What’s new on Showmax East Africa in January 2020
There are plenty of fresh series to ring in the new year for Showmax subscribers in Kenya and Tanzania, including a new season of Ray Donovan.
Put your feet up and relax with new seasons of big international series, blockbuster movies and Swahili telenovelas.
Here’s the best of Showmax in East Africa in January 2020.
Editor’s Choice: International Series
Summer of Rockets S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 January
Created by Emmy and BAFTA nominee Stephen Poliakoff (Perfect Strangers), this semi-autobiographical drama-thriller is set in Britain in the 50s, during the Cold War, where a Russian Jewish inventor of hearing aids is approached by MI5 to undertake a secret mission.
The mini-series stars Toby Stephens (Black Sails); BAFTA nominees Keely Hawes (The Durrells), Timothy Spall (Harry Potter) and Linus Roache (Vikings, Homeland); Gary Beadle (Patrick Melrose); BAFTA winner Mark Bonnar (Unforgotten); Oscar nominee Peter Firth (Victoria); and South African actress Suanne Braun.
The Times praised Summer of Rockets for its “sumptuous cast”, “cracking dialogue” and “gorgeous” visuals.
88% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
Genius S2: Picasso | Binge from 1 January
Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory, Mask of Zorro, Desperado) was nominated for a 2019 Golden Globe for Best Actor as the legendary artist, while Alex Rich (Glow) received a 2019 Critic’s Choice Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as the young Picasso. Also look out for Clémence Poésy from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The series is exec produced by, among others, Oscar-winning duo Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, who gave us A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon.
83% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes; 8.4/10, IMDb; Nominated for two Golden Globes – Best Actor for Geoffrey Rush (2018) as Einstein (S1) and Antonio Banderas as Picasso (2019); Won two Emmys and nominated for a further 15.
Room 104 S3 | First on Showmax | Binge from 2 January
Created by Jay and Mark Duplass (Animals, Togetherness), anthology series Room 104 returns with 12 new episodes, telling unique and unexpected tales of the characters who pass through a single room of a typical American chain motel.
The room stays the same but every episode features a different story, with the tone, plot, characters, and time period changing with each instalment. There’s even a documentary episode this season.
Season 3’s cast includes Luke Wilson (The Goldfinch), Sam Richardson (Veep), Aasif Mandvi (Blue Bloods) and Cobie Smulders (Avengers, How I Met Your Mother).
88% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes.
Ray Donovan S7 | First on Showmax | Binge from 20 January
Ray Donovan is a fixer, tasked to clean up the messes made by others – some legit, some definitely not. The only mess he can’t seem to deal with once and for all is his own personal life. In the seventh season, Ray is still living in New York, seemingly determined to be the person his family needs him to be, even turning to a shrink for help. Meanwhile, his brothers are cleaning up their acts too and Bridget, Ray’s daughter, faces the reality of married life.
Jon Voight won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Ray’s menacing father, Mickey, while Liev Schrieber has been nominated multiple times and highly praised for playing Ray.
70% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
Editor’s Choice: Kenyan series
Huba S5 | 16 Jan
We can’t get enough of this Swahili gem that comes to Showmax straight from Bongo. In this Tanzanian telenovela, two power-hungry families are at war. In this season, everybody must defend themselves. Jude refuses to forgive Tima, Chidi and Kashaulp fall in love, Roy and Doris get worse, and Nandy and Doris face off.
Harusi Yetu S2-3 | Date TBC
Here comes the bride! Two more seasons of Tanzania’s most lavish and touching weddings, from the wedding planning to the Kitchen Tea and beyond. Season 2 is currently live, and Season 3 will be coming soon.
Editor’s Choice: Movies
Aquaman | 6 January
Jason Momoa stars as half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry in this visually stunning adventure film. When he discovers that a war is brewing beneath the sea, he goes on a life-changing quest to reclaim his rightful place as king of Atlantis. Aquaman can also be seen in Justice League.
18 Hours (2017) | Date TBC
A paramedic spends 18 hours in an ambulance with a road accident victim who is repeatedly denied admissions at different hospitals. Loosely based on the real-life paramedic Brian Odhiambo.
Kidnapped (2017) | Date TBC
What happens when a successful businessman is confronted by the toughest battle of his life in the form of his disgruntled long term ex-girlfriend, when she finds out that he has a pregnant fiance?
Editor’s Choice: More African additions
Date My Family Nigeria S1 | Express from Africa Magic | 5 Jan
The popular dating show is back, and this time it all goes down in Lagos. New episodes weekly.
Confessions S1 | Express from Africa Magic | 6 Jan
The truth may be tough to handle, but it is easier to live with than the burden of secrets. We bring you yet another riveting reality TV show that seeks to help you reignite quenched flames and family bonds. New episodes weekly.
