The landscape is going to change someday soon and I’m not talking about May flowers but the look of HBO Max. Exactly how is unknown at this time but a uber-site is in the offing. Right now, it is still easy and simple to find the HBO Hub and locate your favored content whether it is a half-hour of laughs or an intense hour of drama. Whether it is new fare or a relived classic. It is still HBO! Here is what it offers for May 2022.
A few quick points:
Niffenegger’s time travel romance begins
The decoding of Anne Lister continues
There is plenty to sing along with in musical content
And plenty to discuss with Maher, Oliver and Jay
and there is some classic George Carlin!
HBO Original Series: We lead off the month with the much-anticipated series entitled THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE. Official press releases set it up quite simply. The HBO original six-episode drama series debuts SUNDAY, MAY 15 (9:00-10:00pm) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. It is an intricate and magical love story, adapted by Steven Moffat (Dr. Who) from the much-loved novel by Audrey Niffenegger and is directed by David Nutter (GAME OF THRONES). The work tells the story of Clare and Henry, and a marriage with a problem… time travel. Ah, it can wreak havoc on a relationship every time, can’t it?
The lead couple, as adults, are Rose Leslie (GAME OF THRONES) as Clare Abshire and Theo James (The Divergent film franchise) as Henry DeTamble. Their younger selves are played by Caitlin Shorey & Everleigh McDonell and Brian Altemus & Jason David, respectively. Since she was 6 years old, Clare has had an imaginary friend: a kind and funny man, sometimes old, sometimes young, who appears in the woods behind her house and tells her tales of the future. Visits from the mysterious Henry are the bright spots in the tedium of her childhood. As the years pass and she grows into a beautiful young woman, she starts to realize her friend is not imaginary — he’s a time traveler, visiting from the future. And he’s not just from any old future, he’s from hers.
Also cast are Desmin Borges as Gomez, one of Clare’s best friends secretly in love with her and Natasha Lopez as Charisse, a nosy confidante of Clare’s. The extended family of the Abshires are also present. Only time will tell if this adaptation holds to the novel.
Continuing in May is WE OWN THIS CITYas we happily return to the tough, corrupt burg of Baltimore. Find it picking up MONDAY, MAY 02 (9:00-10:00pm). In the 2000s, the Baltimore Police Department struggled to respond to crime with meaningful police work, giving itself over to mass arrest and drug warring instead. This series shows how the department’s desperate reliance on statistics over substance eventually which led to the inability of department officials to supervise the Gun Trace Task Force and to discipline rogue police. At the time Baltimore police commanders held to the belief that any street unit that could bring in guns and drugs consistently had to be championed and protected. WE OWN THIS CITY depicts the inevitable corruption of a unit given this carte blanche.
On his first days on the job, Jenkins (Jon Bernthal) learns the true weight of city politics in policing. Jensen and Sieracki (Don Harvey) interview an eager to talk Jemell Rayam (Darrell Britt-Gibson) about the GTTF’s tactics. Sean Suiter (James Hector) is assigned to a new murder case, McDougall links with Scott Kilpatrick to take their case to the Feds, and Steele hears from Hersl’s vocal critics. Written by Ed Burns & William F. Zorzi; Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green.
Despite numerous complaints, Hersl (Josh Charles) is placed on the GTTF. Jensen (Dagmara Domińczyk) monitors Gondo’s (McKinley Belcher III) calls. Jenkins (Jon Bernthal) brings Suiter (Jamie Hector) along on a raid. Written by D Watkins; Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green.
Also just starting its run late last month is GENTLEMAN JACK for a second season. It continues MONDAY, MAY 02 (10:00-11:00pm). We do have some scant episode details for this one too. It chronicles the life & loves of the enigmatic Anne Lister, personified by Suranne Jones.
After another former flame threatens to derail their idyllic honeymoon, Lister tells Ann about her complicated relationship with Mariana but withholds some crucial information. Back in Halifax, Ann’s family hatches a plot to marry her off to a gentleman, and, at the Sowden farm, Suzannah becomes consumed with regret about moving in with an increasingly volatile Thomas. Written by Sally Wainwright; Directed by Edward Hall.
