Everything new on Showmax in February 2020
Exciting local shows may dominate the headlines, but don’t forget the brilliant international series and movies coming to Showmax in February – including a 2020 Oscar nominee!
Check out the fabulous line-up of great shows coming to Showmax this month, including three knockout biopic movies (Rocketman!), and acclaimed international series like The New Pope, A Black Lady Sketch Show and the final season of Mr. Robot.
Editor’s Pick: International Series
The New Pope | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 February
This highly-anticipated follow-up to the Emmy-nominated 2016 series The Young Pope sees Jude Law reprise his Golden Globe-nominated role as Pope Pius XIII, with Oscar nominee John Malkovich now leading the cast as Pope John Paul III (aka the New Pope), who ascends to the throne while Pius is lying in a coma.
The series has already started collecting awards on the festival circuit, and made #3 on IMDb’s list of The Ten Most Anticipated TV shows of 2020.
The Guardian called The New Pope “just as rich and ravishing and gloriously enigmatic” as its predecessor, “another deep dive into the hidden world of the Vatican City, marvelling at its mystique with agnostic fervour.” While Indiewire hailed it as “gorgeous and outrageous… one of the most unique, enigmatic, and exhilarating television experiences that you can watch for depth, for fun, or for a wild combination of both.
1m views and counting for the trailer; #3 The Ten Most Anticipated TV shows of 2020, and 8.2/10, IMDB; 88% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
Mr. Robot S4 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 February
Award-winning drama series Mr. Robot centres on Elliot, a brilliant but highly unstable young cyber-security engineer and hacker who becomes a key figure in a complex game of global dominance when he is recruited by vigilante anarchists working to bring down the financial system. The season 3 finale saw Elliot reverse the 5/9 hack and reconcile with Mr. Robot. The fourth and final instalment takes place over the 2015 Christmas holidays, and it’s finally become clear who the real puppet master is.
Oscar winner Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) stars as Elliot, while Christian Slater plays Mr. Robot.
97% critics rating for season 4, and #34, Best TV Shows of 2019, Rotten Tomatoes; 8.5/10, IMDB; Winner of two Golden Globes and nominated for a further five, including Rami Malek’s 2020 nomination for Best Actor; Winner of two Emmys, with a further nine nominations; Featured in Best of 2019 lists in AV Club, Complex, and Vox, among others, with Vice calling it “The Defining Show of the 2010s”
The Bold Type S3 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 February
Inspired by the life of Cosmopolitan’s editor-in-chief, Joanna Coles, The Bold Type offers a glimpse into the outrageous lives and loves of the staff at a women’s magazine. Beneath the glam, this millennial-favourite drama series is the story of a group of young women working their butts off and selling the best of their talents in an increasingly competitive industry.
The series stars Katie Stevens (Faking It) as Jane, Aisha Dee (Sweet/Vicious) as Kat, and Meghann Fahy (Political Animals) as Sutton. Emmy nominee Melora Hardin (The Office) plays editor Jacqueline, with Sam Page (Mad Men) as Richard.
The new season sees Peter Vack (Homeland) join the show as Patrick Duchand, the new head of Scarlet’s digital department. Could his arrival suggest the clock is ticking for both the magazine’s female leadership and its future as a print publication?
Glamour calls The Bold Type “one of the most delightful shows on TV,” while The New Yorker says it’s “a show to warm a jaded heart.”
100% critics rating for season 3, Rotten Tomatoes; 8/10, IMDb; Nominated for seven Teen Choice Awards; Also nominated for GLAAD, Imagen and Satellite awards
A Black Lady Sketch Show | Binge from 1 February
Laugh-out-loud funny, not afraid to be controversial and unprecedented in sketch comedy TV history, A Black Lady Sketch Show is created, written and directed by and starring a stellar array of black women, including Issa Rae (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for HBO’s Insecure) who is a producer.
Each episode consists of five to six sketches, and guest stars include Oscar nominee Angela Bassett, Emmy winners Lena Waithe and Loretta Devine, Emmy nominees Laverne Cox and Amber Riley, Gina Torres from Suits, Nailed It! star Nicole Byer, Grammy winner Kelly Rowland and Grammy hall-of-famer Patti LaBelle.
