Showmax has a host of exciting new content scheduled for April 2021, which will be an expansion of the current offering to include a selection of local and international movies and series.
Who doesn’t love April in South Africa? Autumn is finally here and we have the Easter break and Freedom Day to look forward to. Showmax is bringing even more cheer with some new series, movies and doccies, from hotly anticipated Showmax Original Skemerdans to Joss Whedon’s period sci-fi The Nevers to a ton of HBO doccies that scooped all the awards.
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The Nevers S1
The Nevers is a six-part HBO fantasy series that’s been dubbed “The Magicians meets Bridgerton” by Refinery29. It was created by The Avengers’ Joss Whedon.
In the last years of Victoria’s reign, London is beset by the Touched: people – mostly women – who suddenly manifest abnormal abilities – some charming, some disturbing. Among them are Amalia True, a mysterious, quick-fisted widow, and Penance Adair, a brilliant young inventor. They are the champions of this new underclass, making a home for the Touched, while fighting the forces of… well, pretty much all the forces – to make room for those whom history as we know it has no place. Stream it first on Showmax; episodes 1 & 2 come on 19 April, with new episodes on Mondays.
The Handmaid’s Tale S4
The cultural phenomenon picks up where we left off, with June’s fight for freedom against Gilead. But the risks she takes bring unexpected and dangerous new challenges, and her desire for justice and revenge threaten to consume her and destroy her most cherished relationships.
Based on Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale has won 75 awards to date, including 12 Emmys and Golden Globes for Best Drama Series and Best Actress (Elisabeth Moss). The series holds an 8.4/10 score on IMDb and an average critics’ rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Stream it First on Showmax, with episodes 1-3 coming on 20 April, and new episodes every Monday »
Scottish thriller The Victim centres on Anna Dean, a grieving mother who finds herself on trial for attempted murder after exposing the supposed new identity and address of the man she believes murdered her son 15 years ago. The four-part miniseries stars Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire), who won the Best Actress Award at BAFTAs Scotland for her role. It has 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus calls it “a riveting and relevant drama.” Binge from 1 April.
Comedy-drama Divorce returns for its third and final season. Sarah Jessica Parker was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Frances, whose affair precipitates a long, drawn-out divorce. Thomas Haden Church co-stars. Season 3 has an 88% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes. Binge from 1 April »
Also look out for these Emmy-winning classics:
- Band of Brothers: At #3 on IMDb’s list of the top-rated TV of all-time, with a 9.4/10 rating from nearly 400 000 people, Band of Brothers is HBO’s World War II classic that won best miniseries at both the Emmys and Golden Globes, and earned Damian Lewis (Billions, Homeland) his first Best Actor Golden Globe nomination.
- House of Saddam: an Emmy-winning miniseries that explores the inner workings of Saddam Hussein’s family and his relationship with his closest advisers.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Never Rarely Sometimes Always follows a pair of teenage girls from rural Pennsylvania as they travel to New York City to seek medical help after an unintended pregnancy.
The film has a 99% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has won 25 awards, including the US Dramatic Special Jury Award at Sundance and the Jury Grand Prix at Berlin in 2020. Rolling Stone says, “Eliza Hitmann’s devastating abortion drama, starring a wonder of an actress named Sidney Flanigan, is an emotional wipe-out that’s impossible to forget.” Stream from 15 April.
Written and directed by lead actor and triple Oscar nominee Edward Norton, Motherless Brooklyn tells the story of a lonely private detective with Tourette’s Syndrome who’s determined to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend.
The all-star cast includes Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bruce Willis and Willem Dafoe. Based on the novel by Jonathan Lethem and set in 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn was nominated for a 2020 Golden Globe for Best Original Score. Stream first on Showmax from 1 April.
Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep
Stephen King’s horror classic Doctor Sleep picks up years after the events of The Shining, as a now-adult, alcoholic Dan Torrance finds himself protecting a young girl from a cult known as The True Knot, who remain immortal by preying on children with powers. The cast includes Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson. Stream from 12 April.
Mark Ruffalo stars as corporate defence attorney Rob Bilott, who takes on an environmental lawsuit against an unscrupulous chemicals company in the modern-day Erin Brockovich story Dark Waters. Oscar winners, Anne Hathaway and Tim Robbins co-star. The legal thriller is based on the real-life case brought against DuPont after they contaminated a West Virginia town with unregulated chemicals. The film has an 89% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Stream from 29 April.
