From Ted to Halo to Lawmen: Bass Reeves to The Office: what to watch on the new Showmax in February

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From Ted to Halo to Lawmen: Bass Reeves to The Office: what to watch on the new Showmax in February

With the new Showmax officially launching on 12 February, we’re not only ramping up our African Originals slate, we’re also offering more international series than ever before.

And look out for Kenya-born multi-award winner Arap Bethke in Showmax’s first-ever Telemundo offering  Buscando a Frida (The Search for Frida), winner of Best Non-English Language U.S. Primetime Program at the International Emmy Awards.

Here are some of the international series to watch in February.

1st seasons of Ted, Lawmen: Bass Reeves, Found; new seasons of Halo, The Rookie; box sets of The Office & Parks and Rec

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TED S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 12 February

Ted (Oscar nominee Seth MacFarlane) is back in an all-new prequel series in which the foul-mouthed bear is forced to navigate high school alongside his best friend John (Max Burkholder, aka Max Braverman in Parenthood).  

It’s 1993, and Ted the bear’s moment of fame has passed. He’s now living back home in Framingham, Massachusetts with his best friend, 16-year-old John Bennet, along with John’s parents, Matty and Susan, and cousin Blaire. Ted may be a lousy influence on John, but at the end of the day, he’s a loyal pal who’s always willing to go out on a limb for friendship.

One of Rotten Tomatoes’ Most Anticipated TV and Streaming Shows of 2024, Ted has an 8.1/10 rating on IMDb, where it’s one of the ten most popular shows globally right now. As The Daily Beast says, “The new Ted Series Is as filthy, offensive, and – God help us – funny as ever.”

You can also watch the two original films on Showmax from 22 February 2024. 

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HALO S2 | First on Showmax | 2 eps on 12 February, then weekly

Based on one of the highest-grossing gaming franchises of all time, Halo is set amid an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant.

Emmy nominee Pablo Schreiber (American GodsOrange is the New Black) stars as cybernetically enhanced super-soldier Master Chief John-117. In Season 2, John will risk everything to prove what no one else will believe – that the Covenant are preparing to attack humanity’s greatest stronghold. With the galaxy on the brink, John embarks on a journey to find the key to humankind’s salvation, or its extinction — the Halo. 

People’s Choice winner Joseph Morgan (The OriginalsVampire Diaries) joins the cast this season, while Natascha McElhone (Californication) returns, having been nominated for a Women’s Image Network Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series as Dr. Halsey. Triple-Oscar winner Steven Spielberg is an executive producer on the series.

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LAWMEN: BASS REEVES S1 | First on Showmax | Weekly from 12 February

Emmy nominee David Oyelowo (SelmaSilo) was up for Best Actor at both the Critics Choice and Golden Globe Awards as Bass Reeves, a slave who became the first Black U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi, arresting more than 3 000 outlaws during the course of his career. 

Created by Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone), Lawmen: Bass Reeves has an 81% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In their 4-star review, The Guardian says, “this utterly distinctive western is a rare treat… a tense, thoughtful interrogation of what liberty means.”

The Paramount series’ stellar supporting cast includes the likes of Emmy winner Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games) and Emmy nominee Dennis Quaid (Far From Heaven). 

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THE OFFICE S1-9 | Binge from 12 February

Widely hailed as one of the best TV comedies of all time, The Office follows the everyday work lives and cringe-worthy antics of the staff at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.

If the original British version made Ricky Gervais a household name, the American version did the same for the likes of Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski and Mindy Kaling. 

The Office still holds a 9.0/10 score on IMDb, having been NBC’s highest-rated scripted series between 2005 and 2013. The Emmy-winning mockumentary was still claiming titles seven years later, becoming the most-streamed show of the year in 2020. 

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THE ROOKIE S5 | Binge from 22 February

The LAPD’s oldest rookie, John Nolan (multiple People’s Choice Award winner Nathan Fillion from Castle and Firefly), is ready to take on a new role as The Rookie enters its fifth season. But first, he’ll have to face off once again with serial killer Rosalind Dyer (the late Annie Wersching from 24 and Star Trek: Picard). 

