New Season of The Handmaid’s Tale and 9 other International Series to watch on Showmax this May

Brand new season of The Handmaid’s Tale; 1st seasons of Love Fraud, A Confession, The Vow; new season of Warrior

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE S4 | First on Showmax | Binge episodes 1-3 now, with a new episode to follow every Thursday

The cultural phenomenon picks up where we left off, with June’s fight for freedom against Gilead. But the risks she takes bring unexpected and dangerous new challenges, and her desire for justice and revenge threaten to consume her and destroy her most cherished relationships.

Based on Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale has won 75 awards to date, including 12 Emmys and Golden Globes for Best Drama Series and Best Actress (Elisabeth Moss). The series holds an 8.4/10 score on IMDb and an average critics’ rating of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes

Emmy nominees Joseph Fiennes and Yvonne Strahovski are back in their Emmy-nominated roles as Fred Waterford and Serena Joy, as are Ann Dowd, Alexis Bledel, Bradley Whitford and Samira Wiley in their Emmy-winning roles as Aunt Lydia, Emily, Commander Lawrence, and Moira respectively. Rising child star and Critics’ Choice nominee Mckenna Grace (The Haunting of Hill HouseTroop ZeroI, Tonya) joins the cast this season as the teenage wife of a much older commander.

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WARRIOR S2 | Binge now

Shot in Cape Town, Warrior is set in the ruthless world of late 19th-Century San Francisco, where rival Chinatown tongs fight for dominance amidst the growing anti-Chinese fervor that threatens to destroy them all. 

Warrior feels like if Peaky Blinders starred Bruce Lee and was set in 1870s Chinatown. It’s great,” says Vox – a claim backed up by an 8.4/10 rating on IMDb and a 100% critics’ rating for Season 2 on Rotten Tomatoes. Season 1 was named among Rolling Stone’s Best New Television Shows of 2019, with The Ringer calling it “a supremely kick-ass and criminally underappreciated martial arts Western” and Inverse hailing it as “the most underrated action series of the century.” Warrior was nominated for Best Action Series at the 2021 Critics Choice Super Awards, where lead Andrew Koji was also up for Best Actor. The Emmy-nominated show was also up for a 2021 Visual Effects Society Award. 

Recently renewed for a third season, Warrior is based on the writings of martial arts icon Bruce Lee. The series is created by Jonathan Tropper (Banshee).

Look out for the likes of Olivia Cheng (The Stand), Dianne Doan (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Vikings), and multi-award-winner Jason Tobin (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), as well as South Africa’s own Langley Kirkwood (InconceivableBanshee). Local cast with recurring roles include SAFTA nominees Robert Hobbs (The Girl from St. Agnes, District 9) and Jacques Bessenger (Lioness, Dwaalster); Fleur du Cap winners Nicholas Pauling and Emily Child; and familiar faces like Kenneth Fok (RogueFive Fingers for Marseilles) and David Butler (Black Sails, Life is Wild). 

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LOVE FRAUD S1 | Binge now

Co-directed by Oscar and Emmy nominees Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp), this four-part docu-series follows the search of Richard Scott Smith, who used the internet and his dubious charms to prey upon women looking for love. The story unravels in real time as Smith’s victims band together to seek sweet revenge, with some help from a pro bono bounty hunter called Carla.

Nominated for a 2021 Cinema Eye Honours and Independent Spirit awards, Love Fraud has a 92% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Explosive, but never exploitive, Love Fraud tells a thrilling tale of online dating gone terribly wrong with expert precision and a welcome dose of empathy.”

Vox describes Love Fraud as “Like The Jinx but better.” Or as Indiewire puts it, “Move over Tiger King, you’ve been bested… Showtime’s deliciously fraught story of a love-touting con artist will keep you hooked for every minute.

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A CONFESSION S1 | Binge now

Nominated for a 2020 BAFTA in the miniseries category, A Confession is based on the true story of Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher’s investigation into the 2011 murder of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan, and the lengths he went to in order to catch her killer. 

A Confession stars Golden Globe nominee Martin Freeman (SherlockBlack PantherThe Lord of The Rings), Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton (The CrownHarry Potter), and BAFTA nominee Siobhan Finneran (Happy ValleyDownton Abbey), with supporting actor Joe Absolom (The BayDoc Martin), who nabbed the show’s second BAFTA nomination last year.

Written and executive produced by Oscar nominee Jeff Pope (Philomena) with BAFTA-winning Broadchurch director Paul Andrew Williams, the six-episode mini-series has a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics’ consensus calling it “gripping.” In their four-star reviews, The Telegraph calls A Confession “riveting viewing”, while The Guardian praises its “stellar cast comprising actors who specialise in bringing ordinary characters to extraordinary life.” Similarly, The Times hails it as, “Excellently written… A slick, big-bucks procedural… coiled to within an inch of its life — with the result that you [can’t] stop watching… stuffed with actors’ actors.”

