31 August 2023
What to watch on Showmax in September 2023
Want a neo-Western with local flavour? Outlaws is bringing the drama, exclusively on Showmax. There’s also a bumper line-up of unmissable international series, like the British shows Nolly, Dreamland, Maternal and a new season of The Bay, and Yellowstone prequel 1883. Dig in!
Outlaws S1 | Wednesdays from 6 September | Showmax Original
Set in the lush but lawless land on the border between Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal, Outlaws is the story of two families at war with each other: the Zulu, cattle-farming Biyela clan and the Basotho, cattle-raiding Ts’eoles.
South Africa’s first modern-day Western series, Outlaws is created by Tshedza Pictures’ Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon. The team has won five Best Scriptwriting SAFTAs in the past four years for smash hit shows like The Republic and The River, which was also nominated for an International Emmy. Outlaws is Tshedza’s second Showmax Original, building on the success of Adulting, which set a record for the most first-day views of any drama on the streaming service in March 2023.
Fresh faces Lehlohonolo Mayeza and Nirvana Nokwe-Mseleku co-star as Leruo Ts’eole and Sihle Biyela. Also look out for two-time SAFTA nominee Siyabonga Shibe (The Wife, Gaz’lam) as the Biyela patriarch and Mmabatho Mogomotsi (Snowey in Yizo Yizo) as the Ts’eole matriarch, not to mention the likes of SAFTA nominee Nolwazi Shange (The River), Men’s Health Cover Guy Challenge winner Mnqobi Kunene (How To Manifest a Man) and man-of-the-moment Thembinkosi Mthembu (Adulting, Shaka iLembe, The River).
Multi-award-winner Tebogo “Tebza” Malope directs the first two episodes, having won the Audience Award at Tribeca earlier this year for Rise: The Siya Kolisi Story.
Second Family S2 | Thursdays from 14 September | Kenyan telenovela
Picking up from where season one left off, the cutthroat struggle for the control of the lucrative milling company, EAGC, continues, with the stakes even higher than usual as an old patriarch rises from the dead. On the other hand, the Syndicate, made up of businessmen who run the country, make even more bold moves to secure their interests.
Leo’s (played by Ian Mbugua) absence has wreaked unimaginable havoc on his family and friends. His eldest Tehi, fresh out of jail, contemplates his next step as the head of the Gatehi-Langat family after walking his sister Gigi down the aisle. Gigi, having just pledged her life to her father’s protege, Cyrus, hides a scandalous secret.
Shei, now aware of her heritage, looks to hide the truth from her family. On the other hand, Sinde is now at the helm of EAGC and is ready to unleash her wrath on the Gatehi- Langats who she blames for her misfortunes.
When tragedy strikes, Leo, the man who set off this chain of events, returns from the ‘dead’. Soon, his family and friends realise that they are not dealing with the man they once knew, and they must navigate new family dynamic and vicious succession battles where victory belongs to only those willing to get their hands dirty, and when needed, bloody.
Dora Nyaboke returns as the ever devilish Evangeline, Nick Ndeda as the boozy Gatehi-Langat black sheep Tehi, Brian Ogola as Evangeline’s ambitious partner-in-crime Cyrus, Vanessa Okeyo as Leo’s once-likely-successor Sinde. Also making a comeback in season two are Mumbi Maina as Katherine, Stephanie Muchiri as Gigi, Brain Abajah as Joel, Serah Wanjiru as Shei, Lewis Leshan as Bett, Florence Nduta as Dora, Derek Bbanga as Kiilu, Joyce Musoke as Lizzy, Sheila Ndanu as Dr. Masinde and Mary Mwikali as Carole Marie.
Second Family S2 is produced by Live Eye TV, and directed by Edwin Kamau (Crime and Justice) and King Muriuki (Igiza, Faithless).
Dreamland | Binge from 1 September
Based on Sharon Horgan’s 2018 BAFTA-winning short, Dreamland is a story of sun, sea and secrets from the makers of the 2023 Emmy nominee Bad Sisters.
