BRITANNIA S1 & S2 | Binge now, first on Showmax
In 43 AD, the Roman Army – determined and terrified in equal measure – returns to crush the Celtic heart of Britannia, a mysterious land ruled by warrior women and powerful druids who can channel the forces of the underworld. Or so they say.
Britannia’s cast includes BAFTA winner Mackenzie Crook (Gareth in The Office), Royal Television Society winner David Morrissey (The Governor in The Walking Dead), multi-award-winning Danish actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Mathias Borch in The Killing) and BAFTA nominees Eleanor Worthington-Cox (Aurora in Maleficent) and Zoe Wanamaker (Prime Suspect).
Britannia has an 87% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Telegraph proclaiming: “This may be the new drama Game of Thrones fans have been waiting for.”
LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE | Binge now
Based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestselling book, Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the Richardsons – a picture-perfect, privileged white American family – and enigmatic African-American mother and daughter Mia and Pearl Warren.
Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon (Big Little Lies, Walk the Line, Wild, Legally Blonde), Golden Globe nominee Kerry Washington (Scandal, Django Unchained), and Teen Choice winner Joshua Jackson (The Affair, Dawson’s Creek) co-star.
Little Fires Everywhere has an 80% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Guardian calls it “moreish, searing, excellent”, while CNN says it’s “one of those rare multi-generational dramas where the arcs involving the kids are every bit as good as the adults’.”
It’s just been nominated for five Black Reel awards, including Best Limited Series, Actress (Washington), Supporting Actress (Lexi Underwood), Directing and Writing.
GET SHORTY S3 | Binge now, first on Showmax
Get Shorty follows Miles Daly (Emmy winner Chris O’Dowd from Bridesmaids, State of the Union), muscle for a Nevada crime ring, who tries to leave his criminal past behind and become a movie producer in Hollywood with the help of a washed-up producer, Rick Moreweather (triple Emmy winner Ray Romano from Bad Education, The Irishman, The Big Sick). With his progress in Hollywood jeopardized by his former partner, Season 2 saw Miles struggle to reconcile his ambitions as a filmmaker and family man with his skill set as a career criminal. In season three, Miles embraces more ruthless methods as he settles scores and attempts to climb the Hollywood ladder.
Based on Elmore Leonard’s classic crime novel, and the subsequent Golden Globe-winning 1995 film, Get Shorty has a 8.2 rating on IMDB, with The Hollywood Reporter praising it as “a fantastic send up of Hollywood… one of TV’s best-kept (or hardest to find) secrets.”
TRIGONOMETRY S1 | Binge now, first on Showmax
Trigonometry is an unconventional love story about three people who are made for each other. In crowded, expensive London, a couple decides to take in a housemate to help pay the bills, and finds the perfect match they never knew they needed.
Directed by festival favourite Athina Rachel Tsangari, who’s won at Venice, London and AFI and competed at Sundance and SXSW, Trigonometry stars Gary Carr (The Deuce, The Good Fight, Downton Abbey), Ariane Labed (The Lobster), and Thalissa Teixeira (Press).
Nominated for a Teddy Award at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, this acclaimed eight-part BBC series has a 83% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Times (UK) calling it “a gentle, quietly surprising love story.”
DAS BOOT S1 | Binge now, first on Showmax
Autumn, 1942. In occupied France, U-612 lies waiting for its maiden voyage, preparing to head into the increasingly brutal warfare with its young crewmen, including the new captain, Klaus Hoffmann. As the 40 young men take on their first mission, they struggle with the cramped and claustrophobic conditions of life underwater. Their personalities are pushed to the limit as tensions rise and loyalties begin to shatter.
A reboot of Wolfgang Petersen’s Oscar-nominated classic 1981 movie, Das Boot was the 92nd best reviewed show of 2019, according to Rotten Tomatoes, where it has an 85% critics rating and the critics consensus says, “Das Boot possesses the atmospheric pressure of its cinematic forebear while adding new depth to its compelling ensemble, making for a riveting international production.”