Hollywood Reporter hailed the show as “energetic, funny and wonderfully distinctive” and PopBuzz as “sharp, entertaining and seriously overdue.”
#18 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the best TV shows of 2019, with a 100% critics rating; featured in Best of 2019 lists from AV Club to Los Angeles Times, Salon and Vulture; “sharp, entertaining, and seriously overdue” Pop Buzz; already renewed for a second season
The Hot Zone | Binge from 1 February
NatGeo’s scripted drama The Hot Zone is the harrowing tale of a global epidemic that almost was. In 1989, Ebola landed on US soil. After it appeared in a research facility in D.C., a heroic U.S. Army scientist put her life on the line to prevent an outbreak of the deadly virus. It’s inspired by true events and based on the best-selling non-fiction thriller by Richard Preston.
Partly filmed in South Africa, The Hot Zone stars Golden Globe winner Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), James D’Arcy (Agent Carter) and Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones’ Ser Davos), as well as South Africans like Neil McCarthy (Jozi-H) and Boheng Moeko (Ring of Lies).
#69, Best TV Shows Of 2019, Rotten Tomatoes, with a 90% critics rating
Les Miserables S1 | Binge from 1 February
This six-part adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel follows Jean Valjean (Golden Globe nominee Dominic West from The Wire) as he evades capture by the unyielding Inspector Javert (Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo), while unrest rises in the city of Paris in post-Napoleonic France.
The all-star cast includes Oscar winner Olivia Colman (The Crown), Golden Globe nominee Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), BAFTA winner Adeel Akhtar (The Big Sick), and David Bradley (aka Walder Frey in Game of Thrones and Argus Filch in Harry Potter).
Wall Street Journal calls it a “handsome, passionate, near-heroic adaptation of Hugo’s moral fable”, while IndieWire says it’s “an engrossing treat, featuring a vibrant cast.”
#86, Best TV of 2019, Rotten Tomatoes, with a 86% critics rating; Magnolia Awards nominee: Best Foreign TV Film/Miniseries, Shanghai International TV Festival, 2019; 1.4m YouTube views for the trailer
Editor’s Pick: Movies
A United Kingdom | 1 February
A biographical romance based on true events, A United Kingdom is the story of a love that defied an empire. The controversial 1947 marriage of King Seretse Khama of Botswana to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, met with fierce opposition from both their families and the British government. The union threw Botswana into political and diplomatic turmoil, jeopardised the British Empire’s position in Africa and came close to sparking a war with the apartheid government of South Africa.
The movie stars two-time Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo and Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike, as well as Terry Pheto, Vusi Kunene and Tom Felton (Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy).
84% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
I, Tonya | 6 February
This Oscar-winning mockumentary-style comedy-drama is based on the life of figure skater Tonya Harding, who was implicated in the attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. It stars two-time Oscar nominee Margot Robbie and Allison Janney.
Allison Janney won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress, with Margot Robbie earning nominations for all these for her lead role; Nominated for an Oscar for Best Editing; 89% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
Rocketman | 10 February
Rock biopic meets musical fantasy in this fabulous rollercoaster of a movie about a little boy called Reginald Kenneth Dwight, who grew up to be one of the greatest musical icons of all time – Elton John.
Taron Egerton won a 2020 Golden Globe for his portrayal of Elton John. He stars alongside Richard Madden (Game of Thrones’ Robb Stark), Jamie Bell (Billy in Billy Elliot) and Bryce Dallas Howard. Rocketman was penned by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall and directed by double-BAFTA Award nominee Dexter Fletcher (who took Bohemian Rhapsody to completion after Bryan Singer was fired).
Nominated for a 2020 Oscar for Best Achievement in Music (Original Song), as well as a 2020 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and four BAFTAs; 89% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
Editor’s Pick: Documentaries
Earth’s Great Rivers | 1 February
Narrated by David Oyelowo (A United Kingdom), the BBC’s epic journey along Earth’s Greatest Rivers explores the Mississippi, the Amazon and the Nile, and takes a look at the extraordinary animals and people who live alongside them. Episode 2 focuses on the ever-changing landscapes and cultures of Africa’s lifeline, the Nile. Explore the river’s legacy, from its ancient wonders to the animals that call its banks home, some of whom have taken up residence in the ruins of Idi Amin’s former hunting lodge in Uganda.
