What’s new on Showmax in October 2021
Looking for something new to watch? Stream these highlights on Showmax from October 2021.
Stream Succession S3 express from the US, brand-new comedy Resident Alien, creepy horror in Chucky, as well as a clutch of new movies. For the kids, Showmax brings you Sesame Street and Takalani Sesame – a first for streaming in South Africa.
Succession S3 | First on Showmax | Mondays from 18 October 2021
Succession, winner of Best Drama at both the Emmys and Golden Globes in 2020, follows four very rich siblings behaving very badly while trying to win their father’s approval – and control of his company, a global media and entertainment empire.
Jeremy Strong won the 2020 Best Actor Emmy as Kendall Roy, while Brian Cox won the 2020 Best Actor Golden Globe as his father, Logan. In Season 3, the already impressive cast is adding Oscar winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist), Emmy winner Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies) and more.
Ambushed by Kendall at the end of Season 2, Logan begins Season 3 in a perilous position, scrambling to secure alliances. Tensions rise as a bitter corporate battle threatens to turn into a family civil war.
The Hollywood Reporter calls Succession “one of television’s best dramas, a searing, funny and painfully true look at wealth, power and family.” Catch up on Succession S1-2 here.
Resident Alien S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 October
Based on the Dark Horse comic, Resident Alien is a murder mystery sci-fi dramedy that follows Harry, an alien played by Alan Tudyk (Rogue One) who crash lands on Earth and passes himself off as a human small-town doctor.
Arriving with a mission to kill all humans, Harry starts off living a simple life… but things get a bit rocky when he’s roped into solving a local murder and realises he needs to assimilate to his new world.
Resident Alien has a 94% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the Los Angeles Times writing, “We are in Spielberg country here… Tudyk… is in fine form as an alien in ill-fitting human clothing, getting the hang of laughter and sex… I smiled, I laughed, I cared.”
The L Word: Generation Q S2 | First on Showmax | Binge from 14 October
In this sequel to the ground-breaking, Emmy-nominated 2004-2009 series, Golden Globe nominee Jennifer Beals (Flashdance), Kate Moennig (Ray Donovan) and Leisha Hailey (CSI) reprise their original roles alongside a new generation of diverse, self-possessed LGBTQIA+ characters as they take on love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks and success in LA.
The first season got an 80% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says Generation Q “has style and charm to spare and announces a new phase for The L Word that will please new and old fans alike.”
Slate calls it “a glossy, bighearted show that’s less soapy than the original series but delivers enough secrets, sex, and secret sex to keep the stakes high.”
Chucky | First on Showmax | Binge episodes 1-3 from 27 October, weekly episodes thereafter
A vintage Good Guy doll turns up at a suburban yard sale, throwing an idyllic American town into chaos as a series of horrifying murders begins to expose the town’s hypocrisies and secrets in the brand-new series Chucky, which picks up after the events of the seventh film in the horror franchise, Cult of Chucky.
Created by Don Mancini (Child’s Play), the series stars Oscar nominee Brad Dourif (The Lord of the Rings’ Wormtongue) as the voice of serial-killer-possessed Good Guy doll Chucky, with child actor Zackary Arthur (Transparent) as Jake Wheeler.
Jennifer Tilly (Bullets over Broadway) returns as Tiffany Valentine, and Alex Vincent (Child’s Play) reprises his role as Chucky’s archnemesis, Andy Barclay, with Christine Elise (BH90210) returning as Andy’s foster sister, Kyle.
Saint Frances | First on Showmax | 11 October
Saint Frances follows a deadbeat nanny who finds an unlikely friendship with the six-year-old girl she’s charged with protecting.
It has a 99% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, who named it their second best-reviewed comedy of 2020. As Rolling Stone says, “What looks like a throwaway about a precocious kid and her nanny is actually one of the best and gutsiest movies you’ll find anywhere these pandemic days – a fun-time trailblazer that retains its rough edges to that last. It’s some kind of miracle.”
The film has won 11 international awards, with The National Board of Review naming it one of the Top 10 Independent Films of 2021.
Unpregnant | 14 October
In the girl buddy road trip comedy drama Unpregnant, 17-year old Veronica’s dreams for the future hang in the balance after she accidentally falls pregnant. Unable to get an abortion in her home state of Missouri, she turns to her former best friend Bailey to help her get to Albuquerque.
The film’s excellent cast is led by Haley Lu Richardson (Five Feet Apart) as Veronica, and Barbie Ferreira (Euphoria’s Kat), who was nominated for a 2021 Imagen Award for Best Actress for her role as Bailey.
Nominated for a 2021 GLAAD Media Award, it has a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Unpregnant puts a compelling twist on the road trip comedy – and treats its sensitive subject with heart.”
