What’s new on Showmax in Kenya in January 2021
There’s a new season of Monica on the way, plus fresh weekly episodes of all your faves: Kina, Kovu, Selina, Slay Queen, Karma and more.
Thank goodness it’s a new year, and hopefully, it’s going to be completely and utterly different from the last one – in all ways but one. Showmax will still be serving up just as much great entertainment as we always have, with a new season of Monica, two gorgeously shot East African films, and the return of faves like Fargo and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Best of Kenya
Monica S3 | First on Showmax | Coming soon
Monica follows Brenda Wairimu (Subira, Disconnect) in the titular role of Monica, an ambitious social climber, determined to escape her life in the ghetto, who will do anything to get to the top.
It’s a dream that soon becomes a reality when she meets the affluent Jiwes, a political family led by the patriarch, Robert Jiwe (Raymond Ofula, The System, Queen Sono), the governor of the fictitious South City. When Robert finds himself caught up in smear campaigns, Monica swoops in to save the day, masquerading as a recent PR graduate from a top university in London, complete with a fake background. How hard can it be to live a double life anyway?
In Season 3, the stakes are even higher for Monica as she seeks to cement her position in the governor’s office to secure her future, while also struggling to balance her messy love life and keep her secrets from coming out.
According to producer Scolly Cheruto, in Season 3 fans can expect “a grander season, a more intriguing story and a surprise celebrity cast joining the production.” Binge-watch seasons 1 and 2 while you wait for the new season to drop.
Maisha Makanda S2 | Starts 11 January
This investigative series earned a nomination in the ‘Best TV Documentary’ category at the 2020 Kalasha Awards. Last season we met women struggling with infertility, survivors of terrorism, tackled the sensitive topic of skin lightening and got to know the inspiring young girls’ football team from Nairobi, who travelled to Norway to take part in a tournament, which they went on to win! Watch new episodes of Maisha Makanda weekly, dropping on Showmax at the same time as they air on Maisha Magic East.
Vote for Kibera | 18 January
Vote for Kibera is a part-Swahili documentary about the people of Africa’s largest slum who have decided, despite the harsh conditions, to transform their merciless environment into a better place to live. Will they make it through the tensions and violence accompanying the presidential elections?
What else is good this month?
neXt | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 January
Technology genius Paul LeBlanc, played by John Slattery (Roger Sterling in Mad Men) has created an artificial intelligence called neXt. When he realises the potential of this powerful AI, he tries to shut down the project – only to be kicked out of his own company by his unscrupulous brother (Jason Butler Harner). If you have an inkling what happens (ahem) next, you’d be right. Soon LeBlanc joins forces with Special Agent Shea Salazar (Fernanda Andrade) to prevent a fight a superintelligence that threatens a global catastrophe.
Filthy Rich | Binge from 1 January
Meet the Monreauxes, a mega-rich Southern family famous for creating a successful Christian television network. This southern stars Kim Cattrall as Margaret Monreauxes, who must take the reigns of the family business after the patriarch, Eugene Monreauxes dies in a plane crash. Not before including his three illegitimate children in his will, a secret that comes as news to everybody.
Black Monday S1-2 | Binge from 1 January
If you don’t know whether to laugh or cry about the state of the world’s economy right now, trust us, laughing is healthier. Set in 1987, Black Monday is a comedy about a motley crew of ambitious underdogs who cause the worst stock market crash in Wall Street history.
Oscar nominee Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) was nominated for 2019 and 2020 Emmys for his starring role as the high-rolling Mo, and won two Black Reel Awards, with Regina Hall (The Hate You Give) nominated for a further two. Emmy nominees Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (The Boys) executive produce (alongside Cheadle) and also directed the pilot.
Wall Street Journal calls Black Monday “very funny, very clever about incorporating 1980s cultural references, and very vulgar.” Black Monday has been renewed for a third season.
Vikings S6B | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 January
In the second half of the final season of HISTORY’s breakout TV series, all your questions will be answered. Is Bjorn still alive? What happened to Floki? Who will take the throne of Kattegat? And which of our favourite characters is going to die next?
After six seasons, Vikings still has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.5/10 rating on IMDb, where it’s on their Top Rated TV of All-Time list.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine S7 | Binge from 1 January
Police station comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns for its seventh season, which sees Holt going back to the beat, while Jake and Amy consider starting a family.
The beloved ensemble cast is led by Golden Globe and Emmy winner Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live) and Golden Globe nominee and Emmy winner Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street).
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a 95% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s won two Golden Globes, two Emmys, and two Critics’ Choice Awards. In 2020, Season 6 received nominations for two Emmys and a GLAAD Media Award, among others. It’s been renewed for an eighth season.
