When it comes to streaming in South Africa, it’s tough to get everything in one place. You’re keen on music? Spotify is your go-to, with Deezer and Joox following behind with varying levels of genre and content support. A confirmed anime nut with Naruto on the brain? You’re probably going to want a Crunchyroll sub, though Netflix has been plumping up its available content for South Africa of late. Not nearly enough to compete but hey, they get a participation trophy and a collection of Netflix Originals to take home.
Showmax is part of this collection as well. It doesn’t do Crunchyroll-levels of anime or have Daredevil and the rest of the Netflix Originals that have weaselled their way into the Marvel Cinematic Extended Universe but it does set itself apart as the only place where you can stream a very particular set of content. Read on for the deets, and the reasons why Showmax should be sitting side by side with your Spotify and Crunchyroll subs.
The South African home of HBO
It’s been said before but HBO and the ‘Flix? Not of the best of terms, more prone to slugging it out in the parking lot than bonding over drinks. As a result, HBO’s award-winning shows and series are not going to be appearing on the other big player’s playlists any time soon. Instead you’ll find HBO’s heavy hitters, like Ballers, Entourage, Hung and The Sopranos only on offer on Showmax’s servers.
And that’s to say nothing of the show that everyone’s waiting for the conclusion of – Game of Thrones. Season 8 will be coming to Showmax for South African audiences eager to see what happens to the world of Westeros. Shall we run down the rest of the highlights as well? Westworld’s advanced AI, Band of Brothers, Rome and Sex in the City? Just the start of HBO’s South African invasion.
There’s nothing like a little home-grown
Lest you think that it’s all about that overseas culture, let’s direct your attention towards Mzansi Magic. This is where the best of our home-baked offerings strut their stuff. Diamond-centred drama can be found in The River, trials and tribulations in South African women’s prison drama Lockdown, and the uncensored Comedy Central Roast of Somizi are a mere three examples of a burgeoning lineup of local lekkerness.
Hidden treasures: You’re invited to the Silwerskerm Fees
Time-travel, near-suicides, homemade robots, drug usage, drug muling, life-changing selfies, and tennis scandal in Vrekfontein – what do all of these have in common? Three things: They’re all short films, you’ve probably overlooked them in favour of bigger names and they’re all in Afrikaans. Ek en Myselfie, Skerm, 36DDD, Die Man Met Die Snor, Vlees Van My Vlees, Plankekoors and 34 other short Afrikaans films await explorers who are looking to binge the best that the Silwerskerm Fees has to offer. Okay, so they all have four things in common.
Fastpass – Go to the front of the line
It can’t all be about exclusives. If it was, you’d be faced with far more choices than just Netflix, Showmax, and whichever other outfits are trying to play catch-up. In a world where entertainment is shared, he who stands in the front of the queue sees the fewest spoilers – and spoilers are the leading cause of stunted social media usage.
If you’d like to keep using Twitter, you’re going to want to get your favourite shows as soon as possible. That means that you’re going to be watching fresh seasons of The Deuce, Mr. Robot, Taboo, Harlots, Marvel’s Runaways, and updated outings of the delightfully disgusting Animals on Showmax, as soon as they become available. Anything fresher is still being made. Let the foolhardy brave social media, ducking spoilers like thrown frying pans in a closet – eventually something’s going to connect.
Proudly South African: The best of kykNET, Via., and local documentaries
Proudly South African products are front and centre on Showmax. Whether it’s local soaps Binnelanders or Sterlopers, which are about hospitals (always a fave) and the bright lights of stardom respectively, or if you’re diving into the likes of Waterfront, Showmax will keep you enthralled with some fine local content.
And if your tastes are a little more musically inclined, there’s a strong selection of locally-focussed music documentaries. Travel with Karen Zoid in Op Die Oomblik, go punk with Fokofpolisiekar in Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Do, get a little veteran SA rocker history lesson in The Springbok Nude Girls (a self-titled doccie, apparently), or see how many waves you can make with Cassper Nyovest in Cassper Nyovest: Fill Up The Dome. There’s a lot on offer.
Bitter sports rivalries are nothing new. Actually, they might be part of the reason we are so keen on the sport. Check out War with the Roses on Showmax to see how the Boks and the British have faced off on the rugby field for more than a century and how that plays out today. If you’re fond of more spherical balls, you can also immerse yourself in Crossing the Line and AB de Villiers. And if you’re left craving more, Showmax will be more than happy to provide additional sports documentaries.
All in one place
Whether it’s local entertainment in a range of shapes and sizes, the best of the international bunch, short-form or long-form entertainment, or just plain old binge-worthy television, you’ll find most of it in one place – Showmax. Sure, there’s competition out there and you’re going to need more than one service if you want to watch absolutely everything on offer. Based on what’s available, exclusively and first, Showmax should be one of the line items on your monthly credit card bill. Or even better, free with your DStv Premium subscription.