Showmax is streaming some of the most talked-about Kenyan Movies, TV series and more this November 2020. The Video on-demand service gives you access to thousands of hours of the best local and international content.
Look out for a new episode of Varshita, local show Chozi, plus new seasons od Famalam, His Dark Materials and medical drama New Amsterdam.
Step your streaming game up a notch this November with everything from a hard-hitting look at the seedy world of a strip club in Mississippi, to a documentary about former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The stars are out, with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant in The Undoing, Elisabeth Moss in the terrifying movie The Invisible Man, and Tyler Perry in the final movie in the Madea franchise.
Kenyan movies and series
If you haven’t discovered Kina and Kovu, two local productions from Maisha Magic that have arrived on Showmax now is the time. There are also new daily of Selina, Pete and Huba, as well as Nyanya Rukia, Hullabaloo and the season finale of Njoro wa Uba.
Varshita S5 | From 1 November
This fun romantic comedy stars Eve D’sousa and Maqbul Mohammed as a young couple from completely different backgrounds. Expect laughs and tears as two cultures collide.
The season premiere of Varshita kicks off with Don and Varshita’s wedding, which is done via Zoom, because of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Lalit and the Wang’ombe’s are still homeless.
Chozi S1 | From 12 November
Chozi is a docu-drama that tells real-life stories of people who went through tragic moments that changed their lives. Fiction characters enact these stories to make the show interactive and to give the viewers dramatic insight into what happened. Some heal by listening to other people’s stories while others heal by telling their own stories.
More super-fresh Kenyan content this month
- Date My Family: Tanzania S1, 2 Nov
- Karma S1-3, from 5 Nov
- Nyavu S1-5, from 5 Nov
- Slay Queen S1-5, from 5 Nov
- My Perfect Wedding: Kenya S11, 9 Nov
- Date My Family: Uganda S1, 12 Nov
- Amakungula S1-7, 12 Nov
- Mawube S1-2, 12 Nov
- Kitimtim S9-10, 19 Nov
New Amsterdam S2 | Binge from 1 November
Based on Eric Manheimeris’s book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, this moreish medical drama centres on Dr Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold from 90210 and The Blacklist), the new director at America’s oldest public hospital, New Amsterdam, who sets out to put saving lives above the bottom line, and breathe new life into this underfunded and underappreciated hospital.
But Max has had his own demons to battle, with a cancer diagnosis putting early strain on both his professional and personal life. Then tragedy struck at the end of Season 1, with a horrific accident just moments after the birth of Max and Georgia’s daughter. Not everyone survived, and in this season Max will have to pick up the pieces.
New Amsterdam has been renewed for a further three seasons, so there’s lots more to come.
Famalam S3 | First on Showmax | Binge from 1 November
The BBC’s hilarious comedy sketch show, Famalam, is back for its third season. Learn how to make White People Chicken, see our favourite aunties handle their nephew coming out, and discover Nollywood’s finest. We’ll also get to check out Idris Elba’s skill set (Idris Elba can do anything!), and watch the rudest Midsomer Murders ever.
The Independent (UK) calls it, “a sublime achievement of satire,” saying, “Like all the best sketch shows, Famalam is a mix of comforting recurring characters and scenes, but tweaked with a delightful and clever wit on every outing.”
Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt For The Bone Collector | Binge from 1 November
The movie, The Bone Collector (1999,) closed out the 90s with a dazzling performance from Denzel Washington as detective Lincoln Rhyme and Angelina Jolie as young rookie cop Amelia Donaghy.
In this remake, now a TV series, Russell Hornsby plays the role of the veteran police detective and criminologist Lincoln Rhyme. He sees every single detail at crime scenes and has a knack of connecting the blood-soaked dots quicker than everyone else. His abilities pitch him against a notorious serial killer, The Bone Collector, who has been terrorising New York for years. After events that almost lead to the killer’s capture, Lincoln is left paralysed from the neck down after falling through a building, and he’s forced to quit his police work.
