It’s the month of love – and personally, we love great series and movies.
From not one but TWO Showmax Originals to the Ridley Scott sci-fi drama Raised by Wolves, to the Valentine’s-appropriate movie The Photograph, there’s something for every mood to stream on Showmax.
The new Showmax Original series DAM is a twisty and twisted psychological thriller written and directed by four-time SAFTA winner Alex Yazbek (The Wild, Unmarried, Isibaya).
Silwerskerm Best Actress winner Lea Vivier (Wonderlus) stars as Yola Fischer, who returns from Chile to the Eastern Cape to bury her father.
She discovers he’s left his farm to her, to the irritation of her sister, Sienna. This may be more of a curse than a blessing though, as the house seems to be trying to tell her something.
But with her mother institutionalised, and her own meds running out, Yola has to wonder if the spirits are real or just in her head. Binge from 22 February.
Tali’s Baby Diary
Tali’s Wedding Diary set a new record for first-day views on Showmax when it launched in December 2017 and went on to become the most-awarded comedy at the 2019 South African Film and Television Awards.
The hilarious mockumentary starred Julia Anastasopoulos (SuzelleDIY) as self-obsessed Joburg princess Tali Shapiro filming the build-up to her Cape Town wedding to her property-agent fiance Darren (Anton Taylor).
In Tali’s Baby Diary, an unexpected pregnancy forces Tali into a desperate pivot from Insta-influencer to wholesome momfluencer, as Darren and Rael (Comics’ Choice nominee Glen Biderman-Pam, the genius behind the viral My Octopus Teacher spoof My Kreepy Teacher) navigate the choppy waters of the Cape Town property game.
But as the nine-month clock ticks down, Tali and the boys are forced to face the bigger questions about life, love and parenthood.
New faces this season include Coconut Kelz and Danny K; stand-up comics Kate Pinchuck, Kurt Schoonraad, Nik Rabinowitz and Tracy Klass; SAFTA winners Deon Lotz (Skoonheid, Trackers), Schalk Bezuidenhout (Kanarie, Hotel) and Siv Ngesi (Knuckle City and Showmax Originals DAM and the upcoming Blood Psalms); and rising star Shamilla Miller (The Girl From St Agnes, Blood & Water), along with some real South African momfluencers and Insta personalities. Watch the first four episodes on 26 February, and the next six on 12 March.
The biggest TV series ever shot in South Africa, Raised by Wolves is an HBO sci-fi show which centres on two androids tasked with raising human children on virgin planet Kepler-22b after the Earth was destroyed in a great war. But their idyll is soon threatened.
Ridley Scott, who directed the sci-fi classics Alien, Blade Runner and The Martian, executive produces and directs the first two episodes.
NME says: “Ridley Scott’s AI stunner is on a different planet… one of 2020’s most unmissable TV experiences.” Binge from 1 February, first on Showmax.
Seeing is deceiving in this riveting eight-episode BBC crime thriller that centres on former Special Forces Lance Corporal Shaun Emery.
He’s accused of kidnapping – with damning CCTV footage to prove the crime. But as Detective Inspector Rachel Carey digs deeper, she begins to uncover a conspiracy that calls everything about the case into question.
Already renewed for a second season, The Capture has a 92% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Times dubbing it the “thinking man’s Bodyguard” and the Guardian “perfect TV.” Binge from 15 February.
Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel, The Stand is an apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil.
The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man (Golden Globe winner Alexander Skarsgård). Binge episodes 1-4 from 9 February and 5-19 from 16 March.
Based on Michael Connelly’s bestselling crime novels, Season 6 of Bosch finds Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) at the centre of a complex murder case, a messy federal investigation, and a catastrophic threat to Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Edgar (Jamie Hector from The Wire) sets about cleaning house and Irving (Lance Reddick from The Wire) kicks off his mayoral campaign.
It has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As Newsday says, Bosch is “still one of TV’s top addictions, with a touch of hope.” Binge from 1 February, first on Showmax.
When cop Lisa Armstrong has a one-night stand, she isn’t expecting to see him again… until he turns up as the prime suspect in the disappearance of his own kids on the very night Lisa was with him.
Dubbed the “Northern Broadchurch”, the six-episode British drama series has an 86% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian calling it “a satisfying, knotty, plotty hour.” Binge from 1 February.
Still keeping spirits high and rolling with the times, comedy anthology series High Maintenance follows New York’s most chilled-out deliveryman and weed dealer as he visits his clientele, dipping into the lives of people across New York.
High Maintenance has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “There are as many fascinating New York stories as there are fascinating New Yorkers, and High Maintenance continues to mine the depths for the most luminous ones,” says indieWire. Binge from 1 February.
He still lives at home with his Momma, his best friend is a doll, and he’s the Sheriff of Old Town.
