What to watch on Showmax Nigeria in February 2023

1 February 2023

What to watch on Showmax Nigeria in February 2023

What’s there to love in February? Plenty, when you’re streaming on Showmax. The Real Housewives of Durban return, and there’s a creepy new series of award-winning Showmax Original DAM to look forward to.

The best of local  

The Real Housewives of Abuja | Showmax Original | From 17 February

Come with us to the Nigerian city of wealth and power, Abuja, with a new instalment of The Real Housewives franchise.

The new series follows the luxurious lives of six influential and successful women in Abuja. The women include Arafa, Comfort Booth, OJ Posharella, Princess Jecoco, Samantha Homossany and Tutupie as they navigate their opulent lives, relationships, family and businesses within the powerful city of Abuja and beyond. 

In a powerful city like Abuja, expect intriguing social scenes and exclusive access to the lives of Nigeria’s ultra-rich. Produced by Delmedia Productions, with new episodes every Friday. 

Wura | Showmax Original telenovla | New episodes Mondays to Thursdays

Set against the backdrop of the gold mining industry in the Iperindo community of Osun state, Wura tells the story of Wura-Amoo Adeleke, 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.

Wura is Showmax’s first Nigerian Original telenovela and stars Nollywood veterans and upcomers, including fast-rising Nollywood star, Scarlet Gomez.

BB Titans | Livestream on Showmax until 2 April

Big Brother Titans

Big Brother Titans continues to be available to stream 24/7 on Showmax, as well as DStv channel 198 and GOtv Channels 29.

Watch housemates from Nigeria and South Africa, in one Big Brother House, playing the game for the ultimate prize: $100 000 cash.


Showmax Originals

The Real Housewives of Durban S3 | Showmax Original | Weekly release from 1 February

Season 3 of the Showmax Original The Real Housewives of Durban introduces three new cast members who will be bringing all the class, glamour, sass and drama we’ve come to love and expect from the franchise. 

eThekwini queens Maria Valaskatzis, Mbali Ngiba and Slindile Wendy Ndlovu are the new additions to the reality series. The new faces are set to join returning cast members Annie Mthembu, Jojo Robinson, Nonku Williams and Sorisha Naidoo.

Seasons 1 and 2 were one of the ten most streamed titles of the year on Showmax in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Season 1 went on to screen on NBCUniversal’s reality streaming service hayu in 28 territories outside of Africa, as well as on Peacock and Bravo, the original home of the franchise.

The Real Housewives franchise is licensed as a format by NBCUniversal Formats, a division of Universal Studio Group. 

DAM S2  | Showmax Original | Weekly from 16 February

Created by four-time SAFTA winner Alex Yazbek, the Showmax Original psychological thriller DAM was one of the 10 most-watched titles of 2021 on Showmax and the most nominated drama series at the 2022 SAFTAs, earning rave reviews for breaking the mould of South African TV. 

Season 2 is set three months after the Spring Festival. The cult’s ritual sacrifice seems to have worked: rain has come and transformed the land. Yola has no memory of anything since her return for her father’s funeral. Can she put the missing pieces together as diamonds are discovered, a mass grave uncovered and a monster surfaces in the dam?

Lea Vivier and Pallance Dladla return in their SAFTA-nominated roles as Yola and Themba, with Natasha Loring reprising her SAFTA-winning role as Yola’s sister, Sienna. Made in partnership with Picture Tree, the Showmax Original also won Best Art Direction for Sue Steele at the 2022 SAFTAs. 

“This show remains unlike anything else on TV in South Africa,” says four-time South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA) winner Alex Yazbek, who was up for Best Director at the SAFTAs. “It’s going to be another twisty and twisted season of love triangles, monsters, and more suppressed memories being uncovered.”

