SUCCESSION S3 | First on Showmax | Mondays from 18 October 2021
Succession, winner of Best Drama at both the Emmys and Golden Globes in 2020, follows four very rich siblings behaving very badly while trying to win their father’s approval – and control of his company, a global media and entertainment empire.
Jeremy Strong won the 2020 Best Actor Emmy as Kendall Roy, while Brian Cox won the 2020 Best Actor Golden Globe as his father, Logan. Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin, as Kendall’s siblings, and Matthew Macfadyen, Nicholas Braun and James Cromwell, as his extended family, also earned Emmy nominations.
In Season 3, that already impressive cast is adding Oscar winner Adrien Brody (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Pianist) and Emmy winner Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies, True Blood), not to mention Black Reel winner Sanaa Lathan (The Affair, Love & Basketball), Emmy nominee Hope Davis (Your Honor, Captain America: Civil War) and singer Jihae (Mortal Engines).
Ambushed by Kendall at the end of Season 2, Logan begins Season 3 in a perilous position, scrambling to secure familial, political, and financial alliances. Tensions rise as a bitter corporate battle threatens to
turn into a family civil war.
The Hollywood Reporter calls Succession “one of television’s best dramas, a searing, funny and painfully true look at wealth, power and family.”
If you’ve been without internet for the last few years, you can catch up on Succession S1-2 here.
RESIDENT ALIEN S1 | First on Showmax | Binge now
Based on the Dark Horse comic, Syfy’s Resident Alien is a murder mystery sci-fi dramedy that follows Harry, an alien played by Alan Tudyk (Rogue One, Firefly) who crash lands on Earth and passes himself off as a human small-town doctor.
Arriving with a secret mission to kill all humans, Harry starts off living a simple life… but things get a bit rocky when he’s roped into solving a local murder and realises he needs to assimilate to his new world. As he does so, he begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his mission and asking the big life questions like: “Are human beings worth saving?” and “Why do they fold their pizza before eating it?”
Resident Alien has an 8.2/10 rating on IMDb, who picked it as “one of three innovative shows the Emmys missed”, calling it “one of the funniest shows – about destroying the entire human race.” The series also has a 94% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Los Angeles Times writing, “We are in Spielberg country here… Tudyk… is in fine form as an alien in ill-fitting human clothing, getting the hang of laughter and sex… I smiled, I laughed, I cared.”
CHUCKY S1 | First on Showmax | Binge episodes 1-3 from 27 October, weekly episodes thereafter
A vintage Chucky doll turns up at a suburban yard sale, throwing an idyllic American town into chaos as a series of horrifying murders begins to expose the town’s hypocrisies and secrets in the brand-new series Chucky, which picks up after the events of the seventh film in the horror franchise, Cult of Chucky.
Created by Fangoria Chainsaw Award nominee Don Mancini (Bride of Chucky, Child’s Play), the series stars Oscar nominee Brad Dourif (The Lord of the Rings’ Wormtongue and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’s Billy Bibbit) as the voice of serial-killer-possessed Good Guy doll Chucky, with child actor Zackary Arthur (Transparent) as Jake Wheeler.
Oscar nominee Jennifer Tilly (Bullets over Broadway, Bound) returns as Tiffany Valentine, and Saturn Award nominee Alex Vincent (Child’s Play) reprises his role as Chucky’s archnemesis, Andy Barclay, with Christine Elise (BH90210) returning as Andy’s foster sister, Kyle. Also look out for Dourif’s daughter and genre marvel Fiona Dourif (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Stand, The Blacklist, The Purge) returning as Nica Pierce.
DELILAH | Binge now
Not all superheroes wear capes. In OWN Original legal drama series Delilah, title character Delilah is played by Maahra Hill and she prefers to pair up her trench coats with stilettoes. All while she juggles running her small law firm and keeping her family afloat as a single mother following a messy divorce.
The real challenge though begins when Delilah takes on a case against North
Carolina’s most reputable law firm where her best friend Tamara (Jill Marie Jones) is running for partner. The stakes are high and the claws are out as both women compromise their friendship to win. Delilah and Tamara’s rivalry is at the heart of the storyline and viewers will find themselves at the edge of their seats and siding with one or the other.
