THE biggest series ever filmed in Cape Town and surrounds, is now streaming on Showmax, with new episodes every Friday (two up so far).
I had all the good intentions in the world to watch this when season one came out 18 months ago, but, well, what can I say? Then I was asked to do a piece on season two, so I had to do some quick catching up. No problem. I binge series like it’s an Olympic sport.
It’s the kind of show that raises a lot of questions. Like where do they get their water from? In season one, the landscape is arid and unfriendly. I don’t recall seeing a single spring or river. Only lots of those big ol’ holes, and rolling clouds coming over the mountains. Isn’t it amazing how we South Africans can recognise the landscapes as their own, even without being told? Film Afrika was the South African production company, with much of the filming taking place at Cape Town Film Studios and Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West.
In the second season, android partners Mother (Danish actress Amanda Collin) and Father (BAFTA nominee Abubakar Salim), with their brood of six human children, join a newly formed atheist colony in Kepler-22b’s mysterious tropical zone. But navigating this strange new society is only the start of their troubles as Mother’s “natural child” threatens to drive what little remains of the human race to extinction.
Season one was one of Showmax’s 10 Most-Watched series of 2021; season two has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. There’s so much to say about it, but there’s no brief way to really describe Raised By Wolves; there are more details in my Showmax story here, but really, go watch it. Watch the making of season one here, and of season two here.
Dexter remains one of the best series in our Golden Age of television. The original Dexter won a People’s Choice Award as Favourite TV Obsession and four Emmys, including Best Director, with Michael C Hall nominated as Best Actor in a Drama five times in a row. Hall also won Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards. All eight seasons are available to binge on Showmax.
Dexter: New Blood finds our fave anti-hero a decade after he drove his boat into the eye of a hurricane. Which makes a change from riding off into the sunset; both are equally unsatisfying. Reboots, remakes and sequels are often on shaky ground (the less said about Just Like That the better), but thankfully this one doesn’t stumble.
Dexter Morgan has taken on a new identity and is living in a small town in upstate New York. He’s been “clean” the entire time, not a roll of cling wrap in sight. And to make his life even more boring and normal – although that changes dramatically – he is dating the local police chief. As one does when one is a serial killer.
The Dark Passenger may have been sitting quietly for 10 years but he’s not going to hold his peace much longer. And then Harrison arrives…
The Good Fight has become weirder with each season, but I like it. The fifth is available to binge now, and we find Diane (Christine Baranski in an Emmy-nominated role) questioning whether it’s appropriate for her to help run an African American law firm with Liz (Audra McDonald in a Critics’ Choice-nominated role), after the firm loses two top lawyers.
The series regularly weaves in current affairs, and it’s no secret Diane is anti-Trump. In this season, the January 6 2021 events at The Capitol feature in a story arc between her and husband Kurt (Gary Cole).
Meanwhile, Marissa (multi-award-winner Sarah Steele) and the firm become entangled with Hal Wackner (Emmy winner Mandy Patinkin from Homeland), a regular Chicagoan who decides to open his own courtroom in the back of a copy shop. Marissa is my favourite character, but I liked Judge Wackner less and less as the season progressed.
Baranski, McDonald and Patinkin are all nominated for their roles at the 2022 Critics’ Choice Awards, where the show is up for Best Drama. Baranski was also up for Best Actress in a Drama at the 2022 Golden Globes, while The Good Wife was nominated for a 2022 NAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image Award for Best Writing.
A funnier spinoff from The Good Wife, The Good Fight has a 91% critics’ rating for season five on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus says, “The Good Fight’s fifth season continues to confront challenging current events with its singularly absurd style.”