26 April 2023
What to watch on Showmax in May 2023
A spectacular lineup awaits you in May: fans of Succession, Yellowjackets and Barry are still getting band-new episodes, fresh from the US. And coming up is award-winner Gaslit, with Julia Roberts and Sean Penn, Village of the Damned remake The Midwich Cuckoos; Aussie thriller The Tourist and the new instalment in 50 Cent’s Power franchise, Power Book IV: Force S1.
Kyallo Kulture Season 2 | Showmax Original | Tuesdays from 23 May
Kyallo Kulture Season 1 took us into the personal lives of Betty Kyallo and her sisters, Mercy and Gloria Kyallo, showing us the importance of family in all situations, even the most difficult ones. We came along for their highs and lows, learning about Betty’s daughter, Ivanna, and the story of where the women come from and how they built their careers and brands.
The reality series was a hit with Kenyan viewers, becoming one of the top 10 most-watched shows on Showmax in Kenya in 2022. Kyallo Kulture was also nominated at the 2022 Kalasha Awards for Best TV Show.
Now back for a second season as a Showmax Original, Kyallo Kulture will follow the sisters on their journeys, separately as well as together, as they relearn each other and attempt to answer the question: “What is my next move?”
Kyallo Kulture is produced by Eugene Mbugua’s D&R Studios, which is also behind The Real Housewives of Nairobi, which broke streaming records for the most first-day views for any title on Showmax in Kenya when it premiered in February 2023.
Love & Death | Binge episodes 1-3 from Tuesday, 2 May, with new episodes weekly
Love & Death tells the true story of Candy and Pat Montgomery and Betty and Allan Gore, two churchgoing couples enjoying their small-town Texas life … until an extramarital affair leads somebody to pick up an axe …
Written by 11-time Emmy winner David E Kelley (Big Little Lies), directed by Oscar and Emmy nominee Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland), and executive produced by Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, among others, the seven-episode HBO Max Original limited series co-stars Emmy nominee Elizabeth Olsen (Wandavision) and Oscar and Emmy nominee Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog, Fargo).
Gaslit | Binge from 22 May
Oscar winners Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich) and Sean Penn (Milk) star in Gaslit. The show is based on the insane but shockingly true story of the Watergate scandal of the 70s, following the untold stories of the forgotten characters on its periphery, like President Nixon’s attorney general, John Mitchell (Penn), who is swept up in the cover-up, and his outspoken wife, Martha Mitchell, aka “The Mouth from the South” (Roberts).
The eight-episode series was nominated for four Emmys last year and four Critics Choice Awards this year, as well as a Golden Globe for Roberts.
Gaslit has an 89% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian hailing it as, “a star-powered Watergate drama that grips and doesn’t let go.”
The Tourist S1 | Binge from 15 May
Named Best TV Series at the Monte-Carlo TV Festival, The Tourist stars BAFTA nominee Jamie Dornan (The Fall) as a man who wakes up in the Australian outback with no memory of who he is. He must use the few clues he has to discover his identity before his past catches up with him.
Nominated for a 2023 BAFTA for its cinematography, The Tourist has a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian calling it a “fun, stylish and confident caper” with “numerous twists up its sleeve.” The BBC has renewed The Tourist for a second season.
Power Book IV: Force S1 | Binge from 12 May
Same crazy. Same ruthless. Same fearless. Same deadly. Same Tommy.
The crime drama Power Book IV: Force follows drug dealer Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora, who starred in Power and Power Book II: Ghost) after he cuts ties and puts New York in his rear-view mirror for good, with plans to become the biggest dealer in Chicago.
The sequel series is the third spin-off to Power. Power’s creator, Courtney A Kemp, once again exec produces on Force, alongside Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
The show has an 8.1/10 rating on IMDb and a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has already been renewed for a second season.
Three Pines | Binge from 22 May
Three Pines stars Emmy nominee Alfred Molina (Frida, Spider-Man: No Way Home) as Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of the Sûreté du Québec police force, who sees things others do not: the light between the cracks, the mythic in the mundane, and the evil in the seemingly ordinary.
