What’s On: HBO Schedule For May 2021

Here we go with another month of programming. Still not on the radar are some of the big HBO titles we eagerly await – SUCCESSION, WESTWORLD and BARRY, we are talking about you! Hopefully noted actresses like Kate Winslet, Uzo Aduba and Angelina Jolie will keep you interested. Plus, there is a lot more if you poke around to find it. For example, try some animation or a documentary, why don’t ya? To help you choose check out What’s On.   

A few quick points: 

  • The Doctor is in – Meet Dr. Brooke Taylor 
  • New Movies Arrive Starting with TENET 
  • Something New for ADVENTURE TIME fans 
  • Same Day Premiere – THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD 
  • Alex Gibney Documents THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY 

InTreatment_Dr.BrookeTaylor-300x276Original Series: An older series returns with a new lead and we are delighted. It is IN TREATMENT, but instead of Gabriel Byrne seeing clients it is Uzo Aduba. It will return for its fourth season SUNDAY, MAY 23 (9:00-10:00pmET/PT) Emmy winner Aduba (Mrs. AmericaOrange is the New Black) will play the lead role of the therapist at the center of the season, as the observant, empathetic Dr. Brooke Taylor. The 24-episode season will air on HBO with two back-to-back, half-hour episodes each Sunday and Monday night. The series will also be available to stream on HBO Max. The reimagining of the series is set in present-day Los Angeles and brings a diverse trio of patients in session with Brooke to help navigate a variety of modern concerns. Issues such as the global pandemic and recent major social and cultural shifts are a backdrop to the work Brooke will undertake – all while she deals with complications in her own personal life. 

The series also stars Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) as Eladio, who works as a home health aide for a wealthy family’s adult son; Liza Colón-Zayas (David Makes Man) as Rita, Brooke’s longtime confidante and friend who supports Brooke as she contends with her own demons after a life-altering loss; John Benjamin Hickey (Jessica Jones) as Colin, a charming millionaire beach bum turned white-collar criminal reckoning with all the ways his life has changed following his recent release from prison; Quintessa Swindell (EUPHORIA) as Laila, Brooke’s distrustful, teenage client, struggling to carve out her own identity separate from her family’s overbearing expectations; and Joel Kinnaman (For All Mankind) as Adam, Brooke’s long-time on-again, off-again boyfriend who has resurfaced to create further complexity for her. 

–Episode 1: “Eladio – Week 1”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 23 (9:00-09:30pm ET/PT) 

Season premiere. After a troubling dream finds home health aide Eladio (Anthony Ramos) reaching out in the middle of the night, Brooke (Uzo Aduba) reestablishes boundaries as his therapist. Later, when Eladio requests medication, Brooke switches her focus to his history of insomnia. Written by Chris Gabo; Directed by Michelle MacLaren

Anthony Ramos as Eladio

–Episode 2 “Colin – Week 1”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 23 (9:30-10:00pm ET/PT) 

Colin (John Benjamin Hickey), a self-proclaimed therapy enthusiast and proud child of hippies, arrives for the first of four court-mandated sessions, but his evasiveness makes a recommendation regarding his recent release from prison difficult for Brooke (Uzo Aduba). Written by Zack Whedon; Directed by Michelle MacLaren 

–Episode 3 “Laila – Week 1”
Debut Date: MONDAY, MAY 24 (9:00-9:30pm ET/PT)  

Brooke (Uzo Aduba) struggles to draw genuine answers out of her newest patient Laila (Quintessa Swindell), who’s been dragged to therapy by her concerned grandmother over recent “life choices,” before switching gears and empowering the 18-year-old to seize her agency. Written by Jackie Sibblies Drury; Directed by Michelle MacLaren 

–Episode 4 “Brooke – Week 1”
Debut Date: MONDAY, MAY 24 (9:30-10:00pm ET/PT) 

