The Showmax Septathlon: 7 epic sports shows

By Gen Terblanche26 April 2024

The Showmax Septathlon: 7 epic sports shows

Looking to get in shape for the winter couch season? We have seven new and classic shows and doccies to help you reach your goals. It’s a whole week of training, from Thursday rugby, to Wednesday wrestling. Game on! 

Thursday: rugby

Hougaard: Liefling van Loftus Season 1

Hougaard Die Liefling Van Loftus

Angel on the field and a devil off it? Springbok legend Derick Hougaard became Google’s sixth most-searched person in South Africa in 2023 when he wound up in a coma for 13 days. Fans have been buzzing about this phenomenon ever since he won the Currie Cup at the age of 19, and it hasn’t just been because of his incredible talent. In this six-part kykNET documentary from the Sex in Afrikaans team, Derick himself takes us inside the scandals that have surrounded his dazzling career from the Kamp Staaldraad days, and how retiring from the game in 2015 turned his life upside down. Watch as he opens up about his injuries, the time he demanded his wedding ring back from singer Karlien van Jaarsveld, those deadbeat dad accusations, and how opioid addiction took over his life.

Also watch: For the inside story on the 2023 World Cup Rugby tour, fans can binge Chasing the Sun Season 2 on Showmax from Sunday, 19 May, or rewatch Chasing the Sun Season 1 for the hundredth time right now.

Friday: skateboarding

Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Fall Off

At age 53, Tony Hawk is still out there, shredding, trying to land new tricks, and enjoying meme status online for the number of times that strangers tell him that he looks like Tony Hawk. But not everyone is a fan, and one fascinating thing that this doccie sheds light on is how much his pop culture success has tripped up others in what used to be more of a punk scene, like Duane Peters and Rodney Mullen. We also get Tony’s frank discussion of what it was like growing up in the shadow of his father, Frank Hawk – one of the guys who founded the National Skateboarding Association – his collision with fame, and how his obsession with the sport has overshadowed every other aspect of his life. What might speak to fans and newbies alike, though, is never-before-seen footage that shows Tony Hawk getting back up and trying again as a trick fails time after time after time after time. Mark and Jay Duplas’s two-hour HBO film on the biggest name in skateboarding won Best Sports Documentary at the 2023 Producers Guild Awards.

Also watch: Trying so often it seems insane? Surfing doccie 100 Foot Wave follows Garrett McNamara’s 10-year mission to prepare to surf the gigantic waves that form at the cliffs in Nazaré, Portugal. And for a fictional take on women and girls breaking up the skateboarding boys’ club, watch HBO drama series Betty

Saturday: Endurance & strategy

Die Brug (The Bridge) Season 1

Die Brug on Showmax

DAM and Desert Rose star Neil Sandilands narrates this kykNET adventure reality series (the eleventh version of international reality franchise The Bridge) in which twelve strangers must work together to build a wilderness bridge at the Buffeljags Dam outside Swellendam. The structure built by these complete amateurs will span hundreds of metres across water to reach The Island, where R1 million lies hidden. While they’ll all build the bridge together, the group must pick only one person to go and collect the prize at the end. And there’s a twist: whoever they choose will be able to keep the whole prize for themselves, only splitting it if they want to. It might be a tougher choice than it seems, as the players bond during their time shaving the Houthuis (log house) and share their stories about why they’re on this adventure, and the hopes that drive them. 

Also watch: Ultimate endurance and strategy fans can also binge reality series Race to Survive Alaska Season 1, and Survivor Season 44, with Survivor Season 45 landing on Showmax from Wednesday, 22 May. 

Sunday: Football 

Fever Pitch: The Rise of the Premier League Season 1

Fever Pitch: The Rise of the Premier League on Showmax

With excitement building for the Premier League Championship playoff final on Sunday, 26 May (we’re watching every game live on Showmax Premier League), football fans can explore the league’s history in this definitive doccie series, made by David Beckham’s Studio 99. Mighty Manchester United fans will find plenty to cheer about, including Beckham’s own story in episode 1. But for everyone else, it really gets into the games behind the beautiful game thanks to unvarnished interviews with figures like David Dein of Arsenal and Martin Edwards of Manchester United, along with insight into the minds of the advertising experts and broadcast managers who backed the formation of the league for their own ends. 

Also watch: Looking for a little off-season action? Stream reality series Love Undercover Season 1 from Sunday, 12 May to see international soccer stars looking for love on a matchmaking holiday in the US. And if you love your matchmaking closer to home, binge Showmax Original reality series Sports Wives Season 1 now.

Monday: Motorsport

Gran Turismo

Archie Madekwe stars

This biographical sports drama film, directed by South African Neill Blomkamp, is based on the true story of racing prodigy Jann Mardenborough, a British teen player of the computer game Gran Turismo who became a professional racing car driver. The cast includes Archie Madekwe as Jann, and David Harbour as Jack Salter – a character based on John Paul “Johnny” Herbert, who mentored the real-life Gran Turismo players when they were training as racing drivers for the British reality TV series GT Academy.

Also watch: We can’t talk cars without raving about Showmax Original series Spinners, the Cape Flats-based series centred on South Africa’s stunt driving motorsports phenomenon, spinning. And don’t miss the series’ doccie Inside Spinners

Tuesday: Basketball

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty Seasons 1-2

Winning Time- The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty Season 2 on Showmax

This two-season HBO sports docu-drama series (based on Jeff Pearlman’s 2014 book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s) brings larger-than-life storytelling to its tale of basketball showmanship and talent. The series starts in 1979 when the LA Lakers Basketball team are playing to empty seats – until the LA Lakers’ narcissistic new owner Jerry Buss (John C Reilly), head coaches Jack McKinney (Tracy Letts) and Pat Riley (Adrien Brody), and players like “Magic” Johnson (Quincy Isaiah) and Kareen Abdul-Jabbar (Solomon Hughes) challenge the game’s technical experts with unpredictable improvisation and crowd-pleasing antics and charm. Expect a visually creative delight with cheeky graphics, retro flair, and archive footage of incredible plays, all of which make even the financial side of the game as riveting as a slam dunk before the final whistle.

Also watch: Shooting Stars, a biographical drama film about the early career of LeBron James. 

Wednesday: Wrestling

Heels Season 2

Heels S2 is on Showmax

In the world of wrestling entertainment, Jack Spade (Stephen Amell) started off as the Heel (a bad guy) in Season 1, while his little brother Ace (Alexander Ludwig) started off as a Face (good guy). But while fans have set ideas, Ace was desperate for better storylines and his sudden “Heel Turn” caused an uproar in Season 1. Going into Season 2, Jack is still running small-town Georgia’s independent Duffy Wrestling League (DWL), which he and Ace star in following their dad Tom’s suicide. Season 2 takes us into the past with Tom’s funeral before focussing on DWL’s ongoing financial struggles, twisted storytelling, and their launch of a DWL women’s division. It’s a feast for wrestling fans, as guests include real-life WWE big names like CM Punk and Mick Foley. 

Also watch: Looking for a fight? Try Showmax Original bare-knuckle boxing film Musangwe, biographical drama film Big George Foreman, and stick-fighting drama Induku