Polish your wedding step moves and get ready to sing along to, “Makoti, ke di nako!” and other traditional wedding songs when you immerse yourself into Netflix’s trailer for How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding today! South Africans love a good Dezemba bash and if the trailer is anything to go by, we are in for a festive treat! From the hilarious Ramaphakela Siblings of Burnt Onion Productions, expect colourful, relatable family drama, laugh-a-minute punch lines and of course, a whole lot of romance.
Set against the backdrop of the Beauty’s Christmas Wedding, Tumi Sello, Beauty’s older, troublesome sister’s shenanigans come to life, quite literally ruining her sister’s well-thought-out wedding. The romantic comedy, set to premiere on Netflix on 16 December 2020 is right on cue for peak Mzansi downtime, making the three-part series the viewing event of the season.
From the inappropriate ‘drunkle’, Malome Shadrack, to judgemental aunties, resentful siblings and closely guarded family secrets, the three-part series offers up hilarious tropes that families the world over can relate to. The combined force of the ensemble cast, witty scripts, glorious Johannesburg vistas, and gripping storylines make for a compelling Festive Season watch.
Dorothy Ghettuba who leads African Original Series at Netflix said, “we are excited to bring this hilarious festive season special to the service and believe our audiences across the world will be enthralled from start to finish. We are committed to working with creatives on the African continent who, through their art, showcase the immense talent we have to offer” while Executive Producer, Rethabile Ramaphakela, from Burnt Onion Productions, said, “I don’t think the African continent has seen a Christmas show quite like this before. What makes How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding so great is the fact that every single person across Mzansi and the world can relate to at least one of the many colourful characters from the show and we’re excited to showcase our creativity on a global service like Netflix. Knowing that this will be available in 190 countries ] is incredible and we cannot wait to see how the audience receives it”.
This African Holiday Special stars Busisiwe Lurayi as Tumi Sello, Thando Thabethe as Beauty Sello, Clementine Mosimane as Dineo Sello, Yonda Thomas as Khaya Manqele, Sandile Mahlangu as Sbu Twala, Motlatsi Mafatshe as Themba Twala, Saint Seseli as Vusi Twala, Charmaine Mtinta as Valencia Twala, industry favourites Rami Chuene portrays Aunt Grace and Trevor Gumbi as Siya Twala. The legendary Nandi Nyembe plays Gogo Twala, with the renowned Desmond Dube portraying Uncle Shadrack and Keketso Semoko as Aunt Moipone. Swankie Mafoko plays Lydia Twala and Lethabo Bereng as cousin Bokang, as well as Dippy Padi as Thando and Nambitha Ben-Mazwi as Refiloe. With appearances by industry heavyweights Kate Normington as Candice Harden and Seputla Sebogodi as Edmund Mokoena.
About How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding When family rebel and disappointment, Tumi Sello, begrudgingly joins her dysfunctional family for the first Christmas holiday in years, it’s not the merry return of the prodigal daughter everyone was hoping for. She manages to ruin her younger sister’s Christmas Wedding before it even takes place, and spends her next few days frantically trying to get things back on track; trying to avoid being the grinch who ruined Christmas for everyone else…
About Burnt Onion Productions Burnt Onion Productions, a Johannesburg-based production company, is led by industry game-changers, Katleho, Tshepo and Rethabile Ramaphakela. From concept to delivery, the trio brings to life a combination of fresh creativity and a commitment to quality, which How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding promises to deliver in large doses.
EUPHORIA CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: TROUBLE DON’T LAST ALWAYS | 7 December, first on Showmax
Zendaya became the youngest ever best actress Emmy winner this year for her Euphoria performance as Rue, a 17-year-old who returns home from rehab with no plans to stay clean, and falls for the new girl in town, Jules (played by trans superstar Hunter Schafer). Euphoria also won 2020 Emmys for Original Music and Lyrics for All For Us by Labrinth, as well as Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic).
