Don’t miss Jennifer Aniston as an overbearing former beauty queen in Dumplin’. There are also whole new seasons of The L Word and The Magicians to binge-watch, plus HBO’s Run, starring and produced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Here’s our pick of the highlights.
Run S1 | First on Showmax | Mondays from 4 May
From the team behind Fleabag comes the brand-new series Run, a romantic comedy thriller about a woman, Ruby Richardson (Emmy winner Merritt Wever), who walks away from her ordinary life in the suburbs to revisit her past with her college boyfriend, Billy Johnson (Domhnall Gleeson). They made a pact 17 years earlier that if either one of them texted the word “RUN” and the other replied with the same, they would drop everything to meet in Grand Central Station and travel across America together.
Emmy and Golden Globe winner, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) guest stars, and is also executive producer.
Plum Pick cred: Run has an 83% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “Run… is a beam of glorious light and a jolt of electricity,” says Vulture. “It’s also an absorbing piece of escapism about two people compelled to drop everything and escape.”
IMDB rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 83%
I’m Sorry S2 | First on Showmax | 1 May
Comedy writer, wife, and mom Andrea is back with a new season of zero-filter, acid-sharp and usually totally inappropriate humour, putting her foot in it in cringeworthy everyday situations that are at once laugh-out-loud funny and bitingly true.
The series is inspired by the life of creator and star Andrea Savage (Veep, Step Brothers, Episodes). Tom Everett Scott (13 Reasons Why) plays Andrea’s husband Mike, while Golden Globe winner Kathy Baker (Picket Fences, Edward Scissorhands), Golden Globe nominee Allison Tolman (Emergence, Fargo), Jason Mantzoukas (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), and Judy Greer (Two and a Half Men) co-star.
Plum Pick cred: I’m Sorry has an 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and was recently renewed for a third season.
Los Angeles Times calls it “funny and grounded”, saying, “This is a show about what happens when the compulsively comic mind meets the casually funny (or humorless) one, and what can seem the astonishing willingness of the professional comedian to violate taste and decorum.”
IMDB rating: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 75%
The L Word: Generation Q | First on Showmax | 1 May
In this sequel to the ground-breaking, Emmy-nominated 2004-2009 series, Golden Globe nominee Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey reprise their original roles alongside a new generation of diverse, self-possessed LGBTQIA+ characters as they take on love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks and success in LA.
Plum Pick cred: Generation Q is up for a 2020 Queerty for Best TV Series and has a 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says Generation Q “has style and charm to spare and announces a new phase for The L Word that will please new and old fans alike.”
IMDB rating: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 81%
The Magicians S5 | First on Showmax | 1 May
Based on the bestselling novels by Lev Grossman, The Magicians follows a group of New York magic students who discover a fantasy world that threatens our own.
The description below contains important details about how Season 4 ended.
The fifth and final season finds Julia, Alice, Eliot, Margo, Penny and the rest of the gang coping with the tragic loss of Quentin as they navigate the return of magic. However, not only is magic back, but now there is way too much of it. The magicians must deal with the repercussions of this new magical surplus as they fight to prevent the literal end of the world.
Plum Pick cred: Season 5 has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. TV Fanatic calls it “…without a doubt a satisfying conclusion to an amazing five-year series,” while The Verge says, “The Magicians is a joy to watch moment to moment.”
IMDB rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 91%
Rick and Morty S4B | First on Showmax | Mondays from 4 May
Adult Swim revealed the mid-season return of Rick and Morty during their annual April Fools’ stunt – and it’s no joke. The Other Five episodes of Rick and Morty Season 4 will be arriving on the Adult Swim Corner on Showmax weekly, just 24 hours after they air in the USA.
Rick and Morty is an Emmy-award-winning half-hour animated hit comedy series that follows a sociopathic genius scientist who drags his inherently timid grandson on insanely dangerous adventures across the universe.
