The schedule is beginning to bulk out a bit, which is nice to see. It is a strategic plan, perhaps? The situation has been chaotic at WBD with the shuffling of staff and the purge of content as of late. Thus, the company wants to make it clear that HBO is a vital component and going strong. On the other hand, October has traditionally been a big month for the premium channel/streamer. The slate is full of half-hour and hour shows, scripted and non-scripted. Sit back and relax with fulfilling HBO content at your own home box office this October.
A few quick points:
Michael Imperioli and Hugh Laurie are both back on HBO
Four diverse HBO Documentary Films titles screen this month
There might not be a Batgirl, but DC content is front & center
Plus, Yvonne Orji has something to say
and those pesky dragons aren’t done with us yet!
HBO Original Series: Returning to our screens this month are two shows that make us chuckle and the first of them launches on MONDAY, OCTOBER 10 (10:00-1030pm ET). It is that romp through space we call AVENUE 5. The show, which we haven’t seen since early 2020, takes us to a not-so-distant future where space tourism is a booming business. While manning a luxury spacecraft owned by Herman Judd (Josh Gad), Captain Ryan Clark (Hugh Laurie) finds himself in over his head when the ship is thrown disastrously off-course – turning what was meant to be an eight-week cruise into an eight-year journey. Picking up five months after failing to reroute the vessel, season two follows the crew – including fiery engineer Billie (Lenora Crichlow), unpredictable head of customer relations Matt (Zach Woods), and faithful right-hand Iris (Suzy Nakamura) – as they struggle to lead, calm, control, and, if need be, hide from increasingly unruly passengers. On earth, they’re lauded as heroes, and in space, everyone can hear them scream.
The best we have about episode breakdowns are titles.
–Season 2, Episode 1: “No One Wants an Argument About Reality”
Debut Date: MONDAY, OCTOBER 10 (10:00pm ET followed by a repeat airing at 10:30pm)
–Season 2, Episode 2: “What an Unseasonal Delight”
Debut Date: MONDAY, OCTOBER 17 (10:00-10:30pm ET)
–Season 2, Episode 3: “Is It A Good Dot?”
Debut Date: MONDAY, OCTOBER 24 (10:00- 10:30pm ET)
–Season 2, Episode 4: “How It Ends: As a Starter and a Main”
Debut Date: MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 (10:00-10:30pm)
The second series also returns for a sophomore season after its premiere season raked in multiple Emmys. It is Mike White’s THE WHITE LOTUS. This time out we are off to sunny Sicily. Joining us there are familiar faces. For starters, Jennifer Coolidge returns as her character Tanya McQuoid, but embodying new roles are Michael Imperioli, Aubrey Plaza and F. Murray Abraham. Also appearing are Adam DiMarco, Beatrice Grannò, Meghann Fahy, Jon Gries, Tom Hollander, Sabrina Impacciatore, Theo James, Haley Lu Richardson, Will Sharpe, Simona Tabasco, and Leo Woodall.
Join us starting SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30 (9:00-10:00pm ET with a repeat airing at the 10:00 hour) and meet the staff and guests of The White Lotus resort of Sicily.
–Season 2 Episode 1: “Ciao”
Debut Date: SUNDAY OCTOBER 30 (9:00-10:00pm ET)
House of the Dragon offers up the final four episodes of its premiere season in October. It picks up on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 02 (9:00-10:00pm ET). Do the math, that means the concluding installment plays beginning SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23. We’ll take this opportunity to point you to other resources to help you totally immerse in the story unfolding. Over on HBO.com, there is a link to the official soundtrack playlist from composer Ramin Djawadi, guides to Maps of the Known World and a Dragon Index as well as links to the official podcast about the series. Explore, and don’t miss the conclusion of the premiere season of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON.
