Some TV shows are available everywhere. You know the ones – they don’t have to advertise them because you can’t throw a rock without hitting the latest episode. But then there are others which are a little more… exclusive. If you want Naruto or JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, you head to Crunchyroll. If you want Stranger Things or Orange is the New Black, you head to Netflix. And if you want HBO and content from all over the world, you head to Showmax. Here’s a selection of some of the best series you will only find first, and often only, on Showmax.
HBO’s The Deuce is a drama set in the 1970s, a time that involved some of the worst fashion ever created and, apparently, some of the most freely-available drugs. Starring James Franco (as twins who wind up working for the Mob), Maggie Gyllenhaal (as a prostitute who enters the er… rising pornography industry) and a wide crew of bartenders, mobsters, pimps, cops (crooked and otherwise), reporters and other folks who probably really shouldn’t be around all these bad influences, The Deuce is very worth your time. Especially since the first eight-episode season will soon be joined by the second (nine-episode) season, only on Showmax. And if you’re looking for any more reasons to watch this one, the crime drama series springs from the minds of novelist George Pelecanos and the creator of The Wire David Simon.
What would you do if the only way that you could get a job is to lie about your age? And how long would you be able to keep that lie going when you’re working with a collection of people some 15 years your junior? That’s the premise behind Younger, which sees a 40-year-old New York woman passing herself off as a 26-year-old in order to secure a job in a market that discriminates against older people. This comedy-drama series comes by way of the creator of Sex in the City, which should give you some idea of the target audience as well as the show quality. Perhaps the best aspect of this only-on-Showmax series is that there are already four complete seasons available to stream, with most of the fifth also up now. The last few episodes will be added to the service at the end of August.
We’ve got a lot of time for novel ideas and the idea of a mermaid that has ventured onto land in search of her relatives is certainly not one that we’ve seen a whole lot of. The idea isn’t completely new, stretching back as far as fairy tales from Denmark, but the tale usually isn’t told with the angle that new series Siren takes. Available only on Showmax, the series follows the residents of coastal town Bristol Cove as they have to deal with the arrival of a mysterious woman. The woman, Ryn, is in search of her sister who was captured by a fisherman. In case you haven’t figured it out, both women are mermaids but they have a lot more in common with the violent and often deadly sirens of Greek legend than they do with red-headed youths who harmonise with choreographed aquatic life.
The Frankenstein Chronicles
Sean Bean famously perishes in many of the shows he’s involved in, meaning that the honourable Ned Stark wasn’t long for Game of Thrones. But it did mean that Sean Bean was able to head over to The Frankenstein Chronicles, a crime drama set in Victorian England. He plays John Marlott, a police investigator who is a very tortured soul – something that comes into play in his investigations of a strange corpse made up of several children which washes up on the Thames. There are political machinations, the early history of the modern police force (which was conceived at the time by Sir Robert Peel), famous horror authors, long-kept secrets and betrayals to look forward to in ways that will keep viewers guessing. And that’s just the first season. Catch both of the excellent six-episode seasons, first on Showmax.
And now for something completely different. Jordskott is a Swedish series involving missing children and monsters, as well as the sort of forests that black metal bands would love to shoot music videos in… perhaps because something seems to be living in them. Detective Eva Thörnblad returns to her hometown years after the disappearance of her own daughter, only to the find that other children have gone missing in a similar manner and that they’re still being taken from the town of Silverhöjd. Eva is convinced that there’s a kidnapper at work but, as is the case with mysterious and creepy forests, everything is not what it seems. If a Nordic thriller series is what you need in your life right now, Showmax has two seasons of it to keep you glued to your couch.
Family dramas usually aren’t this dramatic, unless you’re watching a soap opera where evil twins and amnesia are a serious occupational hazard. The Fosters, a series that counts Jennifer Lopez as one of its executive producers, concerns itself with the Foster family. This family is made up of a lesbian couple with one biological son, a pair of adopted twins and a couple of actual foster children. With that mix of personalities and the parents, who work for the local school and the police department, there is the potential for an awful lot of drama – especially when all of the kids and all of their friends have their own issues to deal with. There are five seasons of the show in all, all of which are now available on Showmax. There’s also a spinoff show in the works, called Good Trouble, if you absolutely have to have more of the Foster family.
It’s time for you to have an unexpected experience. Succession sounds, on the surface of it, like an unusual animal – a series about a rich family fighting over who is going to take over the Roy family-owned media conglomerate when its patriarch Logan Roy finally steps down from the helm. The Roy family as a whole are unpleasant folks, as the overly-rich sometimes are, but Succession is set to hit viewers with a few surprises. Humour, for one, in a series billed as a drama will blindside watchers who may not be expecting it. Well, you kinda are expecting it now but the events surrounding the fate of Waystar Royco should still let the funny moments whack viewers upside the head. That’s by no means the whole story, though, as there are hidden depths of story and drama to explore here. In the end, you might even find yourselves growing fond of these horrible people.
All these shows are available right now, first on Showmax, and you can get a free trial to test out the service before paying anything. And if you have DStv Premium then you get Showmax for free. Find out more »