While we wait for Season 2, this special holiday episode follows Rue as she celebrates Christmas, in the aftermath of being left by Jules at the train station and falling back into old habits. Written and directed by series creator Sam Levinson, the episode will also feature Schafer and fellow Season 1 star Colman Domingo, who plays Ali.
The controversial adults-only teen show, which also earned Zendaya a 2019 People’s Choice Award for Favourite Drama TV Star.
INDUSTRY S1 | First on Showmax. Binge episodes 1-4 on 2 December 2020, with weekly episodes every Wednesday. Binge from 30 December.
Industry is an exhilarating dive into the world of international finance, as seen through the eyes of ambitious twenty-somethings struggling to secure their futures. The BBC-HBO series follows a group of young graduates competing for a limited set of permanent positions at a top investment bank in London – but the boundaries between colleague, friend, lover, and enemy soon blur as they immerse themselves in a company culture defined as much by sex, drugs, and ego as it is by deals and dividends. As members of the group rise and fall, they must decide whether there’s more to life than the bottom line.
From first-time creators – and former bankers – Mickey Down and Konrad Kay, the eight-episode drama series lists Golden Globe winner Lena Dunham (Girls) as a director, with Bad Wolf (The Night Of, His Dark Materials) producing.
THE THIRD DAY S1 | Mondays from 23:30 from 7 December, same day as M-Net. Binge from 11 January 2021.
Co-created by Dennis Kelly (Utopia), this tense mix of mystery, thriller and drama is divided into two parts: Summer and Winter. In the first half, one man (Oscar nominee Jude Law from The New Pope) visits a mysterious island off the British coast and discovers a group of locals intent on preserving their home at any cost. In the second half, a strong-willed outsider (Oscar nominee Naomie Harris from Moonlight) comes to the island seeking answers — but instead triggers a battle to decide its fate.
The cast also includes Oscar nominee Emily Watson (Chernobyl), Teen Choice nominee Katherine Waterston (the Fantastic Beasts films), and BAFTA winner Paddy Considine (The Outsider).
The Good Fight S4 | Binge now
Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski in an Emmy-nominated role) and Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo in a Critics’ Choice nominated role) continue the fight for justice in The Good Wife spin-off series, The Good Fight.
Season 4 finds Reddick/Boseman/Lockhart navigating a very different landscape. After they lost their biggest client, ChumHum, and their founding partner’s name was tarnished, they were forced to accept an offer by a huge multinational law firm, STR Laurie, to be a small subsidiary. Suddenly all of their decisions can be second-guessed by the giant firm that is literally on top of them. While STR Laurie initially seem like benevolent overlords, we find Diane and her colleagues chafing at their loss of independence.
The Good Fight is currently at #20 on Metacritic’s list of the best reviewed TV shows of 2020. Nominated for Outstanding Drama at the 2020 Television Critics’ Association Awards.
The Bold Type S4 | First on Showmax | Binge now
The Bold Type follows the lives and loves of three young women who work at a fashion magazine. Beneath the glam, this forthright millennial-favourite drama series is a story of real friends sticking together, working their butts off and finding their way in the world as young adults.
Aisha Dee, Katie Stevens and Meghann Fahy have all been nominated for Teen Choice Awards as besties Kat, Jane, and Sutton respectively. Emmy nominee Melora Hardin (The Office) plays Scarlett’s former editor Jacqueline.
The third season ended on a bombshell, so we can’t wait to see how the women pick up the pieces.
FOR LIFE S1 | Binge now
For Life was nominated as Outstanding Drama at the 2020 Black Reel Awards, where star Nicholas Pinnock was nominated for Best Actor for his performance as a prisoner who becomes a lawyer in jail and fights to overturn his life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.
The cast includes Indira Varma (Game of Thrones, Rome), Black Reel nominee Joy Bryant (Antwone Fisher, Parenthood), and MTV Movie Award nominee Mary Stuart Masterson (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Blindspot).
A Million Little Things S2 | Binge now
Drama, comedy, romance and friendship come together in this story of a group of friends who are drawn together after a tragedy claims the life of one of their own.
