Showmax had a great 2022: in the interim results from MultiChoice that were released in November 2022, paying Showmax subscribers increased by 50% and Showmax Pro subscribers increased by 111% – even before the FIFA World Cup.
As always, this was driven by the content. At both the 2022 SAFTAs and Primetime Emmys, Showmax was home to more winners than any other streaming service in Africa. At the 2023 Golden Globes, content on Showmax took home Best Series – Drama (House of Dragons), Best Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (The White Lotus), Best Actress – Drama (Zendaya for Euphoria), and Best Supporting Actress – Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Jennifer Coolidge for The White Lotus).
But while awards are always worth celebrating, the real prize is local audiences. Below, in alphabetical order, are the 10 most watched titles on Showmax in South Africa in 2022: a smash-hit telenovela and its behind-the-scenes documentary (The Wife and The Wife: Behind the Veil), three reality series (The Real Housewives of Durban and Lagos, and Living The Dream With Somizi), a tell-all interview (Mohale: On the Record), two skop-skiet-en-donner blockbuster movies (Fast & The Furious 9, Wrath of Man), a local documentary series about sex (Sex in Afrikaans) and an Emmy-winning drama series (Euphoria). Six of the 10 titles are South African, with one from Nigeria and three American titles.
For her lead performance as teen addict Rue, Zendaya became the youngest ever two-time acting winner at the Emmys, where Euphoria has now won nine Emmys and was jointly the second most awarded series in 2022. Zendaya is now also up for Best Actress at both the 2023 Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, where Euphoria is also up for Best Drama Series.
Variety’s Daniel D’Addario picked HBO’s 18LSDVN teen series as his best TV show of 2022, saying, “Euphoria would be television’s most overconfidently made series, if it didn’t somehow, every time, find its way to sublimity.”
HBO has already renewed Euphoria for a third season.
FAST & FURIOUS 9: THE FAST SAGA
“No matter how fast you are, no one outruns their past, and mine just caught up to me,” admits Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) in the blockbuster F9: The Fast Saga. This time Dom must confront a world-shattering terrorist plot headed by his own estranged brother (John Cena from Peacemaker).
F9 was up for Favorite Movie at the People’s Choice Awards, where Diesel, Cena and Oscar winner Charlize Theron were also nominated for their performances.
As Independent (UK) puts it, the hit franchise is “still delivering what audiences truly want: cars where cars absolutely should not be.”
LIVING THE DREAM WITH SOMIZI S1-5 & MOHALE: ON THE RECORD
Can you think of a more talked about breakup than Somizi & Mohale’s in 2022?
Living The Dream With Somizi Season 5 told Somizi’s version of their breakup, then Mohale: On the Record let us hear from Mohale himself.
Let’s just say the two narratives didn’t exactly line up…
SEX IN AFRIKAANS S1
Sex in Afrikaans follows clinical psychologist Bradley R Daniels as he helps four Afrikaans couples and two singles to have shameless discussions about their sex lives for the first time publicly – and, in the process, discover that there is so much more fun to be had!
Channel24’s Gabi Zietsman gave the 18SNLV Showmax Original five stars, calling it “an incredibly brave show” and “a great conversation starter, especially for anyone who doesn’t know how to start those talks with their partners… It creates a safe space both on and off the screen.”
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF DURBAN S1-2 AND THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF LAGOS S1
S1 of The Real Housewives of Durban (RHOD) started with fireworks – literally – while S2 ended with Jojo Robinson throwing her drink at Mabusi. In between, the show set a then record on Showmax, topped Twitter repeatedly, and was one of Showmax’s ten most watched shows two years in a row. It also went on to screen in the US on Bravo, the original home of the hit The Real Housewives franchise, as well as on NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock and in 27 countries on hayu.
But Durban had new competition for Africa’s reality TV crown in 2022 from The Real Housewives of Lagos, which trended at #1 on Twitter in South Africa and topped the Showmax charts here, in addition to setting a new record for the most first-day views on Showmax in Nigeria.
The first Nigerian edition of the hit international franchise followed the opulent lives of six of the most glamorous women in Africa’s largest megacity: businesswoman Carolyna Hutchings, lawyer and luxury hair brand owner Chioma Ikokwu, Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo, influencer Laura Ikeji-Kanu, PR expert Mariam Timmer, and celebrity stylist Toyin Lawani-Adebayo.
S3 of RHOD starts on Showmax on 1 February 2023, with Maria Valaskatzis, Mbali Ngiba and Slindile Wendy Ndlovu joining returning cast members Annie Mthembu, Jojo Robinson, Nonku Williams and Sorisha Naidoo.
THE WIFE S1-3 & THE WIFE: BEHIND THE VEIL
The Showmax Original telenovela The Wife ended 2022 the way it started it: at the top of the charts on Showmax. In between, the hit show picked up two DStv Mzansi Viewers Choice Awards and two SAFTAs before earning Kwenzo Ngcobo the People’s Choice Award at the GQ Men of the Year Awards.
The third and final season of The Wife has focused on Tswana doctor Naledi (Gaisang K Noge), who is heir to the royal throne, and her Zulu ‘commoner’ lover, Qhawe (Ngcobo). They’ve already been dubbed ‘Qhaledi’ and ‘Mr and Mrs Woolworths’ by Twitter.
The Wife: Behind the Veil, an eight-part behind-the-scenes special, was also one of Showmax’s 10 most-watched series of 2022.
WRATH OF MAN
MTV Movie Award winner Guy Ritchie and Critics Choice nominee Jason Statham – the action dream-team that gave us Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Revolver – are at it again in Wrath of Man, which was up for Best Action Movie at 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards.
Statham (best known as The Transporter, Crank, and Deckard Shaw in the Fast & Furious films) stars as H, a new security guard for a cash truck company, who faces mistrust from his crew after unleashing precision skills during a heist, leaving them questioning his identity, and his motives.
RogerEbert.com calls the blockbuster hit “a star vehicle for Jason Statham at his meanest” and “one of Guy Ritchie’s best-directed movies.”