Eldest sister Trish (Freema Agyeman from New Amsterdam and Doctor Who) is pregnant for the third time. This time, she’s decided: it’s going to be a girl. Her two sisters, their mum and their Margate- legend nan rally around her, “manifesting” a little girl at Trish’s ‘mani-festival’. But when their other sister, Mel (Grammy nominee Lily Allen in her TV debut), makes an unexpected reappearance back into their lives, her return threatens to destabilise the entire family. A knock on their door and their ‘Dreamland’ is no more…
Set in the British seaside town of Margate, the Sky Original has an 86% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In their four star review, The Evening Standard calls Dreamland “a breath of fresh sea air in more ways than one”, adding that watching the sisters “bicker and squabble and show up for each other is a real joy” and that “the performances pack a punch”.
1883 | Binge from 18 September
Set in the aftermath of the Civil War, Yellowstone origin story 1883 follows the Dutton family as they flee poverty on a journey west through the Great Plains towards the last bastion of untamed America.
Oscar nominee Sam Elliott (The Contender) won a 2023 Screen Actors Guild award as wiry cowboy Shea Brennan. Also look out for Grammy-winning country music stars (and real-life couple) Faith Hill and Tim McGraw as Margaret and James Dutton, as well as guest appearances from Oscar winners Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Hanks.
1883 has an 83% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 1883 was nominated for three Emmys last year – one for its musical score and two for its cinematography.
Tulsa King S1 | Binge from 4 September
Tulsa King stars three-time Oscar nominee Sylvester Stallone (aka Rocky Balboa) as New York mafia capo Dwight “The General” Manfredi, who’s just been released from prison after 25 years, only to find himself exiled by his boss to set up shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Realising that his mob family may not have his best interests at heart, Dwight sets out to build a criminal empire of his own, starting with an unlikely new crew.
Already renewed for a second season, Tulsa King has an 8/10 score on IMDb, with IndieWire saying, “Stallone playing a fish out of water who’s also a bull in a china shop proves perpetually entertaining.”
White House Plumbers S1 | Binge from 11 September
One of Rotten Tomatoes’ most anticipated series of 2023, White House Plumbers tells the true story of how Richard Nixon’s own political saboteurs and Watergate masterminds accidentally toppled the presidency they were trying to protect.
Woody Harrelson (True Detective) stars as CIA officer E Howard Hunt, with Justin Theroux (The Leftovers) as White House lawyer G Gordon Liddy.
Daily Telegraph (UK) says: “Americans may find it depressing – but for everyone else, it is a period hoot begging to be binged.”
The five-part HBO series also stars likes of Judy Greer, Lena Headey and Kathleen Turner.
Perry Mason S2 | Binge from 11 September
Reluctant private investigator Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys from The Americans) is now an attorney, defending two Mexican brothers accused of the brutal murder of the son of a powerful oil family.
Up for 2023 Emmys for its 1930s era production design and costumes, S2 of Perry Mason has an 84% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with ABC News hailing the HBO series as “haunting and hypnotic.” They even compare it to the film noir classic Chinatown. “Yup, it’s that good,” they say.
Fire Country | Binge from 18 September
Fire Country follows Bode Donovan (Max Thieriot from Bates Motel). A young convict seeking redemption, he joins an unconventional prison release firefighting programme in Northern California, where he and other inmates are partnered with elite firefighters to extinguish massive, unpredictable wildfires. It’s a high-risk, high-reward assignment, and the heat is turned up when Bode is assigned to the programme in his rural hometown, where he was once a golden all-American son.
Fire Country is executive-produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (the Oscar-nominated and 10-Emmy-winning producer behind mega-franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean, Bad Boys, Top Gun, and the hit CSI shows).
The Bay S4 | Binge from 8 September
In Season 4 of popular British crime drama The Bay, DS Jenn Townsend (Marsha Thomason from Lost), Morecambe Police’s family liaison officer, must gain the trust of a broken family to uncover the truth behind an arson attack.
Back at home, Jenn has troubles of her own as she tries to get to grips with the realities of having a blended family full of teenagers.
The Bay has picked up nominations at the BAFTAs in both Scotland and Wales, as well as an Irish Film and Television Award nomination for series co-creator and writer Daragh Carville. A fifth season is on the way.