Spy in the Wild | 1 February
Spy in the Wild infiltrates the animal world using animatronic spy creatures and hidden cameras disguised as everything from eggs to dung balls. These give us some of the closest-ever views of animal friendships, intelligence, love and mischief. The spy creatures include a spy hippo, orangutan, bushbaby, meerkat, warthog and cobra.
The series is produced by Grammy and Wildscreen Outstanding Achievement Award winner and veteran BBC documentary filmmaker John Downer and narrated by BAFTA-winning Doctor Who and Good Omens star David Tennant.
Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary; Two of the series’ episodes have been finalists for Jackson Wild, arguably the Emmys of nature documentaries; 8/10 IMDb
Untouchable | 6 February
Untouchable tracks the rise and fall of the disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, featuring interviews with former colleagues and accusers in the wake of the scandal that shook Hollywood and catapulted the #MeToo movement to a global phenomenon.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus calls it “a gut-wrenching look at horrific abuses of power,” while London Evening Standard writes, “More than a portrait of one monstrous man, it’s a polemic against the complicit silence that accompanied years of alleged sexual misconduct, abuse and bullying.”
85% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
Editor’s Choice: Reality
Love Island | 14 February
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Showmax is adding four new seasons of Love Island – USA S1 (2019), Australia S2 (2019) and UK S4-5 (2018 and 2019). This is the show that Euphoria’s Rue – and half the planet – is obsessed with.
The reality show has a simple premise: lock a group of single (typically hot) young contestants in a luxury villa (under constant surveillance, of course), and see who can survive the romantic swings, slings, and arrows (and the challenges) to couple-up and be voted the winning pair.
The UK edition, on which the franchise is based, won a 2018 BAFTA Award for Best Reality and Constructed Factual Show.
Editor’s Choice: South African
Lockdown S5 | New episodes weekly
Lockdown, the most-awarded drama series at last year’s SAFTAs, has moved from Mzansi Magic and is now only on Showmax, with brand-new episodes hitting our screens every Thursday.
Notorious for its cliffhangers, plot twists and emotional rollercoasters, Lockdown takes viewers into the daily battle for survival in the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility.
As Season 5 picks up, Masebata’s cult is no longer in power. Arch-rivals Mazet (Dawn Thandeka King in a SAFTA-winning role) and Tyson (Lorcia Cooper in a SAFTA-winning role) are running the prison yard together, for now. Governor Deborah Banda (Pamela Nomvete in a SAFTA-nominated role) is under pressure from the Department of Correctional Services, after one death too many at the prison. And Monde (Zola Nombona in a SAFTA-nominated role) is trying to make things right with Vicky (Lauren Jenae). The new season also sees Sophie Lichaba join the cast.
Won SAFTAs for Best TV Drama in 2019 and Best Drama Script in 2018. Dawn Thandeka King and Zola Nombona are both up for Favourite Actress at the 2020 Mzansi Viewers Choice Awards.
Die Seemeeu (The Seagull) | 6 February
Sandra Prinsloo and Marius Weyers lead a powerful cast in this modern-day South African adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, The Seagull. Albert Pretorius was nominated for Best Actor at Silwerskerm for his performance as Konstant, while Rolanda Marais (Trackers), Deon Lotz (Skoonheid) and Cintaine Schutte (Fynskrif) also star.
Directed by SAFTA and Silwerskerm winner Christiaan Olwagen (Kanarie), the drama centres on a famous actress (Prinsloo), her brother (Weyers) and her son (Pretorius), whom she visits every summer on a country estate. On one occasion, she brings along her lover, a successful writer, leading to familial conflict, heartbreak and tragedy.
Jan S2 | Express from VIA | Weekly episodes from 3 February
South Africa’s own celebrity chef, creative and photographer Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen is back with a brand-new season of his delectable show, Jan. This season we not only join Jan Hendrik in the kitchen as he prepares exquisite dishes (always with a little South African flavour) to please the most discerning international palate, but also travel with him to all the delicious European destinations that have influenced his favourite dishes. Best of all, the show comes back home to wind down on home soil, where we’ll get to meet Jan Hendrik’s mother and see his Innovation Studio in Cape Town.