A Million Little Things has an ensemble cast that includes David Giuntoli (Grimm), Allison Miller (13 Reasons Why), Christina Ochoa (Animal Kingdom), Teen Choice nominee Grace Park (Hawaii Five-0, Battlestar Galactica), and Romany Malco (Weeds), who was nominated for an Image Award for the role. Also look out for Emmy nominees Melora Hardin (The Bold Type, The Office) and Constance Zimmer (House of Cards, UnReal).
A Million Little Things has been renewed for a third season.
Power Book II: Ghost S1 | Binge the first five episodes from 21 December
Power Book II: Ghost picks up shortly after the earth-shattering events of Power (binge all six seasons on Showmax) as Tariq St Patrick (BET Award nominee Michael Rainey Jr.) grapples with a new world order: his father dead and his mother, Tasha (NAACP Image Award winner Naturi Naughton), facing charges for the murder her son committed.
Look out for Oscar nominee and Grammy winner Mary J. Blige (The Help, Mudbound), Grammy winner Method Man (The Deuce), Emmy winner Debbi Morgan (All My Children), Emmy nominees Sherri Saum (Good Trouble, Locke & Key) and Victor Garber (Alias, Argo), Screen Actors Guild Award winner Melanie Liburd (This is Us), Black Reel winner Woody McClain (The Bobby Brown Story), and Satellite Award winner David Zayas (Dexter, Deadly Class), among others.
Executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (who also produced Power and For Life), Power Book II: Ghost has already been renewed for a second season. “If you liked Power, you’ll like this,” says Decider. Which is more than enough for us.
HIS DARK MATERIALS S2 | Tuesdays, first on Showmax. Binge from 29 December 2020
New worlds await in Season 2 of epic fantasy series His Dark Materials, the BBC-HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman’s Carnegie and Whitbread-winning book trilogy, listed among Time magazine’s 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time, and the BBC’s 2019 list of the 100 most influential novels. The story follows Lyra, a young orphan, as she crosses between worlds on a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust, with the help of her daemon Pan and her alethiometer. Season 1 is based on Northern Lights; Season 2 on The Subtle Knife.
Critics Choice-nominated child star Dafne Keen (Logan) stars as Lyra, with Oscar nominee Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) playing Lee Scoresby; Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther) as Mrs Coulter; and Golden Globe nominees James McAvoy (X-Men) and Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock) as Lord Asriel and Colonel John Parry respectively, with Oscar nominee Terence Stamp (The Limey, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) joining the adventure this season as Giacomo Paradisi.
Wilson won Best Actress at the recent BAFTA Cymru awards, where His Dark Materials also took home Best Photography and Lighting as well as Best Production Design. His Dark Materials also won a 2020 Annie Award for the character animation on Iorek the Bear, as well as two 2020 BAFTA TV Craft awards for Special, Visual and Graphic Effects and Titles & Graphic Identity. In their five-star review of the fantasy show, The Independent says, “This is a beautiful, brooding vision of Pullman’s universe, which retains the mix of childish wonder and darkness that make his books so beguiling to young adults.”
THE UNDOING S1 | Mondays at 22:30, same day as M-Net. Binge from 4 January 2021
The Undoing stars Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies, Moulin Rouge) as therapist Grace Fraser, whose idyllic existence is shattered by a violent death and a very public scandal. With her husband Jonathan (Golden Globe winner Hugh Grant from A Very English Scandal) missing, Grace must face a chain of terrible revelations and try to build a new life for herself and her son (Critics’ Choice nominee Noah Jupe from Honey Boy, Ford v Ferrari, and A Quiet Place).
Based on the book You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz, The Undoing is created by multiple-Emmy winner David E Kelley, the man behind Big Little Lies, Picket Fences and all your favourite legal dramas, from L.A. Law to Ally McBeal, The Practice to Boston Legal. Emmy winner Susanne Bier (The Night Manager, In A Better World) directs, with Academy Award Honorary winner and Golden Globe winner Donald Sutherland (Trust, The Hunger Games), Golden Globe nominee Edgar Ramírez (American Crime Story, The Girl on the Train) and Eswatini-born Noma Dumezweni (Black Earth Rising, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind) co-starring.
