New to Neon in August

Four true-life heavyweights and a “bonkers” sci-fi comedy spearhead next month’s TV premieres on Neon.

Waco: The Aftermath (August 17) is the five-part sequel to the 2018 miniseries, about how the 1993 stand-off  between the FBI and the Branch Davidians fuelled the radicalisation of homegrown terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols while galvanising militia movements across the US.

“Directors/producers Drew Dowdle and John Erick Dowdle make a compelling argument that the legacy of Waco is still very much alive and integrated into US politics,” CNN argued.

But Variety thought it “difficult to recommend despite its excellent cast and unfortunate relevance. Beyond being slightly uneven, it’s slightly immoral.”

Ghosts of Beirut (August 10) is a four-part Showtime dramatisation of the real-life manhunt for Lebanese terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who was implicated in Hezbollah attacks during the 1980s and 1990s before his 2008 death in a bomb blast.

Dermot Mulroney, Dina Shihabi and Garret Dillahunt star in a series that wasn’t widely reviewed.

Collider thought it “a great thriller but a poor documentation of history” while Decider said it “tries to take the exceedingly complex Lebanese Civil War and tries to make it into a good-guys-bad-guys spy thriller, but fails to do so simply because that time in history can’t be boiled down so easily.”

Last Call (August 4) is an acclaimed HBO true-crime series about the murder of four gay men in the early ’90s that’s subtitled, When a Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York.

“This thoughtful, well-paced series weaves together illuminating social and historical context and a gripping criminal mystery to create an emotional and educational odyssey that transcends the standard boundaries of true crime,” Entertainment Weekly said.

Dublin Narcos (August 10) fuses documentary and drama to chronicle the changing fortunes of Dublin and its criminals in the 1980s and ’90s.

The Guardian hailed it as a “brilliant three-part documentary which looks at how people in Dublin ‘took so readily to heroin’ because of ‘high disenfranchised youth, high unemployment and the beginning of the rejection of the Catholic church’.”

Sci-fi action-comedy Mrs. Davis (August 2) is a Peacock Original about a vengeful nun who targets the artificial intelligence that ousted her from the convent.

“Positively bonkers while undergirded by an intelligent design, Mrs. Davis makes Betty Gilpin a hero for modern times in a highly imaginative mixture of spirituality and technology,” was the Rotten Tomatoes consensus.

Returning for its seventh and final season is Billions (August 13), along with S4 of Nancy Drew (August 25), and S2 of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (August 8), Rap Sh!t (August 11) and Men in Kilts (August 14), in which Outlander’s Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish hit the road in NZ.

Neon also is dusting off from August 3:

  • the 2018 Gen-Z comedy series, My Dead Ex, about two teenagers in love: one living, the other not (the premiere can be streamed on YouTube’s Awesomeness channel);
  • the excellent 2012-2016 Shakespearian dramas The Hollow Crown and The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses.

Other newcomers income Celebrity Ex on the Beach S1-2 (August 15), Brutal Lives: Mo-ui Faingata’a S1-2 (August 16), Teen Mom: Family Reunion (August 22) and Swiping America (August 23).

Here are the movie premieres for August:

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