Best international series to stream on Showmax this July, from Bel-Air S2 to Yellowstone to Warrior

5 seasons of Yellowstone; new Bel-Air, Warrior, The Righteous Gemstones, Somebody Somewhere, The Equalizer
BEL-AIR S2| First on Showmax | 2 episodes on Mondays from 24 July
Set in modern-day Los Angeles, Bel-Air re-imagines the beloved sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air through a new, dramatic take on Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. As his two worlds collide, Will reckons with the power of second chances while navigating the conflicts, emotions, and biases of a world far different from the only one he’s ever known.
Season 2 of the Peacock Original picks up with Will at a crossroads in his life as a new figure comes into his life who challenges what he’s learned in Bel-Air, even as he tries to rebuild the trust that was broken at the end of last season. Will and Carlton’s brotherhood starts to evolve as they grow closer, while Hilary is stepping up as a boss in her influencer world, which impacts her relationship with Jazz. Meanwhile, Viv and Phil must work to balance marriage and family while trying to forge their own career paths and reconnect to the things that are important to them.
Boasting a 90% critics rating on Rotten TomatoesBel-Air won Outstanding Drama Series at the 2022 Black Reel Awards, where its breakout star, Jabari Banks, was up for Best Actor as Will. Adrian Holmes (Star Trek: Strange New WorldsArrow, Supernatural), Nigerian-American actor Olly Sholotan, and singer-songwriter Coco Jones were also nominated in the Supporting categories as Uncle Phil, Carlton and Hilary respectively. Banks was also up for Best Actor at the BET Awards and the NAACP Image Awards.
Fans of the original series will be thrilled to see Tatyana Ali, who originally played Ashley Banks, joining the series this season as Mrs. Hughes, Ashley’s English literature teacher at Bel-Air Academy.
Peacock has already renewed Bel-Air for a third season.
YELLOWSTONE S1-5A | Binge from 6 July
Kevin Costner won Best Actor – Drama at the 2023 Golden Globes and Critics Choice Super Awards for his performance as ruthless patriarch John Dutton, who will do whatever it takes to protect the lucrative Yellowstone ranch from bloodthirsty enemies, indigenous communities who believe the land is rightfully theirs, and developers whose ambitions put the ranch in peril.
Co-created by Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan (SicarioHell or High Water), Yellowstone’s stellar supporting cast that includes Luke Grimes (American SniperThe Magnificent SevenFifty Shades’ Elliot Grey); BAFTA nominee Wes Bentley (Mission: Impossible – Fallout, American Beauty); and Kelly Reilly (True DetectiveFlight), who was nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards and the MTV TV Awards, with the series up for Best Drama at both.
The neo-Western has an 8.7/10 score on IMDb and an 84% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Buzzfeed saying, “There’s little doubt it’s America’s most important drama right now.”
WARRIOR S3 | First on Showmax | Fridays from 30 June, express from the US
Voted as June’s most anticipated series by Rotten Tomatoes’ fans, Warrior is set in the ruthless world of late 19th-Century San Francisco, where rival Chinatown tongs fight for dominance. In the wake of the race riots that upended Chinatown in Season 2, Mai Ling (Dianne Doan from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Descendants) uses her government connections to consolidate power, while Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji from Bullet Train, in a Critics Choice Super-nominated performance) and the Hop Wei tong must find new ways to survive.
Filmed in Cape Town with Moonlighting, Warrior was nominated for two Emmys as well as Best Action Series at the Critics Choice Super Awards. The HBO series is created by Jonathan Tropper (Banshee) and based on the writings of martial arts icon Bruce Lee, with Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee and Justin Lin (director of five Fast and Furious films) among its executive producers.
Featuring the 18VSNL series as one their June picks, IMDb says, “If you’re a fan of martial arts, Westerns, historical dramas, and insanely cool fight scenes, this Bruce Lee-inspired crime drama is not to be missed.”
