What’s new on Showmax in May 2021
A surprise episode of Rick and Morty, international hit series A Confession, The Luminaries and Mr Mayor, and Margot Robbie in Birds of Prey.
Life With Kelly Khumalo | Weekly, new episodes every Thursday from 13 May
“Fans have been asking for Season 2 of Life With Kelly Khumalo since it first aired last August, so we’re delighted to be able to deliver it nine months later,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content. “Life With Kelly Khumalo became the fastest Showmax Original to top one million views, so renewing the series was an easy decision to make.”
Life With Kelly Khumalo S1 was recently nominated for a South African Film and Television Award for Best Soap Structured Reality TV Show, where it’s competing against two other Showmax Originals: Lebo M: Coming Home and Somizi & Mohale: The Union.
The two biggest talking points this season are expected to be Kelly starting to date again, and the return of her mother, Ntombi Khumalo.
Special episode: Rick and Morty in The Eternal Nightmare Machine | Stream from 1 May
Adult Swim has announced its Emmy Award-winning hit series will roll out the season five premiere across the globe starting on Sunday, 20 June at 11:00 PM ET/PT and are officially declaring it Rick and Morty Day. To join in the action, Rick and Morty enthusiasts across Africa can catch the new episodes from Monday, 21 June, just 24 hours after the US premiere, on the Adult Swim corner on Showmax.
One of the most-binged series on Showmax, all previous seasons are currently available on the streaming platform. To keep fans going until the rollout of the new season, a Rick and Morty special, Rick and Morty In The Eternal Nightmare Machine, will launch on the Adult Swim corner on Showmax on Saturday, 1 May. In this new and original 8-bit animated adventure, the simulation is corrupt, repair the core!
A Confession S1 | Binge from 1 May
2020 BAFTA-nominated British crime drama A Confession is based on the true story of Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher’s investigation into the 2011 murder of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan, and the lengths he went to in order to catch her killer.
Directed by BAFTA winner Broadchurch director Paul Andrew Williams, the six-episode miniseries has a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics’ consensus calling it “gripping.”
Nominated for a 2020 BAFTA in the miniseries category, A Confession stars Golden Globe nominee Martin Freeman (The Lord of The Rings), Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton (The Crown), and BAFTA nominee Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey), with supporting actor Joe Absolom (The Bay, Doc Martin), who nabbed the show’s second BAFTA nomination last year.
Warrior S2 | Binge from 1 May
Shot in Cape Town, Warrior is set in the ruthless world of late 19th century San Francisco, where rival Chinatown tongs fight for dominance amidst the growing anti-Chinese fervour that threatens to destroy them all.
“Warrior feels like if Peaky Blinders starred Bruce Lee and was set in 1870s Chinatown. It’s great,” says Vox – a claim backed up by an 8.4/10 rating on IMDb and a 100% critics’ rating for Season 2 on Rotten Tomatoes. Season 1 was named among Rolling Stone’s Best New Television Shows of 2019, with The Ringer calling it “a supremely kick-ass and criminally underappreciated martial arts Western” and Inverse hailing it as “the most underrated action series of the century”.
Recently renewed for a third season, Warrior is based on the writings of martial arts icon Bruce Lee. The series is created by Jonathan Tropper (Banshee).
The Luminaries S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 14 May
Based on Eleanor Cattin’s Booker Prize-winning novel, The Luminaries is an epic story of love, murder and revenge set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand during the gold rush.
Starring Eve Hewson (The Knick), Teen Choice nominee Himesh Patel (Yesterday) and Golden Globe nominee Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), the six-part series was hailed by TIME as “enchanting, enthralling” and The Guardian as “simply addictive TV… glorious escapism… a must-see full of intrigue, opium and political machinations.”
Mr Mayor S1 | Binge from 1 May
In Mr Mayor, three-time Golden Globe winner Ted Danson (The Good Place) plays a wealthy businessman who becomes the mayor of Los Angeles.
Co-created by two-time Golden Globe winner Tina Fey and three-time Emmy winner Robert Carlock, the minds behind Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the comedy also stars Oscar winner Holly Hunter (The Piano), and Saturday Night Live legend Bobby Moynihan. Also look out for guest stars like Golden Globe winner Beau Bridges, Golden Globe nominees Andie MacDowell, David Spade and Ed Begley Jr., and TV personality Chrissy Teigen.
“Danson takes the spotlight and shines once again, playing a character who’s clearly delighted by the job he ran for, and won, on a whim,” says NPR.