Fargo S4 | Same day as M-Net, Tuesdays at 23:30 from 12 January
A spin-off of the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning classic movie, Fargo has won three Golden Globes, six Emmys and a Peabody Award. It’s #36 on IMDb’s Top Rated TV list, with an 8.9/10 score, and holds a 92% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Season 4, which is Complex’s TV show of the year, is set in Kansas City in 1950, with four-time Emmy-winning comedian Chris Rock starring as Loy Cannon, the head of the African American crime family who trades sons with the head of the Italian mafia as part of a tenuous truce.
“Fargo, as in past seasons, manages to be both more dramatic, and more comic, than almost any other show on TV right now,” says NPR.
Curb Your Enthusiasm S10 | Binge from 1 January
After a dry spell of just one precious season in the past nine years, Seinfeld co-creator Larry David is back to rain on everyone’s parade with Season 10 of the grand-daddy of cringe comedy series, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Plus, Curb is turning 100 (episodes that is), which might explain why Larry’s crankier than ever.
The new season promises to take on Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Make America Great Again and #MeToo, but they still have less to worry about than Larry’s ex, Cheryl (Emmy nominee Cheryl Hines), as Larry sets his sights on reuniting with her.
Season 10 was nominated for four Emmys, including Best Comedy, and holds a 95% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Why Women Kill S1 | Binge from 1 January
This ten-episode anthology series follows the stories of three women, one house, and multiple infidelities. Though separated by decades, picture perfect 60s couple Beth and Rob, 80s socialite Simone and her third husband Karl, and modern day attorney Taylor and her open-marriage husband Eli share a Pasadena mansion – and a propensity for keeping secrets.
Globe and Mail calls it “bonkers”, “brilliant” and “recommended”.
Room 104 S4 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 January 2021
Room 104 is a cult HBO anthology series which tells tales of the characters who pass through a bog standard hotel room. The genre, the characters and even the era change each half-hour episode – perfect for anyone burnt-out on bingeing. The fourth and final season even includes animated and musical episodes.
Look out for Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Harvey Guillén (What We Do In The Shadows), Kevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy), Gary Cole (The Good Fight), and Mark Duplass (The Morning Show) – among many others.
After four seasons, Room 104 still has an 88% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Collider calls Season 4 “the show’s most ambitious, surreal season yet.”
Charmed S2 | Binge from 1 January
This teen favourite reboot of the popular original series follows three sisters, Macy, Mel and Maggie who, following the death of their mother, discover they are a powerful trio of good witches, known as The Charmed Ones. With the help of their guide, a Whitelighter, the three must embrace their destiny to protect the innocent from the forces of evil.
The series was nominated for two 2019 Teen Choice Awards as well as a 2019 Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Television Series. Charmed has been renewed for a third season.
PEN15 S2 | First on Showmax | Binge from 8 January
PEN15 is an R-rated traumedy set in middle school as it really happened in the year 2000. Real-life 30-somethings Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine play versions of themselves as 13-year-old outcasts, surrounded by actual 13-year-olds.
Season 2 is an even bigger hit than its Emmy-nominated first season, with a 93% rating on Metacritic, where it’s #1 on the top-scoring TV shows of 2020. Season 2 also has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where it’s currently #3 on their list of the best TV shows of 2020.
As The Washington Post put it, “If one has to choose only one millennial-made TV series that ventures into adolescent angst in the AOL era, please make it this one.”
The Good Lord Bird S1 | Binge from 15 January
Four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke (Stockholm) stars in The Good Lord Bird as militant slavery abolitionist John Brown, who is credited with instigating the American Civil War. It’s told from the point of view of Henry “Onion” Shackleford, an enslaved boy who joins Brown’s family of abolitionist soldiers.
Onion is played by rising star Joshua Caleb Johnson, who co-stars along with Grammy winner Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting, Hamilton). The Good Lord Bird is #5 on Rolling Stone’s list of the best TV of the year and has a 97% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Dolittle | 7 January
Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) stars as Doctor Dolittle, the famous vet who can talk to animals. Called upon to save the Queen, Dolittle sets off on an adventure across the seas, aided by his animal companions and young apprentice Tommy (newcomer Harry Collett), but Dolittle’s lifelong rival, Dr. Blair Müdfly (Michael Sheen, The Good Fight) is hot on their tails.
Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas and Oscar winner Jim Broadbent co-star, along with an astonishing voice case that includes Oscar winners Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, and Marion Cotillard, and Oscar nominees Ralph Fiennes and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), and more.
Waves | 18 January
Waves is a critically acclaimed drama that traces the journey of a suburban family – led by a well-intentioned but domineering father – as they navigate love, forgiveness, and coming together in the aftermath of loss.
