1 November 2023
What’s new on Showmax in November 2023
November has arrived, and it’s bringing plenty of treats. Spinners, the new Showmax Original, has had critics going wild. On the international front, expect new seasons of Chucky, And Just Like That, and Chicago Med, as well as brand-new shows Lucky Hank and A Spy Among Friends.
Spinners S1 | Showmax Original | Wednesdays from 8 November
Spinners follows Ethan, a 17-year-old driver working for a local gang. Needing to support his younger brother but increasingly disgusted with gang life, Ethan discovers a possible way out via spinning, an extreme motorsport where he can put his driving skills to better use. With a gang war looming, can he turn his life around fast enough?
A co-production between Showmax and CANAL+, Spinners’ cast includes Arendsvlei’s Cantona James and Chelsea Thomas in leading roles, along with Elton Landrew (Recipes for Love & Murder), Dillon Windvogel (Blood & Water), and South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) winner Brendon Daniels (Zulu, Skemerdans, Five Fingers for Marseille).
Spinners became the first African series selected in competition at Canneseries; won three awards at Dakar Series, including Best TV Series; received a standing ovation from its sold-out premieres in Paris and at Silwerskerm in Cape Town; and was the opening night screening at MIP Africa, generating rave reviews, with TWFLD hailing it as “the gold standard for local productions” and Fortress of Solitude proclaiming, “This is South Africa’s Breaking Bad. It’s just that good.”
Chucky S3 | First on Showmax | Binge from 13 November
Chucky is headed for the White House in the third season of the cult horror franchise. It’s up to Jake, Devon, and Lexy to figure out how to stop Chucky when he’s cosied up to America’s First Family, in the most secure house in the US. Meanwhile, Chucky’s ex and now sworn enemy, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), faces a looming crisis of her own this season as the police close in on her.
The series has a 91% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus praises its “absurd humour and creative horror.”
Chicago Med S7 | Binge from 21 November
Chicago Med follows Chicago’s most highly skilled medical team as they save lives while trying to navigate the challenges of their own.
Dr Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) is back at Gaffney this season, along with nurse Maggie Campbell (Marlyne Barrett, The Wire), chief of psychiatry Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt, The Bear), Dr Ethan Choi (Brian Tee from Jurassic World) and more.
Sadly, we’ll be saying goodbye to a favourite character this season, but there’ll be some new faces on the team too, including Kristen Hager (Condor, What/If) coming in as Dr Stevie Hammer, who’s known Dr Halstead since med school.
And Just Like That S2 | Binge from 22 November
Catch up with our favourite glam besties, Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte, as they navigate the complex reality of life as 50-somethings. The Sex and the City reboot started out as a miniseries but was soon renewed for a second season, and has recently been greenlit for a third.
The show’s stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis all exec produce. Franchise alums Evan Handler, Mario Cantone, and David Eigenberg return for Season 2 alongside Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy), Sarita Choudhury (Homeland) and Karen Pittman (The Morning Show), and Nicole Ari Parker (Empire’s Giselle).
This season promises a cameo from Kim Cattrall (aka Samantha) as well, and there’s excellent news for Team Aidan, with John Corbett (Northern Exposure’s Chris) making a welcome return to Carrie’s life …
The critics are all saying Season 2 is better than the first. “The second season has allowed a clean slate of sorts,” TheWrap explains, “with Carrie emerging from the depths of her grief enough to allow for some good, old-fashioned Sex and the City-style dating, brunch banter, luxurious fashion plotlines and the return of sex.”
Domina S2 | First On Showmax | 21 November
Set in Ancient Rome, Domina follows the story of Livia Drusilla (Kasia Smutniak, Devils) as she rises to become Rome’s most powerful empress. Season 2 finds Livia Drusilla presiding over a tumultuous empire, a precarious marriage and a dysfunctional family, amidst an increasingly ruthless power struggle for control of the Roman Empire.
