WINNING TIME: THE RISE OF THE LAKERS DYNASTY| Binge now, first on Showmax
Among Rotten Tomatoes’ Most Anticipated Series of 2022, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty dramatises the professional and personal lives of the players and coaches of one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties – a team that defined an American era, both on and off the basketball court.
Already renewed for a second season, the HBO sports drama has an 84% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Winning Time pairs a larger-than-life roster of characters with whiplash style to deliver an absolute slam dunk.”
Newcomers Quincy Isaiah and Solomon Hughes star as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar respectively, while DeVaughn Nixon (Snowfall, Runaways) plays his real-life father, NBA star Stormin’ Norman Nixon. The star-studded cast also includes Oscar nominee John C Reilly, Screen Actors Guild nominee Jason Clarke, and Critics Choice winner Jason Segel, not to mention Oscar winners Sally Field and Adrien Brody, Emmy winner Julianne Nicholson, Emmy nominee Gaby Hoffman and Critics Choice nominee Tracy Letts.
PEACEMAKER | Binge now, first on Showmax
John Cena reprises his Critics Choice Super Award-nominated role as Peacemaker, fighting for peace at any cost – no matter how many people he has to kill to get it. The hotly anticipated first series in the DC Extended Universe, HBO Max’s Peacemaker picks up where The Suicide Squad movie left off, with Peacemaker returning home after recovering from his encounter with Bloodsport – only to discover that his freedom comes at a price.
Created by multi-award-winning showrunner James Gunn (The Suicide Squad, Guardians of the Galaxy), the eight-episode series also stars Emmy nominee Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black), Nigerian-British actor Chukwudi Iwuji (Designated Survivor, The Underground Railroad, and next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), Freddie Stroma (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), MTV Movie Award nominee Robert Patrick (Perry Mason), and Jennifer Holland, reprising her role from The Suicide Squad as Emilia Harcourt. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for some ‘super’ cameos.
One of Rotten Tomatoes’ most anticipated series of 2022, Peacemaker has a 94% critics’ rating on the review aggregator, where the consensus calls the show “a bloody good time that gives writer-director James Gunn full permission to let his freak flag fly.”
HBO Max recently renewed Peacemaker for a second season, while Cena is up for Best Comedic Performance at the 2022 MTV Movie + TV Awards for the role.
STATION ELEVEN | Binge now
Named Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Series at the 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards, Station Eleven follows the scattered survivors of a devastating global pandemic as they attempt to rebuild the world anew and hold on to the best of what’s been lost.
Based on the Arthur C Clarke Award-winning 2014 novel by Emily St John Mandel, the dystopian sci-fi drama has a 98% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Observer saying, “Station Eleven is not about a pandemic, not really – it’s about the way art, community, and family endure even after the end of civilization as we know it.”
As Kirsten Raymonde, Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate, Blade Runner 2049) was named Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Series at the 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards. She stars alongside the likes of Teen Choice nominee Himesh Patel (Don’t Look Up, Yesterday), Cannes winner Gael García Bernal (Y tu mamá también, The Motorcyle Diaries), and Screen Actors Guild winner Lori Petty (Orange is the New Black, Tank Girl).
Station Eleven is created by Patrick Somerville (Maniac, The Leftovers, Made for Love) and directed by the likes of three-time Emmy nominee Hiro Murai (Atlanta, and the Grammy-winning Childish Gambino music video This Is America).
WESTWORLD S4 | Weekly from 27 June, first on Showmax
One of Rotten Tomatoes’ most anticipated series of 2022, Westworld is a dark odyssey about the fate of sentient life on Earth. As Rotten Tomatoes says, “We have no idea what’s in store for Westworld’s fourth season, which is exactly how the producers of the sci-fi killer-robot series like it. Will it finally come to war between humans and AI? No idea…” But, they add, “The previous three Certified Fresh seasons have us hooked for life.”
The eight-episode fourth season brings back Thandiwe Newton in her Emmy-winning role as Maeve, as well as Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, and Ed Harris in their Emmy-nominated performances as Dolores, Bernard and The Man In Black respectively. Three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul, Emmy nominee Tessa Thompson and Screen Actors Guild nominees Luke Hemsworth and Angela Sarafyan are also returning, with Oscar winner Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) joining the cast this season as a recurring guest star.