After failing to honor a commitment, Brooke (Uzo Aduba) receives an unexpected visit from her friend Rita (Liza Colón-Zayas). Worried that Brooke is teetering on the edge of a bad decision, Rita illuminates an unexpected connection between Brooke’s personal and professional lives. Written by Joshua Allen; Directed by Michelle MacLaren

John Benjamin Hickey as Colin

–Episode 5 “Eladio – Week 2”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 30 (9:00-9:30pm ET/PT)   

Brooke (Uzo Aduba) agrees to refer Eladio (Anthony Ramos) to a psychiatrist before his medication runs out – but only if he truly commits to therapy first. When pressed about his employers, Eladio opens up about his complicated relationship with their family. Written by Chris Gabo; Directed by Julian Farino 

–Episode 6 “Colin – Week 2”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 30 (9:30-10:00pm ET/PT) 

Colin (John Benjamin Hickey) chronicles the events that took him from “gold stars all around” to receiving serious demerits in prison. After connecting his troubling behavior to a feeling of profound powerlessness, Brooke (Uzo Aduba) challenges Colin to accept responsibility for his actions.  Written by Zack Whedon; Directed by Julian Farino 

–Episode 7 “Laila – Week 2”
Debut Date: MONDAY, MAY 31 (9:00-9:30pm ET/PT) 

In an effort to connect with Laila (Quintessa Swindell) over feeling controlled by her family, Brooke (Uzo Aduba) shares a traumatic experience from her own childhood. As Brooke digs into her proclivity for unbridled imagination and storytelling as a coping mechanism, Laila reveals a surprising plan for her future. Written by Jackie Sibblies Drury; Directed by Julian Farino

Quintessa Swindell as Laila

–Episode 8 “Brooke – Week 2”
Debut Date: MONDAY, MAY 31 (9:30-10:00pm ET/PT)   

Though Brooke (Uzo Aduba) insists reuniting with Adam (Joel Kinnaman) will not awaken destructive habits, Rita recognizes her actions as part of a recurring pattern and encourages her to spend more time embracing the present. Written by Joshua Allen; Directed by Julian Farino

The show is a TV commitment to be sure but it will be worth it or you could just binge-watch it later.HBO drama series THE NEVERS continues its run of Part One of its inaugural season in May. In a series that is proving to be about inclusion and equality, we have those with special abilities trying to fit into Victorian society as the new underclass. Watch three more episodes continuing on SUNDAY, MAY 02 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT). Part Two’s six episodes will follow at a later date, to be announced. The series will air on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max. 

Episodes include:

–Episode 4 “Undertaking”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 02 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT) 

While Mundi (Ben Chaplin) seeks justice, Amalia (Laura Donnelly) and her most trusted advisors make a list of potential enemies. Harriet (Kiran Sonia Sawar), Primrose (Anna Devlin), and the other Orphans attempt to decipher a message. Later, Amalia (Donnelly) exposes an unexpected threat. Written by Madhuri Shekar; Directed by David Semel. 

–Episode 5: “Hanged”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 09 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT) 

As the city buzzes with anticipation over a pending execution, Penance (Ann Skelly) grapples with a moral calling at odds with Amalia’s (Laura Donnelly) plan. With the two women at a crossroads, the Orphans must decide whom to follow. Written by Melissa Iqbal; Directed by Joss Whedon.

–Episode 6: “True”TheNevers_BraveDuo
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 16 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT) 

(Part One Finale) After Amalia’s (Laura Donnelly) origin story is revealed, a long-awaited reunion crystallizes the Orphans’ mission. Written by Jane Espenson; Directed by Zetna Fuentes.

Also in the midst of its run is the seven-part limited series MARE OF EASTTOWN. Find it continuing SUNDAY, MAY 02 (10:00-11:00 ET/PT) on HBO and on HBO Max. This limited series stars Winslet as Mare Sheehan, a small-town Pennsylvania detective who investigates a local murder as life crumbles around her. MARE OF EASTTOWN is an exploration into the dark side of a close community and an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define our present. 