Mark Dacascos (John Wick: Chapter 3) joins the cast this season as former gang leader Kong Pak, as do a number of South Africans, including former Idols presenter Colin Moss as mayoral candidate Franklin Thayer, Neels Classen (BinnelandersKompleks) as the city’s new chief of police, Benjamin Atwood, and Sean-Marco Vorster (Alles MalanLegacy) as San Francisco political insider Stewart Gumm. South African star Langley Kirkwood (Banshee) is back as Walter Buckley, while SAFTA nominee Robert Hobbs (District 9) and Andre Jacobs (Black Sails) return in their roles as Stone and Merriweather respectively.
Warrior has an 8.4/10 rating on IMDb and an 89% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In their rave Season 3 review, Observer says, “If you enjoyed the gritty, character-driven historical fiction of Deadwood or Boardwalk Empire, you will love Warrior. If you were sucked into the political intrigue, blood and guts, and f*cked up family drama of Game of Thrones, you will love Warrior. If you’re into martial arts cinema, particularly the incredibly intricate and shockingly gnarly modern variety, then you will love Warrior. It’s one of the best shows of its time.”
THE IDOL S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 3 July 2023
The Idol is a new HBO Original co-created by Emmy-nominated Euphoria creator-director, Sam Levinson, and Oscar-nominated, Grammy-winning pop star Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, who co-stars alongside Lily-Rose Depp in her breakthrough lead role.
After a nervous breakdown derailed her last tour, Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) is determined to claim her rightful status as the greatest and sexiest pop star in America. Her passions are reignited by self-help guru and cult leader Tedros (Tesfaye). Will her romantic awakening take her to glorious new heights or the deepest and darkest depths of her soul?
Saying the “controversial new show shocks and awes”, Mashable calls The Idol “an electric charge of a series… a raucous, engrossing ride on an industry nightmare train bound to careen off a cliff… The way it captures the sickness of the fame machine will stay with you long after the credits roll… a surprisingly nuanced, well rounded, and deliciously bold take on the cost of fame and the drive for greatness.”
The five-part, 18LSDN series has topped charts on both IMDb and Showmax.
THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES S3 | First on Showmax | Binge eps 1-3 now, with new episodes on Mondays
Nominated for a 2022 Emmy Award for its Stunt Coordination, The Righteous Gemstones tells the story of a world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed, and charitable work. When the spoiled Gemstone children finally get their wish to take control of the church, they discover leadership is harder than they imagined and that their extravagant lifestyle comes with a heavy price.
Emmy nominee Steve Zahn (The White Lotus) and Emmy winner Kristen Johnston (Mom3rd Rock from the Sun) join the cast this season. Danny McBride (who also created, wrote and executive produces), MTV Movie Award and Teen Choice Award winner Adam Devine, Edi Patterson, Skyler Gisondo, Emmy winner John Goodman and Emmy nominee Walton Goggins all return to what Collider hails as “one of the greatest ensembles in comedic television.”
Season 3 has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “The Righteous Gemstones has its mixture of broad comedy and genuine pathos down pat, chapter and verse, and it preaches a riotously funny gospel in what might be its darkest installment yet.”
SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE S2 | First on Showmax | 10 July
Comedian and singer Bridget Everett was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award as Sam in Somebody Somewhere, a critically acclaimed HBO Original comedy series she also executive produces alongside the likes of the Duplass brothers. It’s one of Rotten Tomatoes’ most anticipated series of 2023 and an American Film Institute TV Program of the Year for 2023.
Grappling with loss and acceptance, singing was Sam’s saving grace in Season 1, leading her on a journey to discover herself and a community of outsiders who don’t fit in but don’t give up. In Season 2, Sam and Joel (Jeff Hiller in an Independent Spirit and Queerty-nominated performance) have settled into a comfy routine but nothing stays the same forever.
Nominated as Outstanding New TV Series by the GLAAD Media Awards, Somebody Somewhere’s second season was hailed as “laugh out loud funny” by Rolling Stone; as “a “revelation” that “exudes compassion” with a “nuanced take on the everyday” by The Boston Globe; and as “TV’s sweetest slice of life” with “performances that will break your heart and heal it all over again” by The Daily Beast. 
