What to watch on Showmax in April 2022Browse the full collection
Think you’ve seen it all? Then you haven’t met The Real Housewives of Lagos, coming to Showmax from 8 April. Glamour, drama and bling will be dialled up to maximum and we are 100% here for it.
But wait, there’s more! In a bumper month, also look out for the Fresh Prince reboot Bel-Air, horror series Yellowjacket, Steve McQueen’s brilliant films in Small Axe and new crime drama The Cleaning Lady. Plus, plenty of local fare to binge including the brand-new season of Gomora.
The Real Housewives of Lagos | Showmax Original | 8 April, with new episodes every Friday
Move over Durban and Johannesburg: The Real Housewives of Lagos (RHOLagos) follows the opulent lives of six of the most glamorous women in Lagos, Nigeria: businesswoman Carolyna Hutchings, influencer Laura Ikeji-Kanu, lawyer and luxury hair brand owner Chioma Ikokwu, celebrity stylist Toyin Lawani-Adebayo, Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo and PR expert Mariam Timmer.
RHOLagos will be the first Nigerian instalment – and 16th international version – of the award-winning franchise and follows the success of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and Durban, both now streaming on Showmax.
RHOLagos will be available exclusively on Showmax in more than 40 African countries.
Bel-Air | Binge from 1 April | First on Showmax
Executive produced by 2022 Oscar winner Will Smith, the brand-new Fresh Prince-inspired series Bel-Air is full of surprises. It’s set in modern-day America, but it’s also a prequel to the hit 90s sitcom. And it’s a drama, bringing a whole new take to Will’s life-altering journey from the streets of West Philly to the gated mansions of Bel-Air.
Newcomer Jabari Banks stars as Will, alongside the freshly imagined Banks family, portrayed by Adrian Holmes (Arrow), Cassandra Freeman (Inside Man), singer-songwriter Coco Jones, Akira Akbar (Captain Marvel, Good Trouble), and Nigerian-American actor Olly Sholotan (Run Hide Fight) as the way-too-cool Carlton, with Jimmy Akingbola (Arrow) as Geoffrey.
One of Rotten Tomatoes’ Most Anticipated Shows of 2022, Empire Magazine calls the series, “A bold reimagining that maintains the essence of the original show while exploring important social themes from an authentic, Black perspective.”
Yellowjackets | Binge from 1 April
This award winner follows the now-adult survivors of a plane crash that stranded their wildly talented high school girls’ soccer team deep in the Canadian wilderness in 1996.
It stars, among others, Juliette Lewis and Christina Ricci, as well as Melanie Lynsky (Don’t Look Up), who won Critics Choice award for Best Actress in a Drama and a Critics Choice Super Award for Best Actress in a Horror, where Yellowjackets was also named Best Horror.
Equal parts survival epic, psychological horror story and coming-of-age drama, Yellowjackets has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where it was the fourth highest-rated drama of 2021. It’s already been renewed for Season 2.
Somebody Somewhere S1 | Binge from 1 April | First on Showmax
One of Rotten Tomatoes’ Most Anticipated Shows of 2022, HBO’s Somebody Somewhere centres on Sam, a 40-something woman grappling with loss and acceptance as she fields a mid-life crisis following her sister’s death. Sam returns to her hometown but struggles to fit into its mould, until she finds her saving grace in singing, and a community of outsiders who don’t fit in, and don’t give up.
Starring and executive produced by Bridget Everett (Inside Amy Schumer), the comedy-drama has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus reads: “Led by a captivating Bridget Everett, Somebody Somewhere explores the human condition with tenderness, grace, and warmth.”
The Cleaning Lady | Binge from 1 April | First on Showmax
Based on the Argentine series La Chica que Limpia, crime drama The Cleaning Lady follows a whip-smart Filipina doctor (Elodie Yung from The Hitman’s Bodyguard and The Defenders), who comes to the US for medical treatment to save her son. When the system fails and pushes her into hiding, she becomes a cleaner for the mob and starts playing the game by her own rules.
Paste compares it to Breaking Bad, saying, “The Cleaning Lady is a fast-paced portrayal of a woman pushed to the edge and forced to contend with hard decisions for the wellbeing of her family.”
Small Axe | Binge from 1 April
A collection of five films by Oscar winner Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Small Axe is based on the real-life experiences of London’s West Indian community between 1969 and 1982.
The anthology has won over 24 international awards, including a Critics Choice Award for John Boyega, a BAFTA for Malachi Kirby, and a Royal Television Society Award for Shaun Parkes.
The second film, Lovers Rock, was named the best film of 2020 by Sight & Sound in its poll of over 100 critics globally. Set over a single evening at a house party in 1980s West London, it follows intertwined relationships against a background of violence, romance and music. The film has a 98% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus calls it “a lovingly crafted ode to Black joy.”