Tigtone S1-2 | Binge from 17 May
Adult Swim’s Tigtone S1-2 is the saga of a quest-addicted hero who slashes his way across a satirical fantasy universe with melodramatic ferocity, always obeying the letter of the law but never its spirit.
Collider hails it as “visually hypnotic… both gorgeous and grotesque… No matter the quest, it’s bound to be violently bloody, unpredictably hilarious, and flat out insane,” while Animation World Network calls it, “Uniquely designed, oddly disquieting and extremely funny.”
YOLO Crystal Fantasy S1 | Binge from 17 May
YOLO: Crystal Fantasy, a quarter-hour American animated comedy series created, and executive produced by Michael Cusack, follows two rowdy Australian party girls, Sarah and Rachel, looking for fun times, new experiences, positive vibes, and hopeful horoscopes in the bizarre town of Wollongong. Sarah’s quest is to find love, whereas Rachel hungers for chaos, often bringing them into conflicts as they encounter surreal Australiana, strange bush creatures, and eccentric nomads.
The Eric Andre Show | Binge from 17 May
The Eric Andre Show takes the elements of a traditional late-night talk show and ruins them. Likely the world’s most inept and violent host, Eric Andre interviews A-list talent (such as Seth Rogen, Wiz Kalifa, Judy Greer and Jimmy Kimmel) with the help of co-host Hannibal Buress. Created by Eric Andre, he hosts the most chaotic, unorthodox and surreal comedy chat show around.
Robot Chicken Takes on Riverdale High with The Bleepin’ Robot Chicken Archie Comics Special | 24 May
Finally, adding to all previous seasons (1 – 10) of Robot Chicken available on Showmax, the teens at Riverdale High are gifted with their very own skewering stop-motion half-hour special with The Bleepin’ Robot Chicken Archie Comics Special premiering Monday, 24 May (24 hours after the US premiere). Featuring a star-studded voice cast including Fred Armisen, Rachel Leigh Cook, Jane Lynch, Ryan Phillipe, Amy Sedaris, and more, Archie faces the action-packed return of Josie and the Pussycats from outer space to Riverdale in this animated comedy. Featuring the origin of Archie Andrews as only the Robot Chicken writers can tell it! This latest special joins the additional four Robot Chicken specials on the Adult Swim corner on Showmax: Star Wars Specials #1, #2 and #3 and The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking.
Birds of Prey | 24 May
You ever hear the one about the cop, the songbird, the psycho and the mafia princess? The tenth biggest box office hit of 2020 globally, Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a twisted tale told by Harley herself, as only she can tell it. After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.
Birds of Prey was Rotten Tomatoes’ best-reviewed comic book and graphic novel film adaptation last year, and one of its 10 best-reviewed wide-release films overall. Nominated for four People’s Choice Awards, including Favourite Movie, Birds of Prey won 10 awards.
In their four-star review, The Observer hailed Birds of Prey as “the movie equivalent of a fairground ride with all the bolts loosened and the safety booklet blazed long ago when someone ran out of Rizlas.”
The King of Staten Island | First on Showmax | 20 May
Coming-of-age dramedy The King of Staten Island is directed by Judd Apatow (This is 40), who co-wrote and produced alongside star Pete Davidson (Big Time Adolescence and the upcoming The Suicide Squad).
The film follows Scott, who’s been a case of arrested development since his firefighter dad died. He spends his days smoking weed and dreaming of being a tattoo artist until events force him to grapple with his grief and take his first steps forward in life. Pete, whose own father was a New York firefighter who died in the World Trade Center collapse on 9/11, was nominated for a 2020 People’s Choice Award for his starring role.
The King of Staten Island was nominated for the 2021 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy, as well as last year’s People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Comedy Movie. “The content can be raw, sometimes startling,” says the Wall Street Journal, “but before and after everything else the film is hilarious, and constitutes a cockeyed pantheon of comic performances. On top of that, it is beautiful.”
IT: Chapter Two | 31 May
Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the members of the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.
Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain stars as the adult Beverly Marsh and James McAvoy plays Bill Denbrough. Bill Hader (Barry) received four awards nominations for his role as the adult Richie Tozier, while Bill Skarsgård (Castle Rock) returns in his Teen Choice-nominated role as Pennywise.
Empire Magazine calls it, “A psychologically merciless sequel,” saying, “everything here is as it should be: deeper, scarier, funnier. …. It is obscenely entertaining.”
