newscast have been more tension in the Gaza Strip, NY’s measles outbreak, infrastructure after the latest bomb cyclones, New Zealand’s new gun laws, the redacted Mueller Report and terror in Sri Lanka.
Movies: It may a short month for movies but May has got a variety to offer each and every Saturday night. So, how about THE PREDATOR, NIGHT SCHOOL, SMALLFOOT and HALLOWEEN?
Okay, a bit more detail, you ask? Well, it goes like this – when the universe’s deadliest hunters return to Earth, a group of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled scientist must prevent the end of the human race in THE PREDATOR, debuting SATURDAY, MAY 04 (8:00-9:50pm). The film stars Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and Sterling K. Brown. Directed by Shane Black; written by Fred Dekker & Shale Black, based on the characters created by Jim Thomas and John Thomas. I remember Ar-Nuld in the original one. Is there still something to tell here? A former salesman finds himself among a group of high school dropouts forced to attend night school to pass the GED exam in NIGHT SCHOOL, debuting SATURDAY, MAY 11 (8:00-10:00pm). The comedy stars Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. Is this comedic duo all that? A group of Yeti encounter a human, a species they previously believed to be a myth, in SMALLFOOT, debuting SATURDAY, MAY 18 (8:00-9:40pm). The animated film stars the voices of Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya (HBO’s upcoming EUPHORIA), Common, LeBron James, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, Yara Shahidi, Ely Henry and Jimmy Tatro. You knew it was animated once I mentioned ‘Yeti’, right? Forty years after she narrowly escaped his wrath, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) faces killer Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) for a final showdown in HALLOWEEN, debuting SATURDAY, MAY 25 (8:00-9:5opm). The sequel to the 1978 horror classic of the same name also stars Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton and Virginia Gardner. I guess the rest of the movies in the franchise don’t count?
There is the obligatory trailer but the big movie you’re really waiting for is the one below, yeah?
HBO Films/Miniseries: The indelible characters of David Milch’s acclaimed, Emmy-winning HBO series reunite after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood when the HBO Films drama DEADWOOD debuts FRIDAY, MAY 31 (8:00-10:00pm). Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds reopened as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought. Returning cast members include Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Paula Malcomson, John Hawkes, Anna Gunn, Dayton Callie, Brad Dourif, Robin Weigert, William Sanderson, Kim Dickens, Gerald McRaney, Sean Bridgers, W. Earl Brown and Keone Young, among others. The film will also feature new cast member Jade Pettyjohn. Here is the first look at the full trailer of this eagerly awaited film.
This five-part miniseries CHERNOBYL, debuting MONDAY, MAY 06 (9:00-10:00pm), followed by new episodes subsequent Mondays at the same time, dramatizes the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and tells of the brave men and women who sacrificed to save Europe from unimaginable disaster, all the while battling a culture of disinformation. Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, Paul Ritter, Jessie Buckley, Adrian Rawlins and Con O’Neill star. Written by Craig Mazin; directed by Johan Renck; executive produced by Carolyn Strauss, Jane Featherstone and Craig Mazin; co-executive produced by Chris Fry and Johan Renck. Produced by Sister Pictures and the Mighty Mint as an HBO/Sky Co-Production; filmed on location in Lithuania.
Sorry, GAME OF THRONES fanatics but those clips just validate that HBO has other great content out there.