Momma Named Me Sheriff is a spinoff of Mr. Pickles, the cult Adult Swim series about the Goodman family, who live in Old Town with their lovable pet dog, Mr. Pickles, a deviant border collie with a secret satanic streak. Watch new episodes express from the US from 15 February.
The Hunt follows twelve strangers who wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are, or how they got there.
They don’t know they’ve been chosen for a very specific purpose – The Hunt. Stars Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank. Watch first on Showmax from 15 February.
Put this romance at the top of your To Watch list this Valentine’s month.
Issa Rae (Insecure) was nominated for a 2020 People’s Choice Award for her performance here as gallery curator Mae, who falls for Michael (Lakeith Stanfield from Atlanta), a journalist documenting the life of Mae’s famous late mother, who was better at photographing people than loving them.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus praises its “gorgeous visuals”, “affecting love story, and simmering chemistry between Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield.” Watch from 4 February.
Directed by Oscar-nominated crime movie master Guy Ritchie, The Gentleman follows American expat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) whose plan to sell off his marijuana empire in London triggers plotting, scheming, bribery and blackmail as rivals try to steal his domain out from under him.
The all-star cast includes Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam and Colin Farrell. The Gentlemen is a crowd-pleaser Washington Post calls “a funny, violent, rambunctious shaggy-dog story of a crime caper featuring an ensemble cast studded with colorful characters…” Watch from 15 February.
Light of My Life
Ten years after a pandemic wipes out the female population of the world, a father struggles to protect his daughter in a lawless post-apocalyptic world as their bond, and the character of humanity, is tested.
Oscar winner Casey Affleck writes, directs and stars opposite Elisabeth Moss, but it’s Affleck’s co-star, child actress Anna Pniowsky, who steals the show. LA Times calls her “ a staggering revelation.”
Light of My Life has an 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus calls it a “thought-provoking chiller.” Watch from 18 February.
Midway is a World War II passion project about the Battle of Midway from the king of epic explosion movies, Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow).
The all-star cast includes triple Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson, Patrick Wilson, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid and Aaron Eckhart. Washington Post says, “Midway tells a story that’s vividly and viscerally rendered, with all the entertainment value of a big, old-fashioned war movie…” Watch from 25 February.
No Hiding Here
No Hiding Here is a romcom set in a small South African town, where a drama teacher accidentally plays gay porn over the biggest school event of the year, forcing him, and the event’s featured artist – a closeted big city celebrity – into hiding from the outraged community.
Off to a rough start, the two are propelled out of their “normal lives” for an unpredictable weekend at the teacher’s house, hiding from their problems, from themselves, and from an outraged community on the hunt for answers to the tantalizing scandal…
It stars 2020 Fleur du Cap winner Earl Gregory (the stage production of Kinky Boots) and David Viviers (Kanarie). Watch from 11 February, first on Showmax.
From Christian Olwagen (Kanarie) comes Poppie Nongena, a multi-award-winning adaptation of Elsa Joubert’s classic novel.
It tells the moving true life story of the title character, a domestic worker desperately trying to keep her family together while navigating the day-to-day struggle against inhumane government pass laws in 1970s South Africa. Watch from 1 February.
Arnold Vosloo (Bosch, 24, The Mummy) and rising teen star Alex van Dyk (Die Stropers) lead the cast in Griekwastad, which recounts one detective’s investigation into the horrific 2012 murder of Deon and Christel Steenkamp and their teenage daughter, Marthella, on their farm Naauwhoek.
The chilling film is based on Jacques Steenkamp’s best-selling true crime novel The Griekwastad Murders: The Crime that Shook South Africa.
Big Brother Naija Season 5 winner, Lekan Agbeleshe aka Laycon, is set to star in Showmax’s first-ever Nigerian Original, I Am LAYCON.
Fans will get to see Laycon’s journey after winning 85 million Naira (R3.3 million) worth of cash prizes on BBNaija, as he settles into life as a star with his own reality TV show, while juggling his personal relationships and growing music career in Africa’s biggest city, Lagos. Binge episodes 1-5 from 11 February and episodes 6-10 from 4 March 2021.
Crazy, Not Insane
What makes killers kill?
This brand-new HBO documentary examines controversial forensic psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis’s research into the psychology of some of the world’s most notorious murderers, drawing on chilling videotaped footage of her death row interviews and case-studies, from Arthur Shawcross to Ted Bundy, as she challenges the notion that murderers are born and not made.
The film has a 94% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety calls it “Ominously absorbing”. Watch from 4 February, first on Showmax.
To see more of what’s new on Showmax in February, read the full article on Showmax Stories.
Pay for one month of Showmax, get two more on us
Kick off the new year with a great deal: get a three-month subscription to Showmax for the price of a one-month subscription. That’s a whole 12 weeks of entertainment to take your 2021 to the next level. Deal valid until 31 March 2021. Find out more.