It’s won several awards, including a 2020 Black Reel, three African-American Film Critics Association Awards and three Hollywood Critics Association Awards.
Waves has an 84% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Wrap saying the film “provocatively examines black masculinity and the burden of living up to a societal standard, as well as a parental one.”
Haunt | 18 January
Calling all slasher movie fans: Fangoria Horror Hall of Famer Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) has teamed up with Saturn Award-winning writer-directors Bryan Woods and Scott Beck (who wrote the Oscar-nominated film A Quiet Place) for a scarefest that’ll have Saw fans cheering.
Haunt follows a group of friends whose Halloween party night leads them to an extreme haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears. Sounds like a blast, right? But the night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that not all nightmares are imaginary.
Knives Out | 25 January
The unexpected death of a wealthy patriarch brings out the worst in his eccentric family as the arrival of a shrewd detective makes everyone a suspect in this acerbically funny and deliciously twisty murder mystery.
Knives Out earned writer-director Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi) a 2020 Oscar nomination and a BAFTA nomination for Best Screenplay. The film was also nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 2020 Golden Globes, where Emmy and BAFTA nominee Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas (No Time To Die) also nabbed Best Comedy Actor nominations.
The all-star cast also includes Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson and Chris Evans.
Look out for a host of classics, including Oscar winners like Peter Jackson’s King Kong, with Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody, and Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, with Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley; Oscar nominees like Steven Spielberg’s The Post (1 Jan), with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, the animation Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (7 Jan) and Ridley Scott’s American Gangster (18 Jan), with Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe and Chiwetel Ejiofor; the box office phenomenon Jurassic World (11 Jan), with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard; AFI Movie of the Year The 40 Year-Old Virgin (25 Jan), with Steve Carell and Catherine Keener; the BAFTA-nominated The Butler (21 Jan), starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey; the Toronto winner Desierto (11 Jan), starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan; and the multi-award-winning kung fu classic Divergence (14 Jan), with Daniel Wu (Into the Badlands).
Best of Africa
Africa Magic Yoruba pop-up channel
Live stream Torera, Kumapayi, Battleground and all your favourite Africa Magic Yoruba movies on Showmax. Fans of Yoruba movies can catch some of the biggest actors including Odunlade Adekola, Wumi Toriola, Bimpe Oyebade, Kemi Afolabi and more.
eHostela S2 | Express from Mzansi Magic weekly from 3 January
Set in the heart of KwaZulu Natal’s KwaMashu township, eHostela tells the story of two sons whose bond is bound in secrets and sealed by guns.
Mzali Wami S1 | Same time as Mzansi Magic from 4 January
Joyce Khaphayi’s daughter was stolen at Park Station 20 years ago by an unknown woman. Two decades on, Joyce runs an orphanage but finds herself tangled in a cruel criminal scheme to sell girls, only to discover that one of the girls is her own long-lost daughter and that the woman who raised her will do anything to get her back.
My Chef and I S1 | Binge from 14 January
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, little Cindy Owusu Yaa was brought home to Ghana to learn more about our culture and way of life. Here she meets the chef of the household, Efo Gasor, who doesn’t always see eye to eye with Cindy, and the results can be quite comical. Like serving her a dish of plantain and palava sauce as breakfast! Also in the mix is Cindy’s mom, Portia Asare Boateng, who gets caught between the two and a host of other characters in this local drama series directed by David Owusu.
Date My Family Nigeria S2 | Weekly episodes from 17 January
Get ready for a brand-new season of the reality dating show, where Naija’s most eligible singles go for dinner with three different families of hopefuls and eventually picks one to take on a date. Tables are turned, details are dished and secrets are spilt as loved ones grill the potential suitor, all the while trying to show their candidate in the best light. Episodes come to Showmax at the same time as they air on Africa Magic, where they’ll be available to binge-watch as the season unfolds.
The Sound of Masks | 18 January
In The Sound of Masks, Atanásio Nhussi, a compelling storyteller and legendary Mapiko dancer, takes us on a visually dramatic journey through Mozambique’s past and present, tracing the rhythms that give us life.
This feature-length documentary premiered at IDFA 2018 and was selected for Hot Docs 2019, among other top festivals. The Sound of Masks won Best Cinematography – Feature Documentary at the 2020 SAFTAs and was also nominated for Best Documentary Feature and Best Editing. It was also named Best Feature Documentary at the 2019 Plateau International Film Festival.
Unmarried Nigeria S2 | Weekly episodes from 20 January
Season 1 was a rollercoaster of emotions as Nengi, Kemsi and Funbi navigated the unknown while leaning on each other for morale. Look out for new episodes on Showmax on Wednesday evenings, at the same time as they air on Africa Magic, to find out what lies in store for the trio of friends.