Avenue 5 S2 | Binge from 25 September
Captain Clark’s space cruise ship has been thrown off course, making its eight-week scenic flip around Saturn a life-threatening years-long journey back home to Earth.
As Season 2 begins, Avenue 5 is on course for a close encounter with the sun, while the captain is still trying to work up the courage to tell his passengers the truth about their “adjusted” ETA. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Judd Mission Control is under threat, and a planned rescue mission drums up less support than a TV dramatisation of the events aboard the ship.
10-time Emmy nominee Hugh Laurie (House M.D.) stars as Clark, opposite the likes of Josh Gad (Olaf in Frozen), Zach Woods (The Office) and Nigerian-born BAFTA nominee Nikki Amuka-Bird (Knock at the Cabin).
Avenue 5’s Season 2 has an 89% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Decider praising the show’s “manic absurdity” and “stream of jokes hurling along at roughly the speed of light”.
Totally Completely Fine | 2 episodes every Friday from 8 September
Thomasin McKenzie (Last Night In Soho) stars in Totally Completely Fine as Vivian, who inherits a cliffside property only to discover it’s a suicide site and she’s tasked with rescuing lost souls on the verge.
Totally Completely Fine has a rare 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian saying, “McKenzie … imbues the lead role with a compelling, slightly dangerous and volatile energy, as if parts of her psyche could combust at any moment.”
The Suspect S1 | Binge from 15 September
Based on Michael Robotham’s bestselling novel, The Suspect stars Aidan Turner (aka Ross Poldark) as clinical psychologist Dr Joseph O’Loughlin.
With a devoted family, a successful practice, a publishing deal and hero status in the media, Joe’s life seems near perfect. But even the most flawless existence is only a loose thread away from unravelling …
When the body of a young woman is found in a shallow grave in a West London cemetery, veteran police officer Vince Ruiz (Shaun Parkes, Small Axe) and his young partner Riya Devi (Anjli Mohindra from Vigil) call on Joe’s expertise to help them understand her disturbing death. But it soon emerges that Joe is closer to the case than anyone imagined.
In their 4-star review, The Guardian said, “Aidan Turner cranks the creepiness up to 11 in [this] fun, sadistic thriller.”
Nolly | Binge from 4 September
Two-time Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown) stars in Nolly, the new series from BAFTA winner Russell T Davies (It’s a Sin, Years and Years, A Very English Scandal).
As flame-haired widow Meg Richardson in the long-running UK soap opera Crossroads, inimitable star Noele Gordon (Nolly to her friends) was one of the most famous people in Britain. Then in 1981, at the height of the show’s success and the peak of Nolly’s fame, she was axed without ceremony, without warning and with no explanation. With the boss’s words “all good things must come to an end” ringing in her ears, Noele found herself thrown out of the show that had been her life for over 18 years.
Nolly is a bold exploration of how the establishment turns on women who refuse to play by the rules, the women it cannot understand and the women it fears. A love letter to a legend of TV – and to the madcap soap she starred in – Nolly is an outrageously fun and wildly entertaining ride through Noele Gordon’s most tumultuous years, and a sharp, affectionate and heart-breaking portrait of a forgotten icon.
Directed by BAFTA-winner Peter Hoar (The Last of Us, It’s A Sin, The Umbrella Academy), the three-part series has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian saying, “Helena Bonham Carter is brilliantly camp in Russell T Davies’s impeccable drama… It’s a joy to watch this warm, thoughtful tribute to soaps, fabulous older women – and showbiz itself.”
Maternal | First on Showmax | 2 episodes on Mondays from 4 September
Maternal follows three female doctors returning to post-pandemic frontline medicine after maternity leave and trying to balance the intense demands of life on the ward and motherhood.
Paediatric registrar Dr Maryam Afridi (Teen Choice nominee Parminder Nagra from Bend It Like Beckham and ER) is full of doubt that she can cope with the emotional demands of treating children now that she has her own. Catherine MacDiarmid (Critics Choice nominee Lara Pulver from Sherlock) is a single mother and successful surgeon determined to be one of the boys in the macho world of surgery. And Dr Helen Cavendish (Lisa McGrillis from Mum) is a registrar in Acute Medicine, who is wrestling with a self-prescribed role that sees her mothering everyone in her life.
