DSTVs internet streaming service, Showmax has some quality international tv shows lined up for this month, from Euphoria Christmas special; 1st seasons of Industry, The Third Day, For Life, Power Book II: Ghost; to the new season of The Good Fight.
Here’s what you can binge on Showmax this December:
EUPHORIA CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: TROUBLE DON’T LAST ALWAYS | 7 December, first on Showmax
Zendaya became the youngest ever best actress Emmy winner this year for her Euphoria performance as Rue, a 17-year-old who returns home from rehab with no plans to stay clean, and falls for the new girl in town, Jules (played by trans superstar Hunter Schafer). Euphoria also won 2020 Emmys for Original Music and Lyrics for All For Us by Labrinth, and Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic).
While we wait for Season 2, this special holiday episode follows Rue as she celebrates Christmas, in the aftermath of being left by Jules at the train station and falling back into old habits. Written and directed by series creator Sam Levinson, the episode will also feature Schafer and fellow Season 1 star Colman Domingo, who plays Ali.
The controversial adults-only teen show, which also earned Zendaya a 2019 People’s Choice Award for Favourite Drama TV Star, has an 8.4/10 rating on IMDb and an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus says, “Euphoria balances its brutal honesty with an empathetic – and visually gorgeous – eye to create a uniquely challenging and illuminating series, held together by a powerfully understated performance from Zendaya.”
INDUSTRY S1 | First on Showmax. Binge episodes 1-4 on 2 December 2020, with weekly episodes every Wednesday. Binge from 30 December.
Industry is an exhilarating dive into the world of international finance, as seen through the eyes of ambitious twenty-somethings struggling to secure their futures. The BBC-HBO series follows a group of young graduates competing for a limited set of permanent positions at a top investment bank in London – but the boundaries between colleague, friend, lover, and enemy soon blur as they immerse themselves in a company culture defined as much by sex, drugs, and ego as it is by deals and dividends. As members of the group rise and fall, they must decide whether there’s more to life than the bottom line.
From first-time creators – and former bankers – Mickey Down and Konrad Kay, the eight-episode drama series lists Golden Globe winner Lena Dunham (Girls) as a director, with Bad Wolf (The Night Of, His Dark Materials) producing.
The show has already picked up five-star reviews from The Guardian and The Independent, who call it “a millennial Mad Men with plenty of swagger… the kind of thrillingly fresh series that only comes along once every few years, a drama that makes its rivals look tired and uninspired.”
THE THIRD DAY S1 | Mondays from 23:30 from 7 December, same day as M-Net. Binge from 11 January 2021.
Co-created by Dennis Kelly (Utopia), this tense mix of mystery, thriller and drama is divided into two parts: Summer and Winter. In the first half, one man (Oscar nominee Jude Law from The New Pope) visits a mysterious island off the British coast and discovers a group of locals intent on preserving their home at any cost. In the second half, a strong-willed outsider (Oscar nominee Naomie Harris from Moonlight) comes to the island seeking answers — but triggers a battle to decide its fate.
The cast also includes Oscar nominee Emily Watson (Chernobyl), Teen Choice nominee Katherine Waterston (the Fantastic Beasts films), and BAFTA winner Paddy Considine (The Outsider).
Time praised the six-part HBO thriller as “a riveting psychological thriller and a stunning showcase for Jude Law…eerily beautiful,” while The Guardian hailed The Third Day as “an enthralling, mesmerising experiment… truly, insanely, watchable… The hairs on the back of the neck leap to attention as first Law and, later, Naomie Harris enter an enclave of crazed beliefs, corn dolls, occasional kindnesses but chiefly Hatred of the Other.”
The Good Fight S4 | Binge now
Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski in an Emmy-nominated role) and Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo in a Critics’ Choice nominated role) continue the fight for justice in The Good Wife spin-off series, The Good Fight.