Inspired by the film written by Michael Crichton, Westworld has won seven Emmys to date, with a further 45 nominations, and has twice been named Best Science Fiction Series by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. It has an 81% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.6/10 rating on IMDb.
MY BRILLIANT FRIEND S3: THOSE WHO LEAVE AND THOSE WHO STAY | Binge from 9 June, first on Showmax
The Italian drama series My Brilliant Friend returns for a third season, based on Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the third book in author Elena Ferrante’s bestselling Neapolitan Novels series, which follows the coming-of-age story of two young women growing up on the outskirts of Naples during the latter half of the 20th century.
Season 3 picks up with Lila (Gaia Girace) raising her young son alone and working in a factory under the toughest of conditions, while Elena (Margherita Mazzucco) has authored a successful novel. As they each navigate life’s hopes and uncertainties, Elena and Lila remain united by their ambivalent yet undeniable bond.
Season 3 has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with AV Club praising it as “one of the most honest, unsentimental depictions of friendship – female or otherwise – in either literature or television.” The series has been nominated for a Peabody Award, a Critics Choice Award and three Italian Golden Globes, where it won Best Breakthrough Actress for Ludovica Nasti.
The fourth and final season, based on the final novel in Ferrante’s series, The Story of the Lost Child, was recently greenlit.
UPRISING | Binge now
From Oscar-winning filmmaker Sir Steve McQueen (Small Axe, 12 Years a Slave) and BAFTA nominee James Rogan (Putin: A Russian Spy Story, Monty Python: The Meaning of Live), Uprising recently won the 2022 BAFTA Award for Best Factual Series.
The three-part BBC miniseries tells the extraordinary story of three intertwined events from 1981: the New Cross Fire, which killed 13 young Black people; the Black People’s Day of Action; and the Brixton riots – turning points that would go on to define race relations in the UK for a generation.
Uprising has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Honest, harrowing, and heartbreaking, Uprising is an incredible feat of documentary storytelling from Steve McQueen.”
MAYANS M.C. S4 | Binge from 15 June, first on Showmax
A spin-off of the acclaimed biker gang drama Sons of Anarchy, Mayans M.C. S4 brings the threat of all-out war after the failed attempt to join the charters under a single king.
Executive produced by Elgin James and Emmy-nominated Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, Mayans M.C. holds an 86% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. For his starring role as Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, JD Pardo won Best Actor in a TV Drama at the 2021 Imagen Awards, where Mayans M.C. was up for Best Primetime Drama and Oscar nominee Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica) was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
The returning cast includes Emmy nominee Richard Cabral (American Crime, Lethal Weapon) in a Critics Choice-nominated performance as Johnny ‘Coco’ Cruz; Clayton Cardenas (American Crime) as EZ’s brother Angel; and Carla Baratta, in an Imagen-nominated performance as Luisa ‘Adelita’ Espina. Critics Choice nominees Sarah Bolger (Into the Badlands, The Tudors) and Raoul Max Trujillo (Sicario, Riddick) also return, as does Screen Actors Guild nominee Michael Irby (Barry, True Detective).
LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME | Binge now
Emmy nominee Christopher Meloni reprises his iconic Law & Order: Special Victims Unit role as Elliot Stabler in the hit spinoff Law & Order: Organized Crime. Searching for justice as he tries to piece his life back together, Stabler joins the NYPD’s Organized Crime Task Force, led by Sergeant Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt), to go after NYC’s most powerful crime syndicate.
From Emmy-winning franchise creator Dick Wolf and Emmy-winning series creator Ilene Chaiken (The L Word: Generation Q, Empire, The Handmaid’s Tale), Law & Order: Organized Crime also stars Emmy nominee Dylan McDermott (The Practice, American Horror Story) and Tamara Taylor (Bones’ Camille Saroyan, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), with Special Victims Unit’s Mariska Hargitay guest starring as Captain Olivia Benson, Stabler’s former partner.
Following a single story-arc over this season’s eight episodes, this gritty, topical entry into the Law & Order canon has already been renewed for a 24-episode second season. Meloni and McDermott were nominated as Best Actor and Supporting Actor respectively at the 2021 Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards, where Law & Order: Organized Crime was up for Best Broadcast Network Drama Series.
Emmy nominee Patrick Dempsey (McDreamy in Grey’s Anatomy) and Venice and Berlin winner Alessandro Borghi (Suburra) co-star in Devils, an adaptation of the bestselling book by Italian trader Guido Maria Brera – an insider’s look at the world of millionaire investment bankers.