THE VOW S1 | First on Showmax | Binge now

In the HBO documentary series The Vow, Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer (The Great HackThe SquareControl Room) explore the self-improvement group, NXIVM, accused of sex trafficking and racketeering. 

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Number three on Entertainment Weekly’s round-up of the best TV of 2020 and nominated for a 2021 Cinema Eye Honours Award, The Vow “reveals the heartbreaking truth behind the ‘sex cult’ headlines,” according to Time Magazine

As The Guardian put it, “By the end of the premiere, I wondered why this had been a big story. By the third, my jaw was on the floor.”

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THE NEVERS S1 | First on Showmax | Binge episodes 1-4 now, with a new episode to follow every Monday

Billed as“The Magicians meets Bridgerton” by Refinery29The Nevers drew over 1.4 million viewers to its premiere, the best-ever debut for an original series on HBO Max. The Los Angeles Times hails the show as “HBO’s next great fantasy series.. a joy to watch and a thrill to follow.”

In the last years of Victoria’s reign, London is beset by the Touched: people – mostly women – who suddenly manifest abnormal abilities – some charming, some disturbing. Among them are Amalia True (Olivier Award winner Laura Donnelly from Outlander), a mysterious, quick-fisted widow, and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly from Vikings), a brilliant young inventor. They are the champions of this new underclass, making a home for the Touched, while fighting the forces of… well, pretty much all the forces – to make room for those whom history as we know it has no place.

The Nevers’ ensemble cast also includes Monte-Carlo Golden Nymph nominees Olivia Williams (An EducationThe Ghost Writer) and Eleanor Tomlinson (PoldarkThe White Queen); BAFTA Cymru winner Tom Riley (Da Vinci’s Demons); BAFTA nominee James Norton (GrantchesterHappy Valley), BAFTA Scotland nominee Kiran Sawar (Black Mirror), British Independent Film Awards nominee Nick Frost (Shaun of the DeadInto The Badlands), Screen Actors Guild nominee Pip Torrens (The Crown), and three-time Emmy nominee Denis O’Hare (American GodsTrue Blood), among others.

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THE MASKED SINGER S3-4 | Binge now

This super fun, mega-popular musical reality/game-show won the Outstanding Costumes: Variety, Non-Fiction or Reality category at the 2020 Emmys, where it was also nominated for Outstanding Competition Programme. 

The mystery contestants hiding behind the fabulous costumes include one of Time Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People, an Olympic record holder, four Hollywood Walk of Famers, and Grammy winning musicians.

As host, Nick Cannon was nominated for a 2020 Kids’ Choice Award. The panelists include Teen Choice-nominated actor and comedian Ken Jeong, four-time Grammy nominee Robin Thicke, TV and radio personality Jenny McCarthy, and the lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger. Also look for special guest panelists Craig Robinson (Mr. Robot), Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Wayne Brady.

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THE LUMINARIES S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 14 May

Based on Eleanor Cattin’s Booker Prize-winning novel, The Luminaries is an epic story of love, murder and revenge set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand during the gold rush. 

Starring Eve Hewson (The KnickBehind Her EyesRobin Hood), Teen Choice nominee Himesh Patel (YesterdayTenet), and Golden Globe nominee Eva Green (Penny DreadfulCasino Royale), the six-part series was hailed by TIME as “enchanting, enthralling” and The Guardian as “simply addictive TV… glorious escapism… a must-see full of intrigue, opium and political machinations.”

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MR. MAYOR S1 | Binge now

In Mr. Mayor, three-time Golden Globe winner Ted Danson (The Good PlaceCurb Your Enthusiasm and Cheers) plays a wealthy businessman who becomes the mayor of Los Angeles. 

Co-created by two-time Golden Globe winner Tina Fey and three-time Emmy winner Robert Carlock, the minds behind Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the comedy also stars Oscar winner Holly Hunter (SuccessionThe Big SickThe Piano), and Saturday Night Live legend Bobby Moynihan. Also look out for guest stars like Golden Globe winner Beau Bridges, Golden Globe nominees Andie MacDowell, David Spade and Ed Begley Jr., and TV personality Chrissy Teigen. 

“Danson takes the spotlight and shines once again, playing a character who’s clearly delighted by the job he ran for, and won, on a whim,” says NPR.

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THE ERIC ANDRE SHOW S5 | Binge from 17 May

Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show takes the elements of a traditional late-night talk show and ruins them. Likely the world’s most inept and violent host, Eric Andre interviews A-list talent (such as Seth Rogen, Wiz Kalifa, Judy Greer and Jimmy Kimmel) with the help of co-host Hannibal Buress. Created by Eric Andre, he hosts the most chaotic, unorthodox and surreal comedy chat show around…

The Eric Andre Show has an 8.6/10 rating on IMDb, where it’s at #143 on their list of the top-rated TV of all time. 

To see everything on Showmax in May 2021, including the 2020 seasons of Survivor (S40) and The Bachelorette (S16), click here. Please note this release schedule is subject to change. 

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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