Also continuing its run is LOS ESPOOKYS. It too is halfway through its season and the remaining three episodes play out beginning FRIDAY, OCTOBER 07 (11:00-11:30pm ET). Those episodes are as follows:
–Season 2, Episode 4: “Las Muchas Caras de un Hombre“ (One Man’s Many Faces)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7 (11:00-11:30pm ET/PT)
Tati’s (Ana Fabrega) writing career takes off as Andrés (Julio Torres) adjusts to his new role of evil stepfather. While Los Espookys help a previous client confront her husband, Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) investigates the death of slain pageant queen Karina (Martine Gutierrez), who continues to haunt him. Written by Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega; Directed by Sebastian Silva
–Season 2, Episode 5: “El Virus (The Virus)
Debuts: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 (11:00-11:30pm ET/PT)
An aging actor recruits the increasingly tense Los Espookys crew to get her monotonous sitcom canceled. Meanwhile, Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) visits the other pageant participants, and Ambassador Melanie’s (Greta Titelman) dream of running the Miami Embassy is upended. Written by Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega; Directed by Ana Fabrega
–Season 2, Episode 6: “El Eclipse (The Eclipse)
Debuts: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21 (11:00-11:30pm ET/PT)
Without valet work, a struggling Tico (Fred Armisen) still manages to impart advice to Andrés (Julio Torres). After receiving a symbolic apology from Andrés (Torres), Los Espookys stage an eclipse during Mayor Teresa’s (Carmen Gloria Bresky) last speech before the election. Later, Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) comes closer to figuring out the truth about Karina’s (Martine Gutierrez) onstage death. Written by Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega; Directed by Ana Fabrega
That leads us up to Maher on Fridays and Oliver on Sundays. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER offers up installment #615 on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 07 (10:00-11:00pm ET) and continues in his timeslot except for a break on 10.21. Some of his guests as of late have included filmmakers Rob Reiner and Michael Moore & music makers Wynton Marsalis and Trace Adkins and their views on the state of U. S. culture and politics. LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER returns SUNDAY, OCTOBER 02 (11:00-11:30pm ET/PT), but he breaks on 10.23. What, do John & Bill have a weekend rendezvous planned? No, but Oliver has made plans to make room on the 23rd for a double airing of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON’s season-ender. How nice of him.
Original Series Exclusive to HBO Max:
The first of seven DC titles leads us off here. Now becoming an HBO Max series, brought over from Epix, is PENNYWORTH: THE ORIGIN OF BATMAN’S BUTLER. It follows the exploits of Alfred Pennyworth, a former British SAS soldier, who forms a security company in 1960s London and goes to work with young billionaire Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha before they become Bruce Wayne’s parents. RT states, “While intriguing characters and impressive set-pieces make for an engaging spy-thriller, Pennyworth doesn’t add much to the greater Batman mythos.” But it does appear that Alfred knows a bit about crimefighting himself. The new season will begin uploads as of THURSDAY, OCTOBER 06. Seasons One & Two are already available.
The other titles slated are non-fiction works. WAHL STREET (THURSDAY, OCTOBER 06) returns for a second season. We see Mark Wahlberg’s life as he juggles the demands of a rigorous film schedule and hustles to expand his blossoming business empire, which includes gym studio F45, clothing line Municipal, production company Unrealistic Ideas, and, of course, Wahlburgers. Facing numerous difficult decisions amid the global pandemic, Mark is driven to make movies better, people healthier, burgers tastier, and clothes trendier – all while prioritizing his most important roles as husband and father. Also arriving is another cooking show. Coming SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 is LA PITCHONE: COOKING IN FRANCE. It showcases four friends as they run a cooking school in Julia Child’s former home, the place where she cooked and wrote some of her most famous recipes. As other WBD franchises start to integrate we will see the new FIXER UPPER: THE CASTLE as well. For those interested, Chip & Joanna Gaines renovated a 19th-century castle, Cottonwood Castle, in Waco Texas of all places. Seek it out beginning FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14. THE HYPE continues its season as well.