Summerland | 11 October
Set in an idyllic South England seaside village, British drama Summerland sees a reclusive writer reluctantly taking in a young evacuee from London during World War II.
This moving tale of womanhood, love and friendship stars Gemma Arterton (The Escape) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Motherless Brooklyn), child actors Lucas Bond (The Alienist) and Dixie Egerickx (The Secret Garden), Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey) and Sir Tom Courtenay (Unforgotten).
Empire Magazine says, “Arterton triumphs again and Swale marks herself as a director to watch. Summerland successfully combines an intelligent feminist fable and a lesbian love story with a slick period tearjerker.”
Also Watch in October:
Neo-Western crime drama Hell or High Water stars Chris Pine (Star Trek) and Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma) as two brothers who resort to bank robbery in a bid to save their family ranch in Texas. It was nominated for four 2016 Oscars and three Golden Globes, and holds a 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Comedy-drama Sometimes, Always, Never stars BAFTA winner Bill Nighy (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Love Actually) as a quirky, Scrabble-obsessed tailor whose tireless search for his missing son has turned his family upside down. It has an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Forbes praising its “delicate balance of whimsy and melancholy” and Nighy “at the very top of his game”.
While we wait for the long-delayed final chapter in the Lethal Weapon saga on hold, catch the entire four-movie Lethal Weapon box set on Showmax. Oscar winner Mel Gibson (Braveheart) and Danny Glover (2012) starred in the original action-comedy franchise that redefined the action genre in the 80s and 90s and remains the template for the buddy-cop genre. The four films grossed just shy of a billion dollars globally.
First on Showmax this month, the 2020 thriller drama The Secrets We Keep is set in post-WWII America, where a woman rebuilding her life in the suburbs with her husband comes to believe her neighbour is the monster who committed heinous war crimes against her and her family, and sets out for vengeance. Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) stars opposite Chris Messina (Argo).
Oscar winner Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) leads the critically acclaimed cast of What They Had as a daughter returning home to cope with her ailing mother and her father’s reluctance to let go of their life together. The film has an 86% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with LA Times calling it, “One of the year’s best indie dramas.”
Black Tax S2 | BET Africa and Showmax Original Sitcom | 9 October
Just when you think you’re finally making your way in this world, think again, because it’s payback time from the first paycheque with Black Tax.
With six SAFTA nominations (including for Best Comedy) and a win for Best Scriptwriting, the popular BET Africa and Showmax Original sitcom Black Tax is back for a second season of laugh-out-loud hilarity as career-woman and single mom Thuli Dlamini tries to keep up with paying her dues to her family, who supported her journey to success.
SAFTA winner Jo-Anne Reyneke (Broken Vows) returns as Thuli, with Mandla Jwara (Isithembiso) nominated for Best Actor at the 2021 SAFTAs as her father. Legend Clementine Mosimane plays her mother, while comedians Sne Dladla and Jason Goliath also star.
New faces this season include Motlatsi Mafatshe (How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding), newcomer Asante Mabuza and acting legend Owen Sejake (Tsotsi).
Created by Meren Reddy, Joshua Rous and Luke Rous, who have 15 SAFTAs between them, Black Tax is a co-production between BET Africa and Showmax, produced by Rous House Productions (Inconceivable).
Ghana Jollof | Showmax Original | Binge from 22 October
In Ghana Jollof, Showmax’s first West African comedy, Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA) winner Funnybone and Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) nominee Akah Nnani star as two Nigerians who move to Ghana in search of greener pastures.
The all-star Nigerian cast includes multi-award-winning comedian Basketmouth, who also executive produces; comedian/actor Buchi; and Uzor Arukwe, who starred as dreaded crime boss Knight in Sugar Rush.
The equally impressive Ghanaian cast includes AMAA nominee Joselyn Dumas; heartthrobs Mawuli Gavor (Chief Daddy) and James Gardiner, who currently stars in Ghana’s popular telenovela Dede; the uncontested ‘Queen of Ghana comedy’, Jacinta Ocansey; popular reality star Portia Freelove; model and actress Brihanna Kinte; veteran actor Jackson Albert Davies (Beasts of No Nation); actress Korkor Oyeba Mensah; and multiple award-winning comedian/actor Kalybos.
Shot in Lagos and Accra, Ghana Jollof is directed by AMVCA nominee Diji Aderogba (About A Boy).
Toorbos | Stream from 21 October 2021
South Africa’s official entry to the 2021 Oscars, Toorbos is an adaptation of the beloved Dalene Matthee love story about the uprooting of Karoliena Kapp, one of the final forest dwellers in Knysna in the 1930s.
As Karoliena, Elani Dekker was nominated for a 2021 SAFTA for Best Actress, with Variety praising her “fine, quiet” performance and comparing her “guileless poise” to a “younger Keira Knightley”.