HBO Documentary Films: ON TOUR WITH ASPERGER’S ARE US continues with two new parts airing WEDNESDAY, MAY 01 at 8:00 and 8:30pm, followed by the final two parts THURSDAY, MAY 02 at the same time. The six-part docuseries follows the first comedy troupe consisting entirely of people with Asperger Syndrome on their first cross-country tour, as the team of four crams into an RV that’s on the verge of explosion for six weeks, testing their understanding of friendship, comedy and carburetors. Mark and Jay Duplass executive produce. Debuting FRIDAY, MAY 03 (8:00-9:35pm), AT THE HEART OF GOLD: INSIDE THE USA GYMNASTICS SCANDAL explores the Larry Nassar sexual abuse story that shook the sports world in 2017. Featuring exclusive interviews with survivors, the documentary reveals a landscape in which women spend their youth seeking victory on a world stage, juxtaposed against a culture where abuse prevails and lives are damaged forever. Directed by Erin Lee Carr; executive produced by Sarah Gibson, Michael Cascio, Gerald R. Molen; produced by David Ulich, Dr. Steven Ungerleider. Drawing on unprecedented access, FOSTER, debuting TUESDAY, MAY 7 (8:00- 10:00pm), traces a complex path through the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. Oscar winners Deborah Oppenheimer and Mark Jonathan Harris upend some of the most enduring myths about foster care, going beyond the sensational headlines and stereotypes. Interweaving first-hand stories of those navigating the child protection system with insights from social workers, lawyers and other advocates, the film offers a realistic but hopeful perspective on a community that needs society’s support. Participant Media and Emerson Collective present a Sabine Films Production; writer/director, Mark Jonathan Harris; produced by Deborah Oppenheimer, p.g.a.; a film by Deborah Oppenheimer and Mark Jonathan Harris; producers, Lisa Remington, Samantha Polan; executive producers, Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann. Debuting SUNDAY, MAY 26 (9:00-11:00pm), one week after the series finale, GAME OF THRONES: THE LAST WATCH delves deep into the mud and blood to reveal the tears and triumphs involved in the challenge of bringing the fantasy world of Westeros to life in the very real studios, fields and car-parks of Northern Ireland. The film is an up-close and personal report from the trenches of production, following the crew and the cast as they contend with extreme weather, punishing deadlines and an ever-excited fandom hungry for spoilers. RUNNING WITH BETO, debuting TUESDAY, MAY 28 (8:00-9:35 p.m.), follows Beto O’Rourke’s rise from virtual unknown to national political sensation through his bold attempt to unseat Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Embedded with the campaign for a year, the film follows O’Rourke, his family and a team of political newcomers who champion a new way of getting to know a candidate — one Texas county at a time. Directed by David Modigliani.
HBO Special: MY DAD WROTE A PORNO, debuting SATURDAY, MAY 11 (10:00-11:05pm), brings the hit British comedy podcast to HBO for a comedy special. The podcast features Jamie Morton reading a chapter from the “Belinda Blinked” series of “erotic” novels, written by his real-life father under the nom de plume Rocky Flintstone, with his friends James Cooper and Alice Levine providing uproarious commentary. Produced by Done and Dusted; executive produced by Jamie Morton, James Cooper, Alice Levine and Rocky Flintstone; directed by Hamish Hamilton. It best to let them explain it:
HBO Kids: SESAME STREET continues its 49th season SATURDAY, MAY 04 (9:00-9:30am) with other episodes airing Saturdays at the same time. Coming in May are – Sesame Street Season 49 Episode 25 “Welcome to Sesame Hospital” on SATURDAY, MAY 04; Episode 26: “Wild Adventures on Sesame Street” on SATURDAY MAY 11; Episode 27: “Little Bo Peep Lost Her Cow” on SATURDAY, MAY 18 and Episode 28: “How To Build A Dinosaur” on SATURDAY, MAY 25. The biggest news about the Sesame St. Gang is that they are building up to a launch of a 50th Anniversary later this year. The theme for the special season is Respect and that is why we slipped in the video clip that we did above. Well, we have one more to share utilizing characters from another HBO show. Check out the mashup below starring my favorite, Cookie Monster.
HBO Sports: REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL continues diligently onward with the next monthly edition debuting TUESDAY, MAY 21 (10:00-11:00pm). Last month they reported on extreme sports cameramen who capture none of the glory but take on all of the danger. Also coming up a new installment of THE SHOP drops on SATURDAY, MAY 04 (10:00pm) and there is a new HBO Sports Documentary. WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI, debuting TUESDAY, MAY 14 (8:00-10:45pm), is the first feature-length HBO production from SpringHill Entertainment, with LeBron James and Maverick Carter serving as executive producers, and is directed and executive produced by acclaimed feature-film director Antoine Fuqua. Exploring Ali’s challenges, confrontations, comebacks and triumphs through recordings of his own voice, it paints an intimate portrait of a man who was a beacon of hope for oppressed people around the world and, in his later years, was recognized as a global citizen and a symbol of humanity and understanding. The documentary also features archival footage, some of it previously unseen.
Other Movies and Shows: On May 11 HBO2 begins a marathon showing of BIG LITTLE LIES from 2:00pm – 8:15pm. HBO sneaks on to the schedule a few documentaries worthy of a repeat. They include MCENROE/BORG FIRE & ICE, BRIGHT LIGHTS: STARRING CARRIE FISHER AND DEBBIE REYNOLDS, RC EARLY DETECTION: A CANCER JOURNEY WITH SANDRA LEE and INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS: STORIES OF THE KINDERTRANSPORT.
