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Showmax & CANAL+ announce Kenyan Series ‘Crime & Justice’

An East African legal drama.

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Showmax and CANAL+ have begun production on Crime & Justice, a gritty police procedural and legal show set in Nairobi.

Crime & Justice features a heavy-weight cast with Sarah Hassan (Plan B, How to Find a Husband) and Alfred Munyua (Poacher, The First Grader, Sense8) starring as Makena and Silas, the two detectives at the heart of the topical show that follows one ripped-from-the-headlines case per episode, all the way through to the courtroom verdict.

Alfred Munyua Silas has been cast as lead on the looming show.

“When I first read the script, I loved the delivery and realness of Silas as a character. It’s not exaggerated and he’s no Rambo hero; he just tackles his cases the normal way. I found a very real edge with this script, and I hope I’ll do justice to the role,” says Munyua.

Hassan says she is looking forward to playing a detective for the first time in her career. “This is a very different character; I’ve never played anything like Makena before. It’s very exciting to get a character that makes me grow as an actor.”

Hassan and Munyua are joined by Maqbul Mohammed (Varshita, Auntie Boss) as DCI Boss Kebo, Paul Ogola (Sense 8, Kati Kati) as Prosecutor Sokoro and Brian Ogola (Lusala, Disconnect) as Caleb, the resident pathologist, as well as the stage and screen legend John Sibi-Okumu (The Constant Gardener, The First Grader), Muhugu Theuri (Pillow Talk, Pieces of Us), Brian Abajah (Sincerely Daisy), Martin Githinji (Sue na Jonnie, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind) and Justin Mirichii (Rafiki, Watu Wote) in guest roles.

Crime & Justice is directed and produced by Adam Neutzsky-Wulff, whose slate of films and series include All The Little Things We Kill, starring Elizabeth Marvel (House of CardsHomeland), and You Are Here, starring Teen Choice nominee Jason Dohring (Veronica MarsiZombieThe Originals), Peter Vack (Love LifeThe Bold Type), Lea Thompson (Switched at BirthBack to the Future) and MTV Movie Award winner William Baldwin (Dirty Sexy MoneyGossip GirlParenthood).

Working alongside Adam in the production team is an all-star Kenyan crew, including co-producer Maureen Wanjiku (Subira, Kenya’s 2019 Oscar entry, East Africa’s Got Talent); two-time Kalasha award-winning lighting technician Walter Odhiambo (Plan B40 Sticks); cinematographer Sammy Maina (Lost in Africa, Country Queen), who’ll be taking over from Helge Gerull after episode 2; art director Eugene Oyoo (Kenya’s 2018 Oscar entry Supa Modo); and casting director Lorella Jowi (Watu Wote, Kenya’s first Oscar-nominated film).

While this is the first Kenyan Showmax Original, it is not the first foray into original Kenyan content for the MultiChoice Group, Showmax’s parent company. With more than 25 years of experience in Kenya with its video entertainment businesses GOtv and DStv, MultiChoice produces more than 10 original Kenyan productions each year, including some of the most popular series on its flagship East African channel, Maisha Magic, like KinaSelinaPete and Chozi. Showmax subscribers benefit from this wealth of content, as many of these much-loved shows are also available on the standalone streaming service.

“We are fundamentally an African business and are invested in telling African stories that reflect the lives, languages and cultures of the continent. We believe in African talent and look forward to shining the international spotlight on not only Kenyan stars, but the Kenyan technical industry’s capabilities,” says Yolisa Phahle, CEO of MultiChoice Connected Video. “We believe that streaming video is a powerful way to deliver these shared stories. This is one of many more Showmax Originals we have in the pipeline across Africa.”

Crime & Justice follows the announcement of the first CANAL+ and MultiChoice co-production earlier this year, Blood Psalms, which will premiere on Showmax in 2021.

Based on ancient African mythology, Blood Psalms is an epic 10-part series that chronicles the rise to power of a fierce teenaged princess, Zazi (Bokang Phelane from Keeping ScoreEmoyeni), who battles a world-ending prophecy to navigate her people through ancient curses, long-standing tribal vendettas, and the wrath of the Gods.

CANAL+, which will distribute Crime & Justice to its French-speaking base, is also committed to entertainment in Africa. Fabrice Faux, Chief Content Officer of CANAL+ INTERNATIONAL, says, As part of our strategy of providing our subscribers with the best original content from the continent, we are proud to partner with Showmax and enrich myCanal as well as CANAL+ channels with such premium series.”

Crime & Justice comes to Showmax and CANAL+ in 2021.

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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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Netflix

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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