Lisseth Chavez (Chicago P.D.’s Vanessa Rojas) joins the cast this season as rookie Celina Juarez. Also look out for guest appearances from the likes of Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson and a crossover event with The Rookie: Feds in episode 21.

The Rookie was nominated for its second Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination earlier this year, and has maintained a consistent 8/10 score on IMDb, with Season 6 on the way.

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FOUND S1 | First On Showmax |  Stream from 12 February, with new eps on Thursdays

In any given year, more than 600 000 people are reported missing in the US. More than half that number are people of colour that the country seems to forget about. 

NBC’s biggest launch on Peacock yet, Found centres on recovery specialist Gabi Mosely and her crisis management team as they work tirelessly to find missing people forgotten by the system. But this everyday hero is hiding a chilling secret of her own…

Created by Nigerian-American Nkechi Okoro Carroll (All American and All American: Homecoming), Found stars award winner Shanola Hampton (Veronica Fisher in Shameless) opposite the likes of Kelli Williams (Dr. Gillian Foster in Lie to Me, Lindsay Dole in The Practice), Teen Choice winner Brett Dalton (Grant Ward aka Hive in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Paul Johnson in Mixed-ish, Detective John Clark, Jr. in NYPD Blue). 

AV Club calls the show “a compelling character study of how differently people heal (or don’t) from traumatic, life-changing events – all while shining a light on the real-life efforts of non-profit organisations such as the Black and Missing Foundation.”

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PARKS & RECREATION S1-7 | Binge from 12 February

From the exec producers of The OfficeParks and Recreation is set in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana and follows a relentlessly perky mid-level bureaucrat, Leslie Knope (Emmy and Golden Globe winner Amy Poehler), and her tireless efforts to make her quintessentially American town just a little bit more fun.

Parks and Recreation was nominated for 14 Emmys and won 25 awards, including a Golden Globe, a Peabody, and three Critics Choice Awards. Entertainment Weekly called it “one of the best TV series ever made”, with “TV’s funniest ensemble cast.”

That cast included the likes of Nick Offerman (The Last of Us), Aubrey Plaza (The White Lotus), Adam Scott (Severance), Rob Lowe (9-1-1: Lone Star), Aziz Ansari (Master of None) and Chris Pratt (aka Marvel’s Star-Lord and Jurassic World’s Owen Grady), with even Joe Biden and Michelle Obama making guest appearances. 

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FUNNY WOMAN S1 | First on Showmax | Stream from 12 February, with new episodes on Thursdays

One of Rotten Tomatoes’ Most Anticipated TV and Streaming Shows of 2024, Funny Woman tells the story of Blackpool beauty queen Barbara Parker as she tries to make it in London at the height of the Swinging Sixties. 

BAFTA nominee Gemma Arterton (The King’s Man) stars as Parker. Directed by BAFTA nominee Oliver Parker, the six-part series is based on Nick Hornby’s bestselling novel Funny Girl and adapted by British comedian Morwenna Banks (Slow Horses), who co-stars. The ensemble cast also includes Tom Bateman (Based on a True Story), BAFTA winner David Threlfall (Shameless), and BAFTA nominee Rupert Everett (NapoleonMy Best Friend’s Wedding).

As The Guardian says, “Gemma Arterton is absolutely captivating… The actor exudes star power in this take on the popular novel. It blossoms into a colourful romp through the swinging 60s… It’s TV as comfort food, and I was happily sated by it.”

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SAS ROGUE HEROES S1 | First On Showmax | Stream from 12 February, with new eps on Thursdays

SAS Rogue Heroes is a “mostly true” account of how arguably the world’s greatest special forces unit was formed under extraordinary circumstances in the darkest days of World War II.

Nominated for a 2023 BAFTA for its Sound, SAS Rogue Heroes has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian hailing it as “one of the year’s most emotional shows… This brilliant series from the Peaky Blinders creator might be a high-octane, action-packed riot – but it’s also tender, touchy and funny… A total triumph.” 

As David Stirling, Sex Education’s Connor Swindells was nominated for Best Actor at the 2023 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. Emmy nominee Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones) and multi-award winner Jack O’Connell (Patrick Sumner in The North Water) co-star, alongside the likes of BAFTA winner Dominic West (The Crown) and Algerian actress Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service). 

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| Binge from 21 February 2023 

Nominated for Best Broadcast Network or Cable Limited Series at the 2023 Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards, Accused centres on the defendant in a different court case in each episode. 

Already renewed for a second season, the legal drama anthology is developed by three-time Emmy winner Howard Gordon (Homeland24The X-Files), based on the Emmy-winning 2010 British series, which was created by multiple-BAFTA winner Jimmy McGovern (Time). 

For his role as Detective Trent Douglas, Black Reel winner Wendell Pierce (The Wire) was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards. 

Also look out for the likes of Emmy winners Michael Chiklis (The Shield’s Detective Vic Mackey), Margo Martindale (JustifiedThe AmericansCocaine Bear) and Rhea Perlman (CheersBarbie), Oscar winner Keith Carradine (FargoMadame Secretary), Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Teen Choice winner Rachel Bilson (The O.C.), Emmy nominee Jason Ritter (MatlockRaising Dion) and IMDb 2022 STARmeter Fan Favorite Award winner Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead’s Connie). 

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FULL CIRCLE | Binge from 1 February 

Full Circle centres on an investigation into a botched kidnapping, which uncovers long-held secrets connecting multiple characters and cultures in New York City.

Inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 classic, High and Low, the six-part series has an 81% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Steven Soderbergh’s assured direction and a stacked cast give this simmering noir plenty of intrigue.” 

That stacked cat includes Emmy winners Claire Danes (HomelandRomeo + Juliet), Jharrel Jerome (When They See UsMoonlight) and Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan ShowPeter Pan & Wendy) and Emmy nominees Zazie Beetz (AtlantaDeadpool 2Joker) and Timothy Olyphant (The Book of Boba FettFargoJustified).

As Vulture says in their round-up of the best series of 2023, “In a sea of so much sameness this year… the dense Full Circle, about a kidnapping, a curse, family secrets, corrupt cops, and contemporaneous colonialism, was like absolutely nothing else.”

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KILLING IT S1 | First On Showmax | Stream from 12 February, with new eps on Thursdays

Killing It, from the creative team behind Brooklyn Nine-Nine, is a comedy about class, capitalism and one man’s quest to achieve the American dream. And also about hunting really big snakes.

As Craig, MTV Movie Award winner Craig Robinson (Darryl Philbin in The Office, Doug Judy in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Ray in Mr. Robot) was nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Series, Comedy, or Musical. Emmy-nominated comedian Claudia O’Doherty (Mary Bonnet in Our Flag Means Death) co-stars. 

Season 1 has an 89% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As the New York Times says, “This isn’t one of those moody, barely-a-comedy dramedies; it’s gut-bustingly, grotesquely funny.”

BUPKIS S1 | First on Showmax | Stream from 12 February, with new eps on Thursdays

Bupkis is a heightened, fictionalised version of the life of People’s Choice nominee Pete Davidson, which has already drawn comparisons to Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Louis C.K.’s Louie.

Four-time Emmy winner Edie Falco (aka Carmela Soprano) plays Pete’s mother, with Oscar winner Joe Pesci (The IrishmanMy Cousin VinnyGoodfellas) as his grandfather, alongside multiple-Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale (The Irishman) and Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano. Also look out for guest appearances from the likes of Al Gore, Jon Stewart, Method Man, Nathan Fillion, Steve Buscemi, and even J.J. Abrams. 

With NPR calling it, “endearingly self-deprecating and reliably entertaining,” Peacock has already ordered a second season. As Variety puts, “Who doesn’t want a look at the inner workings of Pete Davidson‘s mind?”

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ALERT: MISSING PERSONS UNIT S1 | Binge from 27 February

As Detective Nikki Batista in Alert: Missing Persons Unit, Dania Ramirez (Sweet ToothDevious Maids and Heroes) was nominated as Best Actress – Drama at the 2023 Imagen Awards. 

Batista joins the Philadelphia Police Department’s Missing Person’s Unit after her son, Keith, goes missing. Along with her partner and ex-husband, Detective Jason Grant (Golden Globe nominee Scott Caan from Hawaii Five-0 and the Ocean’s trilogy), Nikki works tirelessly to help other people find their loved ones, even as she searches for her own. 

Created by Oscar winner Jamie Foxx (They Cloned TyroneDjango Unchained) and writer-producer John Eisendrath (AliasThe Blacklist), Alert: Missing Persons Unit was a ratings hit in the US, averaging over 3.2m viewers, and has already been renewed for Season 2. 

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RUN THE WORLD S2 | Binge from 26 February

Run the World follows a group of successful Black women living in the Upper Manhattan district of Harlem.

The second and final season picks up with Whitney (Black Reel nominee Amber Stevens West from 22 Jump Street) anxiously awaiting the fate of her relationship, while Sondi (Corbin Reid from Blair Witch and How to Get Away with Murder) and Renee (Bresha Webb from Night School) are reminded that it’s never a bad time to choose yourself.

Season 1 scored a rare 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and won three Women’s Image Network Awards – for Outstanding Comedy Series; Outstanding Actress (Webb); and Outstanding Show Written by a Woman for series creator Leigh Davenport. At the Black Reel Awards, Run the World was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Actress (Webb), with Erika Alexander winning Outstanding Guest Actress.

The Hollywood Reporter says it’s “giddy, gossipy and gladdening… exactly the feeling you’d want while catching up with an old friend over cocktails.”  

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MALPRACTICE S1 | Binge from 29 February

What happens if you can’t trust the people who hold your life in their hands? 

A searing insight into the pressures and politics of hospital life, Malpractice stars BAFTA nominee Niamh Algar (Raised by WolvesPure) as the smart, battle-hardened Dr Lucinda Edwards, whose life is turned upside down when a nightmare shift ends in the death of an opioid overdose victim. 

The five-episode British medical drama has an 86% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has already been renewed for a second season.

In their 4-star review, The Guardian says, “Intricately plotted and beautifully, leanly written by Grace Ofori-Attah… Malpractice plunges us into the unforgiving world that today’s doctors work in.” 

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VICTORIA’S SECRET: ANGELS AND DEMONS | First on Showmax | Binge from 12 February

Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons tells the provocative story of the Victoria’s Secret brand and its longtime CEO, the larger-than-life, enigmatic billionaire Les Wexner. The underworld of fashion, the billionaire class, and Jeffrey Epstein are all revealed to be inextricably intertwined with the fall of this legendary brand.

Directed by Sundance and Venice Film Festival nominee Matt Tyrnauer, the true-crime documentary series has a 91% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Angels and Demons dresses down one of the world’s most iconic retail brands with some genuinely disquieting revelations, prompting viewers to question the company’s ethics and reconsider its effect on beauty standards.”

As Globe and Mail says, “There is much to glean from the series… some of it very sobering, and some of it formidably creepy.” 

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HOME ECONOMICS S2 | Binge from 28 February

Home Economics returns for a hilarious and heartwarming second season following Tom (Emmy winner Topher Grace from BlacKkKlansman), Connor (YouTuber Jimmy Tatro from American Vandal) and Sarah (Caitlin McGee from Mythic Quest), three grown-up siblings fielding the ups and downs of life at different ends of the financial spectrum.

Season 1 had an 82% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, with the show nominated for four Women’s Image Network Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for Sasheer Zamata as Sarah’s wife, Denise.

Guests this season include maths guru Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper in the original series The Wonder Years) as the principal of Windmount Academy and Grammy-winning Cheech & Chong legend Cheech Marin as Marina’s father, Roberto. 

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Named Best Non-English Language U.S. Primetime Program at the International Emmy Awards, Telemundo’s Buscando a Frida (aka The Search for Frida) follows the Pons family, whose lives are thrown into disarray when teenager Frida is kidnapped at a club on the night of her father’s birthday, triggering a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the kidnappers and unearthing the family’s darkest secrets.

Look out for Kenya-born multi-award winner Arap Bethke as Martin Cabrera. 

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