Among other awards, Das Boot won the Magnolia Award at Shanghai International TV Festival in 2019 for Best Foreign TV Film/Miniseries and Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) won the Golden Nymph for Best Actress – Drama Series at Monte-Carlo TV Festival 2019.
VICTORIA S3 | Binge now
Victoria follows the early life of Queen Victoria, from her ascension to the throne at the tender age of 18 to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert and the challenges to her reign. In Season 3, with monarchies tumbling across Europe, Victoria and Albert must confront what it means to rule in this new era. Constitutional crises, scandals at court, and a decade of marriage mean Victoria will be tested like never before: as mother, wife, and Queen.
Nominated for craft awards at both the Emmys and the BAFTAs, Victoria won Golden Nymph awards at Monte-Carlo TV Festival for both Best Drama Series and Best Actress (Jenna Coleman) in 2017.
Season 3 has a 92% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics consensus saying, “Victoria continues its reign as one of TVs most handsomely rendered offerings.”
BURDEN OF TRUTH S3 | Binge now, first on Showmax
Season 3 of Burden of Truth picks up a year later. Joanna Chang (Kristin Kreuk, who was nominated for a 2019 Canadian Screen Award for Best Actress for the role) and Billy Crawford (Peter Mooney, who was nominated for a 2020 Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor for the role) are working together in their new boutique law firm, Crawford Chang, when an old friend abruptly re-enters Joanna’s life in desperate need of help. After this case, nothing will be the same again.
Burden of Truth was also nominated for its cinematography at the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards and has an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
SUITS S9 | Binge now
All good things must come to an end.
The ten-episode final season of Suits centers on an evolved firm, Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams, which is facing uncertainty and change yet again after Robert Zane (Black Reel winner Wendell Pierce from Selma) took the fall with the Bar Association to save Harvey (Gabriel Macht). After his sacrifice, Samantha (Golden Globe nominee Katherine Heigl from Grey’s Anatomy) is left reeling from the loss of her mentor, and while trying to console her, Harvey realizes that he doesn’t want to lose the most important person to him: Donna (Sarah Rafferty).
A double People’s Choice nominee (for Favourite Cable TV Drama and Favourite Dramedy), Suits ended its nine season run with a 90% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.5/10 rating on IMdB.
PEARSON S1 | Binge now
Missing Suits? This spinoff centres around recently disbarred New York City powerhouse lawyer Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres, reprising her Suits role) as she adjusts to down-and-dirty Chicago politics. Newly appointed as the right-hand fixer for Chicago mayor Bobby Novak (Morgan Spector from The Plot Against America and Homeland), Jessica is quickly embroiled in a crooked and dangerous new world where every action has far-reaching consequences. Jessica must reconcile her unstoppable drive to win with her desire to do the right thing – two things very much at odds in her new world.
Rotten Tomatoes says, “Though Pearson trades the juicy intrigue of Suits for straightforward political drama, it works thanks to Gina Torres’ commanding performance.”
I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE S1 | Thursdays at 23:00 from 2 July
Based on the 1998 bestselling novel by Wally Lamb, I Know this Much is True follows the parallel lives of identical twin brothers, both played by three-time Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight, Avengers), one of whom is a paranoid schizophrenic.
Directed and adapted by multi-award-winner Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond The Pines), I Know This Much Is True has an 8.2/10 rating on IMdB. As The Los Angeles Times says, “In a transformative feat that seems all but guaranteed to earn him an Emmy nomination, Ruffalo plays both the Birdsey brothers. He lost 20 pounds before production began, then spent 16 weeks filming his scenes as the aggressive Dominick. Then he took six weeks off, gained 30 pounds by subsisting on oatmeal and mashed potatoes, and returned as the more vulnerable Thomas.”