Flatbush Misdemeanors | Binge from 1 April
The comedy series Flatbush Misdemeanors follows Dan and Kevin, two longtime friends trying to climb out of their heads and connect with others in their brash new surroundings in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Created by and starring Black Reel Award nominee Kevin Iso (That Damn Michael Che) and Dan Perlman, the show has already been renewed for a second season.
Season 1 has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. TV Guide praises “the heartfelt friendship at the core of this darkly comedic series”, calling it “one of the best shows of 2021.”
American Rust S1 | Binge from 1 April
Set in a small Rust Belt town in Pennsylvania, American Rust stars Jeff Daniels (The Comey Rule) as police chief Del Harris, who finds himself in a compromised position after the son of the woman he loves (Emmy nominee Maura Tierney from The Affair, Your Honor) is accused of murder.
Based on the LA Times Book Prize-winning novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize finalist Philipp Meyer, American Rust was nominated for a 2022 Satellite Award for Best Drama Series.
Look out for Emmy nominee Bill Camp (The Night Of, The Queen’s Gambit, Joker), Tony Award winner David Alvarez (West Side Story), and Teen Choice nominee Mark Pellegrino (Supernatural).
Curb Your Enthusiasm S11 | Binge from 8 April
So this misanthrope decides to shoot a TV series in the middle of a pandemic…
No, it’s not a joke – or rather, not just one. It’s a whole new season of the perennially inappropriate Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The series star and creator (and 28-time Emmy nominee) returns alongside Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, and JB Smoove, while the season’s guest line-up knocks it out of the park with stars like Lucy Liu, Woody Harrelson, Kaley Cuoco, Bill Hader, Jon Hamm, Seth Rogen, Vince Vaughn and Ted Danson.
Curb Your Enthusiasm S11 has a 94% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Daily Beast says, “It’s reassuring to know that no amount of paradigm-shifting, reality-altering events can stop the fictional Larry David from being a smug, screamy, narcissistic loon, and the real Larry David from being the funniest comedian on television.”
Ray Donovan: The Movie | Stream from 1 April | First on Showmax
Ray Donovan: The Movie picks up where the seventh and final season of the Emmy-winning series left off, with Mickey (Jon Voight) in the wind and his son Ray (Liev Schreiber) determined to find and stop him before he can cause any more carnage.
The film also weaves together the present-day fallout from the Donovan/Sullivan feud with Ray and Mickey’s origin story from 30 years ago.
Prompted by fan protests at the show’s cancellation, Ray Donovan: The Movie has an 86% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with New York Magazine saying, “Ray Donovan: The Movie never feels like cheap fan service; it hints at what an entire eighth season could have been and provides just enough closure while avoiding easy conclusions for most of its characters.”
I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) | Stream from 21 April
When the Covid-crunch lands a recently widowed mother on the street, she convinces her eight-year-old daughter that they are only camping for fun, while she works to get a roof over their heads.
The micro-budget indie movie – funded largely by coronavirus stimulus cheques – earned festival-favourite student filmmakers Kelley Kali (who also stars) and Angelique Molina the Special Jury Award at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival.
I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) has a 95% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with RogerEbert.com calling it “a wondrous ride, rolling with charisma and heart.”
The Boy Behind The Door | Stream from 21 April
Lonnie Chavis (This Is Us) and Ezra Dewey (The Djinn) star in this horror-thriller, which sees two boys kidnapped and taken to a labyrinthine house in the middle of nowhere, where their only chance at survival is sticking together.
The movie has a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says: “A tense, terrifying, and all-around outstanding feature debut for its co-directing duo, The Boy Behind the Door should thrill discerning horror fans.”
Boss Level | Stream from 7 April
Boss Level stars Frank Grillo (The Grey) as a retired special forces soldier trapped in a time loop that constantly repeats the day of his murder as he tries to unlock the mystery behind his untimely demise.
Mel Gibson, Naomi Watts, Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians) and winner Ken Jeong (Crazy Rich Asians) co-star.
“Boss Level powers up the increasingly crowded time-loop genre with a gleefully over-the-top sci-fi action thriller that revels in its own excess,” says Rotten Tomatoes.
The Reckoning | Stream from 14 April
The Reckoning is set in London, 1665, where the great plague stalks the streets, leaving death in its wake. As fear and superstition take hold, Grace (Charlotte Kirk, Vice), a young widow haunted by the recent death of her husband, rejects the advances of her landlord… and is accused of being a witch.
In all, The Reckoning has won over 40 international awards.
Mayday | Stream from 7 April | First on Showmax
A young woman finds herself in a dreamlike and dangerous land where she joins an army of girls engaged in a never-ending war. But is she the killer they want her to be?
