What’s new on Showmax in East Africa in August 2020
We’re getting real this month, with the Sol Family reality series, Life With Kelly Khumalo, and of course, more Big Brother Naija!
August brings you the highly anticipated Sol Family reality show, celebrating arguably the most well-known band in Africa! If reality series are your thing, there is more Big Brother Naija, with Showmax’s 24/7 live stream making it possible for you to watch all day, every day. Plus Life With Kelly Khumalo debuts in early August, too.
There are new international series to explore, including serial killer-fest Reckoning, Rosario Dawson in Briarpatch, and on the lighter side, Love Life, starring Anna Kendrick. Plus your next TWD binge sesh, as The Walking Dead S10 drops.
If you’re into reality, you’ll definitely also want to check out the latest season of UK’s Love Island, shot right here in Africa.
If it’s movies you love, Nicole Kidman is in not one but two very different roles – as Fox News whistleblower Gretchen Carlson and as a bitter cop in Destroyer. Or catch Charlize Theron in two equally different guises: also in Bombshell, as Megyn Kelly, and as the voice of Morticia in the new animated Addams Family.
For the love of local
Sol Family | Starts 10 August with a double bill, weekly episodes after they air on Maisha Magic
This new reality series will give viewers the front seat to the behind the scenes and bring to the forefront the people and the work that goes behind the hit-making machine that is Sol Generation. The show will explore the lives of band members Bienaime Alusa, Willis Chimano, Polycarp Otieno, Savara Mudigi as well as the stars of Sol Generation; Nviiri and Bensoul and the team behind their management that makes the magic happen. The show delves deep into the music-making process as well as the elements of their personal lives that make them tick.
International Series: Editor’s Picks
Reckoning S1 | First on Showmax, binge from 1 August
When an infamous serial killer who has gone dormant for years is believed to have killed again, two families in a quiet, suburban neighbourhood are put on a dangerous collision course. Homicide Detective Mike Serrato (Critics Choice nominee Aden Young from Rectify) and high school guidance counsellor Leo Doyle (Screen Actors Guild nominee Sam Trammell from True Blood) have struggled for years to do what is best for the people they love and the families they are desperate to protect. But when old obsessions begin to possess them, the murder of a local teenager sets Mike and Leo on a course of mutual destruction that will emanate through every facet of their lives.
Briarpatch S1 | Mondays from 3 August
Senator’s aide Allegra Dill (Rosario Dawson, Sin City) returns to her border-town Texas home to investigate the death of her sister – a local cop killed by a car bomb. What begins as a search for a killer turns into an all-consuming fight to bring her corrupt hometown to its knees.
Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) and Edi Gathegi (X-Men: First Class) co-star in this latest offering from Emmy nominated writer/producer Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot, Homecoming).
Briarpatch is #86 on Rotten Tomatoes Best TV Shows of 2020 (So Far), with a 78% critics rating and a 88% audience score.
Love Life S1 | 21 August | First on Showmax
Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect) stars as Darby in this eight-episode HBO romcom anthology series that traces the journey from first love to lasting love, and how the people we’re with along the way make us into who we are when we finally end up with someone forever.
“There is formidable charm and poignancy here because Darby seems so ordinary,” Globe and Mail says. “The high drama is never amplified and comes in small moments of joy and pain.”
Love Life has an 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and was recently renewed for a second season, which will centre on a whole new love story.
I May Destroy You | Wednesdays at 22:30 from 26 August, same day as 1Magic
I May Destroy You centres on Arabella (BAFTA winner Michaela Coel from Chewing Gum), a carefree, self-assured Londoner with a group of great friends, a boyfriend in Italy, and a burgeoning writing career. But when her drink is spiked with a date-rape drug, she questions every element of her life.
I May Destroy You is #23 on Rotten Tomatoes Best TV of 2020 (So Far), with a 97% critics rating.
Including it in their roundup of the 10 Best TV Shows of 2020 So Far, The Hollywood Reporter called it, “The most ‘2020’ show of 2020”, adding its “representative of the mood of the moment — the combination of anger, confusion, uncertainty and unexpected humor; the exploration of intersections of gender and race, sexuality and violence, youth and hard-earned experience.”
International Series: Highly Recommended
What We Do In The Shadows S2 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 August
From multiple Emmy nominee Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and 2020 Oscar winner Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok), the hit mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows is a look into the daily (or rather, nightly) lives of three vampires who’ve lived together in New York for over 100 years – plenty of time to get on each other’s nerves.
