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7 Mzansi Hits To Stream On Showmax Right Now

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GOMORA 

As QuenchSA recently reported,  Gomora recently overthrew  The Queen as the most-watched show on DStv, with over 2.5m viewers for a single episode on Mzansi Magic. The twisty telenovela stars SAFTA winner Katlego Danke (Isidingo, Generations) as Thathi, a spoiled trophy wife whose posh Sandton life is stripped away in an instant.

With no money and no job, Thathi is forced to pull her teenage kids out of their private schools and enrol them in a public school in Alexandra. They also have to move back in with her mother, Mam’Sonto (SAFTA winner Connie Chiume from Black Panther), a woman whose strict standards and grandmotherly care for her family mask her true nature as the queen of crime in Alexandra.

The all-star cast also includes SAFTA winners Themba Ndaba (The QueenHopeville) and Zolisa Xaluva (Sew The Winter To My Skin), as well as Blood & Water star Ama Qamata and Thembi Seete of Boom Shaka and Zone 14 fame, but it’s the fresh faces, like Ntobeko Sishi and Siphesihle Ndaba, that have really got Twitter buzzing.

 Gomora was created by executive producer Kutlwano Ditsele (The Herd) with Gwydion Beynon and Phathutshedzo Makwarela of Tshedza Pictures, who brought us the two most-awarded shows at the 2020 SAFTAs: Best Drama winner The Republic and Best Telenovela winner The River, which was also up for an International Emmy last year. Amanda Lane (Is’thunzi) is co-creator.

The first 20 episodes of Gomora are available to binge now, with new episodes coming to Showmax at 8pm on weekdays from 25 May 2020.

HOW TO STEAL A COUNTRY – THE GUPTA ‘STATE CAPTURE’ DOCCIE 

With the Emmy-winning Miners Shot Down and One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival winner Everything Must Fall, Rehad Desai made the definitive documentaries on Marikana and #feesmustfall respectively.

Now, in How To Steal A Country, co-directed by Emmy winner Mark J Kaplan (The Village Under The ForestThe Lion Sleeps Tonight), Desai turns his unflinching gaze to another defining moment in South Africa’s recent history: the rise and fall of the Gupta family.

How To Steal A Country - Gupta Documentary

As editor Ferial Haffajee puts it in the documentary, “They came here as traders. They sold shoes out of the boot of their car… And they left here as multi-billionaires.” Desai’s take on how they accomplished that is a suspenseful detective story uncovering one huge bribery scandal after another, involving the top echelons of political power and several well-known multinational corporations.

Rave reviews have called How To Steal A Country “an excellent documentary, one of the best ever made in our country” (Leon van Nierop in Rapport); “nothing short of remarkable… the definitive example of speaking truth to power so that this can never be allowed to happen again” (John Harvey, Dispatch news editor); and “essential viewing for all South Africans” (Spling).

(S)HE – A SHOWMAX PREMIERE

Winner of Best Feature Film at Jozi Film Festival in 2019, (S)he is a 52-minute film from Sean Steinberg, who also made the award-winning short Axis Mundi and wrote on hit series like The Girl From St Agnes and iNumber Number.

After qualifying to compete in the 2016 Olympic trials for swimming, Penny Kemp, an intersex teenager, is forced to undergo gender treatment while dealing with being ostracised by one of her teammates. (S)he is a coming-of-age drama that speaks to what it means to be a teenager, what it means to be accepted, and what it means to stand up for who you are.

Kate Roothman (Getroud Met Rugby, Erfsondes) stars as Penny, with Fleur du Cap nominee Kate Liquourish (Still Breathing, Queen Sono) as her coach and Justin Strydom (Snitch, The Mating Game, High Rollers) as her dad. Fiona Ramsay (Hard Copy), Mila Guy (Wonderlus) and Daniella Retief (Song vir Katryn) co-star.


LOVING THOKOZA 

Lockdown’s award-winning creator Mandla N makes his eagerly anticipated feature film debut with Loving Thokoza, set in the chaotic months leading up to South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.

Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa (IsidingouHambo) stars as Charlotte Grootboom, a recently graduated English teacher who comes to Johannesburg to stay with her uncle (SAFTA winner Hamilton Dlamini from Isithembiso and Five Fingers For Marseilles), while she looks for a job at a Model C school. Unable to find work, she instead takes a teaching job at an Apartheid-ravaged school in Thokoza, where she fights to set up a debating society.

Loving Thokoza is also a love story set in a time of uncertainty, as Charlotte falls for ex-APLA comrade Moscow (SAFTA winner Mduduzi Mabaso from Rhythm City), who is struggling to find his place in this unstable new South Africa.

Loving Thokoza was shot in just nine days with all new heads of department promoted from within Black Brain Pictures.