The phenomenal cast includes Oscar winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Emmy winner Rosie O’Donnell (SMILF), Emmy nominees Kathryn Hahn (Mrs Fletcher, Transparent) and Rob Huebel (Transparent), Golden Globe nominee Archie Panjabi (Run, The Good Wife), and Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers).
BETTY S1 | Mondays at 22:30, same day as 1Magic. Binge from 27 July 2020.
Based on Crystal Moselle’s critically acclaimed feature Skate Kitchen, HBO’s new six-episode half-hour series Betty follows a diverse group of young women navigating their lives through New York’s predominantly male-oriented skateboarding scene. Dede Lovelace, Moonbear, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell, and Rachelle Vinberg, who all starred in the original film, return for the series.
Betty has a 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus is, “Earnest, audacious, and effortlessly cool, Betty captures the spirit of skating and friendship with style.”
Moselle’s debut documentary Wolfpack earned her the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Best Documentary at Edinburgh, and a Cinema Eye Honours Award, as well as an MTV Movie Awards Best Documentary nomination, while Skate Kitchen earned Moselle a Best of Next nomination at Sundance and an Honourable Mention at Outfest.
ROBOT CHICKEN S10B | Mondays, first on Showmax
Robot Chicken uses stop-motion animation to brings pop-culture parodies to life in a modern take on the variety/sketch show format.
In its decade of existence, the show has attracted A-list pop culture voiceover talent from George Lucas and Scarlett Johansson to South Africa’s very own Charlize Theron. The show includes both original characters and hundreds of parody characters from pop-culture franchises like Star Wars, DC Comics Universe, and now, The Walking Dead.
The six-time Emmy-winning series debuted in February 2005 and remains among the top-rated original series on Adult Swim. The show’s 200th episode will come at the end of this 10th season on Monday, 27 July. Co-creator Seth Green says they wanted to make something that was unique, something that was bigger, something different that felt befitting of this milestone.
BILLIONS S5 | Tuesdays at 23:00, same day as M-Net. Binge from 21 July 2020
It’s adapt or die as the struggle for power becomes a fight for survival in the new season of Billions. Alliances crumble as Bobby Axelrod (Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis from Homeland) and Chuck Rhoades (Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti from Sideways) go head to head once more in the ego-driven world of high finance.
Billions has a 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a score of 8.4/10 on IMdB. Paul Giamatti was nominated for a 2020 Critics Choice Award for Best Actor, with Asia Kate Dillon nominated for Best Supporting Actor. The series has also been nominated for two GLAAD Media awards for Outstanding Drama Series.
Asia Kate Dillon (John Wick: Chapter 3 and Orange Is The New Black) and Critics Choice nominee Maggie Siff (Sons of Anarchy) both return, as Taylor Mason and Wendy Rhoades respectively, while Season 5 ushers in a new threat to Axe’s rule in the form of social impact pioneer Mike Prince (played by Golden Globe nominee Corey Stoll from House of Cards). Golden Globe winner Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife, Hot Zone) also joins the cast as Ivy League sociology professor and bestselling author Catherine Brant.
As NewsDay says, “What other show has this many first-rate New York actors (and a first-rate British one) who can juggle dialogue so rococo it leaves the listener with vertigo? What other drama is this funny?”
PERRY MASON S1 | Tuesdays at 23:00 from 28 July, same day as M-Net
It’s 1932, and despite the Great Depression, LA is booming. But when the kidnapping case of the decade comes knocking on down-and-out detective Perry Mason’s door, his relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and, just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself.
HBO’s biggest debut in nearly two years, Perry Mason reboots the award-winning 1950s-60s series based on Erle Stanley Gardner’s detective stories. Emmy winner and Golden Globe nominee Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters, The Americans, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) is Perry Mason. Tatiana Maslany, herself an Emmy winner and Golden Globe nominee for her leading role in Orphan Black, and Oscar nominee John Lithgow (The Crown, 3rd Rock from the Sun) co-star.
Indiewire calls Perry Mason “one of the most beautiful series ever made… One of the best I’ve ever seen. Really.”