What to watch on Showmax in January 2023
New year, new month, new series and movies to keep you captivated for the whole of Januworry. Don’t forget that Showmax Originals continue to drop new weekly episodes, from The Wife on Thursdays to Donkerbos on Tuesdays until 17 January and This Body Works For Me on Wednesdays until 25 January.
In the meantime, here are the brand-new shows and flicks to look out for. Happy new year!
Single Kiasi S2 | Showmax Original | New episodes weekly, starting 16 January
Directed by Insignia Productions duo Grace Kahaki and Philippe Bresson, Single Kiasi follows the lives of three women in Nairobi – Sintamei, Mariah and Rebecca.
Season 2 picks up a couple of months after the shocking events of the Season 1 finale that threw uncertainty over their love lives, and will find our beloved characters experiencing transformational events that will impact their friendship in unforeseen ways.
Gathoni Mutua, Minne Kariuki and Faith Kibathi are reprising their roles as leads Sintamei, Mariah and Rebecca respectively. Also returning are Michael Munyoki (A Grand Little Lie), Brian Abajah (Sincerely Daisy), Kevin Maina, Walter Bruce Opiyo, Derek Bbanga and Maggie Kiundi.New cast joining the second season includes Grace Wacuka (A New Christmas) as Olivia, a new female lead and Sintamei’s old friend; Fidel Maithya (Selina); Quincy Rapando (Zora); Ian Mbugua (Chaguo); Mufasa Kibet aka Mufasa Poet (Crime and Justice); and Ciku Shire (Famous), with newcomers Brenda Gasere, Ashley Kareez and Amos Kabole Matuku.
Wura | Showmax’s first Original telenovela in Nigeria | Starts 23 January, with four episodes weekly.
Wura-Amoo Adeleke is a perfect wife, a loving mother of two, and the ruthless CEO of Frontline Gold Mine. In the eyes of her family, Wura is faultless and a saint, but when it comes to running her business empire, she is the ultimate iron lady who doesn’t care whose ox is gored in her path to get what she wants.
The telenovela stars Nollywood veterans and upcomers, including fast-rising Nollywood star, Scarlet Gomez, who is cast as the lead, popular Nollywood Yoruba actor, Yomi Fash-Lanso who plays Anthony Amoo-Adeleke and Nollywood veteran, Carol King as Grace Adeleke.
Wura also stars Ray Adeka as Jejeloye “Jeje” Amoo, Iremide Adeoye as Lolu Adeleke, Ego Iheanacho as Iyabo Kuti, Martha Ehinome as Tumininu “Tumi” Kuti, and Lanre Adediwura as Olumide Kuti.
The Last of Us | Weekly episodes from 16 January 2023
Save who you can save.
One of Variety’s Most Anticipated Streaming Titles of 2023, HBO’s The Last Of Us is set 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel (Critics Choice Super Award winner Pedro Pascal from The Mandalorian and Game of Thrones) is hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie (BAFTA Award winner Bella Ramsey from His Dark Materials and Game of Thrones) out of an oppressive quarantine zone. But what starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal journey as the pair traverse the U.S., depending on each other for survival.
Based on the critically acclaimed smash hit video game of the same name, the series is written and executive produced by Emmy winner Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann from The Last of Us and Uncharted video game franchises.
The cast includes Emmy winner Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus), Emmy nominees Nick Offerman (Fargo) and Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets), Teen Choice nominees Gabriel Luna (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., True Detective) and Storm Reid (Euphoria, A Wrinkle In Time),multi-award-winner Anna Torv (Fringe, Mindhunter), and Oscar nominee Graham Greene (The Green Mile, Wind River).
BAFTA winner Merle Dandridge (The Flight Attendant) and BAFTA nominee Jeffrey Pierce (Castle Rock) reprise the roles they voiced in the game franchise as Marlene and Tommy respectively. Plus, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker – who voiced Ellie and Joel in the games – are among the guest cast.
Billions S6 | Weekly episodes from 23 January 2023
New money means no mercy as Mike Prince takes the Axe Capital throne in Season 6 of Billions. Chuck Rhoades is convinced no one should have that much wealth – or power. As all the players seek out new alliances, only one thing’s for certain – wealth means war.
