What to watch on Showmax in August 2023

31 July 2023

What to watch on Showmax in August 2023

Get ready for another fascinating Showmax Original reality series in Unfollowed, which looks at cancel culture in South Africa. Then, don’t miss some highly anticipated new international series, including Kaley Cuoco’s Based on a True Story and Power Book III: Raising Kanan S2.


Showmax Originals


Unfollowed S1 | Showmax Original | Wednesdays from 23 August 

Produced by G.O.A.T (Life With Kelly Khumalo), Unfollowed is an eight-part documentary series that unpacks the growing phenomenon of cancel culture and its impact in South Africa. 

Hosted by Newzroom Afrika’s Thembekile Mrototo, each episode of Unfollowed will focus on a different South African celebrity. 

Presenter Jub Jub, singer Lady Zamar, influencer Mahalia, presenter Nonhle Thema, poet Ntsiki Mazwai, media personality Phat Joe, comedian Tol Ass Mo, and actress Zoe Mthiyane will give us their first-hand takes on what it means to have your reputation shattered and your career hanging in the balance. 

This Body Works For Me S2 | Showmax Original | Mondays from 21 August 

The 18SNL reality series This Body Works For Me explores the lives of women in the adult entertainment industry. The explosive first season topped the charts on both Showmax and Twitter.  

Bubbly, Gina, Nelly and the people’s fave, Wandi, are all back for more in Season 2, joined by newcomers Dione, Lebo and Diamond. 

This Body Works For Me is produced by POP24, who are also behind the smash hit Showmax Original reality series The Mommy Club. 


International series


Based on a True Story | Mondays at 9pm from 7 August 

The lives of married couple Ava and Nathan change forever when they meet Matt, a mysterious plumber they suspect to be a serial killer. In a bid to capitalise on America’s true crime obsession and achieve their dreams, they embark on a risky venture. 

This gripping Peacock Original series stars Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant, The Big Bang Theory) and Chris Messina (Sharp Objects) and offers a darkly comic exploration of society’s infatuation with morbid crime. With an Emmy-nominated creator and a talented production team behind it, this thrilling show is bound to keep you hooked. Get ready for an exciting and hilarious indictment of our obsession with true crime.

The Los Angeles Times calls it “a hilarious indictment of the public’s preoccupation with morbid crime and the media’s fire hose of content in service of that addiction.”

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty S2 | First on Showmax | Mondays from 7 August, express

Season 2 of Winning Time takes us back to the exhilarating world of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. This season focuses on the aftermath of the 1980 Finals, leading up to an epic rematch between Magic Johnson (Quincy Isaiah) and Larry Bird (Sean Patrick Small). 

Season 1 received critical acclaim with an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.3/10 rating on IMDb. Executive produced by Adam McKay, the returning cast includes Adrien Brody, Jason Segel, and Gaby Hoffman, alongside new cast member Michael Chiklis. Brace yourself for more excitement, drama, and outstanding performances in this highly-anticipated season.

The Best Man: The Final Chapters | Binge from 25 August

Based on the multi-award-winning film franchise, The Best Man: The Final Chapters catches up with Harper, Robyn, Jordan, Lance, Quentin, Shelby, Candace, and Murch as relationships evolve and past grievances resurface in the unpredictable stages of midlife crisis meets midlife renaissance.

Along with a great show at the NAACP Awards, the Peacock Original is also up for a record 18 awards at the 2023 Black Reel Awards for Television – the most by any programme ever. This includes acting nominations for Morris Chestnut and Nia Long, as well as their co-stars Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall and more.

The Best Man: The Final Chapters has a 91% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Variety saying, “For fans of a specific period of Black cinema [romcoms between 1990 to 2000], Peacock’s The Best Man: The Final Chapters is an epic, end-of-an-era conclusion on par with Avengers: Endgame.”

New Amsterdam S5 | Binge from 1 August

The fifth and final season of New Amsterdam returns us to America’s oldest public hospital, where Dr Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold from BlacKkKlansman) continues his fight to put saving lives above the bottom line. Along the way, the series has picked up plenty of accolades for the cast, including Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who) and Sandra Mae Frank.