As The Guardian put it, “This Roman epic fills a gory, horny, Game of Thrones-shaped hole. The show has a great cast, a big budget and is full of carnage and backstabbing. Plus people say ‘My liege!’ a lot. What’s not to like?”
Lucky Hank S1 | Binge from 15 November
Based on Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo’s novel Straight Man, Lucky Hank stars Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) as Professor Hank Devereaux, an English department chairman at an underfunded college, who toes the line between midlife crisis and full-blown meltdown, navigating the offbeat chaos in his personal and professional life and proving that tantrums get better with age.
From the executive producers of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Lucky Hank has a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “There is no one who plays the exasperated everyguy like Bob Odenkirk,” says NPR. Or, as Arizona Republic put it, “Odenkirk… makes you want to spend time with a character who definitely doesn’t want to spend time with you.”
A Spy Among Friends | Binge from 17 November
Damian Lewis (Billions) and Guy Pearce (Mare of Easttown) star in this thriller which tracks the real-life events around one of the most infamous espionage scandals in UK history.
Set against the backdrop of the Cold War – when the stakes were high and the consequences of being caught could be deadly – the six-part series tells the story of British intelligence officer Nicholas Elliott (Lewis) who’s stunned to learn that his best friend and colleague, Kim Philby (Pearce), has been secretly working as a double agent for the KGB since the 1930s.
Nominated for the 2023 BAFTA Award for best miniseries, A Spy Among Friends has an 80% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics’ consensus calling it “an intelligent tale of espionage elevated by a pair of sterling performances.”
Young Rock S3 | Binge from 10 November
Before “The Rock,” there was “Rocky Maivia”. The final season of Young Rock takes us all the way from the young Dwayne Johnson’s decision to step into the ring to the start of the acting career that would make him a global icon, and one of the highest-paid stars in Hollywood.
In addition to Dwayne himself, Adrian Groulx returns as kid Dwayne, with Bradley Constant as the teen Dwayne and Uli Latufeku (Black Adam) as the young adult Dwayne. Also look out for Brock O’Hurn (Torsten in The Righteous Gemstones) as Hulk Hogan.
The Diplomat S1 | Binge from 24 November
The Diplomat follows Laura Simmonds and her Barcelona Consul colleague Alba Ortiz as they fight to protect British nationals who find themselves in trouble in the Catalan city.
The six-part British political thriller stars Sophie Rundle (Ann Walker in Gentleman Jack) as Simmonds, alongside the likes of Laia Costa (Devils) and Danny Sapani (Harlots).
Knock at the Cabin | 13 November
From Oscar-nominee M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Old), Knock at the Cabin is set at a remote holiday cabin, where a young girl and her parents are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand that the family make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe before all is lost.
A #1 box office hit in the USA, Knock at the Cabin stars Dave Bautista (Dune), Jonathan Groff (Frozen), Ben Aldridge (Pennyworth), Nigerian-born BAFTA nominee Nikki Amuka-Bird (Old), and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter’s Ron Weasley), as well as newcomer Kristen Cui.
Based on the bestselling novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Bram Stoker Award-winner Paul Tremblay, Empire Magazine says: “A harrowing, economical thriller that will sit with you for days, this is Shyamalan’s best film in years, and a calling card for Bautista in his strongest performance yet.”
Renfield | 30 November
In Renfield, Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) stars as the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula, played by Oscar winner Nicolas Cage.
After lifetimes of servitude, forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding, Renfield is ready to see if there’s a life outside the shadow of the Prince of Darkness. If he can just figure out how to end his codependency…
The New York Times says: “Count Dracula has been dead for so long and gone through so many iterations — exotic, satanic, romantic — that it’s almost surprising there’s any juice left in the thirsty old boy. Yet here he is again, resurrected by a glorious, vamping Nicolas Cage, swinging a cape, baring his fangs and stealing his every scene.”
