Pieces of Us S1 & 2 | Binge-watch from 7 September
After his father’s death, it’s up to Richard (Brian Ogola) to save his family from financial ruin. He resorts to illegal schemes to keep up the family’s standing in society while hiding the truth from his mother and girlfriend. An addictive new drama series, perfect for binge-watching.
What else is new for fans of local series?
Big Brother Naija: Lockdown Finale | 27 September
It’s addictive, it’s record-breaking and the grand finale is almost here!
Big Brother Naija: Lockdown, launched on July 19, has shattered the records to become Showmax’s top live-streamed show. Due to the pandemic, this season’s 20 housemates were selected from digital video entries – and over 30 000 were sent in! The lucky 20 have become overnight celebs, with fans following their every move, live-streamed on Showmax and DStv Channel 198 – especially the nail-biting evictions on Sundays at 19:00.
Don’t miss the wildly-anticipated live-stream of the season finale on September 27.
Siren S3 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 September
Siren takes us inside Bristol Cove – a coastal town known for the local legend that it was once home to mermaids. When the arrival of a mysterious girl proves the folklore all too true, the battle between man and sea takes a vicious turn as these predatory beings return to reclaim their right to the ocean.
The series stars Alex Roe (The 5th Wave) and Fola Evans-Akingbola (An American Exorcism) as Ben and Maddie, marine biologists who find themselves drawn to Ryn, played by Eline Powell (Game of Thrones), a strange young woman with a deep, dark secret.
In the third and final season, Ryn’s baby is born as a new threat looms on the horizon.
Siren has a 95% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Siren turns traditional lore on its tail with a unique, well-paced show that presents dangerous, violent mythical creatures in a surprisingly empathetic and exciting light.”
Power S6 | 7 September
A New York City nightclub owner, James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), doubles as a drug kingpin to an elite clientele, which gets in the way of his attempts to turn his legitimate business into a wide-ranging empire.
The sixth and final season sees Ghost seeking revenge for the ultimate betrayal, as the vultures (aka the Feds) circle closer, threatening his bid to go clean once and for all.
The spinoff, Power Book II: Ghost, starts on 1Magic on Tuesday, 15 September at 21:30, so it’s the perfect time to catch up.
9-1-1: Lone Star S1 | 1 September
This spinoff of the hugely popular first responder drama 9-1-1 stars multiple Golden Globe nominee Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation) as a New York firefighter who relocates to Austin, Texas, where he’s tasked with putting together an entirely new squad following a tragedy. The cast includes Teen Choice nominees Liv Tyler (Harlots, Lord of the Rings) and Lyndsy Fonseca (Desperate Housewives, Nikita, Kick-Ass).
9-1-1: Lonestar was one of the ten most-streamed shows on DStv Now in the first half of 2020, and the highest-rated new series of the year for its parent network, FOX, which recently announced its renewal for a second season.
Lovecraft Country | Eps 1-4 on 8 September, eps 5-8 on 6 October, eps 9-10 on 20 October
In the 1950s, Atticus Black, a young African-American, sets out on a road trip with his friend and uncle to find his missing father. This catapults the three into a struggle for survival against the dual terrors of Jim Crow-era America and terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a paperback written by pulpy horror author HP Lovecraft.
Based on the novel by Matt Ruff, this one had Oscar winner Jordan Peele (Us, Get Out) and JJ Abrams (Star Wars, Star Trek) in the crew, and Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Courtney B Vance in the cast.
At the time of writing, Lovecraft Country has a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is #2 on IMDB’s Most Popular TV chart. As Newsday put it, “To call Lovecraft Country ‘wildly original’ seems almost a quaint understatement. But it is wild. And original. Little doubt about that.”
World on Fire | Thursdays from 24 September, same day as M-Net
Set in 1939, on the eve of the German invasion of Poland, World on Fire follows the interwoven stories of ordinary people caught up in catastrophic global events beyond their control.
The critically acclaimed World War II drama has an 83% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has already been renewed for a second season.
The impressive cast includes BAFTA winner Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings) and Oscar winner Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets, Mad About You).
“It’s hard to recall any dramatic work that captured the terror of this invasion with such immediacy,” says Wall Street Journal.
Harriet | 7 September
Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
This powerful film is led by fast-rising star Cynthia Erivo (The Outsider) in the title role, for which she received a 2020 Oscar nomination as well as a Golden Globe nomination.
In addition to its nominations for Best Actress, Harriet was nominated for a 2020 Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song (for the song Stand Up, written by Erivo and Joshuah Brian Campbell).
After | 10 September
Winner of both the 2019 People’s Choice and Teen Choice Best Drama awards, After follows Tessa (Josephine Langford in a Teen Choice-winning performance), a dedicated student, dutiful daughter and loyal girlfriend to her high school sweetheart, as she enters her first semester in college.
Armed with grand ambitions for her future, her guarded world opens up when she meets the dark and mysterious Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin – nephew of Ralph and Joseph Fiennes – in a Teen Choice-winning performance), a magnetic, brooding rebel who makes her question all she thought she knew about herself and what she wants out of life.
The film is based on Anna Todd’s breakout novel, which racked up over one billion reads online.
Ben is Back | 14 September
Nineteen-year-old Ben Burns unexpectedly returns to his family’s suburban home on Christmas Eve. Ben’s mom, Holly, is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son’s drug addiction. Over a turbulent 24 hours, a mother’s undying love is put to the test as Holly does everything in her power to keep Ben clean.
Pieces of April director Peter Hedges wrote and directed Ben Is Back, with his son Lucas Hedges (a Golden Globe nominee for Boy Erased) in the lead role opposite Oscar winner Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich).