HBO has already renewed Somebody Somewhere for a third season. As Amy Gravitt, executive vice president: HBO and Max Comedy Programming, says: “Nothing makes us smile quite like this show, which never fails to remind us that life is made up of the small moments, that family can be chosen, and that dreams don’t have deadlines.”
MRS. DAVIS S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 17 July 2023
Who will defy the AI?
Mrs. Davis is the world’s most powerful Artificial Intelligence. Simone is the nun devoted to destroying her.
Co-created by three-time Emmy winner Damon Lindelof (WatchmenThe Leftovers) and writer Tara Hernandez (The Big Bang TheoryYoung Sheldon), Mrs. Davis stars Critics Choice Super Award winner and three-time Emmy nominee Betty Gilpin (Glow) opposite the likes of Jake McDorman (Limitless), Andy McQueen (Station Eleven, Outer Banks), David Arquette (Dewey Riley in the Scream movies), Tom Wlaschiha (Stranger ThingsGame of Thrones), Elizabeth Marvel (Love & DeathThe Dropout) and triple-Emmy winner Margo Martindale (The Americans).
The Peacock Original is at #29 on Rotten Tomatoes’ Best TV Shows of the Year (So Far), with a 91% critics’ rating. The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a mind-bending thrill ride… bracingly, deliriously original… Mrs. Davis could never be mistaken for something engineered by computers, or even by committee. No, this feels like the work of people determined to show what they can do that algorithms still can’t: take all those storytelling tropes we’ve heard a hundred times before, and find a way to refashion them into something daring, ambitious and entirely new.”
THE EQUALIZER S3 | Binge from 14 July
The Equalizer stars Oscar nominee Queen Latifah (Girls TripTaxiChicago), who was once again nominated for Best Actress in an Action Series at this year’s Critics Choice Super Awards for her performance as Robyn McCall, a single mother and former CIA operative who helps those with nowhere else to turn.
Season 3 opens with McCall herself in the firing line, which could have far-reaching consequences for her family down the line.
A reimagining of the classic 80s series and the blockbuster movie series with Denzel Washington, The Equalizer was named Best New Show by The African American Film Critics Association in 2021. It was also nominated as The Drama Show of 2021 at The People’s Choice Awards, where Latifah was up for a further four awards. The role has also earned her two nominations at the Black Reel Awards, where her co-star, Critics Choice Award winner Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black), was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress last year.
The Equalizer has been renewed for a fourth season.
A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY | Binge from 7 July
A Friend of the Family is inspired by the chilling true story of the Broberg family, whose daughter Jan was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and brainwashed multiple times over a few years by a charismatic, obsessed family “friend.”
Colin Hanks and Anna Paquin star as Bob and Mary Ann Broberg, a kind-hearted suburban family who became great friends with Robert (Jake Lacy from The White Lotus) and his wife, Gai (Lio Tipton). Over a few years, Robert manipulated the Brobergs to go against one another, exploiting their vulnerabilities as a family while driving a wedge between the parents and one of their daughters, Jan (Mckenna Grace from The Handmaid’s Tale).
Written by Nick Antosca (The Act), A Friend of the Family has a 92% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian hailing it as “the most jaw-droppingly incredible true-crime story there is.” Almost 50 years later, Jan Broberg serves as a producer, alongside her mother, on the series.
A TOWN CALLED MALICE S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 21 June
A Town Called Malice follows the Lords, a family of South London gangsters. They’ve fallen to the bottom of the criminal food chain – and they’re not happy about it. When they flee to the Costa del Sol in Spain following a gangland battle, the Lords realise this is a golden opportunity to reinvent themselves and recapture their former glory.
The Lord family is headed up by Emmy winner Martha Plimpton (The Good Wife) as Mint Ma and Critics Choice nominee Jason Flemyng (PennyworthLock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) as Albert Lord, with BAFTA nominees Jack Rowan (Noughts + CrossesBorn to Kill) and Tahirah Sharif (The Haunting of Bly Manor) as Gene Lord and his girlfriend, Cindy Carter, not to mention Emmy winner Dougray Scott (Mission: Impossible 2) as Uncle Tony.