The Goldfinch | First on Showmax | 6 May
The Goldfinch is the film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s bestselling, Pulitzer-winning novel about a 13-year-old boy whose mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Directed by BAFTA-winner John Crowley (Brooklyn), the cast is led by Golden Globe nominee Ansel Elgort (The Fault In Our Stars) as Theo Decker and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (The Undoing) as Mrs Barbour, supported by Sarah Paulson (American Crime Story) and Jeffrey Wright (The Hunger Games).
Cut Throat City | 13 May
Set after Hurricane Katrina, Cut Throat City sees four boyhood friends who are out of options reluctantly accept an offer to pull off a dangerous heist in the heart of New Orleans.
Chicago Sun-Times praised its “vibrant, rough-edged, impressive storytelling” and FilmWeek its “rich sense of place and an incredible cast of supporting actors.”
It’s directed by Emmy, BAFTA and Black Reel-nominated actor, filmmaker and rapper RZA (of Wu Tang Clan fame) and stars Shameik Moore (The Get Down), Denzel Whitaker (Black Panther), Demetrius Shipp Jr. (All Eyez on Me), and Keean Johnson (Euphoria) alongside Ethan Hawke, Terrence Howard and Black Wesley Snipes.
The Good Liar | 17 May
In this crime thriller, Sir Ian McKellan stars as career con man Roy Courtnay, who sets his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed and extremely wealthy Betty McLeish, played by Oscar winner Dame Helen Mirren. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes.
The Good Liar is nominated for a 2021 Saturn Award for Best Thriller from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. It was up for Best Actress (Mirren) at the Satellite Awards and for Best Film Performance (McKellen) at the 2020 Queerties.
Ordinary Love | 27 May
Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville (The Crown) star in the moving drama Ordinary Love, about a middle-aged couple in the midst of a cancer diagnosis.
London Evening Standard calls it a “scaldingly fine romance”, Metro (UK) “quietly extraordinary”, and The Hollywood Reporter, “Ravagingly honest and quite lovely.”
Ordinary Love holds a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with multiple critics praising the performances of its stellar leads, and Manville’s in particular, of which Los Angeles Times says, “she’s never been better than she is here.”
Also catch these modern classics:
Homer’s Iliad comes to vivid life in the Oscar-nominated 2004 historical war epic Troy, directed by Oscar nominee Wolfgang Petersen (1981’s Das Boot), written by David Benioff (Game of Thrones) and starring Brad Pitt, who won a Teen Choice Award for his role as Achilles.
The classic romcom The Wedding Singer was a 1999 Kids’ Choice winner and won Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss.
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn lead an all-star cast in the romantic comedy Wedding Crashers, which won both a People’s Choice Award and a Teen Choice Award.
MTV Movie Award-winner Heather Graham stars in the 2019 drama The Rest of Us, which sees two mother-daughter duos sharing a house after the man who connects them dies. The film has a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Calling all muggles, wizards and devotees of J.K Rowling’s beloved all-time best-selling book series: Binge the complete Harry Potter boxset with all eight epic movies of the multiple Oscar-nominated fantasy saga: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Pt1, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Pt2. Together, the Harry Potter movies are the third highest-grossing film franchise of all time, with a global gross of over $7.7 billion. On the small screen, it still holds the record for the most-watched franchise in TV history, with over 1.3 billion viewings to date.
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Michael Caine lead an all-star cast in the Oscar-winning sci-fi movie Interstellar, which won a 2015 Oscar and is #29 on IMDb’s Top Rated Movies.
Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending film Inception, which won four Oscars, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Elliot Page (as Ellen Page) and Cillian Murphy.
Catch the Jackie Chan classics First Strike, the third-highest grossing domestic film in Hong Kong film history, and Rumble in the Bronx, which was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Fight, and made Chan a household name in the West.
In crime comedy Get Hard, Emmy nominee Kevin Hart stars alongside Will Ferrell, who was nominated for 2016 MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance as a millionaire facing jail time in San Quentin.
Steve Carell stars as a bumbling spy alongside Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson and Alan Arkin in the 2008 action comedy Get Smart, winner of a Teen Choice Award for Choice Comedy.
Ahead of the upcoming fourth instalment’s release, binge the classic sci-fi action trilogy, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions, which made pop culture icons of Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving. Written, directed and produced by the Wachowskis, The Matrix won four Oscars.