HBO International Titles: Around the world we go! We see series from Germany, China, Spain, Brazil and even Singapore in October. We start in chronological order with the first title called OH HELL. It hails from Berlin, Germany and arrives MONDAY, OCTOBER 10. It has a hell of a plot to wrap your mind around, but it won Best Comedy in its country. The life of 24-year-old Helene (Mala Emde), who goes by the nickname “Hell”, is anything but Instagram material. It’s a mess. With her dashing honesty, Hell causes numerous disasters and even contributes to her parents’ divorce. The one gift she has is slipping into parallel realities to make her life better. In one, teacher Oskar (Edin Hasanovic), seems to understand her chaotic worlds and the cinema in her head. For the first time, Hell has the chance to actually live one of these lives she always imagines. If you’re not jumping on that wild ride how about a historical drama from China? Uploading THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20 is LEGACY. Set in 1920s China, the series chronicles the lives of the wealthy Yi family and its three sisters who vie to inherit their father’s business empire. In a time of upheaval and uncertainty, the three sisters set aside their differences to keep the business afloat and save their family. Big actresses from China starred and it received billions of views and evidently caught the eye of HBO Max.
VALE DOS ESQUECIDOS is next. It seems a group of young explorers get lost on a trail and end up in a peculiar village hidden under an eternal mist. As of now, all the trailers I have found of it are in Portuguese because it was created for HBO Latin America in Sao Paulo, Brazil. However, by the time of launch on HBO Max, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, English subtitles will be enabled. From Spain, comes GRACIA! on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28. It follows Antonia, a young reporter who quickly becomes embroiled in an elaborate political conspiracy after accidentally defrosting a cryogenically frozen secret agent from the 1960s. Finding himself thrust into a fractured modern world, Garcia, a former pawn in fascist dictator Francisco Franco’s regime, must rely on Antonia’s help to fit in – and decide where his loyalties lie amid a conspiracy to upend the Spanish government. Thrilling and fast-paced, the series spans six decades in Spain’s tumultuous political history, seamlessly blending satire and suspense for a genre-bending adventure of epic proportions.
Returning with Season Two out of Singapore is FOLKLORE, which fits in just right in the month that has Halloween. This is the HBO Asia Original horror anthology series that features deeply-rooted superstitions and myths across six Asian countries, including Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. It is created by Singaporean director Eric Khoo and joins the first season for six more installments. It uploads THURSDAY, OCTOBER 06. PICO DA NEBLINA (Joint Venture) has the final two episodes of its season in early October; (FRIDAY, OCTOBER 07 & FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 10:00-11:00pm ET).nAnother installment of the Habla series resumes with HABLA LOUD debuting FRIDAY, OCTOBER 07.
HBO Saturday Night Movies: Only one new movie sits in the coveted Saturday night slot and it’s joined by a few classic movies. Beginning at 7:20pm on 10.01 is ARMAGEDDON, the disaster pic from Michael Bay about the asteroid that threatens Earth. 10.08 is DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS. The next week, SATURDAY 10.15 is Sharlto Copley in the sci-fi thriller DISTRICT 9; we get some Halloween horror with 2016’s THE WITCH (pictured) on 10.22 and close out the month with ??? On 10.29.
So, our new movie is DC title # 2 on our list, DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS. Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends fighting crime in Metropolis side by side. When Superman and the rest of the Justice League are kidnapped, Krypto forms a team of superpowered shelter pets to help him rescue the Super Heroes. Making an appearance in this animated feature is Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, The Green Lantern, Aquaman and Cyborg. But more importantly, their pets, led by Krypton, save the day. Here is the trailer of the movie now coming to HBO after a theatrical run.
The movie is already available to stream but arrives on the linear channel SATURDAY, OCTOBER 08 (8:00-9:45pm ET).
Movies Exclusive to HBO Max: Uploading on the streamer on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 05 is ERASER REBORN, just one of the movies HBO Max wishes to single out as a release on the service. So, if they single it out, so do we. It is an action thriller rebooting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1996 movie ERASER. Directed by John Pogue from a script by Michael D. Weiss, the plot centers around a secret agency that specializes in engineering the fake deaths of witnesses that need to leave no trace of their existence. Starring British actor Dominic Sherwood in the lead role as U.S. Marshal Mason Pollard; the supporting cast includes Jacky Lai, McKinley Belcher III and Eddie Ramos. It is rated R and runs 1 hour, 42 minutes. Check the trailer.