Season 2 is the ninth best-reviewed show of 2020 so far on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 100% critics rating and a consensus that reads, “What We Do In the Shadows loses no steam in a smashing second season that savvily expands its supernatural horizons while doubling down on the fast flying fun.”
The series was nominated for two 2019 Emmys and has already been renewed for Season 3.
Vida S3 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 August
The bar the Hernandez sisters inherited is booming and their love lives are actually flourishing — until they discover another long-buried family secret, which leaves them wondering if they can continue together as a family or if they should each move on alone — for good this time.
Vida has captivated the critics, earning itself a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes for all three seasons, and fourth place on Time Magazine’s Best of 2019 list for Season 2.
As AVClub says, “Vida is rightly lauded for its excellent performances, incisive writing, and commitment to centering queer, female and non-binary, and Latinx voices both in front of and behind the camera. But you know what? It’s also one of the best-looking shows on TV. The cinematography is top-tier. The direction is impeccable. It’s beautiful, immersive, often dreamlike filmmaking.”
Future Man S3 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 August
Four-time Teen Choice winner Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) stars as Josh Futturman, a janitor by day, gamer by night, who is recruited by mysterious visitors to travel through time in order to prevent the extinction of humanity at the hands of an imminent super-race invasion.
Seth Rogen plays Susan and is also a director and executive producer on the series, but the real stars are Eliza Coupe (Casual) and Derek Wilson (Rectify) as fan favourites Tiger and Wolf.
The sci-fi comedy has a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Den of Geek hailing it as “a modern classic” that “ends with one of the funniest gags that I’ve ever seen a show go out on.”
The Walking Dead S10 | Binge from 1 August
The Walking Dead is the definitive zombie show, having won 77 awards globally.
Season 10 has a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus is, “A few changes in front of and behind the camera allow The Walking Dead to create space for compelling new stories and some seriously scary new adversaries.”
Norman Reedus and Danai Gurira returnas Daryl and Michonne, as does Melissa McBride as Carol. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is also still alive as Negan, but the bigger threat this season is two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (Harlots, Minority Report) as Alpha, the leader of the Whisperers, who wear the skins of zombies, and live among them…
My Brilliant Friend S2: The Story of a New Name | 22 August | Same day as M-Net
Set in Naples and based on Elena Ferrante’s bestselling novels, My Brilliant Friend is the story of a friendship spanning 60 years. Season 2, based on the second novel in Ferrante’s series, sees Lila stuck in a brutal marriage to the wealthy Stefano Caracci, while Elena dallies with suitor Antonio Cappuccio and explores her growing attraction to the magnetic Nino Sarratore.
My Brilliant Friend has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was recently renewed for a third season.
The Hollywood Reporter included it in their roundup of the 10 Best Shows of 2020 So Far, saying the series “portrays postwar young-womanhood in all its victories, devastations and frailties. This season’s story, told with seemingly no expense spared, is where the girls’ paths start to truly diverge, as one pursues dreams beyond their impoverished neighborhood and the other finds herself irretrievably chained to it.”
Bombshell (2019) | 10 August Express after M-Net Sunday Night
Based on the true story, this blockbuster drama is superbly led by Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, and Oscar nominee Margot Robbie, all three of whom, Rolling Stone says, “come out blazing in this tale of how the women of Fox News brought down a predatory CEO,” adding, “It’s explosive entertainment that means to make a difference.“
Bombshell grossed almost $60m at the global box office. It won a 2020 Oscar and a BAFTA for Best Makeup, with Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Best Lead Actress (Charlize) and Best Supporting Actress (Margot).
Los Angeles Times calls it, “a ferociously entertaining dramatization of how an unlikely group of women exposed and deposed media titan Roger Ailes… as harrowing as it is triumphant in its depiction of the way it all came to pass.”
Ma (2019) | 6 August
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) kicks her Oscar-winning actress mould to the curb and stomps on it with her first starring role in this bonkers horror flick, with a little help from her best friend and former housemate, BAFTA-nominated writer/director Tate Taylor (The Help, The Girl on the Train), who hand-picked the stereotype-smashing role at her request.
The movie centres on a group of teens who luck out when middle-aged singleton Sue Ann (aka Ma) offers them her basement to hang out and party in. But just as it seems things couldn’t get sweeter, they begin to suspect there’s something a little off about Ma…
Produced by Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning producer Jason Blum (Get Out, Us, BlacKkKlansman), Ma grossed over $60m at the global box office, and scooped nominations at both the Teen Choice and Saturn Awards last year.
“Audiences will walk out with that good chiropractor feeling,” says San Francisco Chronicle, “the one that says, ‘Yes, I have been manipulated. I have been nothing but manipulated and pounded on for the last 90 minutes. And it was a very satisfying thing.’”