Gomora S2 | New episodes
SAFTA winners Katlego Danke and Zolisa Xaluva are back for the second season of Gomora, the Mzansi Magic show that won Most Popular Soapie of the Year at the 2020 Royalty Soapie Awards, as well as jury prizes for Outstanding Directing Team, Supporting Actress (Sannah Mchunu as Zodwa) and Newcomer (Sicelo Buthelezi as Teddy).
The new season started on 26 April 2021 with a court case that sees the stars of the series at odds with each other. With fate finally catching up with Mam’Sonto (Connie Chiume), hijack expert Mazet (Siphesihle Ndaba) and Ntokozo (Ntobeko Sishi), viewers will see Gladys, played by Thembi Seete, setting out to seek revenge for the manner in which Mam’Sonto’s crooked ways have led to her son finding herself on the wrong side of the law. A shock death brings Thathi and Melusi (Zolisa Xaluva) closer than they were before.
The Bachelorette SA | Binge from 28 May
Whether you missed an episode or you’ve been saving yourself to binge our very own home-grown edition of The Bachelorette at your leisure, you’ll be wanting to book a date with your couch, a glass of bubbly and – take our word for it – a box of tissues.
Follow the highs and the heartbreaks, the glam, the tough choices and all the OMG moments as the gorgeous Qiniso Van Damme embarks on the romantic journey of a lifetime to try and find her Mister Right.
Love Fraud | 1 May
Co-directed by Oscar and Emmy nominees Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp), this four-part docu-series follows the search of Richard Scott Smith, who used the internet and his dubious charms to prey upon women looking for love. The story unravels in real time as Smith’s victims band together to seek sweet revenge.
Nominated for a 2021 Cinema Eye Honours and Independent Spirit awards, Love Fraud has a 92% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Explosive, but never exploitive, Love Fraud tells a thrilling tale of online dating gone terribly wrong with expert precision and a welcome dose of empathy.”
The Vow S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 May
In the HBO documentary series The Vow, Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer (The Great Hack, The Square, Control Room) explore the self-improvement group, NXIVM, accused of sex trafficiing and racketeering.
Number three on Entertainment Weekly’s round-up of the best TV of 2020, The Vow “reveals the heartbreaking truth behind the ‘sex cult’ headlines,” according to Time Magazine.
As The Guardian put it, “By the end of the premiere, I wondered why this had been a big story. By the third, my jaw was on the floor.”
The Masked Singer S3-4 | 1 May
This super fun, mega-popular musical reality/game-show won the Outstanding Costumes: Variety, Non-Fiction or Reality category at the 2020 Emmys, where it was also nominated for Outstanding Competition Programme.
The mystery contestants hiding behind the fabulous costumes include one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, an Olympic record holder, four Hollywood Walk of Famers, and Grammy winning musicians.
The panelists include actor and comedian Ken Jeong, Robin Thicke, TV personality Jenny McCarthy, and the lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger.
You can now binge the 2020 seasons of Survivor (S40) and The Bachelorette (S16).
Introduce your kids to these animated classics:
In The Ant Bully, after flooding an ants’ nest, a human boy finds himself magically miniaturised and must make amends. Co-produced by Tom Hanks, The Ant Bully features an all-star voice cast including Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep.
What happens when a group of animals from a New York zoo wind up in the jungles of Madagascar? Dreamworks magic, that’s what. Voiced by Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith and Sacha Baron Cohen, among others, the perennial kids’ favourite Madagascar won a slew of awards.
An adventurous girl, a young blind hermit, and a goofy two-headed dragon race to find the lost sword Excalibur and save King Arthur in the 1998 classic Quest for Camelot. Nominated for an Oscar and winner of a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, it features the voices of Glee star Jessalyn Gilsig and Princess Bride dreamboat Cary Elwes, as well as Gary Oldman, Eric Idle, Jane Seymour, Pierce Brosnan and more.
Also on Showmax this month
Growing Up Hip Hop S7
Child 44 | Hard Kill | Ons koop ‘n Kar S1 | The Unfamiliar
The Last Stand | Megaboere S6 | Touching Base: Migos | Touching Base: Swizz Beats | Touching Base: TI | The Wishmas Tree
Military Wives | Slank S5 | Wedding Crashers | The Wedding Singer
Cut Throat City
Jungle Beat (Zulu version)
Disturbing the Peace | Money Plane
Brahms: The Boy II | The Brave One | Target Number One