Based on the bestselling novels by Louise Penny, the eight-episode series follows Gamache as he investigates four separate murders in a seemingly idyllic village in Quebec, Canada, as well as the disappearance of a young woman – cases that will uncover long-buried secrets, even as Gamache faces ghosts of his own.
Daily Telegraph (UK) says, “Its handsomely shot snowscapes, Christmassy setting and Molina’s beautifully measured performance make it a moreish winter treat.”
The Calling | Binge from 26 May
Created by 11-time Emmy winner David E Kelley (Big Little Lies, Love & Death, L.A. Law), The Calling tells the story of NYPD Detective Avraham Avraham (Jeff Wilbusch from Oslo and Unorthodox), whose belief in mankind is his superpower when it comes to uncovering the truth. Guided by a deep sense of spirituality and religious principles, Avraham is left to question his own humanity when a seemingly routine investigation turns upside down.
Based on The Missing File, the first novel in the award-winning Avraham Avraham series of novels by Dror Mishani, the Peacock Original’s cast includes Juliana Canfield (Succession’s Jess Jordan), Karen Robinson (Ronnie Lee from Schitt’s Creek), Michael Mosley (The Girl from Plainville), BAFTA Scotland Award winner Tony Curran (Frankie in Your Honor) and Teen Choice nominee Noel Fisher (Shameless).
Oscar and Emmy winner Barry Levinson (Dopesick, The Survivor, Rain Man) directs the first two episodes.
Vampire Academy S1 | First on Showmax | Two episodes on Fridays from 19 May
Vampire Academy centres on Lissa, a royal vampire, and her protector, Rose, as they navigate romance, ancient magic and their strikingly different social classes at their boarding school, St Vladimir’s Academy, all while facing threats like the bloodthirsty, undead strigoi.
The Peacock Original is based on the bestselling young adult novel series by multi-award-winning author Richelle Mead, and is the second adaptation of the novels following the 2014 film of the same name.
The cast is led by Australian actress Sisi Stringer (Mortal Kombat) as Rose, and Daniela Nieves (Every Witch Way) as Lissa.
The Midwich Cuckoos | First on Showmax | Binge eps 1-3 from 5 May, with two episodes on Fridays
The Midwich Cuckoos is set in the quiet little English town of Midwich, where nothing much happens – until one summer’s evening, when a mysterious blackout descends on the town, leaving every woman of child-bearing age suddenly and inexplicably pregnant.
The Midwich Cuckoos is a modern-day reimagining of John Wyndham’s sci-fi classic of the same name, known to horror buffs for its two film adaptations as Village of the Damned.
Created by Emmy nominee David Farr (The Night Manager), the seven-part series stars three-time BAFTA nominee Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) as Dr Susannah Zellaby, and Max Beesley (Jamestown, Mad Dogs) as local DCI Paul Haynes.
Evening Standard calls the show, “a fresh and propulsive spin on a familiar story… The suburbs have never seemed scarier. ”
Rosie Molloy Gives Up On Everything S1 | First on Showmax | Three episodes on Mondays from 22 May
Rosie Molloy (BAFTA winner Sheridan Smith) is addicted to everything. Smoking, alcohol, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, Xanax, Adderall, caffeine… the list goes on.
After an embarrassing incident at her brother Joey’s wedding, she attempts to set forth on a new, much healthier path in life; which, crucially, means giving up. Everything.
In their four-star review, The Guardian called the Sky Original “hilarious.. with a joke-to-airtime ratio well above the seasonal norm.”
After the Trial S1 (aka After the Verdict) | Binge from 29 May
In the six-part Australian drama series After the Trial, four ordinary people who have just finished jury duty begin to question their judgment following a high-profile murder trial, leading them to launch their own investigation into the case as they try to field the impacts on their own lives.
Elvis | 8 May
Nominated for eight 2023 Oscars, including Motion Picture of the Year, Elvis tracks the life of Elvis Presley from his childhood to becoming the undisputed “King of Rock and Roll” in the 1950s.
As Elvis, Austin Butler was nominated for the Oscar and won at the BAFTA, Golden Globes and People’s Choice Awards, among other accolades.