Delilah is produced by the same team behind the family drama series Greenleaf, with powerhouse talk show host Oprah Winfrey (and owner of OWN) serving as executive producer in both shows. Like a typical OWN show, Delilah is characterised by strong-willed, ambitious yet flawed African-American lead
characters with plenty of cliff-hangers.
LOVE ISLAND USA S2 | First on Showmax | Binge now
Following a delay due to the pandemic, the second season was moved from Fiji to The Cromwell, a casino hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. With strict quarantine measures in place, for the 31 “islanders” the isolation is real as they couple and re-couple under the watchful eye of host Arielle Vandenberg over 40 days in a bid to win the $100,000 prize.
From 20 October, you can also binge Season 7 of Love Island UK. Follow 37 hot new singletons through a steamy summer of love in the Love Island villa as they put in the graft, couple-up and (fingers crossed) try to find The One. Once again hosted by Laura Whitmore, this is the second most-watched season of the show so far, with over 4 million viewers per episode.
As Zendaya’s character Rue put it on Euphoria, “I don’t want a novel or some slow burn or something that feels like work. That’s why I love reality TV – it’s funny, dramatic and I can focus on it. It’s pure, effortless entertainment. I wanna lay down one moment and then look around the next and realise I have watched 22 straight hours of Love Island over a two-day period and yearn for more.”
SAINT FRANCES | First on Showmax | 11 October
Winner of both the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award at SXSW, Saint Frances follows a deadbeat nanny who finds an unlikely friendship with the six-year-old girl she’s charged with protecting.
Saint Frances has a 99% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, who named it their second best-reviewed comedy of 2020. As Rolling Stone says, “What looks like a throwaway about a precocious kid and her nanny is actually one of the best and gutsiest movies you’ll find anywhere these pandemic days – a fun-time trailblazer that retains its rough edges to that last. It’s some kind of miracle.”
The film has won 11 international awards, with The National Board of Review naming it one of the Top 10 Independent Films of 2021.
UNPREGNANT | 14 October
In the girl buddy road trip comedy drama Unpregnant, 17-year old Veronica’s dreams for the future hang in the balance after she accidentally falls pregnant. Unable to get an abortion in her home state of Missouri, she turns to her former best friend Bailey to help her get to Albuquerque.
Nominated for a 2021 GLAAD Media Award and a Gold Derby Award for Outstanding TV Movie, Unpregnant has a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Unpregnant puts a compelling twist on the road trip comedy — and treats its sensitive subject with heart.”
The film’s excellent cast is led by MTV Movie Award and Teen Choice Award nominee Haley Lu Richardson (Five Feet Apart) as Veronica, and Barbie Ferreira (Euphoria’s Kat), who was nominated for a 2021 Imagen Award for Best Actress for her role as Bailey. Five-time Emmy nominees Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul’s Gus Fring, and Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian) and Breckin Meyer (Road Trip, Designated Survivor, Robot Chicken), and singer-songwriter Betty Who co-star.
THE CROODS: A NEW AGE | Stream now
The 10th biggest movie of 2020, with a worldwide gross of $215 million, DreamWorks Animation’s “Croodaceous” adventure The Croods: A New Age follows the prehistoric Croods pack as they try to keep up with their new, more evolved neighbours, the Bettermans.
Nominated for a 2021 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, six Annie Awards and two Kids’ Choice Awards, The Croods: A New Age is a “raucous, nakedly commercial but also wickedly funny sequel”, according to The Times (UK), while Empire Magazine praises its “vibrant animation and a wackadoodle sense of humour.”
Oscar winners Nicolas Cage (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, Leaving Las Vegas) and Emma Stone (Cruella, La La Land), legend Cloris Leachman (Phineas and Ferb, Young Frankenstein), Oscar nominee Catherine Keener (Where the Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich), MTV Movie Award winner Ryan Reynolds (Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Deadpool), and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Clark Duke (Veronica Mars, The Office) reprise their voice roles from the first film, while four-time Emmy winner Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, The Angry Birds Movie) and Teen Choice nominees Leslie Mann (Rio, Knocked Up) and Kelly Marie Tran (Raya, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) join the voice cast as the Bettermans.