Growing Up Hip Hop: New York S1 | Binge from 1 January
The New York edition of this popular reality franchise comes to Showmax, as we follow hip-hop royalty in the Big Apple as they hustle and flow. In this season, a Gotti family secret begins to spiral. Ja Rule’s kids suffer the backlash of Fyre Festival. And Da’Zyna must put aside her daddy issues with Flavor Flav for her brother Quan’s rap career.
Temptation Island S2 | 4 January
Reality show Temptation Island sees couples travel to a tropical paradise where they put their relationship to the ultimate test: living separately while dating singles looking for love.
A reboot of the Teen Choice-nominated 2001 reality series, Season 2 finds four new couples – including Miss Universe US Virgin Islands 2017, Esonica Veira – testing their love in Maui, Hawaii.
Tiger | First on Showmax | Express from the US | Episode 1 on 11 Jan & Episode 2 on 18 Jan
HBO’s eagerly anticipated Tiger Woods documentary, Tiger, offers a revealing look at the rise, fall, and epic comeback of the global golfing icon. The series paints an intimate picture of the prodigy whose dedication and obsession with the game of golf brought him unimaginable fame and success, but also led him down a dark, spiraling path, and ultimately, to his legendary comeback, culminating in his victory at the 2019 Masters.
The two-part documentary features never-before-seen-footage and interviews with those who know Tiger Woods best, including golf legend Sir Nick Faldo; Tiger’s first true love, Dina Parr; and Rachel Uchitel, the woman at the centre of the sex scandal that forever altered Tiger’s world.
Also on Showmax in January
Filthy Rich S1 | The Break-Up
An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success | An American Girl: Lea to the Rescue | Bhai’s Cafe | The Barefoot Bandits S1 | Wife Swap S13 | Date My Family: Uganda S1 (new episodes weekly) | Huba S8 (new episodes Mon-Fri every week)
Mnakwethu Happily Ever After S2
Left Behind | R.L. Stine’s Monsterville: The Cabinet of Souls | Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas | The Ranakas S4 | Vampire Academy | Karma S4 new episodes weekly (Tanzania) | Date My Family: Tanzania S2 (new episodes weekly) | Loving Tyra S4 new episodes weekly (Uganda) | Hullabaloo Estate S13 – new episodes weekly (Kenya) | Varshita S5 – new episodes weekly (Kenya) | Njoro wa Uba S6 – new episodes weekly (Kenya) | The Turn Up – new episodes weekly (Kenya)
In The Deep (Nigeria) | Linus and Family (Nigeria)
Best Friends (Nigeria) | Elana’s Woe (Nigeria)
After the Wedding | Also for Grownups: Emerging Voices in South Africa Animation | Barbie Fairytopia | Barbie Fairytopia: Magic of the Rainbow | Ingane Yam S1 | The Current War | The Space: Theatre of Survival | Pete S6 – new episodes weekly (Kenya) | Kovu S2 – new episodes weekly (Kenya) | Kina S2 – new episodes weekly (Kenya) | Selina S5 – new episodes weekly (Kenya) | Nyanya Rukia S6 – new episodes weekly (Kenya) | Chozi S1 – new episodes weekly (Kenya) Maisha Mkanda S2 – new episodes weekly (Kenya) | Pambio Live – new episodes weekly (Kenya)
Barbie: The Princess and the Pop Star | City of Lies | Day Zero: A city without water | Dragon Chronicles: The Maidens of Heavenly Mountain | The Fast and the Fierce | Line Walker | The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson | Shaolin Kung Fu Kids | Sing Along with Barbie | Southpaw | My Chef and I S1 (Ghana)
Walking You Through (Nigeria) | The Consortium (Nigeria)
Date My Family Nigeria S2 (new episodes weekly) | Trophy Wife (Nigeria) | House Keeper (Nigeria)
Barbie Mariposa and her Butterfly Fairy Friends | Barbie Mariposa and the Fairy Princess | Vote for Kiberia (Kenya)
Unmarried Nigeria (new episodes weekly)
American Ultra | Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper | The Cuddler | I was Blind | Miracle | Lost Tongue | The Poison Rose | Pretty’s Daughter | Shaka’s Mask | Slumber Party | Unknown No | Uye & Kholi | Made in Agege: The Cursed Treasure (Ghana) | Nollywood (documentary series)
Walk The Line (Nigeria) | Deceived (Nigeria)
One Fine Day (Nigeria) | Fantasy (Nigeria)
A Score to Settle | Sleeping With Other People | This is 40
Cruel Peter | I Still Believe | The Great Wall | Asantewaa (Ghana)
Hooked (Nigeria) | One More Word (Nigeria)
A Fool And A Lover (Nigeria) | Marry Me (Nigeria)