Are you stuck in a rut at home? Watch these shows on HBO to inspire your day.

A former basketball superstar returns to his hometown to rediscover his faith in life and the game; A charismatic teen needs guidance from her mother and an unlikely mentor; A diverse group of high school students explores life and its sexuality (which could probably inspire you too) while each lives in a conservative family; A look at the life of one of the world’s most fascinating inventors (played by Ethan Hawke, if that doesn’t inspire you, we don’t know what will); A look at each show as it currently airs on HBO Go.

  1. A long time ago.

Ben Affleck in The Road Back. Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

While people often forget how good actor Ben Affleck was in 2017’s Justice League (flip-flops don’t suit him in a bat suit), well, you may be in for a double surprise, as he not only plays a dark, naked character in the bat suit in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which is currently showing on HBO, he also stars in this drama directed by Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant, in which Affleck also stars). The Way Back tells the story of a former high school basketball superstar who is on the verge of a great college career when an accident sets him on a different path. Jack now leads a desperate life, stuck in a meaningless job and drowning his misery in alcoholism….. Until he takes on the challenge that will bring him back to life: coaching his old high school basketball team. Is this enough for his path to salvation? Watch it now or first watch the trailer here:

 

2. The kings of the charming city

Teyonna Paris and Jahi Di Allo Winston in Kings of Charm City. Photo courtesy of WarnerBros.

Fourteen-year-old Mouse (Jahi Di Allo Winston) can’t wait to join the Midnight Clique, a notorious group of Baltimore riders who roam the streets on dirt bikes. His older brother, Stroh, was their best rider until his tragic death – a loss that consumes Mouse as much as his passion for motorcycles. Mouse’s mother and police mentor, Detective Rivers (Will Catlett), are working overtime to help the charismatic teenager reach his full potential. But when Midnight Clique leader Blax (Meek Mill) takes the boy under his wing, he seduces Mouse into taking his own dirt bike off the streets.

This may seem like a formula for *all* coming-of-age stories. But either way, we enter 2020 with the recent wave of positive results on COVID-19 in the country, and we can only take what we can get with the flows we have these days. It could give us a boost. The film is directed by Angel Manuel Sotto and written by Barry Jenkins (Moonlight). Check the underside of the trailer:

 

3. Generera+on

The genera+e will take place on Thursday 11. Mars, shown exclusively on HBO GO, follows a group of high school students on their quest for modern sexuality as they challenge deeply held beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community. Ensemble led by Judge Smith, Chloe East and Nava Mau. The series was created by Daniel and Zelda Barnes, and co-produced by Lena Dunham. Pretty relevant and appropriate in this day and age where LGBTQ+ and sexual mores are still (ugh) prejudiced by many so-called conservatives. Check the underside of the trailer:

 

4. Tesla

Ethan Hawke shines as the enigmatic inventor Nikola Tesla in Tesla. Image courtesy of WarnerBros.

What a brilliant way to showcase a biopic where some of the characters, even though they are sometimes established, pull out a laptop and google their main character. Yes, you read that right. As enigmatic as Nikola Tesla is, the man who found a way to harness electricity will find a way to get you moving, thinking and thinking outside the box, with the help of Ethan Hawke’s acting skills. Watch now on HBO and HBO Go. Or watch the trailer first:

 

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