After all the homeschooling, baking, arts and crafts and the endless list of chores, you’re entitled to a little screen-time entertainment. We’ve got the goods on what’s trending on Showmax for both children and adults, so put the laundry down, make yourself a cup of tea (or the kids a bowl of popcorn) and chillax for a while! Good to know: Showmax offers a free 14-day subscription trial, and you can currently get three months for R149.
Showmax for kids
There are favourites such as Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Spongebob Squarepants, The Lion Guard, Puppy Dog Pals, Blaze and the Monster Machines, My Little Pony, Simon’s Cat and Dora The Explorer, plus we’ve included some slightly lesser-known gems below.
Hey Duggee S1-2
Age: FPB: A
The Squirrels are a group of fun-loving tots who meet at the clubhouse, with Duggee the dog in charge of piling on the fun and games to help them earn different badges on their adventures, from treasure hunts to baking, bouncing to show and tell. Each episode includes a simple little lesson and ends with a warm Duggee hug before the parents arrive to fetch their Squirrels.
Earworm alert: The show also gave rise to the “stickiest” song ever. Between the original and the five-minute loop (you better believe it), The Stick Song has had over 12m views on YouTube.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood S1-4
Age: FPB: A
Endearing, wholesome and big on the life skills, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is loved by preschoolers, and it gets the parents’ stamp of approval. Daniel is a shy but brave four-year-old tiger who lives in the Neighborhood of Make Believe with his family and friends: O the Owl, Katerina Kittycat, Miss Elaina and Prince Wednesday. Daniel speaks directly to the audience, drawing children in to share in his challenges and successes as he navigates difficult feelings like jealousy, sadness and frustration and practices being kind, helpful and caring, all while having tons of fun and singing songs along the way.
The Snail and The Whale
Age: FPB: A
The Snail And The Whale follows the amazing journey of a tiny snail who longs to see the world and hitches a ride on the tail of a huge humpback whale. It’s a joyous, empowering tale about our wonderful world and discovering that however small you are, you can make a difference. A half-hour adaptation of The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s best-selling children’s book.
Munki and Trunk S1
Produced in Cape Town by Sunrise Productions, Munki and Trunk is a dialogue-free 3D animated TV series. Munki is a bold, banana-juggling adventurer. Trunk is a big-hearted and optimistic elephant. These best friends do everything together – swinging, stomping and somersaulting as they explore their jungle world, hatching plans, solving problems, having fun and helping friends along the way.
Age: FPB: PG
Zog is the keenest but clumsiest pupil in his class at Dragon School, where he longs to win a gold star as he learns how to fly, roar and breathe fire. He keeps meeting a kindly young girl who patches up his bumps and bruises, but can she help him with his trickiest school assignment yet: capturing a princess? Animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish for the UK’s Magic Light Pictures, the 27-minute animated short captures the magic of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling picture book.
Where’s Waldo? S1
Age: FPB: A
Where’s Waldo? follows two young members of the WorldWide Wanderer Society on exciting missions around the globe as they explore the wonderful cultures and countries of our world (including Zimbab-way). Waldo and Wenda are sent on their adventures by their mentor, Wizard Whitebeard, and while they have plenty of fun, their rival, Odlulu, is never far away, trying to cause trouble and stop them from earning their stripes and becoming wizard-level wanderers. Plus, there are awesome “Where’s Waldo?” moments, where you’ll get to search a scene full of those maddening red and white stripes to find our hero.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Age: FPB: PG
It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens of Bricksburg – or should we say, Apocalypseburg? – are facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. The LEGO Movie sequel brings all our favourite heroes back to save their beloved city in a new action-packed adventure. Their quest will take them to unexplored (and occasionally musical) worlds, testing their courage, creativity and loyalty. And be warned, the new earworm is even more “catchy” than Everything Is Awesome. This is a high-octane, tons-of-fun gem the whole family can watch together.
Age: FPB: PG V
Huey, Dewey, Louie and their great-uncle Scrooge McDuck go on a series of crazy adventures in this reboot of the ’80s classic cartoon show. Season 2 sees Scrooge and his rival, Flintheart Glomgold, compete to see who’ll make the most money in a year, while Huey, Dewey and Louie’s mom, Della (Donald Duck’s twin sister), is determined to be reunited with her family after years in captivity on the Moon.