Following the Season 5 exit of Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis), Critics Choice and Golden Globe nominee Corey Stoll (House of Cards, Ant-Man) steps into the spotlight as his successor, Prince, along with Black Reel nominee Daniel Breaker (The Good Fight, Mozart in the Jungle) as Prince’s right-hand man, Scooter Dunbar.
Also among the cast this season are Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Sakina Jaffrey (House of Cards, Snowpiercer) and MTV Movie Award nominee Campbell Scott (Big Night, House of Cards), with a guest appearance from Emmy nominee Wendie Malick (Young Sheldon, Just Shoot Me!).
Nominated for five Critics Choice Awards, six Satellite Awards, and two GLAAD Media Awards, the series has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes for Season 6, and is already renewed for a seventh season.
Gossip Girl S2 | Thursdays from episode 7 on 6 January; episodes 1-6 land in December | First on Showmax
It’s the second semester of junior year, and Gossip Girl is leaving no stone unturned in her effort to control the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite. She’s learned a thing or two from her first go-round, namely: what her audience wants, they shall get. It’s time for her to turn the heat up on what’s been simmering (Julien, have you met Monet?) as well as look at her own impact, and how she can make it more catastrophic than it was before. Even if that means lying to do it. Old enemies, new allies, constantly shifting sands — this semester, there can only be one queen, and by the end of the school year, everyone will know where the bodies are buried, and just who was holding the shovel.
Picking up with a new generation of New York private school teens at Constance St Jude’s, the reboot’s launch saw it trending at #1 on Twitter and generating over 15 billion total social impressions, pulling in a record number of viewers over Part 1’s first weekend on HBO Max in July last year.
Season 2’s cast includes Jordan Alexander (Sacred Lies), Eli Brown (Wrath of Man, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists), Thomas Doherty (High Fidelity, Legacies, Descendants 2 & 3), pop-culture icon Tavi Gevinson, Young Artist Award winner Emily Alyn Lind (Doctor Sleep), model and surfing star Evan Mock, Zion Moreno (Claws), Ugandan actress Whitney Peak (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Savannah Lee Smith and Grace Duah. Guest star and Emmy nominee Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) reprises her role as Georgina Sparks from the multiple Teen Choice Award-winning original series based on the bestselling novels by Cecily von Ziegesar.
ABC News calls the reboot “wicked, compulsively watchable fun… deliciously addictive”, while San Francisco Chronicle says: “The new Gossip Girl succeeds because it one-ups its ancestor… absolutely addictive.”
Run the World | Binge from 27 January 2023
Set in Harlem, the eight-episode comedy-drama series Run the World follows a group of Black women who work, live, and play in Harlem as they strive for world domination, not just surviving but thriving together as they navigate relationships and the professional world.
The four best friends are played by Black Reel Award nominee Amber Stevens West (22 Jump Street) as Whitney, Andrea Bordeaux (NCIS: Los Angeles) as Ella, Corbin Reid (Blair Witch, How to Get Away with Murder) as Sondi, and Bresha Webb (Night School), who was nominated for a 2021 Black Reel Award for Outstanding Actress, Comedy Series for her role as Renee.
In addition, Erika Alexander (Shining Girls, Wu-Tang: An American Saga) won Outstanding Guest Actress, Comedy at the 2021 Black Reel Awards, where the series was also nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series for showrunner and executive producer Yvette Lee Bowser, a BET Comedy Award and Black Reel Award nominee for shows like Dear White People and Living Single.
Already renewed for a second season, Run the World has a rare 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Hollywood Reporter saying, “Fizzy yet substantial, Run the World offers exactly the feeling you’d want while catching up with an old friend over cocktails: It’s giddy, gossipy and gladdening.”
The First Lady S1 | Binge from 23 January 2023
Nominated for three 2022 Emmys, The First Lady takes us into the East Wing of the White House, where some of history’s most impactful decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic first ladies.
Spanning three different political eras between 1933 and 2017, the show is headlined by triple-Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit, The Wizard of Lies, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Frankie and Johnny) as Betty Ford, Emmy winner Gillian Anderson (The Crown, Sex Education, The X Files) as Eleanor Roosevelt, and Oscar winner Viola Davis (The Woman King, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Help, Fences), who was nominated for a Black Reel Award for her role as Michelle Obama.