80 for Brady | 6 November
Four life-long best friends. One wild trip…
Oscar winners Sally Field (Forrest Gump), Rita Moreno (Anita in the original West Side Story, and Valentina in the 2021 remake) and Jane Fonda co-star in 80 for Brady, along with Fonda’s long-time co-star (from Grace and Frankie and Moving On all the way back to 9 to 5), Oscar nominee Lily Tomlin.
Inspired by the true story of four best friends living life to the fullest when they take a wild trip to the 2017 Super Bowl to meet their hero, 80 for Brady is produced by real-life NFL superstar and seven-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady.
Brady himself co-stars, along with the likes of Emmy winners Billy Porter (Pose), Rob Corddry (Ballers), and Glynn Turman (Fargo), Harry Hamlin (LA Law), and celebrity chef Guy Fieri.
TIME Magazine says, “80 for Brady is brassy, ridiculous, and shameless. It’s also irresistible, maybe because watching older ladies having fun is almost embarrassingly seductive.”
Bank of Dave | 16 November
Based on the true-life experiences of self-made millionaire Dave Fishwick, Bank of Dave follows a working-class van salesman from Lancashire who tries to set up a small community bank in the once-thriving mill town of Burnley… and comes up against London’s elitist finance authorities, which hadn’t granted a new bank license for over 150 years.
Rory Kinnear (The Diplomat) stars as Dave, with Joel Fry (Our Flag Means Death), Phoebe Dynevor (Bridgerton’s Daphne Basset), and Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) co-starring. There’s also a cameo from the band Def Leppard.
Bank of Dave has an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus calls it, “A feel-good underdog story…[with] sweetness and charm to spare.”
Next Exit | 20 November
Billed as a supernatural sci-fi road movie, Next Exit follows two people in a hurry to get to the afterlife.
When a contentious study claims to have found proof of life after death, both Rose (Katie Parker, Alt) and Teddy (Rahul Kohli, iZombie) race to join the project and leave their lives behind. While Rose is haunted by a ghostly presence she can’t outrun, Teddy is struggling to confront his past. But as these two misfits humorously quarrel their way across the country, they must reckon with what is really driving each of them.
Next Exit has an 80% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Collider calling it, “A spectacular piece of blended genre storytelling, filled to the brim with life.” The movie won Best Cinematography at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it premiered last year.
The Good House | 27 November
Hildy Good’s wicked humour and seeming success mask her life’s one dark truth: she enjoys her wine a bit too much.
Based on Ann Leary’s bestselling novel of the same name, The Good House is a portrait of a proud, resilient woman who wouldn’t think of asking for help… and whose life won’t change until she does.
Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline lead the cast that also includes Morena Baccarin (Homeland), Rob Delaney (Catastrophe), Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon) and more. As The Hollywood Reporter says: “In the film’s sharp comic observations… and especially its two fine leads, something real and messy sparks to life.”
Gringa | 23 November
In Gringa (aka Halfway to Somewhere), an unpopular teen tracks down her estranged father: an ex-soccer star living in rural Mexico as a “tequila aficionado”, surfer and coach to the local women’s fútbol team.
Steve Zahn (The White Lotus) and Jess Gabor (Shameless) co-star. Also look out for Judy Greer (White House Plumbers).
New kids’ shows
Boonie Bears: Guardian Code | 16 November
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. Years later, a visit to a robot research institute leads them 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. Also watch Boonie Bears: Blast Into The Past (2019), Boonie Bears: The Wild Life (2020), and the award-winning Boonie Bears: Back To Earth (2022) on Showmax.
New non-fiction and documentaries
Angel City | Binge from 27 November
The HBO docuseries Angel City goes behind the scenes and onto the pitch with the groundbreaking Los Angeles-based professional women’s soccer team Angel City FC, backed by the largest female ownership group in professional sports, including the likes of Natalie Portman, America Ferrera, Abby Wambach, Eva Longoria, Mia Hamm, and Serena Williams.