HBO Documentary Films: Four entries make it onto the schedule in October and they all fall in the latter part of the month. First is the long-in-coming THE VOW PART II. It begins on MONDAY OCTOBER 17. The docuseries, picking up where it left off in 2020, examines quite thoroughly, Keith Raniere. Five years after his arrest in Mexico, amid rumors of a secret sex sorority within his self-help company NXIVM, the documentary reveals the manifold ways that Raniere and a trusted inner circle of acolytes conspired to induct women into a female-only sect. features exclusive phone interviews with Keith Raniere from prison and extensive access to Nancy Salzman, who examines her role in the rise of NXIVM, her relationship with Raniere and ultimately wrestles with her involvement in growing an organization that was accused of fostering predatory behavior and criminal activity.
October’s episodes are as follows.
–Episode 1: “Tests of Loyalty”
Debut date: MONDAY, OCTOBER 17 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT)
Prosecutor Moira Penza and defense attorney Marc Agnifilo prepare for trial after the arrest of Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack and Lauren Salzman. DOS members Nicki Clyne and Michele Hatchette offer a different perspective into NXIVM, DOS, and Raniere, while Nancy Salzman, under house arrest, sits down to speak with the filmmakers.
–Episode 2: “Rapport”
Debut date: MONDAY, OCTOBER 24 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT)
Nancy Salzman looks back at her professional and personal relationship with Keith Raniere and defends her intentions with the company: to help people achieve lasting, personal growth through Executive Success Programs. The first witnesses in the trial are called to the stand, including defector Mark Vicente and Raniere victim Sylvie.
–Episode 3: “Stimulus and Response”
Debut date: MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT)
Marc Agnifilo presents his case attesting to the good work of NXIVM; Marc Elliot remains loyal to Keith Raniere after he claims the symptoms of his Tourette’s syndrome were successfully reduced by Nancy Salzman. First-line DOS member and NXIVM leader, Lauren Salzman takes the stand… for the prosecution!
Debuting TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18 (9:00-10:45pm ET) is MAMA’S BOY (pictured). It centers around the upbringing of the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of “Milk,” Dustin Lance Black. Traveling back to the places where he grew up, Black explores his childhood roots, gay identity and close relationship with his mother, who overcame childhood polio, abusive marriages and Mormon dogma, while becoming Black’s emotional rock and ultimately, the inspiration for his activism. With a wealth of personal photographs and candid memories from Black’s family, colleagues, and friends, MAMA’S BOY embraces the personal to tell a universally hopeful tale of resilience and reconciliation through the power of love and shared stories. The next night, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19 (8:30-10:00pm ET) is YEAR ONE: A POLITICAL ODYSSEY. The question is whose? The answer is our current POTUS. Director John Maggio takes a look at the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency. The last on the slate is A TREE OF LIFE: THE PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING. It airs WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26 (8:50-10:20pm ET). Filmmaker Patrice O’Neill says it’s a story of hope, inspiration, and courage of Pittsburgh standing together against anti-Semitism as she examines the facts surrounding the shootings of October 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA.
HBO MAX Original Documentary Films: There are a number of documentaries about the fastest female runners but the only recent title I see with the exact title THE FASTEST WOMAN ON EARTH is none of them. Filmed over seven years, this feature documentary tells the story of the extraordinary life and tragic death of Jessi Combs – a professional driver and TV personality who joined a team of backyard aviation enthusiasts dreaming of building the world’s fastest car and breaking land speed records. It is available to view as of THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20.
HBO Original Special: Back in June of 2020 Yvonne Orji gave us her first HBO stand-up stint and now, arriving SATURDAY, OCTOBER 01 (10:00-11:00pm ET), she gives it another go with YVONNE ORJI: A WHOLE ME. The special is labeled a unique mash-up of stand-up comedy with scripted vignettes, that showcases Orji’s range and vulnerability, while also serving as a no-holds-barred therapy session for both the artist and the audience in a beautiful mix of heart, humor and healing. Check out the trailer.