Rambo: Last Blood | 17 September
Winner of both the National Film and Television Award for Best Action Movie and a Razzie Award for Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property, Rambo: The Last Blood sees movie legend Sylvester Stallone reprise one of his most iconic roles for one final mission – saving his adopted daughter, who was kidnapped by a cartel and forced into prostitution in Mexico.
Mission: Impossible collection | 17 September
Showmax has your throw-back action weekend sorted with all six Mission: Impossible movies, from Mission: Impossible to MI2, MI3, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, to the latest, Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
The franchise is the 16th-highest-grossing film series of all time, with a global gross of over $3.5 billion to date.
Star, producer and head lunatic in the stunts department is three-time Oscar nominee Tom Cruise, who plays the beleaguered and indestructible Impossible Missions Force agent, Ethan Hunt. Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg recur as Luther and Benji, with stars like Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, Henry Cavill, Anthony Hopkins, Jon Voight, Jean Reno, Vanessa Redgrave, Thandie Newton and Philip Seymour Hoffman featuring across the series.
Endlings S1 | First and Only on Showmax | 14 September
Set 20 years in the future, this heartwarming family sci-fi drama series follows a foster family on their missions to protect the extraterrestrial beings and endangered creatures the four teens discover.
Endlings is recommended for ages 8+, and has already been renewed for Season 2.
A Dog’s Journey | 21 September
Based on W. Bruce Cameron’s best-selling books, this sequel to A Dog’s Purpose tells the story of a dog who’s reincarnated over and over in one special person’s life… until he’s needed to look after a little girl.
It has a 91% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and stars Golden Globe nominee Dennis Quaid, with Ant-Man’s Abby Ryder Fortson as the young CJ, and Frozen’s Olaf, Josh Gad, as the voice of Bailey the dog.
Space Chickens in Space S1 | 24 September
This wacky, surreal sci-fi comedy series sees a trio of chickens – Chuck, Starley and Finley – face unthinkable challenges of technology, school and sibling relationships when they’re mistakenly enrolled at an elite intergalactic former military academy.
Best of Africa
Knuckle City | First on Showmax | 3 September
In South Africa’s powerful 2020 Oscar entry, an aging, womanizing professional boxer and his career-criminal brother take one last shot at success and get more than they’ve bargained for.
Directed by multiple SAFTA-winning rising auteur Jahmil X.T. Qubeka (Sew The Winter To My Skin), Knuckle City has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“It is impossible not to be completely consumed by Knuckle City,” says The Globe and Mail, praising its navigation of “the painful issues of toxic masculinity, age and the impossible-seeming choices one can be forced to make to ensure the survival of themselves and the people they love.”
Knuckle City was the most awarded film at this year’s SAFTAs, taking home six awards.
Blessers | First on Showmax | 3 September
The sixth most popular local film at the SA box office last year, Blessers stars SAFTA winner Kenneth Nkosi (White Wedding, District 9, Tsotsi) as a powerful CEO with a big house, a successful spouse, and expensive recreational habits. He feels like life will always be this easy but the women in his life have their own take on this not-so-shiny penny.
SAFTA winner Connie Chiume (Black Panther, Gomora, Housekeepers) also stars alongside the likes of Khathu Ramabulana (Shadow) and Sonia Mbele (Generations). SAFTA winner Rea Rangaka (The Republic) directs.
I Am Not A Witch | First on Showmax | 7 September
In Zambian director Rungano Nyoni’s debut film, an eight-year-old girl is denounced as a witch and sent to a witches’ camp. Like the other residents, she’s tied with a ribbon to a large truck and told that should she ever cut the ribbon, she’ll be cursed and transformed into a goat…
Winner of 15 international awards, including the BAFTA for Best Debut, I Am Not A Witch has a 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
As Variety put it, “It’s rare and exhilarating that a new filmmaker arrives on the scene so sure of herself and so willing to take bold, counter-intuitive chances… Invigorating, intriguing and provocative.”
Unmarried S2 | Mondays from 14 September, express from 1Magic
The fresh, fun and sexy drama series returns, following three friends living in bustling Johannesburg as they deal with the challenges of balancing motherhood, marriage and relationships with their careers.
Mia and the White Lion | 24 September
Shot in South Africa over three years, this sweeping tale of the love between a girl and an endangered white lion stars Daniah De Villiers (Nul Is Nie Niks Nie), Langley Kirkwood Warrior, Banshee), Brandon Auret (Still Breathing) and SAFTA Lifetime Achievement winner Lillian Dube (Generations).
Also on Showmax in September
Project Blue Book S2 | Strike Back S7 | Ramy S2
Star Trek Beyond | The Hundred-Foot Journey | November Man | Talking Tom and Friends S5 | To Have & To Hold: Charlotte S1 | Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta S4 | The Odyssey
Red Joan | The Last Witness | Racetime
Allied | Haute Cuisine | Shaun the Sheep S1-5 | Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas | Timmy Time S1-3 | Timmy’s Seaside Rescue | Madagascar Maverick | Around Iceland | Trailer Made | The Turn Up S1
The Impossible | A Thousand Words | The Kids in the Hall | Grounded | Endlings S1 | Book Hungry Bears S1 | Mafanato | Long Gone
Backtrace | Pambio Live S1 | Loving Tyra S1-4
Honeymoon Pacific | How to Adventure with Riaan Manser
Unlocked | Natural Born Pranksters | Sex After Marriage 2: It’s a Scene | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows | Learning Time With Timmy | Timmy 2.0
The Queen’s Corgi | Between Us S1-4
Poms | The White Crow | The Big Trip | Just Like Heaven