The British medical drama has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian saying, “This wonderful drama about doctors going back to work after having children is a spot-on exploration of female friendship – and how to survive in a system stacked against you.”
Mrs Harris Goes To Paris | 7 September
Set in Europe in the 1950s, Mrs Harris Goes to Paris tells the enchanting tale of Ada Harris, a seemingly ordinary British housekeeper whose dream to own a couture Christian Dior gown takes her on an extraordinary adventure to Paris.
As Ada, Oscar nominee Lesley Manville (Princess Margaret in The Crown) earned a Best Actress nomination at this year’s Golden Globes. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris was also nominated for a 2022 Academy Award and a BAFTA for its costume design, among other accolades.
Based on Paul Gallico’s novel Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris and directed and co-written by multiple-award winner Anthony Fabian (Skin), the film has a 94% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with RogerEbert.com saying, “This mid-century-set treat is as pretty and heartwarming as you can imagine.”
Breaking | 21 September
In Breaking, BAFTA winner John Boyega (They Cloned Tyrone, The Woman King, and Finn in the Star Wars movies) stars as real-life Marine Corps veteran Brian Brown-Easley. Financially desperate, denied support from Veterans Affairs and running out of options, Brown-Easley takes a bank and several of its employees hostage, setting the stage for a tense confrontation with the police.
The movie has an 81% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Hollywood Reporter calling it, “A chilling and heartbreaking portrait of a man teetering on the brink of despair.”
Significant Other | 14 September
Significant Other follows a young couple who take a remote backpacking trip through the Pacific Northwest. Things take a dark turn after a strange meteor strike, as they realise they may not be alone in the woods…
Fangoria Chainsaw winner Maika Monroe (Independence Day: Resurgence, It Follows) and Emmy nominee Jake Lacy (A Friend of the Family, The White Lotus) co-star.
New York Times’ tantalising review calls the mystery “a rich and eventful ride; one plot development in particular hits with such surprise that it catches the audience far more unawares than the characters.”
Redeeming Love | 7 September
Filmed in Cape Town, Redeeming Love is a Christian romantic drama based on Francine Rivers’ bestselling novel of the same name, which was in turn inspired by the Biblical story of Hosea.
Set against the backdrop of the California Gold Rush in the Old West, the story follows Angel, a beautiful but brutalised sex worker in the town of Pair-a-Dice, and Michael, a farmer who has asked God to send him a wife. Sold into prostitution as a child, Angel knows nothing but abuse and betrayal. Can her heart ever be mended?
Abigail Cowen (Bloom in Fate: The Winx Saga, and Dorcas in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) stars as Angel, with Tom Lewis (Gentleman Jack’s Thomas Sowden) as Michael.
The film is rated 16 for mature themes, violence and sexual content, and the author’s profits from the film are donated to organisations working to prevent trafficking and support survivors of sex trafficking and abuse.
The Real Housewives of Gqeberha S1 | 4 September
Gqeberha’s reality queens are coming to Showmax to serve iconic scenes, bling and real life on 1Magic’s fabulous reality series, The Real Housewives of Gqeberha.
Meet stylish events planner, mother and wife Norma Nicol (who married into Ghanaian royalty); sought-after MC and award-winning businesswoman Buli G Ngomane; dedicated mom, former construction project manager and recent widow Liz Prins; successful salon owner and the wife of the city’s former mayor, Unathi Faku; and Ashleigh Mather, a wife and mom who works in the fashion industry.
As 1Magic says, “The cast of RHOGQ are ready to show you a side to Gqeberha that you’ve never seen before; one where the circles are tight and where the women bond through power.”
Ehostela S3 | Binge from 25 September
Mzansi Magic’s award-winning series eHostela returns for its third season – with an all-new storyline and cast!