Oscar-winner Tom Hanks plays his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, with Olivia DeJonge as his wife, Priscillla. Directed by two-time Oscar nominee Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby, Romeo + Juliet), Elvis is the second-highest-grossing music biopic of all time – and the 16th biggest blockbuster globally last year.
Confess, Fletch | 8 May
Jon Hamm (Mad Men) stars as the roguishly charming and endlessly troublesome Fletch, who becomes the prime suspect in a murder case while searching for a stolen art collection. The only way to prove his innocence? Find out which of the long list of suspects is the culprit – from the eccentric art dealer and a missing playboy to a crazy neighbor and Fletch’s Italian girlfriend. Crime has never been this disorganised…
Confess, Fletch has an 86% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In their four-star review, Empire calls it “a triumph of dry wit, razor-sharp wordplay, and a steady stream of highly entertaining supporting work.”
Ticket To Paradise | 15 May
Oscar winners George Clooney and Julia Roberts reunite in Ticket To Paradise as exes who find themselves on a shared mission to Bali to stop their lovestruck daughter (Emmy nominee Kaitlyn Dever from Unbelievable) from making the same mistake they once made.
A romantic comedy about the sweet surprise of second chances, Ticket To Paradise was the 28th biggest box office hit of 2022. As the Independent (UK) puts it, “It’s a joy to watch Julia Roberts and George Clooney fall in love. It’s an even great joy to watch them bicker.”
Where the Crawdads Sing | 29 May
Based on Delia Owens’ best-selling novel, Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya, an abandoned girl who raised herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina.
For years, rumours of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world; but when one of them is found dead, she is immediately cast by the community as the main suspect.
Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People) and Harris Dickinson (Triangle of Sadness) star as Kya and Chase, with Taylor John Smith (Sharp Objects) as Tate. It’s produced by Reese Witherspoon and features music by Taylor Swift.
Jurassic World: Dominion | 22 May
Jurassic World: Dominion is set four years after Isla Nublar was destroyed. Dinosaurs now live—and hunt—alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.
Dominion unites two generations of Jurassic stars for the first time: Teen Choice winners Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are joined by Oscar winner Laura Dern, Oscar nominee Jeff Goldblum and Emmy nominee Sam Neill.
Triangle of Sadness | First on Showmax | 22 May
South African actress and model Charlbi Dean stars in Triangle of Sadness, in what many believe would have been her breakout role had she not tragically passed away shortly before the film’s international release late last year.
Previously known for her roles in the Spud films and the series Black Lightning, Dean plays Yaya, one half of a celebrity model couple who join a luxury cruise for the uber-rich, helmed by an unhinged captain.
Triangle of Sadness was up for Best Picture, Director and Original Screenplay at this year’s Oscars, as well as Best Comedy at this year’s Critics Choice Awards and Golden Globes. The wickedly funny satirical black comedy has already won 21 awards, including the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Harris Dickinson (Where the Crawdads Sing) co-stars alongside Dean, with three-time Oscar nominee Woody Harrelsonas the captain.
Good Luck To You, Leo Grande | 25 May
Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson stars in a 2023 BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated performance as a retired teacher yearning for some adventure, who hires a young sex worker named Leo Grande.
The sex comedy was nominated for four BAFTAs, and has a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it “sex positive and positively sexy.”
Emily the Criminal | 4 May
Aubrey Plaza (The White Lotus: Sicily) stars as Emily, a young woman down on her luck and saddled with debt, who gets involved in a credit card scam that pulls her into the criminal underworld of Los Angeles.
Emily the Criminal has a 94% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “A taut thriller that contains a wealth of social commentary, Emily the Criminal is stolen by Aubrey Plaza’s terrific work in the title role.” L.A. Times calls it “gripping”; Collider “Intense”; and The Hollywood Reporter “nail-biting”.
Parallel Mothers | 11 May
Winner of over 20 international awards, Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers follows two mothers who bond in unexpected ways after giving birth on the same day.
As Janis, Penélope Cruz won Best Actress at Venice and was nominated for an Oscar, among other accolades. Parallel Mothers has a 96% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Observer saying Cruz “has never been better” and The Hollywood Reporter calling it “ravishingly crafted… No one uses the expressive power of colour and design quite like Almodóvar.”