Fast-forward three years. Rookie cop Amelia Sachs (Arielle Kebbel) comes across a crime scene that eerily resembles The Bone Collector’s work. She brings the case to the now bed-ridden Lincoln, dragging him out of retirement. Lincoln will team up with the spritely and eager Officer Sachs, who’ll act as his eyes and ears in the field thanks to some nifty technology.
Beecham House | Binge from 1 November
Creator-director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice) has set this six-episode British-Indian drama at the height of the British East India Company’s growing dominance in India, around 1795.
The series follows rich, mysterious ex-East India Company soldier John Beecham (played by Tom Bateman from Vanity Fair) in his attempts to establish a home in Delhi. He buys a grand house in the city and starts setting himself up as an independent trader who’s more of the Fair Trade persuasion than the exploitative East India Company.
Beautiful Chanchal (Bollywood actress Shriya Pilgaonkar) is the nursemaid to John’s son August, and rumours start flying that she is really John’s secret wife and the child’s mother – which couldn’t be further from the truth. Also part of this unusual household is Governess Miss Margaret Osbourne, who works for one of John’s neighbours, John’s overbearing mother Henrietta (Miss Patmore from Downton Abbey), Daniel who is John’s younger brother and the epitome of the handsome rogue, and the scheming Violet Woodhouse who has her eyes set on becoming the lady of Beecham.
His Dark Materials S2 | First on Showmax | Tuesdays from 17 November
In this adaptation of Philip Pullman’s classic fantasy novels, Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and sets off a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.
Season two begins after Lord Asriel has opened a bridge to a new world. There, in a strange and mysterious abandoned city, Lyra meets Will, a boy from our world who is also running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs Coulter searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.
The epic fantasy’s cast includes child stars Dafne Keen (Logan) and Amir Wilson as Lyra and Will, supported by Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther) and Oscar nominee Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton). His Dark Materials has an 80% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Slate calling it “Proof that TV is now the best medium for bringing epic literary fantasy to the screen.”
P-Valley S1 | Tuesdays from 24 November at 22:30, same day as 1Magic
P-Valley follows the lives of the people who work at a strip club called The Pynk in the fictional city of Chucalissa, Mississippi.
As Rotten Tomatoes’ 100% critics consensus says, “A stunning, lyrical piece of neon noir, P-Valley explores the unseen lives of strippers in Mississippi through Katori Hall’s singular gaze, celebrating the beauty of the craft without sugarcoating the challenges.”
Indiewire hailed it as “unlike anything ever seen on TV… the series knows exactly what it wants to be: a sexy, fast-paced drama that sets out to de-stigmatize the world of stripping and shatter misconceptions.”
Welcome to the Dirty South.
The Undoing S1 | Mondays at 22:30 from 30 November, Same day as M-Net
This six-part mini-series stars Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies) as therapist Grace Fraser, whose idyllic existence is shattered by a violent death and a very public scandal. With her husband Jonathan (Hugh Grant) missing, Grace must face a chain of terrible revelations and try to build a new life for herself and her son.
Based on the book You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz, The Undoing is created by multiple-Emmy winner David E Kelley, the man behind Big Little Lies, Picket Fences and all your favourite legal dramas, from L.A. Law to Ally McBeal, The Practice to Boston Legal, and directed by Emmy winner Susanne Bier (The Night Manager, In A Better World).
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral | 9 November
The tenth and final instalment of the Madea film series builds on the winning formula Tyler Perry fans love, with a joyous family reunion that turns into a hilarious nightmare as Madea and the crew travel to backwoods Georgia, where they find themselves unexpectedly planning a funeral that might reveal some unsavoury family secrets.
Emmy winner and BET Ultimate Icon Tyler Perry once again stars in several roles (including Madea of course), along with franchise stalwarts Patrice Lovely and Cassi Davis. Also look out for the legendary Mike Tyson himself.