Other HBO Platforms: Snoop around and you just might find something better than what I find. How am I supposed to know what you like? HBO Latino: The psychological drama series PSI continues its fourth season FRIDAY, MAY 03 (10:00-11:00pm), followed by other episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time leading up to the season finale on May 31. The series explores the complexity of modern life and relationships through Dr. Carlo Antonini’s unusual cases. A psychiatrist, psychologist, and psychoanalyst, Antonini deals with patients suffering varying degrees of paranoia and the like. LA PIEL DE AYER (The Skin of Yesterday) is a 22-minute film about a young widower struggling after Hurricane Maria; MALABAR is a 17-minute piece about the mad search an undocumented mother for her missing infant son. The tragic 1988 murders of 14 fishermen on the Venezuela-Colombia border is the focus of the harrowing full-length drama EL AMPARO and MAKE LOVE GREAT AGAIN is a timely immigration drama set in Miami. MI QUERIDA COFRADIA (Hopelessly Devout) is screwball comedy Latino-style. HBO Family: Hey, two titles I have not seen on this channel show up. Unless they are resurrected from ages ago we have THE ADVENTURES OF TOM THUMB AND THUMBELINA and THE LITTLE PENGUIN PORORO’S RACING ADVENTURE. And how about one that should get heavy rotation, TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES? HBO Signature: I’m singling out LIONS FOR LAMBS – While an idealistic professor tries to inspire a student to become more politically engaged, a hawkish U.S. senator spars with a TV journalist, and two of the professor’s former students, now soldiers, are trapped behind enemy lines. Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise star in this engrossing critique of America’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Narrated entirely by Tupac Shakur himself using interviews recorded before his murder in 1996, the documentary TUPAC: RESURRECTION chronicles the life and art of the hip-hop legend and from the director of the last two “Bourne” films comes this gripping action-thriller featuring “Jason Bourne” himself, Matt Damon, in the role of a rogue military officer determined to unravel a deepening conspiracy in GREEN ZONE. Plus, I offer you TRAFFIK and THE DANISH GIRL to watch again. You have seen them once, right? HBO Comedy: Are these movies, OUT COLD, THE FEAR OF EVERYTHING and INDIAN SUMMER, funny? I don’t know ‘cause I’ve never seen them, though I’ve mentioned them probably more than once. The first is a silly comedy at an Alaskan ski resort, the second is a Simon Pegg comedic horror and the latter is a summer camp reunion romancer. For standup, I see that JIM JEFFRIES: SWEAR TO GOD from 2009 is on. HBO Zone: I’m burned out by the time I get here so, here are three simple titles that you can watch provided you get HBO’s complete package of channels. How about SLOW BURN, THE LIABILITY and/or BRUNO? The first gives us Ray Liotta is a big-city district attorney exposing something big; to make up for wrecking his stepfather’s car, a young man goes to work for a grizzled hit man, unaware that he’s about to enter a stark world, in the second movie and the last one gives us Sacha Baron Cohen as the title character flaunting his saucy self. What a terrible image to leave you with.
HBONow/Go: On May 01 a new international miniseries, this time around from HBO Europe, will hit the sites. It is BLINDED BY THE LIGHTS, a Polish crime television event consisting of eight (8) episodes. It is a story charting seven days from the life of a cocaine dealer whose perfectly organized life begins to sink into chaos while he is forced to make the most important choices in his life.
Also, out of nowhere comedian Jerrold Carmichael drops something in time for Mother’s Day. It is JERROLD CARMICHAEL: HOME VIDEOS and I guess it is a short film that he shot at home about his family and just like that gets to air it on the pay channel. It debuts SUNDAY, MAY 12. On the movie front how about seeking out THE ADVENTURES OF PANDA WARRIOR, ARACHNOPHOBIA, IN THE BEDROOM, PREDATORS, THE SHIPPING NEWS and SIGNS. In the Collections section, there is the “GAME OF THRONES: The Cast Remembers” set. It is a total of 12 clips from 12 different actors recalling their time on the series. Go find something great!
Cinemax: If you are lucky enough to have this channel bundled with HBO then you’ve got another whole channel of movies & a few series to explore. WARRIOR, a gritty, action-packed crime drama set during the brutal Tong Wars of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the second half of the 19th century, continues its ten-episode season FRIDAY, MAY 3 (10:00-11:00pm), followed by new episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time. The series follows Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji), a martial arts prodigy who emigrates from China to San Francisco under mysterious circumstances and becomes a hatchet man for one of Chinatown’s most powerful tongs (Chinese organized crime family). Filmed in Cape Town, South Africa, the show is based on writings of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, and created and executive produced by Jonathan Tropper under Tropper Ink Productions and Justin Lin on behalf of Perfect Storm Entertainment.