The acclaimed drama is now an anthology series, and this season’s riveting drama is led by three-time SAFTA winner Siyabonga Thwala (Legacy, The River, Isibaya) and SAFTA nominees Gcina Nkosi (Umkhokha: The Curse) and Tony Kgoroge (Recipes for Love and Murder, Invictus).
The 13-episode season follows KaMabizela (Nkosi), a widow out for vengeance, as she takes on ruthless gangster Ngwadi (Thwala), the man who betrayed and murdered her beloved husband, Mdletshe (Mpumelelo Bhulose from Uzalo). As KaMabizela’s bloody quest for justice puts a target on her family’s backs, will Ngwadi be made to pay or will he get away with murder?
Ehostela has already won three SAFTAs with a further six nominations. This year, Thwala is up for Best Actor in a TV Drama as Ngwadi.
DiepCity S2 | Binge all 240 episodes from 4 September
Set in the Johannesburg township of Diepsloot, DiepCity centres on “The Wrong Turns”, a group of disillusioned young women who were forced into crime while in high school, just to make ends meet.
Created and directed by Mandla N, DiepCity was the joint most-awarded show overall at last year’s SAFTAs. At the 2023 SAFTAs, it’s up for three more: Most Popular Telenovela or Soap, Scriptwriting and Art Direction.
The cast is led by Kgaogelo Monama (Lockdown) as Lerato, Nozuko Ncayiyane (Scandal!) as Nox, newcomer Nompumelelo Vilakazi as Sne, and SAFTA nominee Zikhona Bali (Is’Thunzi, Lakutshon’ Ilanga) as Asanda, with Mduduzi Mabaso (Rhythm City, Ehostela) as criminal mastermind Elliot Gedeza.
Arendsvlei S6 | 26 September
Season 6 of the ever-popular kykNET & kie telenovela Arendsvlei is heading our way with some major bombshells, gut-wrenching storylines and of course, lots of love as well.
With three SAFTA awards to its name already, Arendsvlei is up for three SAFTAs this year: Best Telenovela, Best Directing – Telenovela, and Most Popular TV Soap and Telenovela.
At the inaugural Silwerskerm Festival Awards for Television, Dann-Jacques Mouton took home Best Actor and Devonecia Swartz won Best Newcomer, with Jolene Martin up for Best Actress and Rehane Abrahams for Best Villain.
Among the twists and turns this season, we can expect more trouble from Desmond Galant, who is far from done with the Cupidos. He’s on a mission to get “his” money back, but at what cost?
Meanwhile, love is on the horizon for Hein again – but will his heart win out over his head?
Isifiso S1 | 25 September
The 1Magic drama Isifiso is about a woman living in her younger sister’s shadow, envying her seemingly perfect life – but not all is as it seems, as she quickly and tragically learns.
After a tragedy, Bazothini sees a chance to live her dream life, but is the grass really greener on the other side and will she get her happily ever after?
Season 1 stars Nelisa Mchunu (Fikile in Uzalo), Melusi Yeni (Mabutho Sokhulu in Sokhulu & Partners and Manqoba Dlamini in Imbewu), Ntando Mncube (Lockdown, Side Dish, The Wife) and Zinhle Mabena (Isibaya, Mtunzini.com).
Fraksie | 14 September
How far will one man go to get what he wants?
The kykNET series Fraksie is the latest hit drama from the award-winning team behind shows like Troukoors, Fynskrif and Die Boekklub.
Set in Stellenbosch, Fraksie centres on two men: investment manager Schalk (2023 Silwerskerm Best Actor winner Edwin van der Walt from Donkerbos), who’s determined to become a dollar millionaire, and tech wizard Tim (Silwerskerm winner Marlo Minnaar from Troukoors) who’s looking for an investor for his app.
Van der Walt and co-star Trix Vivier (Waterfront) were up for Best Actor and Actress respectively in the drama category at the Silwerskerm Film and TV Awards, with 2023 Silwerskerm winner Pierre van Pletzen (7de Laan’s Oubaas) nominated for his Supporting role.
Made of Money With Brian Cox | Binge from 20 September
Made of Money With Brian Cox is a unique and deeply personal investigation into our complicated relationship with money and wealth.