Season 4 finds Reddick/Boseman/Lockhart navigating a very different landscape. After they lost their biggest client, ChumHum, and their founding partner’s name was tarnished, they were forced to accept an offer by a huge multinational law firm, STR Laurie, to be a small subsidiary. Suddenly all of their decisions can be second-guessed by the giant firm that is literally on top of them. While STR Laurie initially seem like benevolent overlords, we find Diane and her colleagues chafing at their loss of independence.
The Good Fight is currently at #20 on Metacritic’s list of the best reviewed TV shows of 2020. Nominated for Outstanding Drama at the 2020 Television Critics’ Association Awards, the seven-episode fourth season has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Decider calling it, “one of the biggest hidden gems on streaming… No longer simply a great legal drama, it is a wacky, indulgent, incredible work of art… In its triumphant fourth season, The Good Fight remains one of the best, and most insane, shows on television.”
The Bold Type S4 | First on Showmax | Binge now
The Bold Type follows the lives and loves of three young women who work at a fashion magazine. Beneath the glam, this forthright millennial-favourite drama series is a story of real friends sticking together, working their butts off and finding their way in the world as young adults.
Aisha Dee, Katie Stevens and Meghann Fahy have all been nominated for Teen Choice Awards as besties Kat, Jane, and Sutton respectively. Emmy nominee Melora Hardin (The Office) plays Scarlett’s former editor Jacqueline.
The third season ended on a bombshell, so we can’t wait to see how the women pick up the pieces.
The Bold Type has a 95% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, an 8/10 score on IMDb, and has been nominated for seven Teen Choice Awards, including three for Best Summer TV Show, two Best TV Actor noms for Dee, and one each for Fahy and Stevens. Glamour calls The Bold Type “one of the most delightful shows on TV,” while The New Yorker says it’s “a show to warm a jaded heart.”
FOR LIFE S1 | Binge now
For Life was nominated as Outstanding Drama at the 2020 Black Reel Awards, where star Nicholas Pinnock was nominated for Best Actor for his performance as a prisoner who becomes a lawyer in jail and fights to overturn his life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.
Executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (Power), For Life has an 86% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Guided by Nicholas Pinnock’s powerful performance, For Life eschews procedural pitfalls with a sturdy, empathetic script and an impressive ensemble to bring it to life.”
The cast includes Indira Varma (Game of Thrones, Rome), Black Reel nominee Joy Bryant (Antwone Fisher, Parenthood), and MTV Movie Award nominee Mary Stuart Masterson (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Blindspot).
A Million Little Things S2 | Binge now
Drama, comedy, romance and friendship come together in this story of a group of friends who are drawn together after a tragedy claims the life of one of their own.
A Million Little Things has an 86% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, with an ensemble cast that includes David Giuntoli (Grimm), Allison Miller (13 Reasons Why), Christina Ochoa (Animal Kingdom), Teen Choice nominee Grace Park (Hawaii Five-0, Battlestar Galactica), and Romany Malco (Weeds), who was nominated for an Image Award for the role. Also look out for Emmy nominees Melora Hardin (The Bold Type, The Office) and Constance Zimmer (House of Cards, UnReal).
A Million Little Things has been renewed for a third season. USA Today hails it as “the pinnacle of feel-bad feel-good TV.”
Power Book Ii: Ghost S1 | Binge the first five episodes from 21 December
Power Book II: Ghost picks up shortly after the earth-shattering events of Power (binge all six seasons on Showmax) as Tariq St Patrick (BET Award nominee Michael Rainey Jr.)grapples with a new world order: his father dead and his mother, Tasha (NAACP Image Award winner Naturi Naughton), facing charges for the murder her son committed.
Look out for Oscar nominee and Grammy winner Mary J. Blige (The Help, Mudbound), Grammy winner Method Man (The Deuce), Emmy winner Debbi Morgan (All My Children), Emmy nominees Sherri Saum (Good Trouble, Locke & Key) and Victor Garber (Alias, Argo), Screen Actors Guild Award winner Melanie Liburd (This is Us), Black Reel winner Woody McClain (The Bobby Brown Story), and Satellite Award winner David Zayas (Dexter, Deadly Class), among others.
Executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (who also produced Power and For Life), Power Book II: Ghost has already been renewed for a second season. “If you liked Power, you’ll like this,” says Decider. Which is more than enough for us.
HIS DARK MATERIALS S2 | Tuesdays, first on Showmax. Binge from 29 December 2020
New worlds await in Season 2 of epic fantasy series His Dark Materials, the BBC-HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman’s Carnegie and Whitbread-winning book trilogy, listed among Time magazine’s 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time, and the BBC’s 2019 list of the 100 most influential novels. The story follows Lyra, a young orphan, as she crosses between worlds on a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust, with the help of her daemon Pan and her alethiometer. Season 1 is based on Northern Lights; Season 2 on The Subtle Knife.
Critics Choice-nominated child star Dafne Keen (Logan) stars as Lyra, with Oscar nominee Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) playing Lee Scoresby; Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther) as Mrs Coulter; and Golden Globe nominees James McAvoy (X-Men) and Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock) as Lord Asriel and Colonel John Parry respectively, with Oscar nominee Terence Stamp (The Limey, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) joining the adventure this season as Giacomo Paradisi.
Wilson won Best Actress at the recent BAFTA Cymru awards, where His Dark Materials also took home Best Photography and Lighting as well as Best Production Design. His Dark Materials also won a 2020 Annie Award for the character animation on Iorek the Bear, as well as two 2020 BAFTA TV Craft awards for Special, Visual and Graphic Effects and Titles & Graphic Identity. In their five-star review of the fantasy show, The Independent says, “This is a beautiful, brooding vision of Pullman’s universe, which retains the mix of childish wonder and darkness that make his books so beguiling to young adults.”
THE UNDOING S1 | Mondays at 22:30, same day as M-Net. Binge from 4 January 2021
The Undoing stars Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies, Moulin Rouge) as therapist Grace Fraser, whose idyllic existence is shattered by a violent death and a very public scandal. With her husband Jonathan (Golden Globe winner Hugh Grant from A Very English Scandal) missing, Grace must face a chain of terrible revelations and try to build a new life for herself and her son (Critics’ Choice nominee Noah Jupe from Honey Boy, Ford v Ferrari, and A Quiet Place).
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. Emmy winner Susanne Bier (The Night Manager, In A Better World) directs, with Academy Award Honorary winner and Golden Globe winner Donald Sutherland (Trust, The Hunger Games), Golden Globe nominee Edgar Ramírez (American Crime Story, The Girl on the Train) and Eswatini-born Noma Dumezweni (Black Earth Rising, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind) co-starring.
In their five-star review, BBC hails the series as “a supremely gripping marriage thriller… a twisty delight.”
P-VALLEY S1 | Tuesdays at 22:30, same day as 1Magic. Binge from 19 January 2021.
P-Valley is the 8thth highest rated new TV show of 2020 so far, according to Rotten Tomatoes, and set a new record on the Starz App for the most viewed series premiere ever.
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.
CLASSIC BINGES: THE AFFAIR AND DEXTER | Binge now
You can now binge all five seasons of the classic marriage drama, The Affair, which won three Golden Globes: Best Drama and Best Actress for both Ruth Wilson (His Dark Materials, Luther) and Maura Tierney (E.R.’s Abby Lockhart), and eight seasons of serial killer drama Dexter, which won Golden Globes for lead actor Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under) and supporting actor John Lithgow (Perry Mason, The Crown) – and was recently renewed for a Season 9, after a seven-year break.
EVERYTHING ON SHOWMAX IN DECEMBER
Other international series you can binge this month include Season 2 of Tyler, The Creator’s Adult Swim animation, The Jellies (from 7 December); Season 1 of Council of Dads, starring Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead, Prison Break); and Season 39 of Survivor–Island of the Idols – shot in Fiji, with legendary Survivor alumni Sandra Diaz-Twine (the only contestant ever to win Survivor twice, on Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains) and Rob Mariano (who won Survivor: Redemption Island) back as mentors.