P-VALLEY S1 | Tuesdays at 22:30, same day as 1Magic. Binge from 19 January 2021.
P-Valley is the 8thth highest rated new TV show of 2020 so far, according to Rotten Tomatoes, and set a new record on the Starz App for the most viewed series premiere ever.
As Rotten Tomatoes’ 100% critics consensus says, “A stunning, lyrical piece of neon noir, P-Valley explores the unseen lives of strippers in Mississippi through Katori Hall’s singular gaze, celebrating the beauty of the craft without sugarcoating the challenges.”
Indiewire hailed it as “unlike anything ever seen on TV… the series knows exactly what it wants to be: a sexy, fast-paced drama that sets out to de-stigmatize the world of stripping and shatter misconceptions.”
Welcome to the Dirty South.
CLASSIC BINGES: THE AFFAIR AND DEXTER | Binge now
You can now binge all five seasons of the classic marriage drama, The Affair, which won three Golden Globes: Best Drama and Best Actress for both Ruth Wilson (His Dark Materials, Luther) and Maura Tierney (E.R.’s Abby Lockhart), and eight seasons of serial killer drama Dexter, which won Golden Globes for lead actor Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under) and supporting actor John Lithgow (Perry Mason, The Crown) – and was recently renewed for a Season 9, after a seven-year break.
EVERYTHING ON SHOWMAX IN DECEMBER
Other international series you can binge this month include Season 2 of Tyler, The Creator’s Adult Swim animation The Jellies (from 7 December); Season 1 of Council of Dads, starring Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead, Prison Break); and Season 39 of Survivor – Island of the Idols – shot in Fiji, with legendary Survivor alumni Sandra Diaz-Twine (the only contestant ever to win Survivor twice, on Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains) and Rob Mariano (who won Survivor: Redemption Island) back as mentors.
To see everything on Showmax in December, from the Showmax Original reality series Lebo M – Coming Home to the 2020 Oscar-winning war movie 1917, click here. Please note this release schedule is subject to change.
Production has started on M-Net and Fremantle’s eight-part contemporary crime drama Reyka, which will star South African born actress Kim Engelbrecht (Isidingo, Dominion and The Flash) and acclaimed British actor Iain Glen (Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey). The international co-production is being filmed in South Africa and is set to debut on M-Net (DStv channel 101) in July 2021. The series will be distributed globally by Fremantle.
Reyka follows a flawed but brilliant criminal profiler, Reyka Gama (Kim Engelbrecht). Haunted by her past, she investigates a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer in the sugar cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal. Having been abducted as a child by a farmer named Speelman (Iain Glen), Reyka is traumatised by the experience but this also helps her enter the minds of Africa’s most notorious criminals and turn them inside out. Manipulative and charming, his hold on Reyka, 20 years later, forms part of the backbone of the story, as does Reyka’s relationship with her mother Elsa, played by Anna-Mart van der Merwe (Binnelanders, Kanarie and Poppie Nongena).
Reyka exposes the secrets and lies, truth and trust, damage, healing and forgiveness. With a dramatic backdrop of sugar cane fields, tropical beaches, stifling heat, dangerous wildlife, a criminal underworld, and shadowy politics – each place is connected by sugar but divided in so many other ways.
“MultiChoice continues to lead the continuous productions of high-quality African television content that goes beyond our borders,” says Nkateko Mabaso, CEO of M-Net.
“Our first co-production on this sort of scale was Trackers that we co-produced with HBO’s sister channel Cinemax and ZDF and has received great reviews in the US, Australia, France, and the UK. This partnership with Fremantle is a brilliant way to showcase our prowess as DStv is Africa’s most-loved storyteller, and we particularly relish pairing our local talent with international stars.”
Kim Englebrecht, Iain Glen and Anna-Mart van der Merwe are joined by a cast of some of South Africa’s best actors, including Hamilton Dhlamini, Kenneth Nkosi, Nokuthula Ledwaba, Desmond Dube, Gerald Stein, Ian Roberts, Fiona Ramsey, David Butler, and Jessica Hayes. The series is directed by Zee Ntuli (Hard to Get) and Catharine Cooke (The Girl from St Agnes).