The hit Sky Italia series, which sold to 160 territories globally, centres on Massimo Ruggero, a charismatic and fearless Italian investment banker, and his former mentor, Dominic, as they aim to profit from the Brexit fallout.
Emmy nominee Nick Hurran (Sherlock) is back as director, while the returning cast includes International Emmy winner Lars Mikkelsen (House of Cards, The Witcher), Black Reel nominee Malachi Kirby (Roots, Black Mirror), and BAFTA nominee Laia Costa (Victoria).
SHINING VALE | Binge now, first on Showmax
In Shining Vale, a dysfunctional family moves to a small town, not realising their new house has a terrible history. No one seems to notice anything weird except for Pat (Emmy nominee Courteney Cox, aka Monica in Friends). The celebrated author of a raunchy female empowerment novel, Pat is convinced she’s either depressed or possessed – turns out, the symptoms are exactly the same.
The horror comedy also stars Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets, Little Miss Sunshine) and four-time Emmy nominee Judith Light (tick, tick…BOOM!, Ugly Betty), along with the likes of Oscar winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion) and Emmy nominee Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks).
Shining Vale is created by Emmy-nominated writer and executive producer Sharon Horgan (Divorce, Catastrophe). As AV Club says, “Shining Vale boasts all of the best horror elements: a haunted house, a descent into madness, gaslighting, sex, drugs, Christianity, and Courteney Cox.”
SUPERSTORE S6 | Binge now
The Cloud 9 staff find themselves fielding panic buying, personal space issues, and suddenly being considered pandemic heroes as Superstore launches into its final season and crosses the 100-episode mark in the process.
All our favourites are back – Golden Globe winner America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Emmy nominees Ben Feldman (Silicon Valley), Mark McKinney (The Kids in the Hall) and Colton Dunn (Key and Peele), alongside Kaliko Kauahi (Raven’s Home) and Nichole Sakura (Shameless).
Plus, since we last saw them, Lauren Ash – who plays Cloud 9 veteran Dina – was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy at the Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards, where Nico Santos won Best Supporting Actor (and psst… there are even better things on the horizon for Mateo this season). 2021 also brought the show its third nomination for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, while the series finale was nominated for the 2022 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Episodic Comedy.
The 15-episode Season 6 has a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics’ consensus saying, “As funny and poignant as ever, Superstore closes up shop with a superb sixth season that solidifies its place as one of TV’s greatest workplace comedies.”
THE BAY S2 | Binge now
British police drama The Bay is back for a second season. Demoted to Detective Constable following her suspension, Lisa Armstrong (three-time BAFTA Scotland nominee Morven Christie from Grantchester) takes on a new investigation after a solicitor is shot on his doorstep, while her personal life becomes complicated when Andy (BAFTA nominee Joe Absolom from A Confession), her ex-husband and the father of her kids, returns to Morecambe.
This season’s guest cast includes BAFTA Scotland winner James Cosmo (Farder Coram in His Dark Materials and Game of Thrones’ Night’s Watch Commander Jeor Mormont) and Steven Robertson (Harlots, T2 Trainspotting).
Season 1 picked up nominations for Best Actress at the Scotland BAFTAs and Best Director at the Wales BAFTAs, as well as for Best Drama Script at the 2020 Irish Film and Television Academy Awards. With Season 2’s viewership up to 7.9 million in the UK, The Bay has already been renewed for a third and fourth season.
RECENT AWARDS FOR SHOWMAX CONTENT
Showmax content featured prominently at the British Academy Television Awards (BAFTA TV Awards), held on 8 May 2022. In addition to Uprising’s win for Factual Series, Succession won Best Supporting Actor for Matthew Macfadyen. Time, coming to Showmax on 1 July 2022, was also named Best Miniseries and Leading Actor (Sean Bean).
EVERYTHING ON SHOWMAX IN JUNE 2022
To see everything on Showmax in June 2022, including the Showmax Original horror Pulse, starring SAFTA winner Tarryn Wyngaard and Thapelo Mokoena; the hit films Godzilla vs. Kong and Zack Snyder’s Justice League; and critically acclaimed documentaries like Black Power: A British Story of Resistance, Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street, and John Lewis: Good Trouble, click here.
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