Emmy nominee O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) is Barack Obama; Emmy winner Kiefer Sutherland (Designated Survivor, 24) plays Franklin D. Roosevelt; and Critics Choice nominee Aaron Eckhart (Rabbit Hole, Olympus has Fallen, The Dark Knight) is Gerald Ford.
The Cleaning Lady S2 | Weekly episodes from 26 January 2023
Based on the Argentine series La Chica que Limpia, crime drama The Cleaning Lady follows a whip-smart Cambodian doctor (Elodie Yung from The Hitman’s Bodyguard and The Defenders), who comes to the US for medical treatment to save her son. When the system fails and pushes her into hiding, she becomes a cleaner for the mob and starts playing the game by her own rules.
Nominated for a 2022 Hollywood Critics Association Television Award for Best Broadcast Network Series, Drama, the series has been compared to Breaking Bad, with Paste saying, “The Cleaning Lady is a fast-paced portrayal of a woman pushed to the edge and forced to contend with hard decisions for the wellbeing of her family… Yung’s central performance is filled with warmth, determination, and grit.”
Adan Canto (Bruised, Designated Survivor) and Teen Choice Award winner Oliver Hudson (Nashville, Scream Queens, Splitting Up Together) return, with Emmy nominee Naveen Andrews (The Dropout, Lost) joining the cast this season.
This England | Binge from 16 January 2023
Co-written and directed by BAFTA winner Michael Winterbottom (The Trip, Greed, Welcome To Sarajevo), This England stars Oscar winner Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson.
The six part drama takes us inside the halls of power during Johnson’s tumultuous first months as Prime Minister, as he grapples with Covid-19, Brexit, and a controversial personal and political life.
In their five star review, The Evening Standard calls This England “splendid television, history distilled on screen… Watch it and weep.”
Flatbush Misdemeanors S2 | Binge from 12 January
Created by and starring Black Reel Award nominee Kevin Iso (That Damn Michael Che) and multi-award winner Dan Perlman, Flatbush Misdemeanors follows longtime friends Dan and Kevin as they try to improve their lives, relationships and mental health in the rapidly gentrifying Flatbush, Brooklyn. Kristin Dodson, Kareen Green and Hassan Johnson from The Wire co-star.
Based on their multi-award-winning 2017 digital series, Flatbush Misdemeanors has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Vulture included the second – and final – season in their roundup of the Best TV Shows of 2022. As they say, “Each episode of Flatbush Misdemeanors is packed with pointed social commentary and likeable performances – in particular from the immensely talented Dodson – but at its core, this is a series about the effort needed to maintain the relationships that mean the most to us but that we might take for granted.”
Top Gun Maverick | 23 January
After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Oscar nominee Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.
When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialised mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Sundance winner Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.”
Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.
The biggest box office hit of 2022 globally, Top Gun: Maverick is also the best reviewed film of the year so far, with a 96% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and Independent calling it “as thrilling as blockbusters get”; Daily Telegraph hailing it as “unquestionably the best studio action film since 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road”; and Time/Out saying, “You will want to high five someone on the way out.”
House of Gucci | 5 January
The biographical crime drama House of Gucci, inspired by the shocking true story of the family behind the Italian fashion empire, was the 30th biggest film of 2021.
Directed by four-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott (American Gangster, Murder on the Orient Express) and boasting an all-star cast led by Oscar winner Lady Gaga (A Star is Born) and two-time Oscar nominee Adam Driver (Marriage Story), the film follows Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, who marries into the Gucci family. But her unbridled ambition begins to unravel their legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately…murder.
Oscars winner Al Pacino (The Godfather), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club, and Jeremy Irons (Munich: The Edge of War) co-star, along with the likes of Oscar nominee Salma Hayek (Frida, Desperado), and Jack Huston (The Irishman, American Hustle, Boardwalk Empire).
The film was nominated for a 2022 Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, as well as four Critics Choice awards, a Golden Globe, an MTV Movie Award and three BAFTAs, including Outstanding British Film of the Year and Best Leading Actress for Lady Gaga, who won Best Film Performance at the 2022 Queerties.
Licorice Pizza | 9 January
Pizza tells the story of Alana Kane, a 25-year-old photography assistant, and 15-year-old actor Gary Valentine growing up, running around and going through the treacherous navigation of first love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973.