Destroyer (2018) | 13 August
Destroyer is a heavy-weight, neo-noir crime drama starring Oscar winner Nicole Kidman in a 2019 Golden Globe-nominated performance as a damaged ex-LAPD cop with a score to settle, some wrongs to right, and a history to set straight. As Variety says, “Nothing Nicole Kidman has done can prepare you for Destroyer”.
In a traditionally male-dominated genre, “Kidman’s talents are unleashed with unexpected fury,” says The Wrap, adding that Cannes and sundance award-winning director Karyn Kusama (Aeon Flux) is “a cinematic force.”
The Verge calls Destroyer, “A tremendous piece of filmmaking, fueled by Kusama’s fearless creative vision and Kidman’s transformative performance.”
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) | 20 August
This biographical crime thriller about one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Ted Bundy, is based on the memoir The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, penned by Bundy’s former girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall.
Zac Efron plays Bundy in a performance Variety calls, “controlled, magnetic, audacious, committed, and eerily right.”
Oscar nominee John Malkovich plays the presiding judge at Bundy’s trial, with Kaya Scodelario (Crawl) as Bundy’s wife Carole Ann Boone. The cast also includes Golden Globe nominee Lily Collins (Les Misérables); Oscar nominee Haley Joel Osment (Future Man); Metallica frontman James Hetfield and Golden Globe winner Jim Parsons (Sheldon in Big Bang Theory).
Hunter Killer | 31 August
SAFTA-winning South African director Donovan Marsh (iNumber Number) makes his Hollywood directorial debut with this high-tension action thriller starring Gerard Butler (300), Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) and Best Original Song Oscar winner, rapper/actor Common (Selma).
Hunter Killer follows American submarine Captain Joe Glass, who is searching for a vessel in distress when he accidentally stumbles upon an attempted Russian coup, plunging him into a high-stakes rescue mission with an elite squad of Navy Seals in a bid to prevent WWIII.
Love Island UK S6 | 5 eps every Saturday from 8 August
For fans dying to see the latest season of the BAFTA-winning reality show Love Island UK, the long wait is finally over. And it’s all the more delicious because this is the season that was filmed at a villa in Cape Town, South Africa.
Laura Whitmore of Strictly Come Dancing fame is this season’s new host for the drama-packed reality show that sees single hopefuls complete tasks, couple up and get voted out week by week.
The Addams Family (2019) | Express after M-Net, Sunday 23 August
The world’s kookiest family is coming to town, and this poor, little New Jersey suburb has no idea what’s about to hit it. When Wednesday Addams befriends the daughter of reality TV host Margaux Needler, who’s hell-bent on building the perfect planned community, the Addams family find themselves way out of their league when it comes to “Assimilation”.
This animated kids’ version of the cult classic features an all-star voice cast, including Charlize Theron as Morticia; Oscar Isaac (Star Wars’ Poe Dameron) as Gomez; Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) as Wednesday; and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) as the death-defying, gene-pool-skimming Pugsley.
Corn and Peg S1 | 13 August
Let’s do good with Corn and Peg! Corn and Peg follows a unicorn and a pegasus as they help their friends and neighbors in the community of Galloping Grove by doing nice things. Along the way, young fans will pick up skills such as simple counting, colour identification, following directions, and life skills.
Common Sense Media gave it four stars and recommended it for ages 4 and up, saying, “Corn and Peg’s experiences remind kids that it feels good to do good, even when you get no direct benefit from your actions.”
Good Witch S5-6 | 10 August
It’s no mystery why the Good Witch TV movies and this highly successful series spin-off are such enduring favourites among kids and adults alike. Starring Catherine Bell (JAG) as beloved witch Cassie Nightingale, the feel-good Hallmark franchise is the ultimate in wholesome family viewing.
James Denton (Desperate Housewives’ Mike) co-stars as Dr Sam Radford, alongside Bailee Madison (The Fosters) as Cassie’s daughter Grace and Rhys Matthew Bond (Heartland, Ties that Bind) as troublesome teen Nick Radford.
The series has a four-star rating on Common Sense Media, which says, “Everything you’ve come to like and expect from charming Cassie is here in force: quality, family-friendly content, stellar role models, and examples of making responsible choices.”
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S1 | 13 August
The award-winning Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise delivers non-stop, explosive ninja action in its latest reimagining. Keep an ear out for celebrity guest voice cameos from the likes of John Cena (Bumblebee), Lena Heady (Game of Thrones), Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Austin Powers) and mega maths boffin Danica McKellar (Project Mc², The Wonder Years).
PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Movie | 20 August
This mini-movie special spin-off of the hugely popular PAW Patrol series is sure to delight little ones in search of high adventure.
Mighty Pups sees our favourite PAW Patrol pups gain superpowers after a meteor crashes to Earth – but will their new abilities be enough to defeat the nefarious Mayor Humdinger and his nephew Harold? Marshall and the team have saved Adventure Bay before – now it’s up to the pups to save the world as this mighty adventure unfolds!
PAW Patrol Mighty Pups has a four-star rating on Common Sense Media, where it’s recommended for ages 3+.
Best of Africa
Big Brother Naija S5: Lockdown | Every day, all day LIVE on Showmax
The big news this season is that Showmax has a 24-hour live stream for superfans who love to stan to watch online. Don’t miss a second of the drama, Diary Room confessions, steamy shower moments, Friday night games and Saturday party rocking. Keep a browser window open on your desktop while you work so you don’t miss a minute of BBNaija Lockdown.
Love Come Back S1 | Starts 2 Aug, new episodes weekly, same time as Africa Magic
Everybody has that one person who got away. Adapted from the South African hit reality show, Love Come Back is a relationship show that gives people a chance to try to get a former lover back into their lives with a grand gesture. Hosted by Ibrahim Suleiman.
Life With Kelly Khumalo S1 | First and Only on Showmax | Binge eps 1-6 from 6 August & eps 7-13 from 27 August
A household name by 21, Kelly Khumalo is one of South Africa’s biggest music stars. She’s been named Best Female Artist at the South African Music Awards, sold millions of albums, opened for Grammy winner Missy Elliott, and has over 1.7m followers on Instagram alone.
But in recent years, her stardom has been dogged by controversies, from her turbulent relationship with her son’s father, hip hop star Jub Jub, and the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of her daughter’s father, Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa, to her recent “divorce” from her sister, Zandie.
Life With Kelly Khumalo offers an intimate glimpse of the woman behind the headlines: a single mother of two, juggling parenting with the build-up to the release of not just her new album, Undithatha Kancinci, but also her first gin, appropriately titled Controversy – both threatened by South Africa’s unprecedented Covid-19 lockdown.
“I’ve always been an authentic person,” says Kelly. “So this reality show is not so much about trying to explain myself or trying to win people over. I just want people to see me for who I am. All I can do is live my truth and let people be inspired by that.”
The Train of Salt and Sugar | 20 August
The Train of Salt and Sugar was Mozambique’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film in 2018 and won Best Director at Cairo International Film Festival, Best Director at Carthage, and Best Film at Joburg Film Festival, where the jury noted the film’s triumph “in showing the resilience of the human spirit.”
Set in northern Mozambique in the 1980s, the story follows a train transporting passengers and goods 500 miles through guerrilla-held territory during the Mozambican civil war. As rivalries form between the soldiers of the train’s military guard and friendships are forged between the passengers, violence threatens both on board and from the rebels. And with the threat of battle looming, romance blossoms against the stunning backdrop of the African bush.
Also on Showmax in August
What We Do In The Shadows S2 | The Walking Dead S10 | Vida S3 | Future Man S3 | 21 And Over | Big Papi Needs A Job S1 | Ready To Love S1 | Reckoning S1 | Rig 45 S2 | Yoko S1 | Corn and Peg S1
Briarpatch S1 (weekly episodes) | Please Step In
Maskers S1 (new episodes weekly)
Ma (2019) | Life With Kelly Khumalo S1 (1st six episodes) | My Father’s War | On the Basis of Sex | The Recce
Love Island UK S6 (five episodes every Saturday) | Godmother (2020, Nollywood)
Good Witch S5-S6 | Bombshell (2019)
Destroyer (2018) | Agent 2000 | Alpha and Omega | Seng’khathele S2 | Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S1
Beneath My Smile (2020, Nollywood)
Playing with Fire (2019) | The Essentials (documentary) | Endless River (movie)
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) | Papa Penny Ahee S4 | Umphefumlo | Wallykazam S1 | PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Movie | The Train of Salt and Sugar (movie)
Love Life S1
My Brilliant Friend S2 (weekly episodes) | Too Rich, Too Poor (2020, Nollywood)
The Addams Family (2019)
Made in Mara | Mother to Mother (documentary)
I May Destroy You (weekly episodes)
Life With Kelly Khumalo S1 (next seven episodes) | Galveston | Booksmart (2019)
Gaslight (2020, Nollywood)
Between Worlds | Hunter Killer (2019)