South Africa’s two biggest streaming services – Netflix and Showmax – have added a number of top-notch movies and TV shows to watch this weekend.
The battle for mobile subscribers between these two providers appears to be heating up, with Showmax recently announcing a reduction in its mobile plan price to R39 per month.
This aligns its pricing with Netflix’s own base mobile subscription plan, which is available to select visitors to the Netflix website in South Africa.
Locally, the mobile market is key for these streaming services, given that the vast majority of South Africans access the Internet via a smartphone.
Coupled with drops in the prices of mobile data in recent months, there exists great potential for growing their customers who cannot afford to pay the R99 starting subscription for Netflix or Showmax on their laptop or TV.
Fantasy and sci-fi
While Netflix has a big advantage in terms of the sheer number of international movies and TV shows in its catalogue, many South Africans may be more interested in Showmax’s wide range of local content.
The latter also offers many acclaimed US shows through MultiChoice’s agreement with WarnerMedia’s HBO.
Showmax this week released two episodes of the network’s The Nevers, created by Joss Whedon, who is best known for directing Marvel blockbusters including Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
This Victorian-era fantasy series has been dubbed as “The Magicians meets Bridgerton” and racked up 1.4 million viewers on its debut on the HBO Max streaming service.
Fantasy fans should also take a look at Netflix’s latest fantasy adventure series – Shadow and Bone – which has been described as the service’s best entry in this genre since The Witcher.
Based on the Leigh Bardugo novels of the same name, it is set in the Grishaverse – an alternate version of the world in 1800 after a dark valley known as The Fold has split the world in two.
The story revolves around teenager Alina Starkov, who possesses light producing magical powers that makes her capable of fighting the beasts in The Fold.
Netflix also added space thriller Stowaway to its library this week, which starts Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, and Daniel Dae Kim as three astronauts on a mission to Mars.
They are faced with an impossible choice after a stowaway is discovered onboard their spacecraft.
If you’re less into science fiction and a bigger fan of just good old real science, then famed David Attenborough’s latest project might be right up your alley.
Netflix and BBC co-production Life in Colour with David Attenborough delves into the role of colours in the natural world, in particular how they are perceived from animals’ perspectives.
“We will reveal a world that has long been hidden from our eyes. Colours so bold and brilliant they dazzle our senses,” Attenborough describes the show.
Those more interested in the great man-made machines of history should catch check out Plane Resurrection on Showmax, which sees dedicated crafstmen restore some of the world’s most beloved aeroplanes.
In the first season, legendary wartime aircraft covered include the P-51 Mustang, Hawker Hurricane, and Fokker DR1 Dreidecker.
There are thousands of other titles to watch on Netflix and Showmax.
Subscriptions for use on laptops, TVs, and other devices on each service starts at R99 per month.
With Showmax, you get HD streaming on two devices at the same time, with a maximum of 5 devices which can be used per subscription.
Netflix’s Basic Plan, at the same price, includes only 480p streaming on a single device at any given time.
To get HD quality and two multiple simultaneous streams on Netflix, you will have to pay R139 per month.
4K streaming is also available on Netflix’s Premium plan, which is priced at R169 per month in South Africa.
Below are 12 of the best shows and movies to watch on Netflix and Showmax this weekend.
IMDb – 5.5
The Nevers – S1
IMDb – 7.1
Life in Colour with David Attenborough
IMDb – 8.7
IMDb – 7.7
IMDb – 6.4
Legacy of Lies
IMDb – 5.0
Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist
IMDb – 6.4
IMDb – 5.5
Shadow and Bone
IMDb – 8.9
IMDb – 7.1
Free to Play
IMDb – 7.9
Plane Resurrection – S1
IMDb – 7.3