–Episode 3: “Tripe All Over the Place, Presumably”
Debut: MONDAY, MAY 09 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT)
–Episode 4: “I’m Not the Other Woman, She Is”
Debut: MONDAY, MAY 16 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT)
Switching to half-hour programming, don’t forget BARRY. The dark comedy picks up SUNDAY, MAY 01 (10:00-10:30 pm). I don’t need to tell followers of the show of the big reveal whispered into Gene Cousineau’s ear that puts this second season into a tailspin because you’re all over it.
I could’ve been a marine, but I guess I had too many options. Written by Emma Barrie; Directed by Alec Berg
–Season 3, Episode 04: “all the sauces”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 15 (10:00-10:30 PM ET/PT)
You’re Thweetie?! Written by Jason Kim; Directed by Alec Berg
Yeah, like that tells us anything.
Now if dark comedy isn’t enough, it is not too late to jump onto some horror-comedy in the half-hour following BARRY. It is THE BABY and man, is he wicked. It is presented as a darkly funny, raw examination of motherhood, from the perspective of a woman who doesn’t want to be one. The story resumes SUNDAY, MAY 01 (10:30-11:30pm).
Inexplicably reunited with the baby, Natasha (Michelle de Swarte) scrambles to locate his mother and uncovers an alarming pattern of events on a thumb drive. Later, after her friends confuse the situation further, Natasha reaches out to her estranged sister Bobbi (Amber Grappy). Written by Siân Robins-Grace; Directed by Stacey Gregg
Despite Mrs. Eaves’ (Amira Ghazalia) shocking solution to her baby problem, Natasha (Michelle de Swarte) finds herself willing to do anything in exchange for her help – even if it’s the herculean task of nap time. Meanwhile, Bobbi (Amber Grappy) and her partner Sam (Gensis Lynea) prepare for an important meeting with their adoption social worker. Written by Sophie Goodhart; Directed by Stacey Gregg
With the baby now in Bobbi’s (Amber Grappy) hands, Natasha (Michelle de Swarte) must reunite with her mother Barbara (Sinéad Cusack), whom she hasn’t seen in fifteen years. While Bobbi discovers an unmatched ability to put the child to sleep, Natasha confronts her family’s fractured history, and Barbara celebrates having children and grandchildren under the same roof. Written by Susan Soon He Stanton; Directed by Faraz Shariat
As Natasha (Michelle de Swarte) and Mrs. Eaves (Amira Ghazalia) remain trapped in Barbara’s (Sinéad Cusack) summer solstice ritual, the baby’s complicated origin, connection to Mrs. Eaves and trauma-filled path to Natasha are revealed. Written by Kara Smith; Directed by Faraz Shariat
Desperate to leave the Jupiter House, Natasha (Michelle de Swarte), Bobbi (Amber Grappy), and Mrs. Eaves (Amira Ghazalia) find their plans thwarted by the chaos and destruction of the other suddenly-possessed children. Later, Bobbi receives the social worker’s long-awaited call. Written by Anchuli Felicia King; Directed by Faraz Shariat
If you want something different seek out THE BABY.
Concluding its premiere season is WINNING TIME: THE RISE OF THE LAKERS DYNASTY. It sits on SUNDAY MAY 01(9:00-10:00pm ET). The show has been taking some heat from personalities depicted in the series but that hasn’t stopped the full press down the court for this show. It wraps up with two more episodes.
–Episode 09 “Acceptable Loss”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 01 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT)
As the Lakers prepare to enter the play-offs, Buss struggles with the team’s tenuous coaching situation and his mother’s failing health. Later, Haywood receives an ultimatum from Kareem. Written by Rodney Barnes, Max Borenstein, Jeff Pearlman; Directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield.
Robin Thede and company aren’t quite done yet. They still got laughs to offer up. A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW has two more episodes starting FRIDAY, MAY 06 (11:00-11:30-pm ET/PT).
–Episode #17: “Peaches and Eggplants for Errbody!”
Debut: FRIDAY, MAY 06 (11:00-11:30pm ET/PT)
–Episode #18: “It’s a New Day, Africa America!”