In their four-star review, Evening Standard hailed A Town Called Malice as “a blast of Eighties-flavoured fun…”
BECOMING ELIZABETH S1 | Binge from 17 July
Becoming Elizabeth follows the younger years of Elizabeth Tudor, an orphaned teenager who becomes embroiled in the political and sexual politics of the English court on her journey to secure the crown and become Queen Elizabeth I.
Award-winning German actress (and real-life countess) Alicia von Rittberg (GeniusFury) stars as the young Elizabeth, with Critics Choice Award nominees Bella Ramsey (The Last of UsGame of Thrones), Romola Garai (The HourEmmaSuffragette), and Jessica Raine (Patrick MelroseFortitude) also among the cast.
Season 1 of the period drama has an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Angsty as a disgruntled teenager and all the better for it, Becoming Elizabeth finds fresh drama in the Tudors by shifting focus onto the royal court’s web of spiders.”
BAD BEHAVIOUR | First on Showmax | Binge from 21 July
The Australian limited series Bad Behaviour centres on Jo Mackenzie (Jana McKinnon), a scholarship student at an exclusive wilderness boarding school called Silver Creek, where she encounters a group of teenage girls exploring intense friendships, shifting loyalties, their own emerging sexuality, and a ruthless struggle for power.
The four-part Stan Original had its international premiere earlier this year at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival, where director Corrie Chen was nominated for the Berlinale Series Award. The cast includes the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards nominee Markella Kavenagh (Nori Brandyfoot in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power), Yerin Ha (Kwan Ha in Halo), and award winner Diana Glenn (The Slap).
Bad Behaviour is very astute about how keenly you feel every tiny slight, how much you crave approval, how easily you can be led, and how casually cruel you can be,” says ScreenHub, adding that the show’s director and writers, “rarely indulge in the melodramatic horror the show’s premise invites. Instead, they skewer the more banal miseries people inflict on each other, and the destructive behavioural patterns that get baked in when we’re teenagers.”
THE FEAR INDEX S1  | First on Showmax | Binge from 14 July 2023
Multiple Teen Choice and MTV Movie Award nominee Josh Hartnett (Wrath of ManPearl Harbour) stars as Dr Alex Hoffman, a tech genius who faces the worst 24 hours of his life when he finds himself at the centre of a plot to destroy the world’s financial markets in the Sky Original psychological thriller The Fear Index.
Based on the bestselling novel by Robert Harris, about the 2010 Flash Crash, the four-part miniseries also stars Senegalese actress Aïssa Maïga (The Boy Who Harnessed the WindThe African Doctor), Arsher Ali (Avenue FiveFour Lions), and Leila Farzad (I Hate SuzieAvenue Five).
The Guardian says, “It’s solid, satisfying stuff… given a remarkable lift by Hartnett, who invests Hoffman with a palpable, credible and increasingly corrosive fearfulness from the off,” adding, “Fear of losing your mind, fear of the unknown, fear of the robots taking over our lives, fear of failure and of danger and humanity’s fearsomely predictable responses to it all entwine nicely, somewhere around the viewers’ throats.”
SON OF A CRITCH S1 | Binge from 19 July
Son of a Critch brings us a heartfelt glimpse into the life of a 1980s junior high-schooler who relies on comedy and self-deprecation to win friends and connect with the people in his limited world.
Co-written with Writers Guild of America nominee Tim McAuliffe (The Last Man on Earth), the show is based on the memoir of award-winning series creator Mark Critch, who plays Mark’s dad, with child actor Benjamin Evan Ainsworth (the voice of Robert Zemeckis’ PinocchioFlora & UlyssesThe Haunting of Bly Manor and the upcoming Everything’s Going to Be Great) leading the show as the young Mark, and Golden Globe nominee and Hollywood Walk-of-Famer Malcolm McDowell (BombshellA Clockwork Orange) as his grandfather.
Son of a Critch has picked up seven Canadian award nominations and has already been renewed for a second and third season.
To see everything on Showmax in July 2023, including the Oscar-nominated Puss In Boots: The Last Wish and The People’s Choice Awards winner Don’t Worry Darling, click here.


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