The Real Housewives of Nairobi | Showmax Original | Thursdays from 23 February

The Real Housewives of Nairobi will follow five influential and successful women as they navigate their lavish lifestyles, relationships and careers in Nairobi. These women are Susan Kaittany, Vera Sidika, Sonal Maherali, Minne Kariuki, and Lisa Christoffersen.

RHONairobi joins other African franchises like Johannesburg; Durban (RHOD), now in its third season; Lagos (RHOLagos), which was among the top 10 most-watched shows of 2022 on Showmax in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa; and Abuja (RHOAbuja), which premieres on Showmax on 17 February 2023.

The Real Housewives of Nairobi is produced by Eugene Mbugua’s D&R Studios (formerly Young Rich Television).


International series 

Julia | Binge from 24 February

Nominated for Best Television Series: Drama at the 2023 Satellite Awards, Julia is inspired by Julia Child’s extraordinary life and her long-running television series, The French Chef, which pioneered the modern cooking show. Through Julia’s life and her joie de vivre, the series explores a pivotal time in American history – the emergence of public television as a new social institution, feminism and the women’s movement, the nature of celebrity and America’s cultural evolution. At its heart, the series is a portrait of a loving marriage with a shifting power dynamic.

BAFTA winner Sarah Lancashire (Last Tango in Halifax) plays Julia Child, with multiple Emmy winners David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) and Bebe Neuwirth (Frasier, Cheers), multi-award-winner Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods), and Fiona Glascott (the young Minerva McGonagall in the Fantastic Beasts movies) co-starring. Emmy nominees Judith Light (Who’s the Boss?) and Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet) are also among the cast. 

Julia has a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As The Guardian puts it, “Julia is about a successful woman’s rise to even more success, against the odds. This is a Mrs Maisel-esque world, in which men tell Child what she can’t do, and she goes ahead and works out a way to do it anyway.” 

Also watch the acclaimed documentary, Julia, from 24 February. 

Let The Right One In | Binge from 27 February

Inspired by John Ajvide Lindqvist novel that has been previously adapted into two acclaimed films, Let The Right One In centres on Mark and his daughter Eleanor, whose lives changed 10 years ago when she was turned into a vampire. Ellie leads a secluded life, able to go out only at night, while her father does his best to feed her the human blood she needs to survive. Now, they’ve returned home to New York City, desperate to find a cure. 

The horror-drama stars Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight) as Mark and America’s Got Talent breakout child star Madison Taylor Baez as Eleanor.

Critics are praising the performances, with Wall Street Journal saying: “Let the Right One In has a uniformly top-notch cast, but the kids happen to be terrific.”

American Gigolo | Binge from 6 February

Exonerated after 15 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, former gigolo Julian Kaye (Jon Bernthal, We Own This City) tries to up the pieces as the detective who put him behind bars works to unravel the mystery that led to his incarceration.

Screen Actors Guild winner Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire), Lizzie Brocheré (War of the Worlds), and Gabriel LaBelle (The Fabelmans) co-star, along with Emmy winners Rosie O’Donnell (The L Word: Generation Q) and Wayne Brady (The Good Fight).

East New York | First on Showmax | Weekly from 20 February

East New York follows recently promoted police captain Regina Haywood who leads a diverse group of officers and detectives, some of whom are hesitant to deploy her creative methods of serving and protecting.

Amanda Warren (NCIS: New Orleans) stars as Deputy Inspector Haywood, alongside the likes of Jimmy Smits (The West Wing), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Billions), Kevin Rankin (Breaking Bad) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (Power), Olivia Luccardi (The Deuce) and Richard Kind (Argo).   

Created by William M. Finkelstein (The Good Fight, NYPD Blue, Law & Order, LA Law), the show has an 88% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Young Rock S2 | Binge from 13 February 

Young Rock, the popular sitcom based on the life of Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock, aka Black Adam), is back for a second season, with the 2032 timeline (in which Dwayne is running for President) far more prominent this go-around, which means we’ll be seeing more of Dwayne himself.

