The 13 best international series on Showmax in December & January
Looking for something exceptional to watch during the holidays? Here are our picks of the best international series to stream.
Comedy, drama, history, superheroes – stream top series and be thoroughly entertained during December and January and beyond. These are the series that the critics loved – and we did too.
The Righteous Gemstones tells the story of a world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed and charitable work. Creator Danny McBride (Vice Principals, Eastbound & Down) stars as Jesse, the eldest of three grown Gemstone offspring, who is destined to lead in his father’s footsteps but finds his past sins jeopardising the family ministry. Golden Globe winner John Goodman stars alongside Teen Choice and MTV Movie Awards winner Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect, Modern Family) and Emmy nominee Walton Goggins (Justified).
- First on Showmax. Binge now
- 8.1/10, IMDB | 81% Rotten Tomatoes
- Just renewed by HBO for a second season
A spinoff from the multi-award-winning The Fosters, Good Trouble explores the trials and tribulations of the tenants of Downtown LA’s hippest residence, The Coterie. This season, software engineer Mariana (Cierra Ramirez), law clerk Callie (Maia Mitchell) and the rest of The Coterie crew will continue to navigate their early twenties as they deal with breakups, demand equality, find happiness and discover what it means to fight for what you believe in.
- First on Showmax. Binge now
- Nominated for three 2019 Teen Choice Awards: Drama and Best Actress (both Cierra Ramirez and Maia Mitchell)
- 100% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
The Vikings push further into Scandinavia as a victorious Bjorn returns from The Battle of the Brothers to find that being a hero and a leader comes with its own challenges. Torvi and Ubbe search for clues to Floki’s whereabouts in Iceland, while Ivar follows The Silk Road to Russia, where he encounters a ruler even more merciless and unpredictable than himself. Meanwhile, Lagertha’s hopes for a quieter life on her own farm are threatened by new dangers closer to home.
Created by BAFTA-nominated writer/producer Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, The Tudors), Vikings stars Alexander Ludwig (Teen Choice Villain Award Winner for The Hunger Games) as Bjorn, Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha in a Critics Choice nominated performance and Gustaf Skarsgård (Westworld) as Floki.
- First on Showmax. New episodes every Thursday from 5 December
- #19, Most Popular TV, IMDB
- 91% critics score, Rotten Tomatoes
- Nominated for 13 Emmys
A collaboration between Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead) and Alec Berg (Barry), Silicon Valley takes a comedic look at the modern-day epicentre of the high-tech gold rush, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. Thomas Middleditch stars in an Emmy-nominated role as Richard Hendricks, a Silicon Valley engineer trying to build his own company called Pied Piper.
The Emmy-nominated comedy returns for a final season that finds Richard and the Pied Piper guys finally seeing the fruits of their labour – but realising that a bigger company means much bigger problems…
- First on Showmax. Binge from 9 December
- #55, Most Popular TV, IMDb
- Two-time Golden Globe nominee for Best TV Comedy or Musical
- Winner of two Emmys, with a further 38 nominations
- 8.5/10, IMDB | 94% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
Mrs. Fletcher is a dual coming-of-age story chronicling the personal and sexual journey of an empty-nest mother and her college freshman son, who both embrace their newfound freedom with mixed results. Emmy nominee Kathryn Hahn (Transparent) stars in the title role.
The seven-part series is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta (The Leftovers, Little Children).
South African Liesl Tommy (Insecure, The Walking Dead, Jessica Jones) is part of the all-female directing team, which also includes Oscar nominee Nicole Holofcener (Orange Is The New Black), nine-time Emmy nominee Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Transparent) and Gillian Robespierre (Silicon Valley).
As Indiewire wrote after its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival this year, “I could watch 100 episodes of Mrs. Fletcher… A smart, thoughtful, and hopelessly addictive adaptation… Ultra-charming.”
- First on Showmax. Binge from 13 December
- #81, Most Popular TV, IMDB
- #96, Best TV Shows of 2019 So Far, Rotten Tomatoes, where Mrs. Fletcher has a 83% critics rating
Every teenager thinks their parents are evil. What if you found out yours actually were?
Marvel’s Runaways is the story of six very different teenagers who can barely stand each other but have to unite against a common foe – their parents.
Season 3 sees the Runaways searching for their captured friends Gert, Chase, and Karolina. An unstoppable enemy targets Leslie and the child she is carrying, and the Runaways are drawn into a dark realm ruled by Morgan le Fay (Elizabeth Hurley from Austin Powers and Gossip Girl), the most wicked foe they have ever faced. Look out for a Cloak & Dagger crossover this season too!
Runaways stars Teen Choice winner Gregg Sulkin (Faking It), Ariela Barer (Atypical), Rhenzy Feliz (Teen Wolf), Lyrica Okano (The Affair), and Virginia Gardner (The Goldbergs).