Julie Hodge, Editorial Director, Global Drama, Fremantle said “As production commences on our first ever South African drama, this is a proud moment for Fremantle and M-Net. The series has been in development for many years, and we hope it will be the first of many successful projects in the region. Reyka is a rich and compelling story and we couldn’t be happier to have Kim and Iain onboard to bring these complex characters to life – we are confident it will be one of our standout international dramas for 2021”.
The series is created and written by award-winning screenwriter Rohan Dickson (Husk and Welcome to Hawaii). Dickson has worked with South Africa’s major broadcasters and has been showrunner on highly successful dramas, including Scandal, Zone 14, Jacob’s Cross, and High Rollers. He was also the executive producer & showrunner of Isidingo, a long-running multi-award-winning drama series with a huge fan base across the whole of Africa.
Reyka is jointly produced by Serena Cullen for Serena Cullen Productions in the UK (Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Cold Feet) and Harriet Gavshon for Emmy nominated Quizzical Pictures in South Africa. Executive Producers are Serena Cullen, Harriet Gavshon and Rohan Dickson. Yolisa Phahle, Nkateko Mabaso, Allan Sperling, Jan du Plessis will executive produce for M-Net, and Julie Hodge for Fremantle. Reyka will be distributed globally by Fremantle.
Adding some color to your November, here’s the second release in Blender’s 2.9 series—and the fourth major release this year, including one Long-term Support.
The updated toolset of Blender 2.91 features improvements to cloth sculpting, boolean operations, mesh to volume and volume to mesh conversion, custom curve bevels, searchable UI panels and more. Combined with hundreds of bug fixes, Blender 2.91 is more polished and stable than ever.
This release has been made possible thanks to the community of contributors and developers on blender.org for providing demos, submitting bug reports, and thanks to the over 5000 individuals and organizations who joined the Development Fund.
Cartoon Network Africa is ramping up their local original productions with ‘CN to the Rescue’
Life’s challenging and unusual times demand a little bit of laughter, well, maybe some ROFL! That’s what Cartoon Network Africa’s new original production, CN to the Rescue, is here for. Available from the 14th of November on Cartoon Network Africa’s YouTube channel, the show is set to keep audiences laughing uncontrollably with pure African humour and fresh, imaginative content relating to everyday situations in the African household with a multitude of characters representative of the true African family.
What would the world be without inja ye game, our hero and cool brother, Tapiwe Lembwa, who is fun-loving and creative – and did we mention, Cartoon Network’s greatest fan in all of Africa? With the help of his cartoon chommies, and visits to his ‘Imagination Room’ filled with archives of his favourite Cartoon Network episodes, he solves daily household mshikashika in a surprising and imaginative way. However, with a no-nonsense slay queen of a mother, intensely focused bra, Garcia, who always gets drawn into Taps’s schemes, and a quiet, but wakkerGogo, no day – or episode – is without its twists and hilarious fun!!
Wacky ‘slap-chic’ African comedian,André Lembwa, brings CN to the Rescue to life. Born in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), before moving to South Africa, Lembwa’s primarily known for his impersonations of diverse nationalities, from Congolese, Nigerian, to South African and beyond. In 2019, André met Capetonian filmmaker, Howard James Fyvie, and next thing they knew – CN to the Rescue was born!
“I am ecstatic to be part of CN to the Rescue on Cartoon Network Africa’s YouTube channel,” says Lembwa. “This collaboration is an all-new format that combines the power of Cartoon Network with the clever use of local comedy and humour. I know that young audiences and families across Africa rate Cartoon Network, and I know they will enjoy the crossover of their favourite channel with their soon to be favourite family – The Lembwas!”
And no, you are not seeing double! Lembwa plays the central character, Tapiwe (aka Taps), and all three family members, the nerdy younger brother, Garcia, their glam mom, Lyzette, and of course the happy-go-lucky Gogo. With remarkably distinct characteristics for each new character, it can be easy to forget just how many roles Lembwa takes on in the series.