The two-parter follows the Succession star as he looks at the impact of wealth on society and our lives at a time when the wealth gap is growing ever more divided. He shares his own story, from growing up in poverty to becoming a highly paid Hollywood actor, best known for his Golden Globe-winning performance as Logan Roy, one of the richest and most bloodthirsty capitalists on TV.
With his wry humour and intrepid curiosity, Cox rolls up his sleeves in a soup kitchen in the Bronx, mingles with supermodels on Miami Beach, meets the homeless in Harlem and drops in on a billionaire in London’s most expensive house. His blunt questioning and passionate anger exposes a world in which the richest 1% own half of the world’s wealth and the safety net for the poorest is being swept away on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Murdochs: Empire of Influence S1 | Wednesdays from 13 September
Hot on the heels of Succession’s triumphant final season, the documentary series The Murdochs: Empire of Influence takes an in-depth look at one of the real-life media empires that served as its inspiration, exploring the rise of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, his influence in the world and the battle for succession amongst his children.
The seven-episode CNN Original series introduces us to a family of extreme power – and no small amount of sibling rivalry. It examines the origins of Rupert Murdoch’s news empire in his native Australia and his quest for global dominance in the media sphere.
Salon.com praised the show’s “double-fisted servings of media insight on one hand and juicy biographical examination on the other,” saying, “It is nimble and surefooted, illuminating, and above all, entertaining.”
Boonie Bears: Guardian Code | Date TBC
Boonie Bears: Guardian Code tells the story of Bramble and Briar, two young bears who lost their mother during a forest fire when they were cubs. But years later, a visit to a robot research institute leads them to make an unexpected discovery and reignites their hope of finding her.
This adorable, eco-conscious adventure is the ninth movie in the megahit Chinese animated Boonie Bears franchise.
More to watch in September 2023
Dolphin Tale | Dolphin Tale 2 | Geostorm | The Perfect Storm
Baywatch | Jumping The Broom | Police Academy 1-7
Bait | Deep Cover | Lenyalo Ha Se Papadi S1 | The Infernal Machine | Mean Girls | The Matrix 1-3
The Hunt For Raoul Moat S1
Alvinnn!!! And The Chipmunks S1-3 | If Beale Street Could Talk | Jack Reacher | Minibods S1 | Mission Impossible 1-3; Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol; Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation; Mission Impossible: Fallout; Mojave Diamonds | Top Gun | The York Witches Society | Wonder Park
Death at a Funeral
Becoming S2 | The Italian Job | Legends of the Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole | Mothering Sunday | The Spongebob Squarepants Movie | The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Crossword Mysteries: A Puzzle To Die For | The Hangover 1-3 | Tears of the Sun | What Men Want | Zone 414
The Man from U.N.C.L.E | The Star | Zoolander 1 & 2
Crossword Mysteries: Proposing Murder | G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra | G.I. Joe: Retaliation | In Die Ysterhand Se Greep S2 | Killing Field | Little Dixie | The Wolf and the Lion
No holds barred in This Body Works for Me S2
What's new on Showmax
Showmax Originals to stream
“Showmax changed my life”- Lehlohonolo Mayeza of Outlaws
Mosotho actor Lehlohonolo Mayeza talks about his breakout role as Leruo Ts’eole in the Showmax Original Outlaws, and how it has changed his life. New episodes land Wednesday.
Outlaws episodes 5-6 recap: “The heart wants what it wants”
In Outlaws Season 1 episodes 5-6, Leruo and Sihle’s love blossoms, while the body count in the war between the Zulus and the Basotho continues to rise.
Made in South Africa
“This interview is going to get me in s**t” – Zoe Mthiyane on Unfollowed
In episode 5 of Unfollowed S1, Generations: The Legacy actress Zoe Mthiyane speaks to host Thembekile Mrototo about Lebo M, Robert Marawa, Rapulana Seiphemo and more. New episodes land Wednesdays on Showmax.
Made in South Africa
Watch the trailer for Boetie Boer: Inside The Mind Of A Monster
See the chilling first trailer for the Showmax Original true-crime series Boetie Boer: Inside the Mind of a Monster, coming 18 October 2023.
Made in South Africa