 We are just getting deep into the story. In May, episodes include –   

–Episode 3: “Enter Number Two”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 02 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT) 

As Mare (Kate Winslet) and Colin (Evan Peters) parse new physical evidence, phone records lead to an unlikely suspect. After lashing out at Helen (Jean Smart) about a possible custody fight over Drew (Izzy King), Mare receives some unprompted advice from Richard (Guy Pearce) on how to move forward with Carrie (Sosie Bacon). Later, Kenny (Patrick Murney) and Mare face the consequences of their misguided attempts to protect their families. Written by Brad Ingelsby; Directed by Craig Zobel.  

–Episode 4: “Poor Sisyphus” MareOfEasttown_WinsletPearce
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 09 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT) 

With Mare (Kate Winslet) forced to take a backseat on the case, Colin (Evan Peters) presses a local priest about the vague circumstances that prompted his transfer to the parish. Meanwhile, an anonymous call gives Dawn (Enid Graham) hope that Katie might still be alive. Written by Brad Ingelsby; Directed by Craig Zobel. 

–Episode 5 “Illusions” 
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 16 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT) 

In her mandated therapy, Mare (Kate Winslet) opens up about her family’s history with mental health struggles. Meanwhile, Lori (Julianne Nicholson) tries to get to the bottom of her son’s outburst at school, and later, Mare meets with a semi-retired source to help find a possible connection to her three cases. Written by Brad Ingelsby; Directed by Craig Zobel. 

–Episode 6 “Sore Must Be the Storm” 
Debut Date: SUNDAY, MAY 23 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT) 

–Episode 7 “Sacrament” Finale 
Debut Date: SUNDAY MAY 30 (10:00-11:06pm ET/PT) 

It is don’t-miss content getting critics raves and praise.    

The Emmy nominated sketch comedy series A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW is rockin’ its second season. It continues FRIDAY, MAY 01 (11:00-11:30pm ET/PT) and plays for four more episodes in the month. The six-episode season will air on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max. The narrative sketch comedy series features a core cast of Black women. Joining the cast this season are featured players Laci Mosley and Skye Townsend, and returning this season are core cast members Robin Thede, Gabrielle Dennis and Ashley Nicole Black.  

REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER continues FRIDAY, MAY 07 (10:00-11:00pm live ET/tape-delayed PT), with a replay at 12:30am. As always it offers a unique perspective on the contemporary issues of the day. Continuing SUNDAY, MAY 02 at 11:00pm is LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER. Who knows what they’ll rant about next.

Hacks_onHBOMax-300x269Originals Exclusive to HBO Max: A new comedy series drops but not a lot is known about it yet. They better hurry up. The show is HACKS, set to upload on THURSDAY, MAY 13. It explores a dark mentorship that forms between Deborah Vance (Jean Smart), a legendary Las Vegas comedian, and an entitled, outcast 25-year-old (Hannah Einbinder). In addition to Smart and Einbinder, it stars series regular Carl Clemons-Hopkins and recurring guest stars Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald, Paul W. Downs, Mark Indelicato, Poppy Liu, Johnny Sibilly, Meg Stalter and Rose Abdoo. The series is created by Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky. Also appearing is something called URI AND ELLA. It comes from Israel in a deal with a top production company there. The series is an eleven-episode work billed as an UriAndElla_onHBOMaxunconventional romantic comedy-drama about loss, madness, rich-people problems and the one form of love that is truly unconditional – the love between a father and his daughter. The show tells the story of Uri (Baraba) and his daughter Ella (Senderson) following the passing of Tami, her mother. Uri, a musician, and a cultural icon, is being thrown into singlehood at the confusing age of 60; Ella, an already out-of-place kid, is being thrown into a vacuum. Now that the most painful period of grief is behind them, all the possibilities will be open to them, or so they thought. Find it uploading to the site SUNDAY, MAY 02.