This season, look out for Oscar winner Marlee Matlin (CODA, The L Word, The West Wing), who makes a guest appearance as  Dr Wilder’s former mentor, Dr Bev Clemons.

Power Book III: Raising Kanan | Binge from 4 August

Power Book III: Raising Kanan follows 15-year-old Kanan Stark as he makes a bid to join the growing family business. Mekai Curtis returns in Season 2 as the young Kanan, the character played in Power by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who is one of the executive producers here. 

Power Book III: Raising Kanan has a rare 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Patina Miller (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) nominated for a 2022 Black Reel Award for her role as Raquel Thomas, Kanan’s drug lord mother. 

The hit prequel has already been renewed for a third season. Catch all six seasons of the original series, Power, as well as Season 1 of the latest spin-off series, Power Book IV: Force, on Showmax.

A Million Little Things S5 | Binge from 7 August

The farewell season of A Million Little Things is bringing all the feels to remind us that friendship isn’t one big thing; it’s a million little things. 

Centred on a group of friends who are pushed to live fuller lives after the unexpected death of a close friend, it stars the likes of Grace Park (Hawaii Five-O), Romany Malco (Weeds), Lizzy Greene (Nicky, Rick, Dicky and Dawn) and more.

Decider calls the series “a love letter to friendship and a reminder that we don’t have to face our darkest days alone.”

A Black Lady Sketch Show S4 | Binge from 9 August

The first three seasons of A Black Lady Sketch Show all hit 100% critics’ ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and all cracked Emmy nominations for Outstanding Scripted Variety Series. It’s won three Emmys and five Black Reel Awards. 

As Decider says of Season 4, “Robin Thede and co. have become a comedy institution.”

Guest stars this season include Emmy winner Colman Domingo (Euphoria) and nominees Issa Rae (Insecure), Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), and Sam Richardson (Veep), as well as Grammy nominee Omarion. 

Angela Black S1 | Binge from 14 August

Trapped in a relationship she cannot escape, Angela Black is approached out of the blue by a private investigator who spills her husband’s darkest secrets.

 Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) stars in this series created by Harry and Jack Williams (Fleabag, The Missing). Michiel Huisman (The Flight Attendant) and  Samuel Adewunmi (The Last Tree) co-star.

The Guardian calls Froggatt’s performance “tremendous”, Financial Times says Adewunmi is “terrific”, and New York Post hails the series as “chilling”. 


International movies 


M3GAN | 21 August

M3GAN is a marvel of artificial intelligence, a lifelike doll that’s programmed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally. When its designer, Gemma, becomes the unexpected caretaker of her eight-year-old niece, Cady, she decides to pair the girl with a M3GAN prototype, a decision that has terrifying consequences. 

Named Best Horror Movie of 2023 at the Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Awards, M3GAN has a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says: “M3GAN is the rare horror-comedy that delivers chuckles as effortlessly as chills.”

Bodies Bodies Bodies | 17 August

A group of rich 20-somethings, a remote family mansion, a hurricane, and one party gone very, very wrong … 

Starring Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island), Rachel Sennott (The Idol), Amandla Stenberg (Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse) and more, Bodies Bodies Bodies has an 86% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says: “Impeccably cast and smartly written, Bodies Bodies Bodies is an uncommonly well-done whodunit.” Entertainment Weekly calls it: “Summer’s must-see horror comedy.” 

The Black Phone | 14 August 

Set in the late 1970s, The Black Phone stars Ethan Hawke (The Northman) in the most disturbing role of his career as a sadistic killer who kidnaps Finney, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy. It’s based on a short story by Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill. 

Trapped in a soundproof basement, Finney finds a lifeline when a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring and he discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims, who are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.

Produced by Oscar-nominated horror legend Jason Blum (Get Out, The Invisible Man), The Black Phone was the third highest-grossing horror film of 2022, with an 83% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On | 31 August

Nominated for a 2023 Oscar, BAFTA and Critics’ Choice Award for Best Animated Feature Film, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On follows an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colourful existence with his grandmother, Connie, and their pet lint, Alan. Once part of a sprawling community of shells, they now live alone as the sole survivors of a mysterious tragedy. But when a documentary filmmaker discovers them amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings Marcel millions of passionate fans, as well as unprecedented dangers and new hope for finding his long-lost family. 