HBO Max Kids & Family: This is where we pick up the majority of our DC titles this month. Last month saw a special introducing the Batwheels team. That was a lead-in to the series BATWHEELS that begins this month starting on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18. If that’s still not enough there is another special uploading the same day called MEET THE BATWHEELS. Okay, okay we get it; that takes our tally up to #3 and #4. On THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20 drops #5 on the tally, TEEN TITANS Season 7D and at #6 is a movie entitled GREEN LANTERN: BEWARE MY POWER. It’s presented on MONDAY, OCTOBER 24. For those who keep track, this one is about how Marine John Stewart was bestowed a Green Lantern ring.
Halloween scares would not be the same without that sleuthing Great Dane and crew. So, even though, SCOOB 2: HALLOWEEN HAUNT is dead there are two other works to take its place. How about STRAIGHT OUT OF NOWHERE: SCOOBY-DOO MEETS COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG and TRICK OR TREAT SCOOBY-DOO. They upload on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 08 and SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, respectively. Also arriving is more WE BABY BEARS S1 (on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 09) and BIPPI WONDERS S2 (on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14.)
Lastly, we have additions to the Adult Swim brand with MR. PICKLES (out MONDAY, OCTOBER 17) and HOUSING COMPLEX C. (out SUNDAY, OCTOBER 02) First meet Mr. Pickles. In the small, old-fashioned community of Old Town, the Goodman family and their innocent and dimwitted 6-year-old son Tommy have a satanic border collie dog named Mr. Pickles. The two spend their days romping around Old Town, while unknown to Tomm and the town Mr. Pickles secretly slips away to kill and mutilate countless victims. In the latter title, trouble seems to follow Kimi wherever she goes, and now horrific incidents begin to happen in the small housing complex where she lives. Take a peek.
HBO Sports: 38 AT THE GARDEN is something fresh and new. This documentary short chronicles the extraordinary ascendance of point guard Jeremy Lin during his landmark 2012 season with the New York Knicks. Lin, an undrafted Harvard graduate, shocked fans, stunned his teammates and galvanized Asians around the world when he scored 38 points at Madison Square Garden against the Los Angeles Lakers, solidifying Lin’s hot streak and the “Linsanity” craze. It features a candid, new interview with Lin. In addition, journalists Lisa Ling and Pablo Torre and comedians Ronny Chieng, Hasan Minhaj and Jenny Yang speak to the cultural impact of his success, while Knicks teammates, Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert, attest to his prowess on the court. Find it TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11. (9:00-9:40pm ET). REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL adds another one to the long list of installments on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 (10:00-11:00pm ET).
Other Movies & Shows: Importing over from the Discovery+ side of the company are 101 PLACES TO PARTY BEFORE YOU DIE (on 10.02), BY DESIGN: THE JOE CAROFF STORY (on 10.18) RESTORATION ROAD WITH CLINT HARP (on 10.21) and THE LOST KITCHEN (on 10.30). Some movies we can draw your attention to are 2001’s ALONG CAME A SPIDER, 2011’s BLACKTHORN, 1993’s CONEHEADS, 2012’s NO PLACE ON EARTH, 2013’s GRAND PIANO, 1983’s TERMS OF ENDEARMENT and 1957’s THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI. Plus, the service singles out #7 on the DC tally – BATMAN: THE AUDIO ADVENTURES. It uploads Season Two of the Podcast series beginning FRIDAY, OCTOBER 07.
Next Month’s Tease: In his day this athlete was nicknamed “The Say Hey Kid.”
Last month’s answer – A gentleman’s gentleman is another name for a butler so, we must be thinking of one, Alfred Pennyworth. Remember the Epix series moves to HBO Max!
Final Clip: I single out one of the HBO International titles this month.
Enjoy HBO and HBO Watch!