The film won a 2022 BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay for 11-time Oscar-nominee, writer, producer and director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Phantom Thread, Hard Eight). Grammy-nominated singer Alana Haim’s debut film role earned her a Satellite Award and a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress, with her co-star Cooper Hoffman (son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and Best Young Actor at the Critics Choice Awards, where the film won Best Comedy.
It has a 91% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned widespread critical acclaim for both its director – with Empire Magazine calling Anderson “A master at work” – and its fresh-faced leads, who hold their own alongside a supporting cast of heavy-hitters like Oscar winner Sean Penn, nine-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper, and Oscar nominee, Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Waits.
“There are two courtships unfolding in Licorice Pizza,” says Rolling Stone, “and only one of them is happening on the screen. The other is between us and the movie. Guess who ends up punch-drunk and smitten?”
Together | First on Showmax | Stream from 30 January
In Together, multi-award-winners James McAvoy (X-Men, Split) and Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe) play a husband and wife whose relationship is tested by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Co-directed by three-time Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) and written by BAFTA winner Dennis Kelly (Utopia), Together won the 2022 BAFTA for Single Drama, with McAvoy taking home a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor – Television.
The Observer calls it “an hour and a half of cinematic fury… at once suspenseful, provocative, funny and heartbreaking.”
Downton Abbey: The Movie | From 23 January
Downton Abbey, the movie, continues the story of the beloved, multi-award-winning historical drama series as the Crawleys and their intrepid staff prepare for the most important moment of their lives: a royal visit from the king and queen of England. But the auspicious occasion soon unleashes scandal, romance and intrigue, leaving the future of Downton hanging in the balance.
Written by series creator and Oscar winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), and directed by Emmy nominee Michael Engler (The Gilded Age, Sex and the City), the film sees the return of much of the original cast, including the likes of Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Raquel Cassidy, Jim Carter, Imelda Staunton and Dame Maggie Smith, with BAFTA nominee Geraldine James (OBE) and Simon Jones joining the cast as Queen Mary and King George V.
Nominated for two Critics Choice Awards, a GLAAD Media Award, and a Satellite Award, the film has an 84% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, withTimes (UK) calling it “utterly, ineffably, and often fabulously, Downton.”
Kindred | 26 January
Plagued by mysterious hallucinations, a pregnant woman suspects that the family of her deceased boyfriend has intentions for her unborn child.
Tamara Lawrence (Small Axe) was nominated for Best Lead Performance at Fangoria Chainsaw Awards and Best Actress at the BAFTA Scotland awards, with Fiona Shaw (Aunt Petunia in Harry Potter, Carolyn Martens in Killing Eve) up for Best Supporting Actress at the British Independent Film Awards.
Get Out | From 26 January 2022
Just named one of the top 100 films of all time in Sight & Sound’s once-a-decade critics’ poll, Get Out follows a young African-American who visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him reaches a boiling point.
For Get Out, Jordan Peele became the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, as well as the first African American to be nominated for producing, writing and directing in the same year. Get Out went on to win over 150 awards internationally.
As Chris Washington, Daniel Kaluuya was nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA for Best Actor, with Lil Rel Howery (Judas and the Black Messiah) taking home the MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance as Rod. Critics Choice nominee Allison Williams (Girls), Emmy winner Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale), Oscar nominees Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich) and LaKeith Stanfeild (Judas and the Black Messiah), Critics Choice Super nominee Caleb Landry Jones (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Emmy nominee Stephen Root (Barry) co-star.
Get Out has a 98% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus calls it “funny, scary and thought-provoking.”
Also look out for Peele’s similarly acclaimed horror, Us, starring Lupita Nyong’o, also from 26 January 2023 on Showmax.
Idols SA S18 | From 12 January express
Almost 9000 hopefuls from across Mzansi auditioned for Season 18 of M-Net’s evergreen talent show, Idols SA, and now you can binge all the magic moments, the tears, the nerves, the crushing defeats and the incredible triumphs of SA’s most talented young vocalists, on Showmax.
Award-winning co-executive producer Tebogo ‘ProVerb’ Thekisho returns for his thirteenth season as host, while the judges’ panel gets a make-over with triple-threat pop culture icon Thembi Seete and rapper-producer extraordinaire, JR Bogopa, joining multi-talented choreographer and TV personality Somizi Mhlongo this season. Together, they’ll work to nurture and usher in new talent hoping to become SA’s newest music stars.