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On has won 37 awards, and has a 98% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says: “Poignant, profound, and utterly heartwarming, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is animated entertainment with real heart.”  

Vengeance | 24 August

 Vengeance is a darkly comic mystery about Ben Manalowitz, a journalist and podcaster who travels from New York City to West Texas to investigate the death of a girl he was hooking up with.

Vengeance is the feature directorial debut of writer and star BJ Novak, a five-time Emmy-nominated writer and director on the US version of The Office, where he starred as Ryan Howard. 

Not released in South African cinemas, Vengeance has an 81% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety calls it, “a one-of-a-kind movie that’s so wide awake and sharp-edged it marks the arrival of a potentially major filmmaker”, and TIME Magazine says it’s “a shrewd satire that’s a pleasure to watch”. 

Shotgun Wedding | 7 August 

Shotgun Wedding stars Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel (Bandit) as Darcy and Tom, who gather their families for the ultimate destination wedding on a private island. But when the entire wedding party is taken hostage, the bride and groom must save their loved ones – if they don’t kill each other first.

The brilliant supporting cast includes Jennifer Coolidge (The White Lotus), Cheech Marin and Lenny Kravitz. Mashable describes this one as “Die Hard at a destination wedding”. 

After Ever Happy | 10 August

The fourth film in the hit After franchise finds Tessa and Hardin at a crossroads. Does Tessa continue trying to save him and their relationship, or is it time to save herself? 

Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin return as Tessa and Hardin, with the likes of Oscar winner Mira Sorvino and Stephen Moyer (True Blood’s Bill Compton) among the cast. 

The fifth movie, After Everything, is due out later this year. Until then, you can binge the full, four-movie box set on Showmax, including After, After We Collided and After We Fell. The movies are all based on Anna Todd’s bestselling After novels.

Black Adam | 28 August

Black Adam on Showmax

Nearly 5 000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the Egyptian gods – and imprisoned just as quickly – Black Adam is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.

The #15 biggest blockbuster of 2022, Black Adam stars Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious) in the title role – which earned him the title of Favourite Movie Actor (for the sixth time) at the Kids’ Choice Awards earlier this year, with the film nominated for Favourite Movie.

People’s Choice nominee Pierce Brosnan (of Mamma Mia! and James Bond fame) and People’s Choice winner Noah Centineo (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) play Dr Fate and Atom Smasher, while Quintessa Swindell was nominated for Outstanding Breakthrough Actor at this year’s Black Reel Awards as Cyclone.

7 Days | 31 August 

Ravi and Rita find themselves on a pre-arranged date set up by their old-fashioned Indian parents. They’re just discovering that they have almost nothing in common when the COVID-19 lockdown traps them inside for a week … together.

Geraldine Viswanathan stars alongside Karan Soni (Dopinder in Deadpool), who also co-wrote the screenplay. Mark and Jay Duplass (Somebody Somewhere) produce.

Shot over eight days in 2020, the film won the 2022 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, and has an 86% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Film Threat calling it “an absolute joy” and The Wrap saying “Karan Soni and Geraldine Viswanatha are perfect”. 


Local


1960 | 3 August

Lindi, a retired jazz singer, is drawn back into her past when the remains of a missing apartheid-era policeman are discovered after 60 years. As Lindi assists in the investigation, questions arise about how much she truly knows and what she may be hiding.

Premiering as the opening night film at the Durban International Film Festival, 1960 earned the title of Best South African Feature Film. The jury praised its powerful historical re-imagination, exposing the traumas of our history and their generational effects. The film portrays a strong woman with agency, addressing gendered erasure sensitively.

Zandile Madliwa stars as young Lindi, while Ivy Nkutha portrays the older Lindi sharing her story with Detective Kuda Maseko in the present day. The film’s music, composed by Bruce Retief, pays homage to the greats of Sophiatown. Directed by Michael Mutombo and King Shaft, 1960 is a compelling exploration of personal history and its lasting impact.