Also catch the Oscar-nominated original film The Croods on Showmax.
SUMMERLAND | 11 October
Set in an idyllic South England seaside village, British drama Summerland sees a reclusive writer forced to take in a young evacuee from London during World War II.
Penned and directed by Olivier Award-winning playwright Jessica Swale, this moving tale of womanhood, love and friendship stars BAFTA nominees Gemma Arterton (The Escape, The Girl with All the Gifts, Tess of the D’Urbervilles) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (The Morning Show, Loki, Motherless Brooklyn), child actors Lucas Bond (The Alienist) and Dixie Egerickx (The Secret Garden), BAFTA winner Dame Siân Phillips (Dune, I, Claudius), Screen Actors Guild Award winner Dame Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Oscar nominee Sir Tom Courtenay (Unforgotten, Doctor Zhivago).
“Made with great panache, this is a real gem of understated poignancy… about summers as lovely as they are fraught,” says Globe and Mail, while Empire Magazine says, “Arterton triumphs again and Swale marks herself as a director to watch. Summerland successfully combines an intelligent feminist fable and a lesbian love story with a slick period tearjerker.”
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
INSIDE OUT | Stream now
A must-see for kids and parents, Pixar Animation’s Oscar-winning blockbuster Inside Out was the 7th biggest film of 2015, grossing $850 million globally and securing a 98% Rotten Tomatoes rating, five stars on Common Sense Media, and a place on IMDb’s Top Movies of all time. With an all-star voice cast, Inside Out follows the five emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust – of young Riley, who must navigate tweenhood, moving house and changing schools, all at the same time.
HELL OR HIGH WATER | 7 October
Neo-Western crime drama Hell or High Water stars Chris Pine (Star Trek, Wonder Woman) and Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, The Messenger) as two brothers who resort to bank robbery in a bid to save their family ranch in Texas. It was nominated for four 2016 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Jeff Bridges (True Grit, The Big Lebowski), as well as three Golden Globes, and holds a 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
LETHAL WEAPON BOX SET | 7 October
The passing of legendary blockbuster director Richard Donner (Superman, Ladyhawke, The Goonies) earlier this year has put the long-awaited final chapter in the Lethal Weapon saga on hold, but while we hold thumbs for that release date, you can catch the entire four-movie Lethal Weapon box set on Showmax. Oscar winner Mel Gibson (Braveheart, Mad Max) and multi-Emmy nominee and recently announced 2022 Academy Awards Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award winner Danny Glover (2012, Dreamgirls) starred in the original action-comedy franchise that redefined the action genre in the 80s and 90s and remains the template for the buddy-cop genre. The four films grossed just shy of a billion dollars globally, and also feature Oscar winner Joe Pesci (Goodfellas, The Irishman), BAFTA nominee Rene Russo (Avengers: Endgame, The Thomas Crown Affair), and four-time Emmy winner Chris Rock (Fargo, The Longest Yard).
WHAT THEY HAD | 28 October
Oscar winner Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) leads the critically acclaimed cast of What They Had as a daughter returning home to cope with her ailing mother and her father’s reluctance to let go of their life together. Nominated for the 2019 Humanitas Prize, the film has an 86% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with LA Times calling it, “One of the year’s best indie dramas” and Rolling Stone saying “This captivating family drama is anchored by actors – Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster – who truly are as good as it gets. You laugh as much as you cry.”
SOMETIMES, ALWAYS, NEVER | 7 October
Comedy drama Sometimes, Always, Never stars BAFTA winner Bill Nighy (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Love Actually) as a quirky, Scrabble-obsessed tailor whose tireless search for his missing son has turned his family upside down. It has an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Forbes praising its “delicate balance of whimsy and melancholy” and Nighy “at the very top of his game”.
EVERYTHING ON SHOWMAX IN OCTOBER
To see everything on Showmax in October 2021, click here. Please note this release schedule is subject to change.
Sources, Ameyaw Debrah.