On the unscripted front, HBO Max will debut the new six-episode Max Original comedy series THAT DAMN MICHAEL CHE. This groundbreaking new original comedy series, debuting THURSDAY, MAY 06, uses sketches and vignettes to illustrate what it feels like to experience various everyday situations including racial profiling, unemployment, falling in love and more, from Michael Che’s (Saturday Night Live) perspective. Fellow SNL cast members Cecily Strong, Heidi Gardner, Colin Quinn, Ellen Cleghorne and Colin Jost lend their talents along with guest stars Omari Hardwick, Geoffrey Owens, Godfrey, Billy Porter and Method Man.

Also playing will be the return of LEGENDARY with Season Two debuting THURSDAY, MAY 06 and THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING’s Season Seven dropping THURSDAY, MAY 20.

HBO Saturday Night Movies: We finally have a full string of new movies come to HBO in May. Here is a quick look at each. Enjoy TENET, GREENLAND, THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD and WONDER WOMAN 1984.  

Debuting SATURDAY, MAY 01 (8:00-10:30pm ET) is Christopher Nolan’s TENET. In this riveting film from the director of Inception and Dunkirk, a man armed with a single word—tenet–undertakes a mind-blowing, time-traveling mission to save the world. “A film that will stay with you forever…a masterpiece” (FilmMovies_Greenland Threat). Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia with Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh. Written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Yeah, if you haven’t seen it, due to the pandemic, here you go. Join the Protagonist, working for the organization Tenet, fighting through Time. Next up is GREENLAND (8:00-10:00pm ET) on SATURDAY, MAY 08. As cities around the world are being destroyed by fragments from a falling comet, a man embarks on a harrowing journey of survival with his estranged wife and young son in this one. Gerard Butler stars in this gripping disaster film. Co-starring Morena Baccarin, David Denman, Hope Davis, with Holt McCallany and Scott Glenn. Directed by Ric Roman Waugh; written by Chris Sparling. THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD (8:00-10:00pm ET) is next. Find it SATURDAY, MAY 15. It too had a short big-screen life when it debuted in late January 2020. From the comic mind of Armando Movies_WonderWoman1984-250x300Iannucci (‘VEEP) comes this exuberant, revisionist take on the classic Dickens tale chronicling the life of a young orphan and his journey into adulthood in Victorian England. Starring Dev Patel, Peter Capaldi, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw. Directed by Armando Iannucci; screenplay by Armando Iannucci & Simon Blackwell, based on the novel by Charles Dickens. The following week, SATURDAY, MAY 22, is the HBO premiere of WONDER WOMAN 1984 (08:00-10:30pm). Of course, it had its limited run on HBO MAX, but if you missed it here is another chance. A new era of wonder begins in this thrilling follow-up to the DC Super Hero’s first outing, the 2017 blockbuster hit Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot returns as the immortal Amazonian warrior, who squares off against two all-new foes in the 1980s. Also starring Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright, and Connie Nielsen. Directed by Patty Jenkins; screenplay by Patty Jenkins & Geoff Johns & David Callaham, story by Patty Jenkins & Geoff Johns. Here is a look at the latest from Gerad Butler.

HBO Films: There is one more weekend in the month and that one sees the return of an HBO Films presentation. It has been a while. On SATURDAY, MAY 29 we will see the debut of OSLO (8:00-9:55pm). Adapted from the Tony Award-winning play, this film follows the secret back-channel talks, unlikely friendships, and quiet heroics of a small but committed group of Israelis and Palestinians, plus one Norwegian couple, that led to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. Starring Ruth Wilson (HIS DARK MATERIALS) and Andrew Scott. Directed by Bartlett Sher, written by J.T Rogers. Rogers wrote the play & Sher directed the play, which won Best Play of 2017, which this film is based on. OSLO concerns the true story of the efforts of Mona Juul and her husband, Terje Rød-Larsen, who are diplomats from Norway, and who organized breakthrough negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat in 1993. 