Jan Hendrik’s restaurant, JAN, in Nice on the Côte d’Azur, has been awarded Michelin-star status four times. Jan Hendrik was the first South African to receive the accolade.
An Act of Defiance | First on Showmax | 6 February
Historical drama meets political thriller in the courtroom as 10 political activists (including Nelson Mandela) face a possible death sentence in the Rivonia Trial after they are arrested in 1963. Lawyer Bram Fischer risks his career and freedom to defend the men while trying to keep his own involvement in the struggle a secret from the police.
The film is based on the Joel Joffe novel The State vs. Nelson Mandela, and stars SAFTA and Silwerskerm Award winner Antoinette Louw (Axis Mundi) as Molly Fischer, Sello Motloung (The Queen) as Nelson Mandela, and Peter Paul Muller as Fischer himself.
Winner of eight international festival awards, including Best Actress and Best Script at the Cape Town & Winelands International Film Festival
The social event of the year, Somizi & Mohale: The Union is coming first to Showmax in a romantic four-part special culminating in the glittering white wedding itself, which will stream from 16 March.
Somizi Mhlongo and Mohale Motaung invite you to witness not only the union of their love but also the merging of their families and their respective Zulu and Sotho cultures, proving the symbolic message their union sends to the entire African continent: that when all is said and done, love will always win.
Somizi is currently up for Favourite Personality of the Year for the 2020 DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards
Editor’s Choice: Kids
The Snail and the Whale | First on Showmax | 1 February
The Snail And The Whale follows the amazing journey of a tiny snail who longs to see the world and manages to hitch a ride on the tail of a huge humpback whale. The story is a joyous, empowering tale about the natural wonders of the Earth and discovering that however small you are, you can make a difference.
The half-hour adaptation of The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s best-selling children’s book is voiced by British Comedy Award winner Rob Brydon as the whale and Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins as the snail, with Golden Globe nominee Dame Diana Rigg as the narrator.
The Snail and the Whale is produced by Magic Light Pictures, who’ve given us BBC Christmas treats like The Gruffalo and Zog, and animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish, with South African Daniel Snaddon co-directing.
BBC One’s Christmas Day broadcast of The Snail and the Whale drew over four million viewers; Zog, Triggerfish’s previous collaboration with Magic Light, is up for an International Emmy.
Also streaming on Showmax this February
The Long Road Home | Ambitions S1 | Sticks & Stones S1 | Deep State S1 | False Flag S1
All About Nina (First on Showmax) | A Case of You | Barbie in a Mermaid Tale | Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2 | Thomas & Friends Collection
Extraordinary Rituals | I am Paul Walker | Expedition Impossible S1 | 9/11: The Plane That Hit the Pentagon
Blackish S1-3 | Grow-nish S1
Little Italy (First on Showmax) | Something Borrowed
Pablo S2 (First on Showmax) | Top Chef Junior S1-2 | Counterfeit Cat S1 | Wildernuts S1 | The Polos S1
Ovet (First on Showmax) | Tyd met Aleit S5
Life Itself | About Time | Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds | Ana Maria in Novela Land
Skunk Fu S1 | Aliens Love Underpants and Panta Claus
Hier Gaan ons Alweer S17-S18 | Fill Up Orlando Stadium | Fill Up The Dome | Go Nyelela Ga Puo | Death of language
Fifty Shades of Grey | How To Train Your Dragon | How To Train Your Dragon 2 | Megamind | How To Train Your Dragon Series & Movies Collection
Dragons: Riders of Berk S1 | Dragons: Defenders of Berk S2
Epiphany (First on Showmax) | Meisies Wat Fluit (First on Showmax) | Finding The One S1 | The Lifesaver
The Forgiven | Wildling | S.M.A.R.T. Chase
Glam Guru S15-S17 | Skorokoro | Mignon Mossie van Wyk | Land of Milk & Money | Trouvoete
Hotel Artemis | Jurassic Park Collection | Jurassic Park | The Lost World: Jurassic Park | Jurassic Park III | Lap Dance
Oppi Kassie S2
Arizona (First on Showmax) | The Titan | Steve Jobs
Atomic Blonde | Wonder Wheel | Gotti | Snow White and the Huntsman | The Huntsman: Winter’s War | Wanted
Siembamba – The Lullaby
* Please note all shows and dates are subject to change.