Season 2 was nominated for three People’s Choice Awards: The Comedy Show of 2022, Comedy TV Star of 2022 and Favorite Male TV Star (both for Johnson himself). Cast this season include Sean Astin (Stranger Things) and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (Godfather of Harlem). 

I Love That For You | Binge from 17 February 

Inspired by true events, I Love That For You follows childhood leukemia survivor Joanna Gold (Vanessa Bayer, SNL and 2020’s Will & Grace) as she chases her lifelong dream of becoming a home shopping channel host. 

Shedding her “cancer girl” label, Joanna moves away from her parents, starts a budding romance and befriends her idol (Molly Shannon, The White Lotus S1), the charismatic star of the network. But when a little white lie to her boss (Jenifer Lewis, Black-ish) turns into a big snowy avalanche, Joanna finds that living the dream comes with a hefty price tag.

The comedy has an 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and Globe and Mail says, “It’s a tight, tart comedy sending up the egos of the on-air hosts and mocking the greed of an outlet that sells gimcrackery with deeply serious intent… both plausible and acid-toned.”

Crossfire | Binge from 28 February

From the makers of The Responder, Crossfire follows former police officer Jo, who takes her family on holiday to a resort in the Canary Islands, in the wake of her marriage falling apart. But their dream vacation turns into a nightmare as she and her family are thrust into a battle for survival when gunmen attack the hotel.

Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) stars as Jo, with Josette Simon (Anatomy of a Scandal), Anneika Rose (Line of Duty) and Lee Ingleby (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) among the cast. 

In their four star review, Radio Times called the three-part BBC miniseries “gripping”, “harrowing” and “heart-wrenching.” 

The Reunion | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 February

Set against the idyllic backdrop of the French Riviera, this psychological thriller centres on a high school reunion where three estranged friends reconnect. But the upcoming demolition of a school gymnasium wall is set to unearth the 25-year-old secret that binds them. The series is based on Guillaume Musso’s international bestseller La Jeune Fille et la Nuit, and stars Ioan Gruffudd.

Bump S1-3 | First on Showmax | 6 February

Because smart girls do dumb things too…

In this Australian comedy-drama, the lives of a professional mid-40s couple on the brink of divorce are upended when their overachieving 16-year-old daughter Olly has a surprise baby. As the consequences of an impulsive teenage hook-up ripple out across a high school and three families, the show takes on modern parenthood, kids who never leave, what happens when strangers accidentally become family, and the terrible and great things that come out of one little tiny mistake.

Season 1 nabbed an 86% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Time Out saying, “This show just gets that it’s the bumps along the way that make life so fascinating.”

The Girlfriend Experience S1-3 | Binge from 13 February

Iris (Julia Goldani Telles, The Affair) relocates to London, leaving behind family and a half-finished neuroscience degree. She begins a double life: working at a tech startup while providing the girlfriend experience at night. As LA Times says: “The Girlfriend Experience predicted pandemic sex.”

The series is executive produced by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies and Videotape), and S1 of the anthology series was Time’s second-best series of the year, with Newsday calling it, “TV’s most adult show,” while The Guardian called S2 “the most compelling drama on TV”. 


International movies 


The Lost Daughter | 2 February

This psychological drama was nominated for three awards at the 2022 Oscars: Best Lead Actress for Academy Award winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Best Supporting Actress for Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl), and Best Adapted Screenplay for Maggie Gyllenhaal (who starred in The Deuce), in her feature film directorial debut.

Adapted from the 2006 novel by Elena Ferrante (who penned the acclaimed Neapolitan Novels, on which the series My Brilliant Friend is based), The Wrap says it’s “a masterwork. Olivia Colman is absolutely fantastic,” while The Playlist says it “leaves you haunted like only the best films can.”

The Lost Daughter centres on Leda, a woman alone on a seaside vacation, who becomes consumed with a young mother and daughter as their compelling relationship unlocks memories of the terror, confusion and intensity of early motherhood.