Starring Grace Van Patten, Mia Goth, Soko and Juliette Lewis, Screen International says Mayday is, “heady with symbolism and vengeful female energy.”
The Alpinist | Stream from 8 April | First on Showmax
Winner of the 2021 Critics’ Choice Documentary Award for Best Sports Documentary, The Alpinist follows the life and climbs of Canadian rock climber, alpinist, free solo legend and untamed spirit Marc-André Leclerc.
Nominated for Best Cinematography at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, The Alpinist has a 93% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety calls it, “Absolutely thrilling, terrifying and mesmerizing”.
Phoenix Rising | Stream from 1 April | First on Showmax
HBO’s two-part documentary Phoenix Rising follows the true story of actress and activist Evan Rachel Wood, a survivor of domestic violence, as she recounts her story of domestic violence and advocates for the Phoenix Act, extending the statute of limitations in California for domestic violence felonies.
The documentary has a 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Evan Rachel Wood is fearless in Phoenix Rising, a harrowing exposé on abuse, tabloid complicity, and the long process of healing.”
Painting With John S2 | Binge from 4 April | First on Showmax
Painting With John has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says: “A celebration of art and life through the eyes of a delightful curmudgeon, Painting with John is a surprising, intimate feat of TV joy.”
Written, directed by and starring John Lurie, co-founder of musical group The Lounge Lizards, the series is part meditative tutorial, part fireside chat. Each episode has John at his work table at his home in the Caribbean, honing his watercolour techniques and sharing what he’s learned about life, reminding us to prioritise some time every day for creativity, fun and a bit of mischief.
Freddie Mercury: The Final Act | Binge from 4 April
This is the story of the extraordinary final chapter of Freddie Mercury’s life and how, after his death from Aids, Queen staged one of the biggest concerts in history, the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium, to celebrate his life and challenge the prejudices around HIV/Aids.
The film hears from those who performed at the epic gig, including Gary Cherone (Extreme), Roger Daltrey (The Who), Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Lisa Stansfield and Paul Young, and Freddie’s story is told alongside the experiences of those who tested positive for HIV and lost loved ones during the same period.
Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White | Stream from 4 April
In 2020, dancer, presenter and talent show judge Ashley Banjo and his dance group, Diversity, were thrown into the spotlight – and the centre of a vicious Twitter storm – following their history-making Black Lives Matter performance on Britain’s Got Talent, which became one of the most complained about acts in the history of OFCOM, the UK communications regulator.
In Britain in Black and White, Ashley sets out on a journey into his own past and into British history to explore the roots of the reaction to his performance. Part journey of discovery, part intimate biography, it looks at how race and racism have impacted Ashley’s life and that of his family and friends. Crucially, by meeting civil rights trailblazers from modern history, he also tries to understand what it means to take a stand.
Last Blue Ride: The Hannah Cornelius Story | Stream from 1 April | First on Showmax
This true crime documentary recounts the 11 hour hell-ride of Stellenbosch University students Hannah Cornelius and Cheslin Marsh in 2017. While Marsh survived a near-fatal assault, 21-year-old Cornelius was brutally murdered. The case made international headlines.
Last Blue Ride features CCTV footage from the night alongside a recreation of that hell-ride, narrated by Marsh himself. There’s also footage from her funeral and the subsequent court case in the film that director Anthony Molyneaux says “intends to honour her memory”.
Waiting for Goldman | Stream from 11 April | First on Showmax
Mikey and Clinton have been assigned to kill financial broker Ivan Goldman. The only problem is, they’re not sure what he looks like…
Winner of four international awards, Waiting for Goldman is written and directed by double SAFTA winner Ari Kruger, who co-created Tali’s Wedding Diary and its sequel Tali’s Baby Diary. His previous hitman-centred short film, Jakkals13, was a Vimeo Staff Pick.
Also look out for The Wife star Khanyi Mbau in another short film coming to Showmax on 11 April, A Grave Confession.
Umkhokha S1 | Binge from 11 April 2022
This Mzansi Magic drama follows the bitter feud between two families vying for control of a church after the untimely death of its leader.
Deli Malinga (The Queen) stars as the formidable MaMzobe, a woman determined to hang on to her family’s legacy at any cost. S’Thandiwe Kgoroge (Lithapo) co-stars, along with triple SAFTA winner Linda Sokhulu (Still Breathing), Nay Maps (Blessers), Sibongile Ngubane (Uzalo), and Kwezi Ndlovu (Housekeepers).
In his best of 2021 roundup, IOL’s Buhle Mbonambi named Umkhokha “one of the best dramas to come out of SA in a long time… one of the most exciting dramas of the year.”