MADAM & MERCY SEASON 1

Evodia ‘Madam’ Mogase and her daughter, Mercy, walked off the set during The Real Housewives of Johannesburg reunion – and into their very own Mzansi Magic reality show, now streaming on Showmax.

With a touch of glam, a lot of love, and Madam’s trademark wit, the 13-episode reality format follows ‘the Versace girls’ and their uncompromising love for the finer things, from surprise birthday boat cruises to Versace charity parties to shopping sprees. But it’s also an intimate glimpse into fertility struggles, lobola negotiations, and their unique mother-daughter bond.

The first season of Madam and Mercy also features those closest to the duo’s heart, including Madam’s baby girl, Princess, as well as her other half, Peter.

THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE 

Five models. Three months. One city.

The Beautiful People is a 10-part documentary series that follows a group of American, British and Brazilian fashion models as they follow the sun to Cape Town for the summer season. Each episode delves into the reality of their day-to-day interactions as they attempt to find work, make friends and build their careers over a three-month period.

The show goes behind the scenes into the day-to-day, real-life business of modelling – the auditions, the challenges, the insecurities and the fierce competition for work over the peak season. Featuring appearances from The Model Agency’s Carole White and America’s Next Top Model’s Aminat Ayinde, The Beautiful People offers viewers a true reality check on the business of selling your looks.

Directed by entertainment journalist Nicky Greenwall, The Beautiful People screened at many of the world’s top fashion film festivals, including The International Fashion Film Festival, London and La Jolla.

THE KINGS OF MULBERRY STREET 

In 1980s Sugarhill, gangsters reign supreme, taking what they want and bullying the local Indian community. But two nine-year-olds – cheeky Ticky and timid Baboo – decide to go up against the crime lords and protect their families.

Directed by Judy Naidoo and shot largely in Verulam and Tongaat in KwaZulu-Natal, The Kings of Mulberry Street was the ninth biggest South African film at the local box office in 2019 and also screened at Schlingel, one of the main children’s film festivals internationally.

Browse The Latest Series, Movies, Reality Shows To Stream Online & Talk Back In The Comments Section Below!

 

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Netflix

Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed

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We’ve been had, and Squid Game is here to prove it.

When the end of the South Korean horror drama arrives on the ninth episode, the winner finds himself harrowed by what the coveted prize has cost his soul. In the rat race for survival, along with a better life that hinges on the never ending hustle, there’s no time to stop and see the horror our lives become. By the end, we see how the winner has sold his soul for a crappy deal that came with a few toys, and a happy meal.

A group of 456 players are mysteriously invited to take part in a set of children’s games for a grand prize of $38 million, which will be enough to give the winner the financial freedom they desperately need. The players are selected from different walks of life, with the burden of excessive debt being their biggest motivation to give the Game a go.

The first of deepening terrors comes during the first game, when the players discover that penalties for losing in the challenges will be death. DEATH. Horrified, the players initially vote to leave and return to their lives.

This noble departure doesn’t last long; their material realities as fugitives on the run from debt collectors only highlights the glow of the precious promise they’ve now left behind. When they return for the second time, they now consent to their highly probable deaths.

Led by Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, a taxi driver with a gambling addiction, the South Korean series has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Now the most streamed Korean series of all time, Squid Game is also said to be on pace to dethrone Bridgerton as the most streamed series in the history of Netflix. And it’s with good reason. Squid Game is a trip.

Survival is the drive. The blues of a broke life pile up for Seong Gi-hun, who’s daughter is being taken away to the US by her mother and step father. His mother is battling deteriorating diabetes and even in her frail condition, is still working hard to make ends meet. It’s during the peak of his frustrations that Gi-hun is randomly invited to take part in the Game.

After accepting the offer, he finds himself in a discreet location along with 455 players, who are also drowning in debt. The players are kept under an authoritarian system of surveillance. Masked guards in pink suits keep the scene under control under the supervision of the Front Man. Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, as a the most strategic way to survive the bloody challenges.

Amongst those that end up in this team is player 001, a frail old man who who became his “gganbu”. Sae-byeok, who was also in the team, was killed by Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend, team member and flip-flopping ally. Several other team members had to be killed by their team mates, which revealed the wickedness of the games.

In the end, Gi-hun’s victory came without an apology. He had to defeat a close ally in the games, the old and frail player 001. They’d bonded throughout their time, but in the end he had to advance himself against those he’d built alliances. As the games progressed, the players found themselves having to face tough calls. Someone else has to die for you to make it another day.

After a series of brutal games, it comes down to childhood friends Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They’d played different games, with Sang-woo having played hard and stopping at nothing to win. Gi-hun is mad at Sang-woo for a series of betrayals, including him stabbing Sae-byeok to her death. In the end, Gi-hun wins when Sang-woo apologised and kills himself.

