February brings with it a truly wide range of entertainment – from new seasons of beloved telenovela The Wife and Cape Town-filmed HBO Max series Raised by Wolves S2, to the truly eye-opening Showmax Original docuseries Sex in Afrikaans, streaming from Valentine’s Day.
The record-breaking Showmax Original telenovela is back for a second season about the eight Zulu brothers, a formidable crime family, told from the perspective of the women who love them.
This season is inspired by Dudu Busani-Dube’s novel Zandile the Resolute, her sequel to the bestselling Hlomu the Wife.
Zandile is the wife of the first brother, Nkosana (fan favourite Mondli Makhoba). Once the matriarch of the family, her position was usurped by Hlomu in her absence.
In the eye-opening Showmax Original documentary series Seks in Afrikaans, four Afrikaans couples and two singles, with the help of clinical psychologist Bradley R Daniels, will speak openly for the first time about their sex lives and in the process discover there is much more fun to be had!
Featuring interviews with sex workers, adult shop owners, a unicorn, swingers, dominatrixes, a crossdresser, a dungeon master, people who dress up like babies, and more, Sex in Afrikaans is an eye-opening tour of what your neighbours get up to behind closed doors.
It’s narrated by media personality Rian van Heerden. Watch from 14 February.
Glasshouse | A Showmax movie
Showmax Movie Glasshouse is set after The Shred, an airborne virus that causes dementia, has left humanity roaming like lost and dangerous animals, unable to remember who they are.
Confined to their airtight glasshouse, a family does what they must to survive – until the sisters are seduced by a stranger who upsets their rituals, unearthing a past they have tried to bury.
Glasshouse has received multiple five-star reviews and an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Guardian gave it four stars and called it a “cracking feature debut” for Kelsey Egan. Stream from 7 February.
Raised by Wolves S2 | First on Showmax
Award-winning South African actress Kim Engelbrecht joins the cast of the HBO Max sci-fi drama series Raised by Wolves.
Once again filmed in Cape Town, Season 2 sees Android partners Mother and Father, along with their brood of six human children, join a newly formed atheistic colony.
But navigating this strange new society is only the start of their troubles … Season 1 was one of Showmax’s 10 Most-Watched of 2021.
Watch two episodes on 4 February, with new episodes on Fridays until 18 March. Binge S1 now.
In the fifth season of this cult legal drama, Diane (Christine Baranski) questions whether it’s appropriate for her to help run an African American law firm with Liz (Audra McDonald) when the firm loses two top lawyers.
Meanwhile, they become entangled with Hal Wackner (Mandy Patinkin, Homeland), a regular Chicagoan who decides to open his own courtroom in the back of a copy shop.
A much funnier spinoff of The Good Wife, The Good Fight has a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Binge S1-5 now.
In his old life (Seasons 1-8), serial killer Dexter Morgan was a Miami forensics expert, spending his days solving crimes, and nights committing them.
But Dexter lives by a strict code of honour, and Dexter is a man in profound conflict with the world and himself.
Set 10 years after Dexter disappeared, the new instalment finds him living under an assumed name in the small town of Iron Lake, New York.
Dexter may be embracing his new life, but in the wake of unexpected events in this close-knit community, his Dark Passenger beckons… Binge now.
If you’ve been sleeping on one of the best comedies on TV, Brooklyn Nine-Nine follows the exploits of the hilarious Detective Jake Peralta (Emmy winner Andy Samberg) and his diverse, lovable colleagues as they police the NYPD’s 99th Precinct.
The eighth and final series of the Emmy-winner has an 89% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says it “faces big topics with poise in a fittingly complicated final season that attempts to meet the moment without losing its sense of humour.” Binge now.
Medical drama series Transplant centres on Bashir “Bash” Hamed, a refugee of the Syrian Civil War who’s trying to rebuild his career as a doctor in a hospital ER in Toronto.
The Wall Street Journal calls Transplant “the best medical show on American television”, with Globe and Mail praising its depiction of the “terror and frustrations that immigrants experience, trying to use their skills in a new country”.
It’s already been renewed for a second season. Binge now.
B Positive revolves around Drew (Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley), a therapist and newly divorced dad.
He’s in need of a kidney donor when he runs into Gina (Annaleigh Ashford), a rough-around-the-edges woman from his past who volunteers her own.
Together, they form an unlikely and life-affirming friendship.
B Positive was nominated for two 2021 Emmys, and has an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Binge now.
C.B. Strike: Lethal White | First on Showmax
Based on the bestseller by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling), C.B. Strike: Lethal White follows private detective Cormoran Strike, a former Special Investigation Branch investigator and war vet.
Together with his assistant, Robin Ellacott, Cormoran tackles cases that have, so far, baffled the police.
It has an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
As John Doyle wrote in The Globe and Mail, “Heavens what a love story, with a tangled mystery thrown in. Readers, I was smitten. What a great diversion.” Binge now.