Movies Exclusive to HBO Max: May’s Same Day Premiere is THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD. The film centers around a young teenage boy who witnesses the murder of his father near a large national forest. Pursued by assassins intent on silencing him, the boy soon meets a veteran fire warden and wilderness survival expert who offers him shelter in her lookout tower. When the assassins set fire to the forest in order to cover their tracks, the pair must both survive a deadly blaze that threatens to consume them and outwit the killers on their trail. 

It is scheduled to be released in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service by Warner Bros. Pictures on May 14, 2021. The film will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from its theatrical release in the U.S. included at no additional cost to subscribers. The movie, based on a Michael Koryta novel is directed by TCM_2021FestivalTaylor Sheridan and stars Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Finn Little, Aidan Gillen, Medina Senghore, Tyler Perry, Jake Weber, and Jon Bernthal. 

On THURSDAY MAY 06 – SUNDAY, MAY 09 the 2021 TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL comes to HBO Max, featuring an extensive lineup of more than 100 films and over 30 special guests across Turner Classic Movies premiere on the platform. Film fans of all ages will love this deep dive into classic films paired with exclusive talent interviews and behind-the-scenes access. During the event, all you need to do is seek out the TCM Hub on HBO Max and find such classics as WEST SIDE STORY, BULLITT, THE SEARCHERS, TOP HAT and more, each accompanied by additional exclusive interviews & commentary.

HBO Documentary Films: HBO’s THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY, a two-part documentary directed by Emmy and Academy Award winner Alex Gibney and presented in association with The Washington Post, is a searing indictment of Big Pharma and the political operatives and government regulations that enabled over-production, reckless distribution and abuse of synthetic opiates. Debuting MONDAY, MAY 10 (9:00-10:50pm ET/PT), with Part Two airing the following evening, the film explores the origins, extent, and fallout of one of the most devastating public health tragedies of our time, with half a million deaths from overdoses this century alone, revealing that America’s opioid epidemic is not a public health crisis that came out of nowhere. Part One of the documentary focuses on how Purdue worked closely with the FDA to get the highly profitable pain medication approved for wider use, promoting its safety without sufficient evidence, and creating a campaign to redefine pain and how we treat it. Part Two shines a spotlight on the mass marketing of the synthetic opioid fentanyl and how it quickly became abused across the board. 

In a remote Swedish village called Knutby, a small tight-knit Pentecostal congregation believed Jesus was returning to Earth to marry their leader. When a young woman in the community was murdered and her neighbor suffered multiple gunshot wounds, the ensuing court case became an international sensation. The documentary highlighting the case, PRAY, OBEY, KILL offers its concluding installment MONDAY, MAY 03 (9:00-10:00pm). AXIOS offers installments FirstLadies_HBOMaxDoc#40-#42 in May. It begins SUNDAY, MAY 09 at 6:00pm ET and at the same time for the following two weeks. 

HBO Max Documentaries: Though it is not new, FIRST LADIES is new to HBO Max. Just added to the site, from CNN, is this work highlighting the noted wives of U. S. Presidents through history. A cinematic First Lady, Robin Wright, narrates. Blending in-depth interviews, rare archival footage and cinematic recreations, this is a bold revision of each woman’s traditional portrayal, revealing how they were impacted during their time in the White House. WAHL STREET and GENERATION HUSTLE are also running new installments throughout May. 

HBO Kids & Family: Surprise, last month I commented that this type of programming gets slighted and lo, and behold, this month a special release drops highlighting Kids & Family programming. Here is a look at what is coming in May. 


Come on. I’ve never seen it and I know who they are. Don’t tell me you don’t recognize Finn & Jake. Uploading on THURSDAY, MAY 20 is ADVENTURE TIME: DISTANT LANDS-TOGETHER AGAIN. After a break from adventuring, a series of mysterious events leads Finn and Jake farther from home than they have ever traveled before. When they find themselves face to face with a monstrous evil, Finn and Jake must unite for the adventure of their lifetimes!

Over on SESAME STREET, two new episodes arrive in May.  

Meet Karli

–Thursday, May 13

“Karli’s Life Box” – There’s a new friend on Sesame Street! Karli is living with her foster parents, Mr. Clem and Ms. Dalia, until her mom can take good care of Karli again. Elmo and Abby are drawing pictures of their families and invite Karli to draw too. Karli says her drawing will help her remember her mom. This gives her an idea! She asks Mr. Clem and Chris for a box to put all the things that remind her of her mom in one place. Elmo and Abby think having a box is a great idea. All three go off to collect things that remind them of their families and place everything in their very own special treasure boxes. 

–Thursday, May 20 

“Abby Airlines” – Elmo, Abby, Rudy, and Chris want to make their own pretend plane so Rudy can see what it’s like to fly in one. The airplane is almost finished, but they’re missing the propeller and they ran out of cardboard. This is a problem! The friends try a couple of ideas and then wonder what else they can use. What if they make a propeller from a spinning pinwheel in Abby’s garden? It works! They didn’t give up and now their plane is ready for take-off. AppleOnion-243x300

Another show follows besties Apple and Onion who have decided to leave their hometowns to experience big city living. With Apple’s uncontainable enthusiasm and Onion’s outlandish imagination, the two pals embark on hilarious misadventures, often bringing fresh and unexpected insights into today’s modern life. New episodes send the pair dancing, Christmas shopping and to Falafel’s aid during several times of need. The duo also play trivia games, outsmart Burger’s roommate, save their favorite booth at Pizza’s Diner and so much more! It is APPLE & ONION with new episodes available WEDNESDAY, MAY 19

HBO Sports: Always holding down the fort is REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL. Find episode #289 on TUESDAY, MAY 25 (10:00-11:00pm).

HBO Latino: I found two titles of fresh content and both are movies. First, on FRIDAY, May 11 is the debut of LA BODA DE ROSA (Rosa’s Wedding). A woman caught up in the drama of her family and work lives decides to take charge of her life byLatino_AreYouListening getting married–to herself! Okay, let me know how that works out for you. And On FRIDAY, MAY 21 is the debut of TERRITORIO (Close Quarters) about a couple who wants to have a baby, but when the husband proves to be infertile, they turn to a new friend for help with unfortunate results. Starring Jose Pescina, Paulina Gaitan and Jorge A. Jimenez. The biggest news on the Latino front is not about specific content right now. HBO Max  Pa’lante! announced their partnership with WORD, an Afro-Latina-owned creative agency dedicated to cultural storytelling, to launch the Are You Listening? Campaign. “Are You Listening?” is a content and community initiative inspired by HBO’s iconic, and award-winning show, HABLA, which features sometimes funny, often poignant and always thoughtful testimonials from U.S. Latinos reflecting, celebrating and honoring the Latinx experience in the U.S. Also, HBO Max is targeting more Latino content in the months ahead for the service both here and in other countries. We will keep you informed. 


Other Movies & Shows: As usual there are a slew of movies rotating off & on the sites. I shall drop some titles arriving in May. Coming to HBO or Max’ HBO Hub are, in alphabetical order, titles like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Anger Management, CursedFlight of the IntruderFridaHarley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (pictured), Kansas, Norbit, Serpico and The Wings of the Dove. Exclusive to HBO Max are titles like AnacondaBlack Hawk DownFree WillieJackie BrownMortal Kombat (1995), Rush Hour and When Harry Met Sally. Here is the trailer for 1995’s Mortal Kombat.

Next Month’s Tease: An Aciddrop, Barley Grind, Christ Air and/or Dog Piss required.    

Last month’s answer – “A comet named Clarke” was presented to you. That chuck of celestial rubble is the catalyst for disaster in GREENLAND, playing this month. Clarke is named for SF author Arthur C. Clarke.       

Final Clip: Not one but two; one from an HBO movie the other a bit of Jean Smart. You’re welcome. 

Enjoy the month! Discover HBO.

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