Operation Mincemeat | 4 May
It’s 1943. The Allies are determined to break Hitler’s grip on occupied Europe, and plan to launch an all-out assault on Sicily; but they face an impossible challenge: how to protect the invasion force from potential annihilation.
It falls to two remarkable intelligence officers, Ewen Montagu (Colin Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley (Matthew Macfadyen, Succession) to dream up the most inspired and improbable disinformation strategy of the war – centred on the most unlikely of secret agents: a dead man.
The Big Ugly | 11 May
In for oil. Out for blood.
In The Big Ugly, Vinnie Jones (Snatch) stars as Neelyn, an enforcer sent from London to West Virginia to set up a money-laundering operation with an oilman (Ron Perlman, Hellboy). When Neelyn’s girlfriend disappears, nothing will stop him getting answers – and revenge.
Winner of seven international awards, The Big Ugly also stars Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) as a London mob moss.
The Subject | 8 May
Jason Biggs (American Pie) stars in The Subject as a successful white documentary director dealing with the fallout from his previous film, which caught the murder of a Black teen on tape. Now, someone films his every move, threatening his idyllic life. Winner of 21 international awards, The Subject was the directorial debut of Lanie Zipoy, who passed away last year in a hit and run.
Recipes for Love and Murder | Binge from 25 May
When a woman who wrote to her seeking advice is found dead, recipe advice columnist Tannie Maria and her colleague, rookie journalist Jessie, spring into action, determined to solve this small town murder and catch the killer. The murder mystery is set against the idyllic backdrop of a small fictional Karoo town called Eden, which was largely created in Prince Albert.
Based on the first of Sally Andrew’s bestselling Tannie Maria novels, for Love and Murder stars award-winning Irish actress Maria Doyle Kennedy (The Tudors) as Maria Purvis, aka Tannie Maria. The rest of the cast is entirely South African, with Kylie Fisher (Zamanti in Troukoors) earning shoutouts from the likes of Variety and Decider for her breakthrough role as Jessie.
The New York Times says the series, “offers the same mix of human drama, gorgeous landscape, local colour and mouthwatering cooking [as the book]”.
Imibuzo S1 | Only on Showmax | Mondays from 8 May
Imibuzo is a true crime documentary anthology that will answer your lingering questions about some of South Africa’s biggest news stories from the last decade.
Season 1 of the series, first on Showmax, will revisit the murders of Flabba from Skwatta Kamp; Tshegofatso Pule, Phumeza Pepeta, Karabo Mokoena and Tshepang Pitse; LGBTQIA+ musician and activist Lindokuhle Cele; and the children of Sibusiso Mpungose, as well as the Enyobeni Tavern massacre. Other episodes focus on televangelist Tim Omotoso, who is currently in jail awaiting trial on 97 charges of rape, racketeering and human trafficking, and Sibongile Mali, who went on a spending spree after R14m was erroneously deposited into her account.
Imibuzo is being produced by POP24, part of Media24, who made the reality series This Body Works For Me, which topped the Showmax Top 20 and Twitter trends charts. POP24 also co-produced the SAFTA-nominated true crime anthology Huisgenoot: Ware Lewensdramas.
Dinge van ‘n Kind S1 | Binge from 11 May
From Nagvlug Films (Donkerbos) comes Dinge van ‘n Kind, inspired by Marita van der Vyver’s classic novel.
Melissa Myburgh (Kompleks) plays Mart Vermaak in the 1970s, with SAFTA nominee Cintaine Schutte (Fynskrif) as Mart in the early 90s and Susanne Beyers (Fynskrif) as Mart in the present. Mart comes of age against the political backdrop of the turbulent late 1970s, while the older versions of Mart find themselves disillusioned in different ways. Look out for rising star Mienke Ehlers as the young Mart’s rebellious best friend, Dalena.
Uthando Nes’thembu S6 | Binge from 11 May
Season 6 of the popular Mzansi Magic reality show Uthando Nes’thembu follows businessman Musa Mseleku and his four wives as they navigate their polygamous relationship, staying true to tradition in a modern world.