The film’s stellar cast includes Dakota Johnson (The Fifty Shades films), Paul Mescal (Normal People), Peter Sarsgaard (An Education) and Ed Harris (Top Gun: Maverick). 

The Lost Daughter has a 94% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Rolling Stone saying, “Colman brings Ferrante’s creation to life with all the withering pathos she deserves. Gyllenhaal catches it handsomely, awe-struck as if even she didn’t know how painfully real this woman Leda could seem or, in Colman’s hands, be.”

Mark, Mary and Some Other People | First on Showmax | 9 February 

Winner of Best Screenplay at Tribeca, Mark, Mary and Some Other People follows newlyweds who tentatively decide to give ethical non-monogamy a try as their lives get increasingly complicated. 

Screen Actors Guild nominee Ben Rosenfield (Boardwalk Empire) and Hayley Law (Riverdale, Altered Carbon) co-star. 

Off the Rails | 9 February 

Three fifty-something women set out to repeat the European inter-railing adventures of their youth, after their close friend passes away leaving them rail tickets, and a final request: to take her teenage daughter with them.

Nominated as Best Buddy Picture at the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards, Off the Rails stars the likes of Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones trilogy), the late Kelly Preston (Jerry Maguire), Oscar winner Judi Dench (Skyfall, Shakespeare in Love), and Andrea Corr of The Corrs. 

The 355

The 355 stars Oscar winner Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Help) as a wild-card C.I.A. operative who has to join forces with three international agents to retrieve a top-secret weapon that’s fallen into mercenary hands, all while staying a step ahead of a mysterious woman who’s tracking their every move.

Oscar winners Lupita Nyong’o and Penélope Cruz co-star alongside the likes of Teen Choice nominee Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds), Asian Film Awards winner Bingbing Fan (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Emmy nominee Sebastian Stan (Pam & Tommy, Captain America’s Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes) and Critics Choice nominee Jason Flemyng (Pennyworth, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).


Non-Fiction


Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons | First on Showmax | Binge from 14 February 2023

The true crime miniseries Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons tells the searing and provocative story of the Victoria’s Secret brand and its longtime CEO, the larger-than-life, enigmatic billionaire Les Wexner. The underworld of fashion, the billionaire class, and Jeffrey Epstein are all revealed to be inextricably intertwined with the fall of this legendary brand.

Directed by Sundance and Venice Film Festival nominee Matt Tyrnauer, Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons has a 91% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Angels and Demons dresses down one of the world’s most iconic retail brands with some genuinely disquieting revelations, prompting viewers to question the company’s ethics and reconsider its effect on beauty standards.” As Globe and Mail says, “There is much to glean from the series… some of it very sobering, and some of it formidably creepy.”

Julia | 24 February 

The documentary film Julia tells the story of Julia Childs, the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women.

Using never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, first-person narratives, and cutting-edge, mouth-watering food cinematography, the film traces Child’s surprising path, from her struggles to create and publish the revolutionary Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961), which has sold more than 2.5 million copies to date, to the empowering story of a woman who found her calling as an unlikely television sensation in her 50s.

Julia has a 96% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Befitting the culinary aesthetic favoured by the brilliant chef it honours, Julia uses fresh, simple ingredients to create a sumptuous documentary feast.” 

Also watch the award-nominated drama series, also titled Julia, from 24 February.

Subjects of Desire | Stream from 15 February 

 Subjects of Desire is a timely documentary film that examines the cultural shift in North American beauty standards towards embracing Black female aesthetics and features.  

From society’s new fixation on the booty, fuller lips, the dramatic rise of spray-tanned skin, ethnic hairstyles, and athletic bodies, some argue that Black women are having a beauty moment. But others, primarily Black women, argue that traditional Black features and attributes are seen as more desirable when they are on White women. 