4400 | First on Showmax
4400 marginalised people who vanished without a trace over the last hundred years are all returned in an instant, having not aged a day and with no memory of what happened to them.
A reboot of the Emmy-nominated 2004 hit series, 4400 has a 80% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Binge now.
A.P. Bio S4 | First on Showmax
A.P. Bio stars Glenn Howerton as failed philosophy academic Jack Griffin, who becomes a biology teacher at Whitlock High School, run by Principal Durbin (Patton Oswalt, Veep).
But instead of teaching science, Jack uses his honour-roll students to get back at the people in his life who have wronged him.
A.P. Bio holds an 88% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Decider calling it, “tremendous… an outrageous tsunami of weird, wonderful comedy”. Binge now.
Judas and the Black Messiah
Judas and the Black Messiah is inspired by the true story of the betrayal and assassination of Fred Hampton, chairman of the Black Panther Party.
As Hampton, Daniel Kaluuya won the Oscar, BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor, while H.E.R’s Fight For You also took home an Oscar for Best Original Song.
The film also picked up four more Oscar nominations.
It scores 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Stream from 3 February.
The Little Things
Denzel Washington and Rami Malek star as Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon and Sergeant Jim Baxter, two cops on the hunt for a serial killer who’s terrorising Los Angeles.
As their search begins to dredge up echoes of Deke’s past, disturbing secrets emerge, which could threaten more than his case … Stream from 17 February.
Shadow in the Cloud | First on Showmax
Strap in, folks.
IndieWire calls Shadow in The Cloud a “bonkers mash-up of monster movie and World War II drama”.
The high-action creature feature follows female flight officer Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz), tasked with transporting top secret documents aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress, where the sexist crew is about to become the least of her problems … Stream from 17 February.
Wild Mountain Thyme: Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan star as star-crossed Irish lovers caught in a land dispute. Also with Christopher Walken and Jon Hamm. 14 February.
Arbitrage: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth star in this 87%-scoring drama about a hedge fund manager facing ruin. 17 February.
Get Him to the Greek: This classic comedy stars Russell Brand as an out-of-control rock star and Jonah Hill as the intern sent to get him to a concert on time. 21 February.
Wander Darkly: Sienna Miller stars as a woman who tries to come to terms with her own death in a a crash that also injured her husband. 24 February.
David Johnson awakes from a 50-year coma at the age of 76.
While he has a hard time accepting his old body and the fact that he has lost more than half of his life, he quickly makes up for lost time.
Winner of three international awards, Mr Johnson co-stars legends Paul Slabolepszy, Jana Cilliers and Frank Rautenbach plus Sisanda Henna, Graham Hopkins and more. From 10 February.
More local movies
Late Bloomer: A party girl must reasses her life after a one-night stand. Directed by award-winner Amy Jephta and starring Nicole Fortuin and Danny Ross. 28 February.
No Love Lost: A romantic getaway is ruined when a couple is forced into a series of awkward encounters. 14 February. First on Showmax.
Welcome to the Family: Palesa has barely said yes to her boyfriend’s proposal when she’s dragged to his home in KZN, where she finds she’s about to marry into a wealthy family led by two overbearing mothers-in-law. 14 February. First on Showmax.
Lioness: Shannon Esra (Still Breathing) stars as a woman who loses everything when she’s framed for fraud committed by her late husband. Eight years on, she’s out of prison and makes a startling discovery. 3 February.
The River S5: The award-winning telenovela continues, with new episodes on Showmax at the same time as 1Magic. Also binge every episode so far. 7 February.
Nêrens, Noord-Kaap: Estranged brothers return to their family farm and the ghosts of their past. News24 called this “the best that local TV has to offer”. 21 February
Spoorloos S3: A baby disappears after a double murder on a Northern Cape farm. Fifteen years later, a young woman pieces together the puzzle of her past. 28 February
John Wayne Gacy: Devil In Disguise | First on Showmax
The chilling story of one of the world’s most notorious serial killers is told through the words of Gacy himself, those who were forever changed by his unspeakable deeds, and those who believe that the full truth remains concealed.
Fifty years after the crime, new questions are emerging about what really happened and who else was involved.
100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 4 February.
Black Art: In the Absence of Light | First on Showmax
Directed by award-winner Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI), this HBO documentary film explores the oft-neglected contributions of African American artists to both the art world and American culture at large.
The film has a 92% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Boston Globe calling it “an essential and revelatory glimpse at the accomplishments of today’s Black artists.” Stream now.
Shark With Steve Backshall | First on Showmax
British explorer and naturalist Steve Backshall has dedicated his life to revealing the wonder of sharks.
This three-part docuseries tracks his journey to the remotest parts of our planet to meet the incredible variety of sharks upon which the health of our oceans depends, and the passionate people fighting to save them. 4 February.