Also look out for these classics
Look out for more award-winning and highly rated films coming to Showmax in April, including The Dressmaker, starring Kate Winslet; Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird with Saoirse Ronan; The Danish Girl, the story of a pioneer of the transgender movement starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander; Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour and Contagion, a 2011 Kate Winslet/Matt Damon movie that feels highly relevant today.
The Showmax Original Skemerdans is a Cape Flats neo-noir murder mystery set at the Oasis Jazz Club, the centre of a power struggle between two brothers, a scorned widow and an organised crime syndicate.
SAFTA winners Kevin Smith (Isidingo), Ilse Klink (Stroomop) and Brendon Daniels (Four Corners) lead an all-star cast that includes the dearly missed Ceagan Arendse (Suidooster, Arendsvlei), who passed away in February 2021.
Filmed along Cape Town’s Voortrekker Road and at the legendary Club Galaxy in Rylands, the 13-part series unfolds through an organic, hyper-local mix of Afrikaans and English, with a nostalgic Cape jazz soundtrack guaranteed to take you back to your own time on the Galaxy dancefloor as you try figure out who the murderer is. Binge from 28 April.
Season 5 of the popular, SAFTA-winning Ferguson Films drama series Rockville catches up with JB (SAFTA winner Shona Ferguson) as he tries to field the aftermath of what Covid-19 did to his finances. As the crisis threatens to cost him both his house and the fancy cars, he has gifted Lindi (SAFTA nominee Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa from upcoming Showmax Original Blood Psalms), tensions rise in his marriage, and JB must ask tough questions about the survival of his family. Watch new episodes every Sunday night from 4 April.
It’s the end of an era! The eighth and final season of Mzansi Magic’s hit daily drama series Isibaya is now available to binge on Showmax. Centred around powerful, feuding families in the taxi industry, Isibaya has broken countless records since its 2013 inception, winning multiple Royalty Soapie Awards and no less than 25 SAFTAs, with 11 nominations in 2020 alone. Binge all eight seasons on Showmax from 5 April.
Love Island SA S1
Sizzling singles hook up at an idyllic villa in the Cape Winelands in this local version of the internationally popular reality series Love Island. As the “Islanders” embark on the ultimate journey to try and find the perfect love, host Leandie du Randt introduces the show’s secret twists, plots and love matchups. The Islanders will be coupling up, dumping and re-coupling – for love, friendship or money – all while competing in fun challenges in a bid to be the winning couple, who share a R1 million prize. Binge the boxset from 8 April.
How To with John Wilson S1
In HBO’s new “comedy docuseries”, How To with John Wilson, it’s apparent that the filmmaker has some issues, but he’s funny, so we’ll forgive him. In fact, it’s precisely John’s refreshing take on the world that makes us want to go along with him as he explores New York and meets its colourful inhabitants, asking life’s important questions along the way, from how-to put-up scaffolding to how to cook the perfect risotto. How To with John Wilson is Rotten Tomatoes’ third highest rated docuseries of 2020, with a 100% critics’ rating. Stream from 9 April.
Bruce Springsteen fans will be swept away by Western Stars, the live, intimate concert performance of the legendary singer-songwriter and 20-time Grammy winner’s acclaimed nineteenth studio album, released in 2019. Bruce is backed by a band and a full orchestra as he performs all 13 songs from the album, taking us on a journey of love, loss, loneliness, family and the passage of time.
The film has a 94% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus calls it “a cinematic gift for Springsteen fans”. Stream from 5 April.
HBO documentary Fake Famous follows a social experiment in which an actress, a fashion designer and a real estate assistant attempt to become social media influencers by buying fake followers and bots to boost their popularity.
Peeling back the layers to reveal what’s really happening behind the scenes of influencer fame, Fake Famous highlights our obsession with the number of likes, followers, and favourites we get, and how most of our online world is more fabricated than we realise. Stream it first on Showmax from 1 April.
Also look out for these classics
Oscar nominated short Traffic Stop, telling the story of the arrest of an African-American man that leads to a confrontation about race and law enforcement in America. HBO’s A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness won the 2016 Oscar for Best Documentary Short, and looks at the issue of honour killings in Pakistan. Emmy winner Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden details the two-decades long hunt for the terrorist mastermind. Also watch the docuseries The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst ahead of his murder trial in May.
Trolls World Tour
Trolls sequel Trolls World Tour is a feel-good animated family musical that sees Poppy and Branch set out to unite the six musically diverse troll tribes and stop Rock Queen Barb and King Thrash from turning everyone into rock zombies. The stellar voice cast is led by Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick and Grammy winner Justin Timberlake, who was nominated for an Original Song Oscar for Can’t Stop The Feeling from the first movie. Watch from 5 April.