From Kenya’s own Crime and Justice to the psychological thriller DAM, your weekend watchlist is sorted with these world-class series.

CRIME AND JUSTICE

Crime and Justice is both Kenya’s first Showmax Original and Showmax’s first co-production with global broadcaster CANAL+. The Nairobi-set police procedural and legal drama stars Sarah Hassan (Plan B, Just In Time) and Alfred Munyua (Poacher, The First Grader) as Makena and Silas, the Nairobi Metropol Police detectives at the heart of the show. The eight-part series follows one ripped-from-the-headlines case per episode, all the way through to the courtroom verdict.

In the first episode, Silas and Makena investigate the gruesome murder of Abuya (Muhugu Theuri, Pillow Talk), a university student who was entangled in an illicit affair with the powerful politician Barasa (John Sibi-Okumu, The Constant Gardener, The First Grader).

Directed by Adam Neutzsky-Wulff working with an all-Kenyan production crew, Crime and Justice is written by Pauline Inda, Anthony Nero and award-winning Kenyan filmmakers Brian Munene (Watu Wote: All of Us), Njue Kevin (18 Hours) and Serah Mwihaki (Nairobi Half Life).

DAM

Early reviews for the Showmax Original DAM, a small-town psychological thriller set in the Eastern Cape, are glowing. YFM’s resident critic Yazz the Student compares DAM to HBO’s The Outsider and says the “eerie” and “unsettling” show feels “different to the South African television landscape;” Sunday Times’ Tymon Smith calls it “chilling… well-acted, eerily realised and intriguing”; Fortress of Solitude says “it rivals any international production… a must-watch show that promises to fester in your mind long after the credits roll;” and Watkykjy hailed it as the “best South African series I’ve seen to date.”

Silwerskerm Best Actress winner Lea Vivier (Wonderlus) stars as Yola, who returns from Chile to bury her estranged father. To her surprise, and her sister’s irritation, he’s left his farm to her, but this may be more of a curse than a blessing, as the house seems to be trying to tell her something. But with her mother institutionalised, and her own meds running out, Yola has to wonder if the spirits are real or just in her head? 

Two-time SAFTA winner Pallance Dladla (Shadow, Isibaya) co-stars as Themba, an intriguing biker on the run. Also look out for Hollywood actors Neil Sandilands (The Flash, The 100, The Americans) and Natasha Loring (Beaver Falls); SAFTA winner Antoinette Louw (An Act of Defiance, Die Laaste Tango); 2020 Africa Movie Academy Award nominee Faniswa Yisa (Blood Psalms, Knuckle City and Skin); aKing frontman Laudo Liebenberg (Black Sails, Die Byl), and Gerald Steyn (Meisies Wat Fluit, Fiela Se Kind).

TALI’S BABY DIARY

In Tali’s Baby Diary, an unexpected pregnancy forces Tali (Julia Anastasopoulos, aka SuzelleDIY) into a desperate pivot from Insta-influencer to wholesome momfluencer. 

Early reviews are loving the new Tali. In a five-star review on Channel24, TV critic Thinus Ferreira hailed Tali’s Baby Diary as “the best South African TV show of 2021 so far, and 100% guaranteed to make you literally laugh out loud.”

New faces this season include Coconut Kelz and Danny K; stand-up comics Kate Pinchuck, Kurt Schoonraad, Nik Rabinowitz and Tracy Klass; SAFTA winners Deon Lotz (Skoonheid, Trackers), Schalk Bezuidenhout (Kanarie, Hotel) and Siv Ngesi (Knuckle City and Showmax Originals DAM and the upcoming Blood Psalms); and rising star Shamilla Miller (The Girl From St Agnes, Blood & Water), along with some real South African momfluencers and Insta personalities.

I AM LAYCON

In February 2021, I Am LAYCON broke the Nigerian record for the most-viewed show on its first day on Showmax. Weeks later, the reality series remains in the number one most-popular spot on Showmax in Nigeria.

The first Showmax Original shot and produced in Nigeria, I Am LAYCON follows the Big Brother Naija season five winner, Lekan Agbeleshe aka Laycon, as he settles into a life of stardom and chases his music career. The show features cameos from fellow Big Brother Naija Lockdown housemates including Lilo Aderogba and Victoria Adeyele, aka Vee.

Akanni of Lagos, better known as the president of the iCONS fan club, tweeted: “Omoh, that was so smooth. Those Aunties on 124 no do pass this one ooo. This is a pure class!”

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