Told from the point of view of women who aren’t afraid to challenge conventional beauty standards, Subjects of Desire is a culturally significant, provocative documentary film that challenges and ultimately deconstructs what we understand about race and the power behind beauty.

Subjects of Desire has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with RogerEbert.com saying it’s “an eye-opening and powerful analysis of the history of beauty with regards to Black women,” and Variety calling it, “An invigorating opportunity to showcase Black women negotiating their own terms of engagement with the beauty ideal.”

Women Who Rock S1 | Binge from 8 February

Women Who Rock is a four-part docuseries that pays homage to the legion of female pioneers in music who have stormed the stage, wielded their instruments, amplified their voices, and sung the soundtrack of our lives. 

Nominated for the 2023 Cinema Eye Honors Awards, the show features the likes of Janis Joplin, Shania Twain, Macy Gray, Sheila E, Mavis Staples, Chaka Khan, Sheryl Crow, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Tori Amos, Annie Clark (aka St Vincent), Rickie Lee Jones, Norah Jones, Aimee Mann, Nancy Wilson, Kate Pierson, Tina Weymouth and Nona Hendryx.

Love Island Australia S3-4 | Binge from 14 February

The hottest young Aussie singles come together for the experience of a lifetime Down Under in Seasons 3 and 4 of the award-winning, record-breaking, headline-grabbing reality show Love Island Australia! 

To win, Islanders must couple up, stay together and win over the hearts of the public – all while surviving the temptations of beautiful contenders entering the villa. 

The host with the most, singer and TV personality Sophie Monk, will once again steer the cast of sexy singles towards finding their perfect match while soaking up the sun and having the time of their lives. 

Girl, Taken | 20 February

Named Best South African Documentary Film at the 2022 Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), Girl, Taken is the incredible story of two parents whose baby was stolen at birth, who miraculously found her 17 years later, and who then lost her again…

Girl, Taken was co-directed by multi-award-winners Francois Verster and Simon Wood, whose previous collaboration, Scenes From a Dry City, was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy, earned a Special Mention at AFI Docs, and was named World Press Photo Online Video of the Year.

The 92-minute documentary follows Celeste and Morne Nurse, whose baby daughter Zephany was stolen from hospital three days after her birth in Cape Town, April 1997. For 17 years, the devastated couple searched for Zephany, regularly making media appeals, hiring private detectives and following false leads.

Then in 2015, their second daughter, Cassidy, enrolled in a new school, where other pupils pointed out an older pupil, Miche Solomon, who looked very much like her. DNA samples confirmed that Miche was Zephany, and, incredibly, she had grown up only a few miles from the Nurse’s home. The Nurses were overjoyed, and the story saw them becoming media darlings around the world.

However, the arrest and trial of the seamstress known to Miche as her loving mother devastated her and ultimately, she chose to remain with the kidnapper’s family. The Nurses, against all expectations, lost their daughter a second time. This film follows the process of two broken families climbing the difficult path towards forgiveness and wholeness.

“It could have been sensationalist, but it wasn’t,” said the DIFF jury, praising the “twists and turns” and “many complexities and different layers” of the “real human story about family.” Similarly, alongside its international release on Paramount+, Heat (UK) gave Girl, Taken four stars, calling it “compelling and heartbreaking stuff.”


Kids


The Smeds and The Smoos | First on Showmax | Date to be confirmed

South Africans Daniel Snaddon and Samantha Cutler direct The Smeds and the Smoos, adapted by South African Julia Smuts Louw from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling picture-book of the same name. Snaddon was previously a director on the 2021 Annie Award winner The Snail and the Whale, 2020 International Emmy-winning Zog, and the BAFTA-nominated and Annecy-winning Stick Man

The Smeds and The Smoos tells the story of two warring families whose children, Bill and Janet, fall in love and run away together. Hotly pursued by their grandparents, Grandfather Smed (comedian Bill Bailey) and Grandmother Smoo (Adjoa Andoh from Bridgerton), the two young aliens lead their families on a chase across space, giving them the opportunity to find out they have more in common than they think.