–Episode 5: “The Blood and the Sh*t”
Debut date: FRIDAY, MAY 03 (10:00-11:00pm)
Transporting precious cargo via stagecoach through the Sierra Nevada, Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji) and Young Jun (Jason Tobin) are forced to spend the night with three strangers at a frontier saloon in the middle of nowhere. The detour turns perilous when Harlan French (Christiaan Schoombie), a notorious outlaw, shows up with his henchmen, looking for a lucrative payday. Written by Kenneth Lin; directed by Kevin Tancharoen.
–Episode 6: “Chewed Up, Spit Out, and Stepped On”
Debut date: FRIDAY, MAY 10 (10:00-11:00pm)
Tensions escalate between the Hop Wei and Long Zii after an assassination attempt during a boisterous Chinatown parade. Big Bill (Kieran Bew) sets out to pay his debt to Jack Damon (Brendan Murry), leaving Lee (Tom Weston-Jones) to keep watch over Lucy (Emily Child) and the kids. Mayor Blake (Christian McKay) and Deputy Mayor Buckley (Langley Kirkwood) get a mandate from Robert Crestwood (Patrick Baladi), a senator with eyes on the White House. Written by Evan Endicott & Josh Stoddard; directed by David Petrarca.
–Episode 7: “The Tiger and the Fox”
Debut date: FRIDAY, MAY 17 (10:00-11:00pm)
Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji) faces a dilemma when Father Jun (Perry Yung) sends Bolo (Rich Ting) to hunt down Long Zii (Henry Yuk) and Mai Ling (Dianne Doan). Ah Toy (Olivia Cheng) recruits a special girl from a whore monger, and takes on a business partner for a land deal. Penny (Joanna Vanderham) is faced with an unsavory choice in order to save her home. Lee’s (Tom Weston-Jones) past catches up with him. Written by Brad Caleb Kane; directed by Lin Oeding.
–Episode 8: “They Don’t Pay Us Enough to Think”
Debut date: FRIDAY, MAY 24 (10:00-11:00pm)
After a bloodbath on the streets of Chinatown, the Hop Wei and Long Zii consider a novel way to end hostilities. Ah Toy (Olivia Cheng) and her real-estate business partner, Leonard Patterson (Francois Rautenbach), hit a fork in the road in their effort to buy a valuable piece of land. After promising jobs to Leary’s Irish workers, Mercer (Graham Hopkins) toasts Crestwood (Patrick Baladi) at a fundraiser, while Penny (Joanna Vanderham) struggles to hold her tongue. Mai Ling (Dianne Doan) warns her brother against waging a battle he may not win. Written by Evan Endicott & Josh Stoddard; directed by Lin Oeding.
–Episode 9: “Chinese Boxing”
Debut date: FRIDAY, MAY 31 (10:00-11:00pm)
Chinatown gathers to witness a “prize fight” between elite warriors from the Hop Wei and Long Zii. Buckley (Langley Kirkwood) plays a bluff in hopes of getting Mercer (Graham Hopkins) to lower his fee. Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji) remembers his roots as a fighter, as Ah Toy (Olivia Cheng) warns him of the dangers that await. Bill (Kieran Bew) and Lee (Tom Weston-Jones) question Wang Chao (Hoon Lee) about the recent series of sword killings in San Francisco. Written by Jonathan Tropper; directed by Loni Peristere.
New movies to the channel include FATHER FIGURES, debuting FRIDAY, MAY 03 (8:05-10:00pm) with screen brothers Owen Wilson and Ed Helms. When a doctor visits an old house where his mother once worked, strange things begin to occur in THE LITTLE STRANGER, debuting FRIDAY, MAY 10 (8:05-10:00pm). BIGGER, debuting FRIDAY, MAY 24 (8:10-10:00pm), tells the inspirational true story of bodybuilders Joe and Ben Weider, who launched a fitness empire against all odds.
Next Month’s Tease: She started out on Shake It Up and Good Luck Charlie and is now on HBO.
Last month we wondered if you knew what happened on April 25-26 1986. If you don’t then watch the HBO Miniseries: CHERNOBYL on the schedule for May.
Final Clip: If I had another SESAME STREET 50th clip or two I’d show them, but instead you get HALLOWEEN.
Enjoy the month! Discover HBO. Stop back here for more news, reviews and schedules.