Also look out for Season 1 of Imboni Yamatekisi from 29 May – another Mzansi Magic reality show, this time lifting the curtain on the lives of taxi bosses.
100 Foot Wave S2 | First on Showmax | Binge from 22 May
Big-wave surfing pioneer Garrett McNamara, his surfing peers, and some surprising newcomers continue to push the boundaries of their sport and the limits of their minds and bodies in Season 2 of the critically acclaimed HBO documentary series 100 Foot Wave.
The series has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with LA Weekly calling the series “a wild ride… both maddening and captivating to watch.”
Ziwe S2 Part 2 | 19 May
Ziwe is back to challenge America’s discomfort with race, politics, and other topics most hosts do not dare ask about with mix of musical numbers, interviews and sketches.
Born in the US to Nigerian parents, Ziwe Fumudoh is a hilariously confrontational writer, comedian and internet sensation. Her very brave guests for the second part of Season 2 include comedians Michael Che and Wayne Brady, actresses Julia Fox and Drew Barrymore, basketball player Blake Griffin, Bob The Drag Queen, and activist DeRay Mckesson.
Vulture hails Ziwe as “iconic” and Vanity Fair says, “Ziwe perfected the art of putting people on the spot,”while Salon.com calls her show “both a true star-making platform and a spoof of the same.”
Abominable and the Invisible City S1 | First on Showmax | 1 May
The winner of the 2023 Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production for Children’s Audience, Abominable and the Invisible City is a wild and woolly follow-up to DreamWorks Animation’s 2019 movie, Abominable.
Set in modern-day Shanghai, the animated series sees Yi, Jin, Peng and their lovable yeti friend, Everest, discover that there is a whole magical world out there – and it’s closer than they think, teeming with magical creatures who all seem to need the kids’ help, leading them to embark on extraordinary, hilarious and heartfelt adventures throughout their city and beyond.
Common Sense Media recommends the series for ages 5+, saying, “young viewers are in for a visually stunning experience with suspenseful scenes that will keep them engaged, excited, and eager for more of the fun crew that is helping in their community.”
The show’s voice cast includes Kids’ and Teen Choice Award nominee Chloe Bennet (Daisy ‘Skye’ Johnson from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Annie Award nominee Tenzing Norgay Trainor (Liv and Maddie’s Parker Rooney) reprising their roles as Yi and Jin from the movie, along with the likes of multiple-Emmy nominee Alan Cumming (The Good Wife, Schmigadoon!).
Dragons: The Nine Realms S1 | First on Showmax | 4 May
The future of dragons is here, with the Emmy-nominated animated adventure series, Dragons: The Nine Realms.
Set 1 300 years after the events of DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon, dragons are now just a legend to the modern world. When a geological anomaly opens up an immense, miles-deep fissure in the Earth’s surface, scientists from all over the world gather at a new research facility to study the mysterious phenomenon. But it’s not long before a group of misfit kids uncovers the truth about dragons and where they’ve been hiding – a secret they must keep to themselves to protect what they’ve discovered.
Common Sense Media gives it a 4/5-star rating, saying, “super fun for kids and grown-ups alike… Dragons: The Nine Realms has a great mixture of awesome dragon scenes, teenage friendships, and scientific mystery,” and adding that, “Families who enjoyed the original movies will have a great time watching this series together.”
More to watch on Showmax in May 2023
Alpha | Deep Blue Sea | The Golden Compass | King’s Ransom | The Lost Girls
It | Measure of Revenge (aka Leave Not One Alive) | Nik Rabinowitz Comedy Special | Mulan | Notting Hill | Swerve | White House Down
Alaska | As Good As It Gets | Magic Mike XXL | Something’s Gotta Give
The Blindside | The Ledge | Locked In | Rough Night
American Night | Anger Management | The Bucket List | Eraser | Escape Through Africa | Going In Style | Poseidon
Black Site | Hard Luck Love Song | Ocean’s Eleven | The Shallows | Shrek the Third | Swordfish | The Town
A Day To Die | Black Hawk Down | Keanu | License to Wed | Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse
Gravity | Shattered | Snakes on a Plane | Tammy | The Man
American Boogeywoman | Boon | Superbad