Dahleez | 9 Jan
Swadheenta, a lawyer, falls in love with an honest IAS officer, Adarsh Sinha. However, their relationship has to go through several tests, the reins of which are in the hands of his mother, Suhasini.
Unmarried S1 | Express from Africa Magic | 8 January
A fun, fresh and sexy new drama about the lives of three young female friends living. New episodes weekly.
Dr Laser S1 | 10 January
In this reality show, people with body image issues are given the help they need to overcome their insecurities and get the bodies they’ve always dreamed of having.
E.V.E S2 | 13 January
Set in Lagos, this dramatic series follows the trials and tribulations of a young female lawyer fighting to challenge the prejudices facing professional women.
Comedy Nites S2 | 17 January
Some of comedy’s finest are out and they’re shaking things up! Who’s up for some crazy laffs? It’s a half-hour of side-splitting stand-up comedy from a range of comedians.
The River S3 | Express from 1Magic | Daily from 27 January
The story of the Dikana and the Mokoena clans continues. They are two families from very different backgrounds brought together by the dirty business of diamond mining. This telenovela is famous for its twists and turns, and this season, coming to Showmax express from 1Magic will definitely be no different.
Lockdown S5 | First on Showmax | Binge from 30 January
Notorious for its cliffhangers, plot twists and emotional rollercoasters, Lockdown takes viewers into the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility.
As Season 5 picks up, Deborah is under pressure from the Department of Correctional Services, after one death too many at the prison. Arch-rivals Mazet and Tyson are still running the prison yard together, for now. And Monde is trying to make things right with Vicky (Lauren Jenae), while worrying about her sister Katlego (Natasha Thahane), who’s been transferred to Kgotsong Asylum.
SAFTA winners Linda Sebezo and Nomsa Buthelezi are also back as fan favourites Maki and Slenda, while the multi-award-winning Patricia Boyer returns as the hilarious but dangerous Sue.
Every season of Lockdown introduces a new star. This time it’s Sophie Lichaba, aka Sophie Ndaba, who became a household name in South Africa during her two-decade-long starring role as feisty receptionist Queen Moroka in the SABC1 soapie Generations.
The most awarded drama at this year’s SAFTAs, taking home five awards, including Best Drama
Editor’s Choice: Live Sport
Every week Showmax live-streams a selection of matches that includes English Premier League, Italian Serie, LaLiga football, basketball and more. The sports catalogue is available to all subscribers at no extra cost.
To see the latest details of what’s coming up next, go to the Showmax Sports page.
Editor’s Choice: Factual
Big Cats | Binge from 1 January
Executive produced by Michael Gunton (Emmy and BAFTA winner for Planet Earth II) and narrated by Doctor Foster actor Bertie Carvel, this acclaimed three-part BBC mini-series follows cat species from around the world, including the smallest feline in the world (the rusty spotted cat of Sri Lanka), the rarest cat on the planet (the Iberian lynx) and ‘the deadliest cat on Earth’ (the tiny African black-footed cat).
8.5/10, IMDb; winner of the 2018 Jackson Wild Conservation Award
Earth from Space | Binge from 1 January
Narrated by Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), this four-part mini-series reveals Earth as you’ve never seen it before. Cameras in space tell stories of life on our planet from a brand new perspective, revealing new discoveries, incredible colours and patterns, and just how fast our world is changing.
The Guardian says, “This breakthrough show captures every corner of the globe in unprecedented detail, giving our planet a health check – and its findings are spectacular.”
Expedition with Steve Backshall | Binge from 1 January
BAFTA-winning English naturalist, writer and presenter Steve Backshall travels the world in search of adventures from river rafting in the Himalayas to trekking through the jungles of South America to climbing mountains in the Middle East.
Radio Times called it: “A tremendous adventure … (Backshall is) great at explaining things in an engaging, straightforward way and he’s clearly as brave as heck.”
Women of Courage | 13 Jan
In this five-part miniseries, we examine the different ways that women embrace their strengths, in episodes titled Inner Beauty, Dear Mother, For The Love Of Her Son, Blood Ties, and Keep Moving.
Also launching on Showmax this January
Broken S1 | Famalam S2 | Guilt S1 | MotherFatherSon S1 | The Orville S1 | Prison Break S1-4 & 2017 new season | Tyrant S1-3
Animals With Cameras | Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild | Attenborough and The Sea Dragon | Explorer S11 | Jackie Chan’s Green Heroes | Queen Elizabeth: Legacy to the Natural World | Secrets of Area 51
Bypass | Mars S1 & S2 | Nashville S5
Howards End S1 | Little Women S1 | Stargate Origins S1 | Stargate Universe S1 – S2
Code Black S1-3
Cheerleader Nightmare | Bridge to Terabithia | City of Ember | Nim’s Island | Marshal the Miracle Dog
A Royal Winter
*Please note all shows and dates are subject to change.