Rotten Tomatoes’s 100% rating critics consensus says, “Rick and Morty’s fourth season is both an exciting progression and a delightful return to form that proves more than worth the two-year wait.”
Plum Pick cred: The twelfth top rated TV series of all time on IMDb, with a 9.2/10 rating, Rick & Morty has won an Emmy, two Annie Awards, and a Critics Choice Award, among other honours.
IMDB rating: 9.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 94%
The Plot Against America | Mondays from 11 May
From the award-winning creators of The Wire comes The Plot Against America, an alternate history story in which Franklin D Roosevelt loses the US presidential election of 1940 to Nazi sympathiser Charles Lindbergh. What follows is the terrifying and tension-building tale of the country’s turn to fascism, told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey in the build-up to World War 2.
Starring Emmy nominee Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick), Oscar nominee Winona Ryder (Stranger Things), Golden Globe nominee John Turturro (The Night Of) and Morgan Spector (Boardwalk Empire), The Plot Against America is based on the acclaimed novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Roth.
Plum PIck cred: The Plot Against America has an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus reads: “A cautionary tale that hits close to home, The Plot Against America’s handsomely realized revisionist history is disturbingly relevant, making it difficult, but essential viewing.”
IMDB rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 87%
Deadly Class | First on Showmax | 11 May
King’s Dominion is an exclusive private school with a focus on special skills: specifically, the art of assasination and all the skills required to become the young heirs of the world’s most prominent crime families. Like any school, there’s a brutal curriculum and hectic social cliques, and it’s these that newbie Marcus will need to survive if he’s to prove his worth. It’s based on the comic book series by Rick Remender and Wesley Craig.
Plum Pick cred: Deadly Class has a 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. “It’s very much a story of ’80s rebellion, complete with John Hughes archetypes,” says AV Club, “but that tale is one that has been influenced by Park Chan-wook and Quentin Tarantino. Sounds fun, right?”
IMDB rating: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 64%
Bad Education (2019) | First on Showmax | 1 May
Bad Education is based on the real-life scandal that went down at writer Mike Makowsky’s high school, where a student journalist uncovered the single largest public school embezzlement scheme in America’s history.
The movie follows Frank Tassone (Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman) and Pam Gluckin (Oscar winner Allison Janney), whose reign over a prestigious school district is threatened by the embezzlement scandal, forcing Frank to take drastic steps to maintain order and secrecy.
Plum Pick cred: Bad Education has an 89% critics rating. IndieWire calls it, “A diabolically smart true-life crime drama that stars Hugh Jackman in his best performance since The Prestige”.
IMDB rating: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%
Dumplin’ (2018) | 7 May
Willowdean (‘Dumplin’), the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen, signs up for her mom’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow in her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.
Danielle MacDonald (Unbelievable) stars as Dumplin’, with Jennifer Aniston as her mother.
Plum Pick cred: The movie has an 85% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Elevated by a solid soundtrack and a terrific cast, Dumplin’ offers sweetly uplifting drama that adds just enough new ingredients to a reliably comforting formula.”
IMDB rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 85%
Boy Erased (2018) | 7 May
Jared Hedges is the son of a Baptist preacher in a small town, who is confronted with an ultimatum after being forcibly outed to his parents: attend a church-sponsored conversion therapy programme, or lose his family, friends, and faith.
Based on author and LGBTQIA+ activist Garrard Conley’s acclaimed autobiographical memoir, this true story is written and directed by Golden Globe-nominated actor Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby), who also stars.
Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) was nominated for a Golden Globe as Jared, with Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe as his parents.
Plum Pick cred: Boy, Erased won the 2019 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Limited Release Film and has a 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. CNN calls it, “one of those meticulously crafted films imbued with the kind of quiet power that can, and should, truly leave a mark.”
IMDB rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 81%
Good Boys (2019) | First on Showmax | 28 May
Three sixth grade boys ditch school and embark on an epic journey that includes carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and trying to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party.