Executive produced by Portman and the Oscar-winning filmmakers behind Free Solo and The Rescue, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the three-part series pulls back the curtain on the team’s origin story, revealing the passion and grit needed to build a franchise from scratch and blaze a bold trail in the world of professional sports.
Decider says the series offers “a fascinating glimpse at the inner workings of a shiny-new sports club busting ass to flip the table on the old way of doing things. It’s not all touchy-feely inspirational fodder – sure, these women want to be a motivational force, but they’re also transparent about their desire to make this a profitable enterprise. The implication being, if you treat your players well and make money, you’re beating the men at their own game. Such is the spirit of competition.”
On The Line: The Richard Williams Story | Binge from 24 November
The documentary series On the Line: The Richard Williams Story tells the story of the man who raised two of the greatest sporting heroes of our time.
With five Olympic gold medals, 30 Grand Slam singles championships and 150 titles to their names, Venus and Serena Williams changed the face of tennis forever. But getting them there took a devoted, demanding maverick with a meticulously executed 78-page plan… and an unstoppable faith in his daughters.
Told in his own words, using interviews spanning from the 1980s through now, father and tennis coach Richard Williams retraces his family’s journey from the courts in Compton to the grass at Wimbledon, defying every custom of the lily-white tennis establishment and fighting back against a system of oppression to raise two of the greatest champions in history.
Also watch the Oscar-winning movie King Richard on Showmax, starring Will Smith as Richard.
Kings of Maskandi S1 | Binge from 6 November
The Mzansi Magic reality show Kings of Maskandi highlights the passion and drive of Maskandi artists and explores the culture of Maskandi.
The show follows Nelisani Mseleku, Sakhiseni Mseleku, Sibusiso Mkhize and Khulekani Shongwe as they work to revive their careers after Covid-19, and explores the fierce competition in a changing world order where popularity rules.
Kings of Maskandi goes behind the scenes to get to know these talented artists and the challenges they face in balancing their passion and dedication to the music with their personal lives off-stage.
Oh Sister! S1 | Stream from 13 November
Oh Sister! is a Kenyan reality series from Maisha Magic Plus that gives viewers an inside look into the lives of seven of the most beloved gospel stars in Kenya, and the drama that sometimes surrounds their lives.
The women include gospel singer and pastor Linel Munyali aka Size 8 with her husband DJ Mo; celebrity and YouTuber Millicent Wambui aka Milly wa Jesus, joined by her husband Peter Kabi; singer and songwriter Bernice Nduku aka Lady Bee; Veronicah Mushana aka Niccah the Queen; singer Betty Bayo; singer and minister Janet Otieno; and beauty entrepreneur Priscilla Ndanu Maina.
Madam S1 | Binge from 3 November
Akwaaba Magic drama series Madam stars four-time AMAA nominee and Ghana Movie Award winner Joselyn Dumas (Flawsome) as Lankai Morgan, a woman who will stop at nothing to achieve power.
In the world of money, sex, power, drama and suspense, few characters have managed to stir the pot quite like Lankai. With her captivating beauty and enigmatic personality, Lankai has built up her True Woman Foundation, a noble initiative aiming to rescue disadvantaged women that paints her as a saviour of the less fortunate. But beneath this virtuous exterior lies a web of intrigue and manipulation that has earned her a multitude of adversaries.
More to watch
Bad Teacher | Detective Chirp and the Golden Beehive | The Dead and the Deadly | The Island | The Magnificent Butcher | Savage Salvation | S’jola Sonke S1 | Upon The Magic Roads | Warriors 2
Flash Point | Here Comes The Broom | Melk en Vleis | The Iron-Fisted Monk
Alarmed | Crazy Racing | Eat Pray Love | Ingane Yam S3 | Paradise City | Playing With Fire | Song & Story: Amazing Grace | Ubizo S4
Obsessed | Ouma Olive
Daddy Daycare | Valentynsokkie
Maid In Manhattan | Mini World: Power Awaken
Connie and the Cat | Olympians at Heart | Tjommies