Yet despite emerging a winner, Gi-hun finds that the cost of becoming an overnight billionaire has bankrupted his soul. For a year following the day his bank account was loaded with a nine zero figure, he didn’t touch the money. After all, he returned to find his mother dead on the floor. One of his motivations was getting the money to get her medical help over her advancing diabetes.

THE ENDING

Gi-hun is clearly troubled by the bodies upon which his new wealth rests. A year passes and he hasn’t touched the money – even oddly reverting to old patterns of asking for loans to get by. It might be late to be so concerned about the moral questions surrounding the games now – the long and short of it is he won and his life has changed.

Later, he is shocked to find out that the “gganbu” who had to be killed after losing to him in a game of marbles, was never really killed.

In a shocking plot twist that changes everything – he also finds out that the old man is in fact the creator of the games! Finding him in a medical bed after receiving a mysterious invite to the location, Gi-hun discovers that the man’s real name is Oh Il-nam, an obscenely rich fella who created the games in 1988 (the same year Korea hosted the Olympics for the first time) purely for their entertainment. We already know by now that ‘the VIPs’ are a bunch of morally bankrupt elites who find pleasure in watching the poor masses slaughtering each other for money in a broken system. Where have we heard that before?

Although his participation in the games as player 001 was a farce, what he told Gi-hun back then, that he had a brain tumour, had been true. And of course, he challenged him to another sick game. A man had been freezing to death on a street pavement, and Oh Il-nam challenged Gi-hun to guess to bet on the odds that someone who help him when the clock strikes 00:00 at midnight. As Gi-hun wins, Oh Il-nam dies.

We assume this marks the end of the games. However later in the episode, Gi-hun sees the man who recruited him doing it to someone else. He runs to stop what is happening, but arrives at the exact scene late, the train has already taken off. Later on the way to boarding a flight, he turns and calls a number. “I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing,” he tells ta man we assume to be In-ho. He turns back, clearly about to begin his new mission.

What we know now, is that Oh Il-nam created the games to tickle the sick tastes of his sick rich network. But he is now dead. Who is now behind the games? This, and Gi-hun’s passionate manifesto, are strong indications that next season of the series is already shaping up to a different arc. It’s his final transformation, and he is ready to take down the operation and those behind it. He won’t allow people to be “horses” for the entertainment of wealthy elites.

We know that In-ho shot Jun-ho in a bid to stop him from alerting the police about the games. The signal was bad, delaying the delivering of the evidence Jun-ho had been trying to send in several texts, right up to the moment the moment he plunged from a cliff and hit the water. What we don’t know is whether the messages were really not delivered. There’s also no conclusive evidence that Jun-ho is dead.

Potentially, the biggest lesson from season one is that our relentless pursuit for material success in a punishing money system kills us.

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First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’

DRACARYS!

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Things look promising for HBO’s upcoming drama series, The House of Dragon. The highly buzzed Games of Thrones prequel’s first visual teaser has been met with much fanfare, raking in more than 8,6 million views on Youtube within two days of its arrival.

The House of Dragon

Photo Credit: HBO via Twitter

First reactions and buzz around the epic teaser have been strong indications that the series, slated to premiere in 2022, is off to a good start despite the infamous final season slump suffered by G.O.T. And it could mean that maybe, just maybe,  the world ready to let old baggage go.

The House of Dragon, created by an entire different team, will arrive about three years since the cold winter. The cast includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Sonoya Mizuno who will be bringing to life a different era of Westeros.

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Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it

‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.

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The reign of terror plunges a small and quiet town to ashes when the arrival of a charismatic yet mysterious priest coincides with the return of a disgraced young man who has just been released from prison.

While Riley (Zach Gilford) initially finds that Crockett Island and its 127 residents – along with his childhood sweetheart Erin (Kate Siegel) – still conduct a mundane existence, Pastor Paul (Hamish Linklater) soon changes that.

Midnight Mass

“The LORD’s angel”‘s life giving blood comes scams locals into horrible mistakes on Midnight Mass.

When the island’s much loved Roman Catholic senior priest takes a trip to the pilgrimage and never comes back, an energetic new priest takes his place at the Holy Land church. And while his arrival brings with it a new wave of spiritual revival amongst the island community, something sinister begins to haunt the town.

With each episode, the esoteric occult that powers Paul’s ability to perform astounding miracles and mesmerise the islanders, slowly gains dominion over the unsuspecting community. Instead, they begin taking up a renewed interest in the church as word of mouth spreads about the signs and wonders. Much like Jesus Christ was able to draw crowds wherever he went, the appearance of Paul’s supernatural power is able to attract even those who’d remained sceptics their lives.

It’s the blending of the sacred and the sinister. The taking of communion that has been contaminated with demonic blood, which functions as the miracle drug promising eternal life.

We soon find out the miracles come at an unthinkable cost.

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