Debut: FRIDAY, MAY 13 (11:00-11:30pm ET/PT)
You know the drill with Maher & Oliver. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHERcontinues his 20th season beginning FRIDAY, MAY 06 (10:00-11:00pm ET). He hits the 600th installment on 05.13. LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER kicks off its month on SUNDAY, MAY 01 (11:00-11:30pm ET). The big news here is that joining the usual talkers is Sam Jay and her show returning to the lineup. Join Sam Jay’s house party with the season two premiere of PAUSE WITH SAM JAY a comedy-talk-variety show that’s an interview platform, a comedy show and a cultural lesson all in one. What I can’t do is give you an official date/time. But I think it will be in A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW’s slot after it leaves. So, set Sam Jay’s return for FRIDAY, MAY, 20 (11:00-11:30pm ET/PT). Here is a reminder of her style –
Original Series Exclusive to HBO Max: A horrible accident or a crime of passion? Based on a true story, THE STAIRCASE takes viewers behind the closed doors of a once happy home that abruptly became the scene of a murder. Starring Academy Award-winner Colin Firth and Emmy Award-winner Toni Collette, this limited series will have everyone on the edge of their seats. This eight-episode Max Original limited series debuts THURSDAY, MAY 5 with three episodes, followed by one new episode each week through June 9.
Adapting a true-crime docuseries and various books/reports on the case, this work is an exploration of the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling North Carolina family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson, played by Firth & Collette, respectively. Starring alongside them are Michael Stuhlbarg, Juliette Binoche, Dane DeHaan, Olivia DeJonge, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tim Guinee, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Sophie Turner, Vincent Vermignon, Odessa Young and Parker Posey.
LAS BRAVAS FC is a Max Original hailing from Mexico. Mauricio Ochmann plays Roberto Casas, the best Mexican footballer who has ever played in Europe, who loses everything due to injury and is therefore forced to return to his hometown. Feeling defeated, he reluctantly becomes the coach of Las Bravas FC, the local women’s football team, training them to win their first championship.
With the help of Sebas (Mauricio Barrientos), his great childhood friend, Roberto will seek to achieve the unimaginable: to turn this group of amateur players into professional footballers, while trying to reconcile with their past. Will he get it? The Las Bravas team will face powerful rivals on the playing field. And outside of it, they will have to overcome the personal adversities that surround them, while at the same time they must face the stereotypes that pigeonhole them by relying on each other. They are five friends who will do their utmost to achieve their goals. It begins uploading THURSDAY, MAY 05.
The big returning series is HACKS and that was a quick turnaround for Jean Smart with her character Deborah Vance. The second season begins uploads THURSDAY, MAY 12 with two episodes. The eight-episode season continues with two new episodes a week, concluding THURSDAY, JUNE 02. Here, the dark mentorship between legendary Las Vegas comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and her young, entitled writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder) continues to evolve as the two travel across the country workshopping Deborah’s new stand-up act.
The scripted shows continuing their run in May are THE FLIGHT ATTENDANTwhich does not conclude until May 26 and MADE FOR LOVE with Cristin Milioti. In unscripted fare, we have the return of two shows Season three of the Emmy-nominated Max Original ballroom competition series LEGENDARY debuts with three episodes THURSDAY, MAY 19 on HBO Max. The ten-episode season continues with three episodes a week until the finale on June 9. Multi-award-winning actress and singer Keke Palmer joins MC/Host Dashaun Wesley, along with judges Leiomy Maldonado, Jameela Jamil, and Law Roach this season to crown another “Legendary” house. Bringing ballroom’s ever-influential culture to a global stage, LEGENDARY follows fabulously talented voguing houses as they ignite the runway at extravagant balls showcasing their skill, style, and stamina for a shot at the $100,000 grand prize.
PR says Michael Che is guaranteed to make everyone laugh in the season two premiere of THAT DAMN MICHAEL CHE. Its uploads begin THURSDAY, MAY 26. It is all where he illustrates what it feels like to experience everyday situations including racial profiling, unemployment, falling in love and more. Also, searching for the best drag queen out of Brazil is, well, QUEEN STARS BRAZIL uploading THURSDAY, MAY 05.
