What we’re streaming on Showmax in January

By 16th Jan 2020 No Comments

In 2020, don’t waste a moment watching series and movies that don’t make you laugh or cry, or teach you something. Get the best of local and international entertainment on Showmax.

Whether you’re in the mood to binge a brilliant series, pop some corn for a Hollywood blockbuster, or settle in with a truly South African story, there’s something for you to stream on Showmax. Here’s what’s new in January. 

South African picks 

Lockdown S5 | First on Showmax 

Notorious for its cliffhangers, plot twists and emotional rollercoasters, Lockdown takes viewers into the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility. 

As Season 5 picks up, Deborah is under pressure from the Department of Correctional Services, after one death too many at the prison. Arch-rivals Mazet and Tyson are still running the prison yard together, for now. And Monde is trying to make things right with Vicky (Lauren Jenae) while worrying about her sister Katlego (Natasha Thahane), who’s been transferred to Kgotsong Asylum. 

SAFTA winners Linda Sebezo and Nomsa Buthelezi are also back as fan favourites Maki and Slenda, while the multi-award-winning Patricia Boyer returns as the hilarious but dangerous Sue.

Every season of Lockdown introduces a new star. This time it’s Sophie Lichaba, aka Sophie Ndaba, who became a household name in South Africa during her two-decade-long starring role as feisty receptionist Queen Moroka in the SABC1 soapie Generations. 

Lockdown was the most awarded drama at this year’s SAFTAs, taking home five awards, including Best Drama. Binge S1-4 while you wait, and watch Season 5 weekly from 30 January.

Die Stropers (The Harvesters) | First on Showmax 

A young man (Brent Vermeulen) competes for his mother’s love when she (Juliana Venter) welcomes hardened street orphan Pieter (Alex van Dyk) into their home in rural South Africa. Die Stropers also stars Morné Visser, Erica Wessels, and the late Danny Keogh. 

This movie scored a whopping 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and screened to acclaim at Cannes. 

The River S3

The story of the Dikana and the Mokoena clans continues. They are two families from very different backgrounds brought together by the dirty business of diamond mining. This telenovela is famous for its twists and turns, and this season, coming to Showmax express from 1Magic will definitely be no different. Watch daily from 27 January. 

International picks 

Summer of Rockets | First on Showmax 

Created by Emmy and BAFTA nominee Stephen Poliakoff (Perfect Strangers), this semi-autobiographical drama-thriller is set in Britain in the 50s, during the Cold War, where a Russian Jewish inventor of hearing aids is approached by MI5 to undertake a secret mission. 

The mini-series stars Toby Stephens (Black Sails); BAFTA nominees Keely Hawes (The Durrells), Timothy Spall (Harry Potter) and Linus Roache (Vikings, Homeland); Gary Beadle (Patrick Melrose); BAFTA winner Mark Bonnar (Unforgotten); Oscar nominee Peter Firth (Victoria); and South African actress Suanne Braun. 

The Times praised the Summer of Rockets for its “sumptuous cast”, “cracking dialogue” and “gorgeous” visuals. 

Vida S1-2 | First on Showmax 

Vida focuses on two Mexican-American sisters in Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighbourhood, where they are confronted by the past and the discovery that their deceased mother was in a lesbian marriage. Vida scored 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Ray Donovan S7 | First on Showmax 

Ray Donovan is a fixer, tasked to clean up the messes made by others – some legit, some definitely not. The only mess he can’t seem to deal with once and for all is his own personal life. In the seventh season, Ray is still living in New York, seemingly determined to be the person his family needs him to be, even turning to a shrink for help. Meanwhile, his brothers are cleaning up their acts too and Bridget, Ray’s daughter, faces the reality of married life.

Jon Voight won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Ray’s menacing father, Mickey, while Liev Schrieber has been nominated multiple times and highly praised for playing Ray. Binge Ray Donovan S7 from 20 January. 



Jason Momoa stars as half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry in this visually stunning adventure film. When he discovers that a war is brewing beneath the sea, he goes on a life-changing quest to reclaim his rightful place as king of Atlantis. Aquaman can also be seen in Justice League

Factual programmes 

Earth From Space 

Narrated by Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), this four-part mini-series reveals Earth as you’ve never seen it before. Cameras in space tell stories of life on our planet from a brand new perspective, revealing new discoveries, incredible colours and patterns, and just how fast our world is changing. 

The Guardian says, “This breakthrough show captures every corner of the globe in unprecedented detail, giving our planet a health check – and its findings are spectacular.”

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