The Beat Asia’s Guide to HBO Exclusives in May 2023
Asia/Vibe/Pop Culture

What's on HBO? New TV Shows and Movies for May 2023

HEADER HBO May 2023 Roundup Photo by Instagram/LEGO Batman Movie

In the midst of the network’s two most award-laden shows, both of which are supposed to end, HBO is treating its May release calendar with kid gloves. But that’s only because they are teasing the public with a series hyped out of its mind lined up for a June release, “The Idol.”

But, HBO isn’t one to leave its fans who are always waiting for their exclusives. Let’s get on to what the network has for us for 2023’s fifth month.

Series

‘White House Plumbers’ | May 2

Richard Nixon’s time as the president of the United States ended acrimoniously, in possibly the second-worst way to conclude a public post. “White House Plumbers” is not the story of the infamous former leader of the free world, but of the men entrusted to save his presidency who failed…miserably. And who else but to make this potentially gut-busting limited series, but Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux, with a supporting cast that would be the envy of any other A-list production.

‘Two Sides of the Abyss’ (Zwei Seiten des Abgrunds) | May 8*

“Tokyo Vice” proved that there’s hunger for HBO productions outside of Hollywood, and come May, the prestige network heads to Germany for its next international release. “Two Sides of the Abyss” is about Luise Berg, a police officer and mother of a murdered daughter, and her life seemingly thrown completely out of order when her child’s killer gets an early release. It’s hard not to expect anything from German moviemakers, especially with what they conjured with “Dark.”

‘Spy/Master’ | May 19*

A Romanian television series of the highest order, “Spy/Master” blends the best of John le Carre’s literary adventures with “Argo.” A spy has one chance to escape his country during the time of Nicolai Ceaușescu, which complicates everything. If the one-time dictator can have the Palace of the Parliament built, a stupendously enormous structure, he can make one man’s life hell. And there's the rub…Romania was an ally to Soviet Russia, so can one man really escape the Iron Curtain when all eyes are on him?

Movies/Documentaries

‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ (2017) | May 19

In terms of spin-offs, “The LEGO Batman Movie” has to be up there with the successes of the biggest Marvel hits. In the process, Will Arnett also created what is arguably a more iconic Batman than George Clooney and Ben Affleck. The movie is hilarious from beginning to end, and is one animated flick that you’ll probably repeat when nothing else works for you.

‘Love to Love You, Donna Summer’ | May 20*

Two black female musicians did more to birth the club scene than any other artists: Grace Jones and Donna Summer. The latter has a special about her lasting legacy on the dance floor and a phenomenally successful woman of color. Don’t be surprised to hear more “Hot Stuff,” “Last Dance,” and “Bad Girls” in dance halls from Hong Kong to Houston after hearing about the life of a musical hero.

‘The Black Phone’ (2021) | May 20

Ethan Hawke as a serial killer, a little bit of the supernatural, and the typical horror trope of missing children, “The Black Phone” is worthy of a bowl or two of popcorn. More than anything, that mask will live on and probably create a legion of scared fans.

*No confirmed release date for Asia

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