This quintessentially African show, primarily targeting 8-14-year-olds, further demonstrates Cartoon Network’s commitment to scaling up and sustaining the quality of local kids’ fun and imaginative entertainment. The series will consist of seven episodes of seven to nine minutes long, launching weekly from Saturday, 14 November through to Saturday, 19 December outside of the traditional linear ecosystem, exclusively on YouTube!
Join the Lembwas and get entangled with this colourful bunch from the 14th of November on Cartoon Network Africa’s website and YouTube channel.
EPISODES AND RELEASE DATES
EPISODE 1: Training Day
Release date : 14 November
Motivated by prospects of wealth and fame, Taps takes on the challenge to transform his nerdy brother into the first African Table Tennis champion. Cartoon Network comes to the rescue for a reel of side-splitting training day montage madness, ending in an epic Table Tennis match with an ultimate camera fail at the last minute.
EPISODE 2: Breaking news
Release date : 14 November
When the ‘greatest Cartoon Network fan’, Taps, cannot resist getting his hands on his Mom’s new big screen TV, the worst happens … the brothers break the TV, by accident. Inspired by Gumball’s ‘fixing the television’, We Bare Bears ‘repairing robots’, and The Powerpuff Girls ‘professor unveiling secret invention, it’s Cartoon Network to the rescue! Taps employs his nerdy brother Garcia’s science savvy in an attempt to save the day before their mom returns from the hairdresser. Garcia invents a TV, but, as it turns out – it’s actually an invisibility ray!
EPISODE 3: What’s cooking?
Release date: 21 November
Mom’s demand for an African dinner to be cooked by her children turns into a death-defying competition when Taps and Garcia decide on contrasting menus. Inspired by Mao Mao’s cook-off, it’s Cartoon Network to the rescue to win over Gogo and Mom’s approval. Bacon Pancakes comes onto the menu as a last-minute win!
EPISODE 4: Clean this house up
Release date: 28 November
Faced with the fury of Mom’s agitation at the messy state of the home, Taps and his nerdy brother, Garcia get ‘creative’ with an alternative to cleaning. It’s Cartoon Network to the rescue as Taps gets empowered by his friends in his Imagination Room – in particular Rigby and Mordecai from Regular Show’s ‘Wall buddy’ (Season 2, episode 2) to save the day by hiding all their dirt in various appliances in the kitchen. Mom comes home and discovers the mess, grounding them all instantly!
EPISODE 5: Genius Hair
Release date: 5 December
When Garcia is convinced a new hairstyle will help his chances of approval for the African University of Science in Africa for Africans, Taps’ fears for his brother’s life and reputation by having a nerdy hairstyle. Inspired by Craig of the Creek Season 2, Episode 2 where Craig has a self-cut hair disaster, and Robin’s ‘spike hair gel’ from Teen Titans Go!, Cartoon Network comes to the rescue once again! Taps teams up with his groom-wise Mom to give his brother a new look.
EPISODE 6: Load shedding P1
Release date: 12 December
When a day-long power cut hits the Lembwa household, Taps is faced with the disastrous impossibility of watching Cartoon Network. Cheered up by the Imagination Room visits featuring a slumber party in Teen Titans Go!, Grizz and his bro hanging in We Bare Bears, the “bromise” in Gumball and bros singing to each other, reaching out from behind a glass cage of emotion in Teen Titans Go!, as well as their tickling game and Apple and Onion’s ‘the floor is lava’ game, he plays with the colourful entertainment to make his afternoon fun. As a result, a breakthrough in making his brother laugh occurs!
EPISODE 7: Load shedding P2
Release date: 19 December
Faced with a scary walk in the dark to buy candles at the spaza shop, Taps must convince his brother to join him. Encouraged by Mao Mao’s ‘Don’t be afraid of the dark’, Cartoon Network comes to the rescue as they learn the power of their bond. Finally, Garcia opens his mind to the imagination of Cartoon Network, and it ends with the two brothers uniting together into the Imagination Room!