Abo Auntie S1 | Tuesdays from 8 August

What happens when you and your domestic worker don’t see eye to eye?

Showmax and Moja Love’s third collaboration, Abo Auntie, is a 13-part reality show that tackles the complex relationship dynamics between domestic workers and their employers.

Being a confrontation-based show, both parties voice their unresolved issues with hosts Bashimane Nhlapo and Galaletsang Koffman, hoping to improve their relationships. Two domestic workers are featured per episode, with the hosts then swapping their workplace families so they can see if the grass really is greener on another lawn.

Themba: My Inked World S1 | Binge from 28 August

 #GhostNation stand up: the Mzansi Magic reality show Themba: My Inked World centres on Big Brother Mzansi’s tattooed fan-favourite Themba Broly. 

Before entering the Big Brother house, Themba had lost everything after his tattoo parlour burned down. Now, with a new home partially paid for by his fans, a music EP on streaming services, and in a high-profile relationship with Big Brother Mzansi Season 3 winner Mphowabadimo, he’s determined to soar to the greatest heights of his life. 

But how will he deal with the pressures of life in the spotlight, growing his new tattoo business, and balancing his responsibilities to the love of his life and his ex, who is also the mother of his children?

Reality TV fans can also binge another Mzansi Magic favourite, Date My Family S10, from 10 August.  

Stiekyt | 18 August

Stiekyt (aka Stand Out) is the story of an actor, James (Paul du Toit), who secretly moonlights at a failing drag club. After being caught red-handed by his wife, he has to fight for his marriage as well as deliver the performance of his life to avert suspicion regarding the mysterious death of a colleague.

Produced by Homebrew Films for kykNET, Stiekyt had its international premiere at the prestigious PÖFF | Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, with festival programmer Edvinas Pukšta describing the film as “Hitchcock meets Almodóvar in a South African drag club.” Stiekyt also screened at International Film Festival Rotterdam, with Sophie Tupholme hailing it as “a film that dares to unashamedly be itself, in all its over-the-top, glittering glory.”

It’s now up for five SAFTA awards: Cinematography, Production Design, Make-Up and Hairstyling, Costume Design, and Sound Design.

“Stiekyt is more personal than anything else I’ve ever done and there’s a real sense of ownership in that,” says writer-director Etienne Fourie, who won a 2021 SAFTA for Tydelike Terminaal and also won Best Writer and Director at Silwerskerm for his debut film, Die Windpomp. “I had the opportunity to make something that was unashamedly odd, unapologetically itself, totally personal. In many ways, Stiekyt is a kind of coming-out for me, both personally and as a filmmaker.”

The film’s cast also includes Silwerskerm Festival Award winner Jacques Bessenger (Donkerbos), SAFTA winner Roberto Kyle (Arendsvlei), SAFTA nominees Albert Pretorius and Cintaine Schutte from The Seagull and Fynskrif, and Illse Roos (Troukoors, Vir Altyd).

Indemnity | 18 August

A traumatised ex-firefighter in Cape Town wakes up next to his wife’s murdered corpse, with no recollection of what transpired. Labelled as the prime suspect, he goes on the run, fighting for his life and to find out who killed his wife, before a conspiracy changes the course of our nation forever.

Released internationally by Magnolia Pictures, Indemnity has an 84% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As Screen International says. “A paranoid political thriller premise is beefed up with punchy action and suitably incendiary special effects.”

Indemnity is up for five SAFTAs: Best Actor (Jarrid Geduld), Supporting Actor (Abduragman Adams), Cinematography, Editing, and Sound Design.

Written and directed by Travis Taute (Blood & Water), this local skop, skiet en donder film also stars the likes of Gail Mabalane (Unseen), Nicole Fortuin (Alles Malan) and Andre Jacobs (Black Sails, Warrior).

Tarzan van George | 21 August

The kykNET reality show Tarzan van George follows one man and his dream: to play the legendary character of Tarzan on the big screen. 