Toorbos was nominated for nine SAFTAs, with writer-director Rene van Rooyen winning Best Script and Andries Smit best score.
Screen International describes Toorbos as “a refreshingly unusual and unpredictable period-piece…” while Variety calls the film “a satisfying marriage of folky period romance and environmental parable from the misty, mossy depths of South Africa’s Knysna forest region: a national beauty spot much enshrined in local literature and lore, but rarely given this kind of grand-scale screen showcase.”
Arendsvlei S4 | Daily, 24hrs express from kykNET & Kie, Tuesday-Friday from 27 September
Hailed by Channel24 as “ local television at its best”, kykNET & kie’s telenovela Arendsvlei recently celebrated its 500th episode. Season 4 promises to be a deeply emotional journey as we continue to follow the lives of the Cupidos and the Abrahams at the fictional Arendsvlei High School on the Cape Flats.
Arendsvlei was nominated for five awards at the 2021 SAFTAs, and won two 2020 awards and has a cast filled with beloved SA stars.
Grootboom & Sons S1 | Same time as Mzansi Magic, Mondays at 9pm from 4 October
What if the fate of a family business was left in the hands of the wrong sibling? Mzansi Magic’s new family drama series Grootboom & Sons follows a family at war over their legacy. Starring Zandile Msutwana (The Queen), the drama follows estranged kin in the funeral business, with one sister on her deathbed and the other with her own plans for the family business. The impressive cast includes SAFTA winner Bongile Mantsai (Knuckle City) and Charmaine Mtinta (Igazi).
Izangoma Zodumo S2 | 24 hours express from Mzansi Magic, Wednesdays from 6 October
Gogo Maweni and Gogo Khanyile are back to challenge perceptions once more with Season 2 of the popular Mzansi Magic reality show Izangoma Zodumo.
“Izangoma Zodumo is a show that was rather groundbreaking,” says Nomsa Philiso, Director of Local Entertainment Channels at MultiChoice. “Season 1 introduced us to modern sangomas – not shrouded in mystery and shunned by an unknowing public, but rather, unapologetic about their beliefs.”
In Season 2, we delve deeper – it’s about second chances, love and marriage, healing deep wounds, emotional growth, and an introduction to the world of mediums.
Triggered | 11 October
Filmed only at night on a farm in Swellendam, Triggered is a 2021 SAFTA-winning horror movie directed and co-written by Alastair Orr (Axis Mundi).
The film follows nine former high school friends who celebrate their five-year reunion camping in a forest. Terror strikes when they wake up with bombs strapped to their chests, all with varying times on their countdown clocks… and the only way to survive: by “stealing” time from one another.
The ensemble cast includes Reine Swart (SAFTA nominee for Siembamba), Liesl Ahlers (Friend Request), Russell Crous (The Watch), SAFTA winner Craig Urbani (Isidingo) and multi-award-winning actor Sean Cameron Michael (Black Sails).
Abomama S2 | 11 October
Gather round, SA! Our favourite fierce females are back! There’s more turmoil, more suspense and more thrilling drama in the second season of Mzansi Magic’s compelling drama series Abomama.
Season 1 saw the four friends, all women of God, drawn into the world of organised crime after finding a stash of stolen cash. Following last season’s deadly climax, they are trying to move on with their lives, separately. But the arrival of a mysterious young woman – naked and suffering from amnesia – on the steps of Hope of Glory Church draws them back together once more into the world they so desperately want to escape.
Nokuthula Ledwaba (Reyka, The River) returns as Mapule; Unathi Guma (Impilo: The Scam) reprises her role as the beloved Dora, and, yes, we’ll tell you for free – Joyce Skefu (Scandal!) is back too. SAFTA winner Khabonina Qubeka (Dora’s Peace) steps in as Tshidi, who was played by Khanyi Mbau in the first season.
Freedom | First on Showmax | 14 October
Inspired by Fyodor Doestoevsky’s classic novel Crime and Punishment, Freedom follows university student Freedom, who is caught between desperation and the weight of expectation as he struggles to cling to an impossible existence in inner-city Johannesburg.
It stars Jafta Mamabolo (Jerusalema, Otelo Burning, Ayanda), who makes his debut as writer and co-director alongside award-winning filmmaker Ralph Ziman (Jerusalema).
The star-studded cast includes SAFTA winners Kenneth Nkosi (Reyka), Mandla Gaduka (Losing Lerato), and Mary Twala (This is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection), as well as SAFTA nominee Samkelo Ndlovu (Rhythm City).
Wie Word ‘n Miljoenêr? | Same time as kykNET, Wednesdays at 9pm from 27 October
SA’s very own edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is back, this time in Afrikaans! Media personality Rian van Heerden is the host.