Despite seven Razzies, and a 12% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie opened at #1 in the US, and was #34 at the SA box office last year. Common Sense Media recommends it for ages 13+, summing up Madea’s swan song as a “winning but dirty slapstick comedy”.
Hustlers | 12 November
Inspired by a true story and the viral New York Magazine article it sparked, Hustlers centres on a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.
Golden Globe nominees Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) lead an all-star cast that includes Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You) and Keke Palmer, with scene-stealing cameos from Grammy winners Lizzo and Cardi B.
Hustlers made Time Magazine, HuffPost, and NPR’s lists of the best films of 2019, among others, and Lopez was nominated for a 2020 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for the role.
Hustlers has an 87% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Slate calling it “a pretty much perfect film… an immediate entrant into the pantheon of female friendship movies…. you can feel its heartbeat”; RogerEbert “Goodfellas in a G-string”; and Independent (UK) “a lean, fierce take on the nature of female empowerment in an inherently corrupted world.”
The Old Man and the Gun | 12 November
The Old Man and the Gun has a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus hails it as, “A well-told story brought to life by a beautifully matched cast… pure, easygoing entertainment for film fans – and a fitting farewell to a legend.”
That legend, of course, is Oscar winner Robert Redford as Forrest Tucker, whose audacious real-life escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 led to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded the authorities and enchanted the public.
Redford was nominated for a 2019 Golden Globe for his performance, which The New Yorker calls “a glorious, sly performance in a gloriously sly movie that masks its idiosyncrasy in brisk and breezy storytelling.”
As Time Out says, “The Old Man & the Gun is a throwback to an era when making beautifully understated crime comedies was the peak of Hollywood’s ambition.”
The Invisible Man | First on Showmax | 20 November
When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
The Invisible Man has a 91% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Rolling Stone saying, “Alive with fresh thinking from Whanell and a dynamite Elisabeth Moss, this socially conscious horrorshow tips the old monster mash into way scarier sh*t about toxic masculinity that’s as timely as #MeToo and Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs.”
Like a Boss | 30 November
Mia (Haddish) and Mel (Byrne), two friends with very different ideals, start a cosmetics company together but soon find themselves in heaps of debt. When an industry titan (Hayek) swoops in to rescue their floundering business, it’s an offer they can’t refuse. But the beauty business is about to get ugly…
Best of Africa
Shoot Your Shot | Sundays from 1 Nov at 6.30 pm, same time as Africa Magic
Dating takes a sensational and unexpected turn! Emotions run deep! Words are not enough! Join AMVCA winner and Big Brother Naija star Bisola Aiyeola as she tries to make dreams come true in this fresh and fun Nigerian dating show from Africa Magic. New episodes weekly.
The Ghost and the House of Truth (2019) | 12 November
Bola Ogun, played by BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Susie Wokoma, works as a counsellor, facilitating sessions where victims of crime confront the perpetrators, who are now in prison. When her daughter disappears, Bola’s faith is tested. Does she still believe in forgiveness?
Directed by acclaimed director Akin Omotoso (Tell Me Something Sweet, Vaya) The Ghost and the House of Truth scooped three African Film Festival (AFRIFF) awards, including Best Nigerian Film, Best Director, and Best Actress for Kate Henshaw, who plays Folashade, the police officer seeking justice for Bola. It also won the Grand Jury Prize for the Best World Narrative Feature at the Urbanworld Film Festival in 2019.
Also starring Fabian Oloyede, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju with a supporting cast that includes Uzo Ozimkpa, Toyin Oshinaike, Seun Ajayi, Tope Tedela, Chioma ‘Chigurl’ Omeruah, Keira Heywatch and Oludara Egerton-Shyngle.
Inconceivable S1 | Binge from 27 November
How far will you go to protect what you have?
That’s the question in M-Net’s female-driven local drama series Inconceivable. The series tells the story of two women who’ve been best friends since high school. Now at the centre of a group of female friends – all in their mid-thirties, starting their own families and building their careers – they each have their secrets: a lingering affair, a struggle with infertility, an unthinkable act.