Aspiring actor and filmmaker DeWet du Toit, along with his twin brother (and director and cameraman) Rudolf, has been on a mission for the past 12 years to become Hollywood’s next Tarzan. His YouTube channel has over 222k subscribers, with almost 58 million views for his short films, including Tarzan: Curse of the Mummy, The Revenge of Tarzan and the recently released Tarzan Never Dies.

Created, produced, and narrated by Rian van Heerden (Sex in Afrikaans), Tarzan van George introduces us to DeWet and follows his journey from George all the way to Los Angeles, where he visits Hollywood Boulevard … in his Tarzan costume. 

Gat in die Muur | 3 August

Gat in die Muur (aka Hole in the Wall) is a story about discovering life on your final journey.  

Diagnosed with colon cancer and medicating with marijuana, the free-spirited Riaan embarks on a road trip through South Africa with his son, Ben, and the mysterious Ava to visit Riaan’s best friend, Toni, who manages their farm in the Transkei. 

The movie earned Tinarie van Wyk Loots (Troukoors) the 2021 SAFTA for Best Actress in a Feature Film. Director Andre Odendaal (DAM), who also stars, was nominated for Best Actor as Riaan, and Nicholas Campbell was up for Best Supporting Actor as Ben. 


Documentaries


Moonage Daydream | 4 August

From Oscar-nominated filmmaker Brett Morgen (Cobain: Montage of Heck), Moonage Daydream is a cinematic odyssey exploring David Bowie’s creative, spiritual, and musical journey.

Moonage Daydream is up for five 2023 Emmys, including Writing, Directing, and Editing, having already won a Cinema Eye Honors Award for its visual design, a Writers Guild of America Award for its screenplay, and a Critics Choice Documentary Award for its editing, among other accolades.

The film has a 92% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Vogue hailing it as, “Astounding. Among the best films about any artist I’ve ever seen.” In their five star reviews, The Guardian called it “glorious,” TimeOut “spectacular” and The Telegraph “hypnotic.”

Moonage Daydream has the full support of Bowie’s estate and features many of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner’s greatest tracks, as well as previously unseen concert footage.

The Fastest Woman on Earth | 23 August 

Filmed over seven years, The Fastest Woman on Earth chronicles the extraordinary life of professional racer and TV personality Jessi Combs. Known as the “Fastest Woman on Four Wheels”, Combs set the women’s land-speed record at over 700 km/h. 

Approached by an all-male team of aviation enthusiasts to be the lead driver of a custom car built from a repurposed fighter jet, Jessi’s dream of breaking land speed records is suddenly within reach – but at what cost? 

Decider hails it as “superb storytelling … compelling, tragic, and fascinating.”

Williams Sisters | 9 August

The documentary Williams Sisters traces the journey of two of the most legendary sports stars of our time: Venus and Serena Williams. 

Few players will ever achieve the heights of the famed duo, who dominated the game for over three decades, winning every title imaginable. With 14 Grand Slam titles and three Olympic gold medals as a doubles team, and 30 combined grand slam singles titles, winning almost seems like second nature for Serena and Venus. 

Also watch the Oscar-winning film King Richard on Showmax, starring Will Smith as the Williams sisters’ father.


More new series, movies and doccies to watch on Showmax in August

3 August

Ella & The Little Sorcerer | Fireman Sam S15 | The Good Neighbor | Kom Ons Praat Daaroor S4

7 August

Holmes & Watson | I’m With Your Ex S1 | Koortjies Met Jonathan Rubain S2-3 | Under the Stadium Lights (aka Brother’s Keeper)

10 August

Dope | L’at Wiel S27 | Two Buddies and a Badger: The Great Beast

14 August

Detective Knight: Redemption | Ngithande Nam S1 | O Fuze S1 | Oppiestoep S6-7 | Rabbit Academy: Mission Eggpossible | Sinister Cover-Up (aka Danger in the House)

17 August

Into The Deep | Righteous Thieves | Umthwalo S2

21 August

Finnick | Money Monster | ‘n Pad Na Oekraine

24 August

Fortress 2: Sniper’s Eye | Monkey King Reborn | Superfly

25 August

Nganele S1

28 August

An Egypt Affair | Ultraviolet

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