While the Afrikaans edition will keep to the rules and structure of the international format, viewers can look forward to a uniquely South African flavour, with some questions tailor-made to bring local flair to the show. It’s already been renewed for a second season.
Love Island binge! | Binge US S2 from 1 October and UK S7 from 20 October
Season 2 of Love Island USA is finally here, and coming first on Showmax this month. Following a delay due to the pandemic, the second season was moved from Fiji to The Cromwell — a casino hotel on the Las Vegas Strip – with strict quarantine measures in place, so for the 31 “islanders”, the isolation is real as they couple and re-couple under the watchful eye of host Arielle Vandenberg over 40 days in a bid to win the $100,000 prize.
From 20 October, you can also binge all of Season 7 of Love Island UK. Follow 37 hot new singletons through a steamy summer of love in the Love Island villa as they put in the graft, couple-up and (fingers crossed) try to find The One. Once again hosted by Laura Whitmore, this is the second most-watched season of the show so far, with over 4 million viewers per episode.
DC Super Hero Girls S2 | Binge episodes 1-4 from 1 October
DC Super Hero Girls follows teen superheroes (and Metropolis High School students) Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Bumblebee, Supergirl, Green Lantern, and Zatanna as they fight crime and protect the citizens of Metropolis.
It was nominated for a 2021 Emmy and three 2020 Annies, and The Guardian said: “It’s empowering and inspiring and great to see female characters showing agency in a series aimed at children and so on – but also, significantly, it’s just funny as hell.”
The Croods: A New Age | 4 October
The #10 biggest movie of 2020, with a worldwide gross of $215 million, DreamWorks Animation’s “Croodaceous” adventure The Croods: A New Age follows the prehistoric Croods pack as they try keep up with their new neighbours, the more evolved Bettermans.
Nominated for a 2021 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, six Annie Awards and two Kids’ Choice Awards, it’s recommended for ages 8+ by Common Sense Media, with Empire Magazine praising its “vibrant animation and a wackadoodle sense of humour,” and Times (UK) calling it a “raucous, nakedly commercial but also wickedly funny sequel.”
Also catch the Oscar-nominated original film The Croods on Showmax.
Takalani Sesame S6 | Stream from 1 October
We are all special, and we all belong! Takalani Sesame turns 21 this year, and to celebrate, Showmax is streaming the beloved local take on Sesame Street.
Join the lovable three-(and-a-half, thank you very much!)-year-old Elmo and six-year-old Zuzu as they go on new adventures with their friends to find out what makes them special, and learn heaps of clever stuff along the way.
Earlier this year, Takalani Sesame added a SAFTA Award for Best Children’s Programme to its accolades, which include a Peabody Award and the formal appointment of HIV+ character Kami as UNICEF’s Champion for Children.
Sesame Street Collection | Stream from 1 October
Sesame Street is coming to Showmax! The global phenomenon has brought over 50 years of Muppet magic, music, fun and learning to kids and parents alike around the world, nabbing over 190 Emmy awards in the process.
Binge the latest seasons of Sesame Street, plus the maths-filled Elmo the Musical and 2021 GLAAD Media Award-winning talk show Elmo’s Not-Too-Late Show S1, where Elmo gets to chat with celebs.
Winner of the 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programme, the Sesame Street Special When You Wish Upon a Pickle sees a mysterious Wish Pickle delivered to Sesame Street, leading Elmo, Abby and Bert to discover the real way to make your wishes come true by working hard and believing in yourself.
Another Emmy winner, The Magical Wand Chase, follows the shenanigans after a playful bird snatches Abby’s magic wand during a hot-air balloon ride, leading Elmo, Abby and friends on a colorful adventure.
Nominated for Best Feature at the 2020 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Bigfoot Family packs in the action and hairy adventures while taking on the oil companies. Following the events of the 2018 film The Son of Bigfoot, Bigfoot decides to use his fame to protect a wildlife reserve, but when he mysteriously disappears, his son Adam must rescue him. Common Sense Media recommends the film for ages 7+.
Also on Showmax in October
Delilah S1 | Intergalactic S1
Holekane S1 | Power Rangers Super Megaforce | Power Rangers Super Samurai
Lycra & Petticoat | Motel | My Little Pony S9 | Power Rangers Dino Super Charge | Wang’ Kolota
Hanazuki S1-2 | Huishou | Jungle Beat: The Movie (Afrikaans) | Niemand
The Cleansing Hour | The Quiet Ones | Transformers Cyberverse S1-3 | UNEFA S1 | One Night with Mzanis – Special Event (1Magic)
‘n Ram Vir ‘n Rus S1
Krismasboks | My Little Pony: Rainbow Road Trip | My Little Pony Equestria: Holidays Unwrapped | My Little Pony Equestria: Spring Breakdown | My Little Pony Equestria: Sunset Backstage Pass
A Brother’s Honor | Worth