Inconceivable stars SAFTA nominee Anel Alexander (Binnelanders); SAFTA winner Carine Rous (Elke Skewe Pot); Scandal’s Palesa, Refilwe Madumo; stand-up comedian and talk show host Nina Hastie; and Jay Anstey (Isidingo).
Hillary | Binge from 1 November
Nominated for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series at the 2020 Emmys, this in-depth docu-series shines a spotlight on one of the most polarising political figures of our time: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The four-part series, directed by Oscar nominee Nanette Burstein (On The Ropes), tracks Hillary’s life from childhood to the 2016 presidential campaign and beyond, drawing on thousands of hours of footage and extensive interviews with Clinton herself, as well as her family, friends, journalists and even former US President Barack Obama.
Hillary holds an 80% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “It’s difficult to think of any film that speaks to our moment as strikingly as this documentary does,” says The Wall Street Journal, while The Times UK calls it an “astounding and audacious political documentary”.
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? S1 | Binge from 16 November
Round up the family and fire up your brain cells! There’s $1million up for grabs in this hit game show. All you have to do to win is be smarter than a 5th grader. But if the past 13 years since the show first aired have taught us anything, it’s that 5th graders are pretty damn smart. And even the most confident of grown-up boffins are often … not.
The latest US edition of the show sees host John Cena step into the ring with the hopefuls, who’ll be racking their brains for those elusive “elementary” answers. Fortunately, they’ll have a little help from a classmate of their choosing from the panel of “experts” – kids themselves.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood S4-S5A | 2 November
Looking for something wholesome, endearing and big on life-skills for the little ones?
The Emmy-winning animated series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood holds a five-star rating on Common Sense Media, where it’s recommended for ages 3+.
The star of the show is Daniel, a brave four-year-old tiger who lives in the neighborhood of Make Believe with his family and friends: O the Owl, Katerina Kittycat, Miss Elaina and Prince Wednesday.
Join Daniel and share in his challenges and successes as he navigates difficult feelings like shyness, jealousy, sadness and frustration, and practises being kind, helpful and caring, all while having tons of fun and singing songs along the way.
The show won the 2019 Emmy Award for Outstanding Preschool Children’s Animated Series, and was nominated for the sixth time this year. It also won two silver Parents’ Choice Awards and was a Prix Jeunesse International selection. The child voice cast holds multiple award nominations, with Jaxon Mercey winning Best Young Actor in a Voice Over Role at the 2018 Young Entertainer Awards.
Abby Hatcher, Fuzzly Catcher! S1 | 1 November
This 2019 Joey Award-nominated animated series follows the adventures of seven-year-old Abby Hatcher and her Fuzzly friend Bozzly as they set out to help their Fuzzly friends at Abby’s hotel.
Abby Hatcher, Fuzzly Catcher has a four-star rating on Common Sense Media, which recommends the show for ages 4+, praising its “positive female characters who lead by example. When she goes the extra mile for a Fuzzly friend, Abby reminds kids of the joys of showing kindness to others without receiving anything but appreciation in return. This sweet, lively show is a fun pick for kids.”
What else is new?
Nashville S6 | Slow Burn S1 | Unprotected Sets S1 | Witches in the Wood | The Loudest Voice
Draft Day | Pain & Gain | The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete | Wife Swap S13
Meet the Parents | Suburbicon
Date and Switch | Irrational Man | The Lowdown with Thomas Gumede S1 | Unearthed | I’m a Creepy Crawly S1-3 | I’m a Fish S1-3 | Tiny Square Critters S1
419 | Prisoners | Stockholm
Devil’s Knot | The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman | The To Do List | Twilight | Step In S6-7 | Pikkuli S1
Filth | On Safari S1 | Paradise Hills | While We’re Young
August Osage County | Bunraku | Manchester by the Sea | Stargate Origins: Catherine | Pins and Nettie S1
Escape Plan 3 | Final Score | Z for Zachariah
Denial | Kill the Messenger | Truth