As Independent (UK) says, “There really couldn’t be a better allegory for Britain today than this pretty weird tale of a blue and red alien who fall in love… This is the West Side Story of our modern age; the Romeo and Juliet version of romance with a touch of… well, Brexit.”

Superworm | First on Showmax | Date to be confirmed

Directed by South Africans Sarah Scrimgeour and Jac Hamman, Superworm is up for Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie at the Kidscreen Awards, where it’s competing against Luck and Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas. It’s also nominated for Best Special Production at the Annie Awards, where it’s up against the likes of The Sandman. 

An animated adaptation of the bestselling picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Superworm was the most-watched children’s show on the BBC last Christmas, hailed as “an instant classic” by The Sun; “one of Christmas TV’s greatest delights” by The Daily Telegraph; and “the BBC’s standout offering” by The Guardian. 

Superworm is super-long and super-strong, and is always saving the day. But who can save him when he gets too full of himself and is captured by the evil Wizard Lizard?

Superworm’s voice cast includes Oscar winner Olivia Colman (The Crown) as the narrator, Emmy nominee Matt Smith (House of the Dragon) as Superworm, and Ghanaian-British actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Paddington 2, Mary Poppins Returns) as the Wizard Lizard. 

Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years S1 | Binge from 6 February 

Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years takes us back in time to meet 10-year-old SpongeBob and his pals as they spend their summer building underwater campfires, catching wild jellyfish, and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck at the craziest camp in the kelp forest!

Common Sense Media says this prequel to the multi-award winning hit series has “humour, antics, and tone… very reminiscent of the original, which makes Kamp Koral similarly appropriate for an elementary-aged group. … There are some real laugh-out-loud moments for both kid and adult viewers.” Plus, they add, “The plots are absolutely absurd, and truly wonderful in their weirdness.”


Also watch

1 February

The Freak Brothers S1 | Weeds S1-8

2 February

Awaken | Despicable Me | Despicable Me 2 | Good Witch S7 | Minions | Red Stone | The Sun Is Also A Star | The Brilliant World of Tom Gates S1-2 | Tik Tak S1

3 February

Black Ransom | Die Dors | Five Shaolin Masters | Eastern Condors | Nashville S1-6 | The Storm Warriors

6 February

A Guy Thing | Bulletjie | Capote | Everything | Everything | Forever My Girl | Sherlock Gnomes | The Boy Next Door

9 February

A Valentine’s Match | Abominable | About Time | Oddbods S1-3 (short) and specials | Sealed With A Kiss: Wedding March 6  | Sodium Day

13 February

10 Days | Almighty Thor | Along Came Polly | Blippi Back To School Scavenger Hunt | Blippi and Meekah’s Very Merry Treasure Hunt | Blippi’s Summer Games | Endless Love | Overboard | Princess and Seven Kung Fu Masters | The Break-Up | The Canton Godfather | Trainwreck | Yours | Mine & Ours. 

16 February

21 Jump Street | 22 Jump Street | Be Cool | Eternal Wave | In The Line of Duty IV | Hercules | Ma | Oddbods S1-3 | Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank

17 February

Boys Town | Sweetbitter S1-2

20 February

Max | Mia’s Magic Playground S2 | The Domestics | The Pink Panther | The Pink Panther 2

23 February

Blippi Learns To Draw S1 | Blippi Wonders S1 | Once Upon A Time in Shanghai | Safe House | Shark Tale | RobotApocalypse | Tomb Raider | Young Heroes of a Chaotic Time | Warcraft 

27 February

3am | Don’t Let Go | Legally Blonde | Legally Blonde 2: Red | White and Blonde | Mia’s Magic Playground Sing-A-Long S1 | Supa Strikas: Freestyle | The Trigonal: Fight for Justice

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