Gomora S3 | Mondays-Fridays express from 25 April
The shocking events of the Season 2 finale are set to have devastating consequences for Thathi – and everyone around her – as Mzansi Magic telenovela Gomora traces the inequality between the rich and the poor, following the lives of two families and how their worlds collide.
Last year, Gomora won two SAFTAs, for Most Popular TV Soap and Best Achievement in Directing – Telenovela, with a further three nominations. The show’s stellar cast includes the likes of SAFTA winners Connie Chiume (Black Panther), Katlego Danke (Generations) and Zolisa Xaluva (Knuckle City).
Hotel S5 | Stream from 11 April
The fifth and final season of the hilarious Afrikaans mockumentary Hotel takes us back to the motley crew of small-town misfits at the Fransen Hotel, still standing despite crises and mismanagement, takeovers and interpersonal conflicts, and even a pandemic.
All our favourite characters are back – yes, even Ferdie (James Borthwick), whose emigration to New Zealand didn’t go quite as planned. Jony (Simoné Pretorius, Stroomop) is adjusting to her new position in the pecking order, while Thomas (Beer Adriaanse, Poppie Nongena) is wrangling a predatory auditor, and Brenda (Martelize Kolver, The Seagull) is dealing with some big feelings. SAFTA winner Schalk Bezuidenhout (Kanarie) and Mila Guy (Wonderlus) also return.
MnaKwethu Happily Ever After? S2 | 7 April
Season 2 of MnaKwethu Happily Ever After? – the behind-the-scenes follow-up to polygamist Musa Mseleku’s reality series Mnakwethu – picks up after the drama-filled first season that saw first wives introduced to their husband’s girlfriends who would be potential second wives. Now, Qondanisa, Ngiga, Dulas and Bheki Cele return, and viewers will learn of family rejection, a love child and unexpected break-ups.
Thabo Rametsi (Amandla) stars in Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu, which traces the struggle icon’s journey from an ordinary schoolboy to activist and freedom fighter. The film won three 2018 SAFTAs, with a further four nominations, including Best Director for Mandla Dube (Jiva!).
Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (Mrs Mandela) was nominated for a 2010 Black Reel Award for her starring role in Skin, the multi-award-winning true story of a Black child born to white parents in 1950s apartheid South Africa. This acclaimed and moving drama earned Tony Kgoroge a SAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor opposite the likes of Sam Neill (The Piano) and Alice Krige (The OA). The film holds an 86% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Also on Showmax in April
Catalyst – Should I Risk It? | Dutch | Hours | Keanu | Message in a Bottle | San Andreas | Zuba S6
Catwoman | Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice | Brian Cox: Life of a Universe | French Toast
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Disasters Engineered | History of Art | The Lake House | Magic Mike XXL
17 Again | Blithe Spirit | Duidelik Dapper S2 | Knockaround Guys | The Man From U.N.C.L.E. | The Naturalist: Coelacanth | Pan | Zero to Zero
Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell | Last Man Standing: Suge Knight and the Murders of Biggie and Tupac | The Battle For Britney: Fans | Cash and a Conservatorship
10,000 BC | Big Idea | The Intern
Analyze This | Analyze That | Cobra | Ingane ‘Yam S2 | Mal Kamper S1 | Operation Ouch S3
All About the Benjamins | Collateral Damage | Focus | How to Do Stuff Good S2 | Money Talks
Did I Mention Invention? S2 | The Great Gatsby | Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl | The Last Mimzy | Music and Lyrics
HBO comedy and documentaries | Dates TBC
Ellen Degeneres: Here And Now | Ellen Degeneres: The Beginning | Flight Of The Conchords: Live In London | George Lopez: The Wall – Live From Washington | D.C. | My Dad Wrote A Porno | My Favorite Shapes By Julio Torres | Pete Holmes: Dirty Clean | Ramy Youssef: Feelings | Sermon On The Mount | Whitney Cummings: I’m Your Girlfriend | Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome America – A Final Night With George W Bush
Abortion: Stories Women Tell | After Truth: Disinformation And The Cost Of Fake News | Agnelli | Alabama Snake | Ali & Cavett: The Tale Of The Tapes | Alternate Endings: Six New Ways To Die In America | The Alzheimer’s Project | Becoming Mike Nichols | Buzz | In The Shadow Of The Towers: Stuyvesant High On 9/11 | It’s A Hard Truth Ain’t It | Jane Fonda In Five Acts | Kill Chain: The Cyber War On America’s Elections | King In The Wilderness | Koran By Heart | Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season | Mann V. Ford | Mommy Dead And Dearest | Newspaperman: The Life And Times Of Ben Bradlee | The Number On Great-Grandpa’s Arm | One Nation Under Stress | Scheme | The Song Of Parkland | True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight For Equality | What Happened On September 11