HBO International Titles: A new scripted drama dropping is entitled WHO’S BY YOUR SIDE and hails from HBO Asia. The Taiwanese drama series explores relationship issues and marital challenges and depicts painful dilemmas for the characters through a unique lens on their daily lives. It seems Yongjie, a married woman, works two jobs to help pay off her husband Zhisheng’s debt. He, however, suspects that she may be guilty of infidelity. So, does she stay or does she go? Who’s by your side? Directed by Peter Ho, the ten-part 60-minute series uploads THURSDAY, MAY 12. Of course, there are always titles to count on from HBO Latino. This month has two movies; the first is LA AFINADORA DE ARBOLES (The Tree Tuner). After receiving the global award for children’s literature, a woman moves with her family to the countryside to re-evaluate her life. Starring Paola Barrientos, Marcelo Subiotto, Diego Cremonesi, Violeta Postolski, Oliverio Acosta, and Matias Scarvaci. Written and directed by Natalia Smirnoff. Something tells me the rural setting moves her? It debuts FRIDAY, MAY 06 on the channel and earlier on HBO Max. The other movie is IDENTIDAD TOMADA (Taken Identity). To get their rejected film accepted to a big festival, Felino and his friends add a famous retired filmmaker to the credits, leading to misadventure. Starring Gabriel Retes, Meritxell Galez, Ignacio Lopez Tarso, Alexander Da Silva, Denisse Corona, Vicente Flores, Max Flores, and Horacio Castelo. Directed by Gabriel Retes; written by Gabriel Retes and Maria del Pozo. It debuts FRIDAY, MAY 20 on the channel and earlier on HBO Max.
Latino comedy is strong with the ENTRE NOS series and it offers another entry. The latest installment will debut FRIDAY, MAY 06 (10:00-10:30pm ET/PT), on HBO Latino and will stream on HBO Max. Tune in to ENTRE NOS: CARMEN AND ALFREDto watch LA-based comedians Carmen Morales and Alfred Robles offer their peculiar advice. Get ready for the most uproarious history lesson ever, outlandish ideas for your next funeral, questionable dating tips and more from these Latino laugh-ups.
HBO Saturday Night Movies: Taking a peek at movies now. We have three titles uploading and then taking the Saturday night slot on HBO. They are DEAR EVAN HANSEN, THE MATRIX: RESURRECTIONS and OLD.
A musical stage story gets a cinematic adaptation in DEAR EVAN HANSEN. Ben Platt reprises his Tony Award-winning role as a high schooler with a social anxiety disorder who begins a journey of self-discovery following a classmate’s suicide. Co-starring Kaitlyn Dever, Amandla Stenberg, Nik Dodani, Colton Ryan, Danny Pino, Julianne Moore, and Amy Adams. Directed by Stephen Chbosky; screenplay by Steven Levenson, based on the musical stage play with book by Steven Levenson, music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. It debuts SATURDAY, MAY 07 (8:00-10:20pm ET/PT) but uploads to HBO Max earlier. The unique milieu that is The Matrix continues in May. THE MATRIX: RESURRECTIONS was one of Warner Bros. Same-Day Premieres and now comes back to HBO SATURDAY, MAY 15 (8:00-10:30pm ET/PT). Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss return to the iconic roles they made famous, Neo and Trinity, as they go back into the reality that is behind our lives. The next week, SATURDAY, MAY 21 sits blank for some reason. This takes us to OLD, a title I never heard of. It is a 2021 film from Shyamalan. While on vacation at a mysterious, secluded beach, a family finds themselves aging at an alarming rate, reducing their lifespan into just one day. As rapidly developing medical conditions threaten their lives, the family tries to find a way to safety in this supernatural drama written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, and Alex Wolff. It begins SATURDAY, MAY 28 (8:00-9:50pm ET/PT) but uploads earlier.
Movies Exclusive to HBO Max: No new movies are slated. I guess they want to make sure THE BATMAN is getting your attention. Is it?