This blast of an adventure comedy stars kids, but it gets pretty crude, and with a 16 age restriction, it’s very much not for kids – though it might take you back to some of the insane stuff you got up to at that mad age.
Plum Pick cred: A number one US box office hit, Good Boys was nominated for a 2019 People’s Choice Award for Favourite Comedy Movie and has an 80% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. IndieWire calls it “adorable and twisted at the same time”.
IMDB rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 80%
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) | 10 May
Dora has grown up in the jungle with her explorer parents, but now she faces a new challenge unlike any she’s survived before: high school! After a sudden, dangerous turn of events, Dora soon finds herself back on familiar ground as she and her best friend, Boots the monkey, must lead Diego, a mysterious jungle dweller, and a group of kids from her school on a perilous trek through the jungle to rescue her parents and uncover the truth behind the legend of the lost city of gold.
Based on the hugely successful animated TV series Dora the Explorer, this spectacular live-action adventure grossed over $120m at the global box office as the 62nd biggest film of last year.
Dora is played by Teen Choice nominee Isabela Moner (now Isabela Merced), who starred in 100 Things to Do Before High School and Transformers: The Last Knight.
Plum Pick cred: Dora and the Lost City of Gold has a 84% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and Common Sense Media recommends the movie for ages 8+, saying, “This surprisingly funny, earnest adaptation of the beloved bilingual kids’ show features an unwaveringly positive teen version of Dora.”
IMDB rating: 6/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 84%
Drag SOS and other LGBTQIA+ titles | 8 May
A whole pride of programmes strut onto our screens this month with a selection of delicious programming, including reality and competition shows like Finding Prince Charming and The Boulet Brothers Dragula; dating series Naked Attraction; docuseries Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce; drama series Lip Service; comedy series The Kids in the Hall; and comedy special Katya: Help Me I’m Dying.
Don’t miss Drag SOS, the quirky makeover show that sees drag collective the Family Gorgeous help unlikely protégées unlock their long-lost confidence and become bolder, braver drag-enhanced versions of themselves.
Plum Pick cred: Drag SOS has an 80% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.2/10 on IMDb.
IMDB rating: 8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 80%
S(he) | First on Showmax | 7 May
After qualifying to compete in the 2016 Olympic trials for swimming, Penny Kemp, an intersex teenager, is forced to undergo gender treatment, all the 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.
Plum Pick cred: A must-see South African film.
Gomora | 20 May
Gomora is a story about inequality. It’s about the rich and the poor and how fine the line between the two can be. It follows the lives of two families and how their worlds collide. All the episodes so far are available to binge-watch from 20 May, and new episodes will land every weekday from 1 June, 24 hours after Mzansi Magic.
Loving Thokoza | First on Showmax | 21 May
Lockdown creator Mandla N makes his feature film debut with Loving Thokoza. Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa (Isidingo, uHambo) stars as Charlotte Grootboom, who graduates from Fort Hare University in 1994 and takes a teaching job at a rough and tumble, apartheid-ravaged school in Thokoza.
The Beautiful People | First on Showmax | 18 May
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. 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.
Plum Pick cred: Directed by acclaimed entertainment journalist Nicky Greenwall.
Watch while you wait
What else is coming?
Look out for our Plum Picks in bold!
- LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu S10
Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce S1-5
I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011)
Lego City Adventures
- Suidooster S5
- Khanyisa Bunu Comedy Special
- Alles Malan S1
- Everest (2015)
- Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes
Women of Troy
Girl in Progress (2012)
The Loft House
- Rage of a Lioness
- Uthando Nes’Thembu S3
- Fast & Furious Collection
- Kings of Mulberry Street (2019)
Come and Find Me (2016)
Stratton: First into Action (2016)
- Bourne Collection
Dillan Oliphant: Good Kid M.A.A.D Witty
The First Purge (2018)
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
The Journey (2016)
Please note that dates and titles are subject to change.