- First on Showmax. Binge from 16 December
- 2019 Teen Choice nominee for Choice TV Show: Drama
- 86% critics score, Rotten Tomatoes
Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and sets off a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. The fantasy’s cast includes child stars Dafne Keen (Logan) and Amir Wilson as Lyra and Will, supported by Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther), Golden Globe nominee James McAvoy (X-Men), and BAFTA winner Helen McCrory (Harry Potter, The Queen). Oscar-winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) is one of the directors.
- First on Showmax. New episodes every Tuesday
- #3, Most Popular TV, IMDB
- Based on author Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name
Inspired by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic DC graphic novel, Watchmen is set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws. Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy winner Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk, Seven Seconds) leads a strong cast as Angela Abar, alongside the likes of Oscar winners Jeremy Irons and Louis Gossett Junior, Golden Globe winner Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson (Oh Brother Where Art Thou), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman) and Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby). The series is created by Emmy winner Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers), with Andrij Parekh (Succession), Nicole Kassell (The Following), Emmy nominee Stephen Williams (Westworld) and Oscar nominee Steph Green (The Americans) among the directors.
- New episodes every Monday
- #4, Most Popular TV, IMDb
- “The perfect superhero story for our tattered times.” The Guardian
It’s hard being a kid growing up in South Park, Colorado, what with all the insane adults, deranged celebrities and occasional talking turd…
Season 23 starts as Cartman sends an anonymous tip-off that Kyle is an illegal immigrant, leading ICE to detain and separate his entire family after Kyle’s dad can’t find their passports. So yes, South Park is as topical as ever, or as Forbes puts it, “Reality has never resembled South Park as much as it does today.”
- New episodes every Monday. The uncensored version is only available on Showmax.
- #61, Most Popular TV, IMDb
- Recently renewed for another three seasons
In the early 1960s, infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Oscar winner Forest Whitaker) returns from 10 years in prison to find the neighbourhood he once ruled in a shambles. With the streets controlled by Vincent ‘Chin’ Gigante (Emmy nominee Vincent D’Onofrio from Daredevil and Jurassic World) and the Italian mob, Bumpy must take on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X (Nigel Thatch from Selma). From the creators of Narcos, Godfather of Harlem shows how the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement collided during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.
- New episodes every Tuesday
- #41, Best TV Shows Of 2019 So Far, Rotten Tomatoes
- Directed by Oscar-winner John Ridley, the writer of 12 Years A Slave and creator of American Crime
This half-hour drama focuses on two Mexican-American sisters from the East Side of Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighbourhood, where they are confronted by the past and the discovery that their deceased mother was in a lesbian marriage.
- First on Showmax. Binge from 2 January 2020
- 100% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
- Audience Award winner, SXSW, 2018
- Over 6m YouTube views for its trailer
Summer of Rockets
This British miniseries follows some shady machinations in Cold War politics. In 1958, tensions between East and West are at their height and the first hydrogen bomb is being tested. A Russian-Jewish inventor living in Britain is recruited by MI5. He’s a respectable businessman selling hearing aids but lives a double life that starts closing in on him. The series stars Toby Stephens, Timothy Spall and Keely Hawes.
- First on Showmax. Binge from 1 January 2020.
- 88% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
While Ray (Liev Schreiber in a Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated performance) is making personal progress, there are dangers that require the Ray Donovan of old. Between the NYC mayor, an unrelenting NYPD officer and clients old and new, Ray struggles to find a balance between fixing for clients and fixing himself. Stream the first six seasons while you wait.
- First on Showmax. Binge from 20 January 2020
- 2019 Emmy nominee for Cinematography
- 8.3/10, IMDb
- 2014 Golden Globe winner for Best Supporting Actor (Jon Voight)
But wait, there’s more …
Pure S1 – British Comedy Drama | 85% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 December
Family Guy S17 – Animated comedy | 8.1I10, IMDb | Winner of nine Emmys, two Annie awards, and six Teen Choice awards | Binge from 1 December
The Twilight Zone S1 – Sci-fi anthology | 2019 Emmy nominee for Outstanding Guest Actor (Kumail Nanjiani) – Weekly episodes, same time as M-Net at 10pm every Friday
Bless This Mess S1 – Comedy series | 82% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes | Created by Elizabeth Meriwether (creator of New Girl) and star Lake Bell (creator and star of In a World) | First on Showmax | Binge the first six episodes from 6 December
Genius S2: Picasso – 8.4/10, IMDB; 2019 Golden Globe nomination for Antonio Banderas as Picasso | The series won two Emmys and was nominated for a further 15 | Exec produced by Oscar winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind) | Binge from 1 January
Room 104 S3 – Anthology series | 88% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes | First on Showmax | Binge from 2 January
Please note this release schedule is subject to change.