HBO Documentary Films: Yet another title without a locked-in date, I don’t get how hard it is to do that because I don’t want to miss this title – GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM coming sometime in May. It is a two-part documentary directed by Judd Apatow (HBO’s THE ZEN DIARIES OF GARRY SHANDLING) and Michael Bonfiglio (HBO’s MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS). It chronicles the life and work of legendary comedian George Carlin. Dubbed the “dean of counterculture comedians,” Carlin’s career spanned half a century during which he headlined 14 HBO comedy specials and appeared on The Tonight Show over 130 times, constantly evolving with the times and staying sharply resonant up until his death in 2008 and beyond. Carlin’s ability to zoom in on societal ills has proven eerily prophetic and much of his work resonates today with alarming (and still hilarious) clarity. The documentary examines a cultural chameleon who is remembered as one of the most influential stand-up comics of all time. We’ll look for it. The documentary with the locked-in date is SPRING AWAKENING: THOSE YOU’VE KNOWN. 15 years after the smash, Tony-winning Broadway run of “Spring Awakening,” the original cast and creative team reunite for a spectacular, one-night-only reunion concert to benefit The Actors Fund. Chronicling their whirlwind journey back to the stage, the film follows the players as they reconnect and rediscover the beauty and timelessness of the hit musical, sharing the show’s underdog origins, its path to Tony glory, the universal themes of teenage repression and angst, and the unconventional love story of breakout stars Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele. The documentary pulls back the curtain to showcase the reunited original cast and creative team at rehearsals, in their homes and backstage. It debuts TUESDAY, MAY 03 (9:00-10:23pm ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.
HBO MAX Original Documentary Films:YELLOWFACE: ASIAN WHITEWASHING AND RACISM IN HOLLYWOOD is the newest documentary slated for HBO Max. It is a 54-minute documentary about the history of anti-Asian racism and yellowface in Hollywood after the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. Never thought about it, did you? Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Katherine Hepburn, John Wayne, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno, Mickey Rooney, Ricardo Montalban, Marlon Brando and Tony Randall all played Asian characters in film. Find the film uploading SUNDAY, MAY 01.
HBO Max Kids & Family: In a new series the Sesame Street gang change it up. It is SESAME STREET MECHA BUILDERS. It reimagines Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Abby Cadabby as robot heroes in training who use their STEM superpowers to solve wacky larger-than-life problems. Animated in a dynamic 3D style, this series will help older preschoolers practice foundational critical thinking skills while laughing along with their Sesame Street friends. The first five episodes will air on Cartoonito on Cartoon Network on Monday, May 9, hitting HBO Max TUESDAY, MAY 10.
On SESAME STREET in May an on-location farm segment wraps up before the gang heads back to the neighborhood. New episodes upload every THURSDAY. In other shows, the WE BABY BEARS return for the third set of episodes for Season One. Those arrive SATURDAY, MAY 07 and the D.C. animated movie CATWOMAN: HUNTED uploads TUESDAY, MAY 10.
HBO Sports: REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is the only sports pundit holding court this month. Thelatest edition debutsTUESDAY, May 24 (10:00-11:00pm).
Other Movies & Shows: Let’s pump you full of movies uploading in May. 47 Ronin, Assassins, At Close Range, An Autumn Afternoon, The Big Sleep, Back To School, Bottle Rocket, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Color Purple, Early Spring, 1956, Early Summer, The End of Summer, Furry Vengeance, The Machine That Kills Bad People, The New Guy, North Dallas Forty, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Welcome to the Dollhouse, W.E., What To Expect When You’re Expecting, You, Me and Dupree, Young Adult and Zathura: A Space Adventure are just some of them. Here is a peek at that last one –
Next Month’s Tease: Les Vampires.
Last month’s answer – You might have missed her. Appearing in DEATH ON THE NILE as the maid of Gal Gadot’s character was Rose Leslie. Though you might better remember her as GAME OF THRONES’ Ygritte, find her next as THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE.
Final Clip: Merely because it was bumped out from above.
I’m sure there are titles I’ve missed and I’m equally as sure they will add content last minute.