Netflix, Showmax, DSTV – 10 series to stream this month

South Africa is now in its third wave of coronavirus infections and across the province Gautengers are again preparing to stay at home. While you’re there we recommend getting comfy in front of the TV as the best way of riding out this latest development in a never-ending pandemic.

Here’s some binge-watching recommendations.

Chasing the Sun

Available on: Showmax
Episodes: 5

The British Lions arrive in South Africa for their long-awaited tour in July, so now could hardly be a better time to revisit this outstanding documentary by SuperSport. The documentary mini-series follows the Springboks from a crushing 57-0 defeat in 2017 to a rousing World Cup final victory in Tokyo in 2019.

It’s an inspirational tale of grit and determination and we recommend having some tissues on hand for the later episodes where players such as Mazakole Mapimpi talk about the hardships they faced on their road to becoming a Springbok. It’s also impossible not to love coach Rassie Erasmus’s expletive-laden team talks that are full of wisdom and passion and leave you feeling seriously pumped up for the upcoming clash against the Lions. Hell, even just watching this trailer is making us well up!

Mare of Easttown

Available on: Showmax
Episodes: 7

Kate Winslet plays a gruff cop in a small east coast American town grappling with the mysterious murder of a local teenage girl, as well as her own unaddressed grief. Winslet has rightly won abundant praise from critics for her outstanding performance of a woman struggling to confront her emotions and overcome the pain of losing her son, while also grilling a wealth of potential suspects in the close-knit community of Easttown.

A gripping whodonit that also spotlights issues surrounding motherhood, ageing, grief, drug addiction, teenage pregnancy and familial loyalties in small town communities.

To the Lake

Available on: Netflix
Episodes: 8

Released in late 2019, this Russian language mini-series is based on a popular series of novels set in a fictional pandemic that almost immediately kills all those infected by the mysterious virus. Just as in classic zombie thrillers, the chaotic pandemic itself is largely used as a device to set our heroes out on a dangerous quest. Together they must escape Moscow and make their way through the snowy Russian wilderness to a lakeside holiday cottage in the far north.

The series has a fantastic ensemble cast of complex characters who variably become more and less likeable as the journey continues. Each episode is also able to neatly stand alone, as the gang confront new friends and foes on the road including a helpful crew of vigilante villagers wielding homemade weapons, a psychotic babushka, genocidal soldiers and a lonely karaoke bar hostess.


Available on: DSTV
Episodes: 8 seasons, 162 episodes

The American sitcom Blackish enters its eighth and final series in 2021, and we are going to be sad to say goodbye to this hilarious and uplifting series following the woke middle-class African-American Johnson family and their various escapades. If you haven’t yet got into the series you can start catching up on all 162 episodes on DSTV Catch Up.


Showing on: Netflix
Episodes: 2 seasons (10 episodes each)

Who can resist a dark and gloomy Scandinavian crime drama? Trapped is a Nordic Noir from Iceland that centres on police chief Andri and his team of Icelandic cops investigating the grizzly discovery of a mutilated corpse that appears to have been tossed from a passenger ferry in an isolated fishing town.

The inhospitable snowy landscapes of Iceland come to the fore, especially as the locals get literally trapped in their town by blizzards, and play perfectly alongside a storyline packed with false leads, family feuds, human trafficking and of course murder.

The Queen’s Gambit

Available on: Netflix:
Episodes: 7

If you never got the chance to get stuck into Netflix’s 2020 smash hit mini-series The Queen’s Gambit, now’s a good time. Anya Taylor-Joy plays Beth Harmon, an orphan in 1950s America with an incredible talent for chess. The series follows Beth on her journey from a grim orphanage to the world chess stage, smashing the patriarchy as she goes while also battling a chronic drug addiction and wearing an ever-more fabulous wardrobe of cutting edge fashion.

Beth is a compelling and complex character who you’ll be rooting for right from the start. She also manages to make the game of chess look impossibly cool and if you need something to pass some very long hours at home, the timeless art of chess is a good place to start.


Available on: Netflix
Episodes: 3 seasons, 24 episodes

In this comedy-drama that first launched in 2012 Steven Van Zandt (who some will remember as Silvio in The Sopranos) plays Frank Tagliano, a New York mobster who sells out his boss and has to enter a witness protection programme. When asked where he’d like to start his new life, the first place that pops into his head is Liliehammer, the picturesque Norwegian town that hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Of course when Frank moves to Norway and tries to settle down into an ordinary life, he can’t resist dabbling in a bit of vice and crime on the side, and decides to open a new strip club in town.


Available on: Netflix
Episodes: 5

A colourful biopic charting the spectacular rise and fall of the flamboyant fashion designer Halston, played by Ewan Mcgregor. Set amid the glamour and excess of New York’s 1970s and 1980s Studio 54 scene, the costuming is as fantastically outré as one would hope for a biopic about a fashion designer. The rampant partying, sex and celebrity worship that defined the Halston brand during its heyday, is also thrown into the show by the bucket full.


Available on: Netflix
Episodes: 5 seasons, 40 episodes

The award-winning Mille Dinesen plays Rita, a straight-talking chain-smoking teacher and single-mom working in a Danish High school in this quirky comedy-drama. Rita has been a Netflix sleeper hit that has struck a chord with viewers across the world, in part due to our hero Rita’s totally unflinching and hilarious put-downs of parents, her co-workers, annoying students, and yes, even her own kids.


Available on: Netflix
Episodes: 1 series, 10 episodes

Oozing on-screen charisma Omar Sy plays gentleman thief Assane Diop in this slick French drama that has been one of Netflix’s biggest hits this year. Always one step ahead of the cops and fantastically audacious in his efforts to fool the authorities and score big in the high-stakes museum heist game, Assane is a stylish and charming master of crime who always has another great trick up his sleeve.

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