Age: FPB: A
This live-action animated comedy is not only a blockbuster hit but also one of the most critically-acclaimed movies of all time, across all genres. Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where the bear has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr Gruber’s antique shop. He embarks upon a series of odd jobs to earn the money to buy it. But when the book is stolen, Paddington is framed for the crime. Now, it’s up to the Browns, some new friends, and a fool-proof plan to unmask the real thief and clear the beloved bear’s name.
On a side note: NG KiDS
NG KiDS’ digital edition and the entire back catalogue of magazines have been made absolutely FREE for the next three months. Their exciting content engages and inspires kids about the outside world – even when they’re stuck inside.
Click on bit.ly/FreeDigitalZAENG for the English version OR bit.ly/FreeDigitalZAAFR for the Afrikaans version. NG KiDS’ website is also packed with fun, interactive content that will keep children busy while they’re at home, including games, facts and free school resources. Find out more by visiting their website: https://www.natgeokids.com/za/.
Showmax for grownups
A LOT of people are re-watching Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family and Lost right now. You could also look at some more recent hits like:
Express from the US every Monday
The most popular show on IMDB last week, sci-fi drama Westworld is a dark wild west odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the birth of a new form of life on Earth. And this season, they’re knocking it “out of the park”.
Sanditon’s a place that’s changing fast. This once-sleepy fishing village is transforming into a fashionable spa resort. Changing alongside it is the impulsive and unconventional Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams from Reign), who swaps her quiet rural home for the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make.
Noughts + Crosses
A controversial six-part BBC One series based on Malorie Blackman’s multi-award-winning novel. Sephy and Callum are two star-crossed lovers in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet. Sephy is the privileged daughter of the Home Secretary, Kamal Hadley, while Callum’s mother, Meggie, is the Hadleys’ housekeeper. While Sephy and Callum grew up together, they may as well have lived in different worlds. Shot largely in Cape Town.
The Bold Type S1-3
Inspired by the life of Cosmopolitan’s editor in chief, Joanna Coles, The Bold Type offers a glimpse into the outrageous lives and loves of the staff at a global women’s magazine. Beneath the glam, this millennial-favourite drama series is the story of a group of young women working their butts off and selling the best of their talents in an increasingly competitive industry.
Long Island police chief Jo Evans (Golden Globe nominee Allison Tolman from Fargo) investigates a case involving a young child found unscathed at the site of a mysterious plane accident. The girl has no memory of who she is or how she got there, but her arrival is marked by unexplained phenomena and electronic disruptions.
Mrs. Fletcher S1
Mrs. Fletcher is a dual coming-of-age story chronicling the personal and sexual journeys of an empty-nest mother and her college freshman son, who both embrace their newfound freedom with mixed results. The seven-part series is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta (The Leftovers, Little Children).
This sexy half-hour drama focuses on two Mexican-American sisters from the East Side of 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.
The Hot Zone
NatGeo’s scripted drama The Hot Zone is the harrowing tale of a global epidemic that almost was. In 1989, Ebola landed on US soil. After it appeared in a research facility in D.C., a heroic U.S. Army scientist put her life on the line to prevent an outbreak of the deadly virus. It’s inspired by true events and based on the best-selling non-fiction thriller by Richard Preston. Partly filmed in South Africa.
This six-part BBC adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel follows Jean Valjean (Golden Globe nominee Dominic West from The Affair and The Wire) as he evades capture by the unyielding Inspector Javert (Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo), while unrest rises in Paris in post-Napoleonic France.
Zac & Mia S2
Zac & Mia, based on the multi-award-winning novel by AJ Betts, centres on two teenagers battling cancer in the same hospital. In the everyday world, Zac and Mia would have nothing in common, but in the hospital, where they’re the only teens on the ward, they develop an unbreakable bond.
In Season 2, Zac looks forward to things going back to normal as he returns home, but soon discovers that normal is not what it once was. Mia embarks on physiotherapy and is learning to adjust to life after her operation, but she has a long, hard road ahead of her. The one thing they have is each other, but could what had brought them together become the thing that tears them apart?
Succession S2 (HBO)
Four very rich siblings behave very badly as they try to win their father’s approval – and control of his company, a global media empire.
Chernobyl dramatises the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.
Ramy Hassan (stand-up comedian Ramy Youssef) is a first-generation Egyptian-American in politically divided New Jersey, where he’s caught between a Muslim community that thinks life is a moral test and a millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences.