Viola Davis plays the title role in Ma Rainey's ’Black Bottom’. Picture: David Lee/Netflix
Viola Davis plays the title role in Ma Rainey's ’Black Bottom’. Picture: David Lee/Netflix

Here’s what to expect from Netflix and DStv’s festive offerings

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Dec 5, 2020

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After what has been a trying year of endless Zoom meetings, home schooling and physical distancing, thanks to the new normal brought on by Covid-19, adults and kids are looking forward to the festive holidays.

With social gatherings kept to a minimum, there will be plenty of downtime on the couch.

Following the recently held showcases of Netflix and DStv, below are the shows that should be on your binge-watch list.

NETFLIX

Riding with Sugar

Hakeem Kae-Kazim, alongside breakout stars Charles Mnene. Picture: Supplied

If you haven’t seen this Afro-futuristic coming-of-age offering, do yourself a favour and catch it. It’s a beautifully cast movie with Charles Mnene and Hakeem Kae-Kazim.

It follows the journey of Joshua, a Zimbabwean refugee, who is determined to win a BMX cycling championship.

However, a tragedy derails his plans but it ends up being rather fortuitous as it changes his life for the better.

Along the way he strikes a few close bonds, finds love and learns invaluable life lessons.

Kings of Joburg

Shona Ferguson and Zolisa Xaluva in a scene from Kings of Joburg. Picture: Netflix

The series has been making the biggest noise in recent weeks. Of course, how could it not, coming from the lauded Ferguson stable.

In fact, it’s their first Netflix partnership. The series follows Simon “Vader” Masire (Shona Ferguson), a member of the KOJ brotherhood and the eldest sibling in the family. He is the blood brother of Mogomotsi “Mo” Masire (Zolisa Xaluva), who has been recently released from prison.

There’s plenty of tension within this family but there is also a strong bond that develops when opposing forces try to tear them apart.

This crime drama is interwoven with folklore, which makes the six-part series unusual and engaging. And it’s got a stellar cast to boot.

How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding

The cast of “How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding“. Picture: Netflix

The romcom is bound to leave viewers in stitches.

As the title suggests, the premise includes a wedding. Where weddings are concerned chaos, misunderstandings and disagreements are par for the course.

It also provides plenty of comic relief.

The film is set against the backdrop of Beauty’s Christmas wedding.

Everything seems to be on track until Tumi Sello, Beauty’s elder sister, comes into the picture.

Simply put, she’s trouble. There’s plenty of fights, tears, laughter and, of course, romance as the family rally together to make the event happen.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Critics are singing the praises of Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman. Set in 1927 Chicago, the story follows the trailblazing journey of Ma Rainey and her aspiring horn player as tension mounts between the “Mother of the Blues” and her controlling white management during an afternoon recording session.

This was Boseman’s last acting role before he died.

Bridgerton

A scene with the cast of “Bridgerton”. Picture: Nick Briggs/Netflix

This Shondaland period drama is one of the most talked-about and hugely anticipated shows of 2020.

Having binged the entire eight episodes in one night, I can attest to it being worth the wait and hype.

The series follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter in the influential Bridgerton family who gets the queen’s stamp of approval as a debutante.

With plenty of suitors at her beck and call, she strikes up an alliance with a commitment-phobic Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), who is determined to fob off the attention of the mamas of this season's debutantes.

Meanwhile, the mysterious Lady Whistledown and her scandal sheet cause a stir amid the unfolding romances, heartbreaks, indiscretions and misdeeds.

DStv/Showmax

My Kersfeeskombuis

No festive season is complete without plenty of feasting. And this five-part Christmas special is a must-see, especially when planning those menus for the 25th.

That it is helmed by five South African chefs is reason enough to tune in.

Catch the show on Friday on VIA (DStv channel 147) at 5pm.

Lebo M – Coming Home

Lebo M. Picture: Supplied

With family the focus point at this time of the year, Showmax’s new reality series invites viewers into the home of Lebo M.

During the 10 episodes, perceptions of the icon will change as we see him interact with his family while planning for his 30th anniversary in the business, which will manifest with his biopic next year.

Viewers will also get to see his creative process as he recruits Zahara, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Judith Sephuma and his daughter, Refi, for his music.

Christmas Special With Lazy Makoti

The Lazy Makoti. Picture: Facebook

The proliferation of cooking shows continue with best-selling South African chef Mogau Seshoene, aka the Lazy Makoti, taking the panic out of preparing for your Christmas lunch.

She dishes out all the best tricks and hacks, using foods that are easy to shop for.

Even if you are keeping the guest list short this year, the show will help you learn how to make those classic dishes that will make you the envy of the family.

Catch the show on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) on Tuesday, December 15, at 6pm.

Merry Liddle Christmas

The cast “Merry Liddle Christmas“. Picture: Supplied

Destiny Child’s Kelly Rowland helms this romantic comedy as tech exec Jacquie Liddle.

The story follows a serious upheaval in her perfectly Instagrammable new home when her family decides to visit over Christmas. Thankfully, her dashing neighbour, Tyler (Thomas Cardot), comes to her rescue.

The movie airs on Lifetime (DStv channel 131) on Saturday, December 19, at 7.20pm.

Home Affairs: A Christmas Tale

Home Affairs: A Christmas Tale. Picture: Supplied

The local film will leave viewers in stitches.

The story follows the journey of a feuding clan who are forced to spend Christmas under the same roof.

And to make the situation worse, one family member is a loud mouthed agitator. Oh boy! The film stars Hilton Pelser, David Viviers and Bronté Snell.

This film airs on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Saturday, December 19, at 9pm.

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