Boer Soek ‘n Vrou S15 | From 19 January
Ushering in the new year, Marciel Hopkins returns for Season 15 of Boer Soek ‘n Vrou this January, with a fresh crop of farmers looking for wives – and one woman farmer looking for a husband.
For the past 14 seasons, Boer Soek ‘n Vrou has been introducing eligible farmers to the loves of their lives. Originally a Dutch format, the South African version has proved to be a successful recipe for love and marriage, with 28 farmers finding their soulmates over the past 14 years.
Kingdom of Dreams | 11 January 2023
A French entrepreneur uses young punk talent to reinvigorate fading fashion couture houses and become the richest man in the world. What could possibly go wrong?
From the Emmy-winning and BAFTA-nominated filmmakers behind McQueen and Rising Phoenix, the four-part docuseries Kingdom of Dreams goes into the world of high fashion to reveal the dark side of a billion-dollar industry.
Kingdom of Dreams tells the story of the behemoths of fashion and how two ruthless empires conquered the world of luxury goods, chronicling three explosive decades, from the early 1990s to the 2010s, a golden era when the forces of creativity and disruptive business converged and collided, as elite rival kingdoms battled for global dominance.
With rare library material, neverbefore-seen personal archives and story-driven interviews, the series follow the meteoric rise of designers John Galliano, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford as luxury emperors Bernard Arnault (LVMH), Francois Pinault (Gucci Group) and Anna Wintour (US Vogue) reshape the fashion world, conquering its four great kingdoms – Paris, Milan, London and New York.
Packed with drama and intrigue, expect haute couture, supermodels and iconic fashion moments in this electrifying story of how fashion took over the world.
“Ground-breaking creativity and high-stakes business come together,” says Mail on Sunday, in what Radio Times calls, “A great story, lavishly illustrated,” and The Times says is, “visually sumptuous.”
Yvonne Orji: A Whole Me | 25 January 2023
Picking up where her debut special left off, Emmy-nominated actor Yvonne Orji (HBO’s Insecure) returns to the stage to offer up her point-of-view on the pandemic, estate planning, being the child of Nigerian immigrants and the brutal realities of dating.
With a distinctive mash-up of stand-up comedy with scripted vignettes, the comedy special showcases the multi-hyphenate’s range and vulnerability, while also serving as a no-holds-barred therapy session – for both the artist and the audience.
The Addams Family 2 | 2 January
The Addams Family hits the road in the 40th biggest box office hit of 2021, The Addams Family 2.
Everyone’s favourite spooky family is back in this animated comedy sequel that finds Morticia (voiced by Charlize Theron) and Gomez (voiced by Oscar Isaac) distraught that their children are growing up, skipping family dinners, and are totally consumed with “scream time.”
To reclaim their bond, they decide to cram Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz), Pugsley (Javon Walton), Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll) and the crew into their haunted camper for one last marvellously miserable family road trip. Their adventure across America to see Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and of course, Death Valley, takes them out of their element and into hilarious run-ins with their iconic cousin, It (Snoop Dogg), as well as many new kooky characters. What could possibly go wrong?
The Addams Family 2 was nominated for a 2022 Saturn Award for Best Animated Film, as well as an Annie Award, and a Kids’ Choice Award for Charlize Theron.
Also listen out for the voices of Oscar nominee Bette Midler (Hocus Pocus), Emmy winner Bill Hader (who voiced Fear in Inside Out) and Wallace Shawn (Young Sheldon, The Princess Bride).
Also on Showmax in January:
Bad Neighbours, Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising
Young Rock S1, Amabishop S2, Captain Underpants
Hillside Strangler: Devil In Disguise S1
Little Darlings, Mntase S1, Slank S7
47 Ronin, Breaking Them Up, Ngishade O’Wrong S1
Glam Guru S22, Moeksie &Patrysie, Small Engine Repair, Voyagers
Perfect World: A Deadly Game S1, Siza Mina S1, The Crossword Mysteries: Riddle Me Dead, The Crossword Mysteries: Terminal Descent, The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks
American Boogeyman, Koffie en Sigarette, Ebukhosini S1, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin, The Dead Don’t Die, Verslag S7
Once Upon a Time in Londongrad S1
Bean, Twice As Bold S1
Alieu the Dreamer, Net Koffie, Ses van die Een, Wegbreek