Monday, December 24, 2018

'Twas the day before Christmas, so here are 10 really great streaming TV series to binge-watch during the holiday period.

'Twas the day before Christmas, so here are 10 TV shows on Netflix, Showmax, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and DStv Now that you can stream watch and will definitely enjoy during the Christmas holiday season.

1.A Series of Unfortunate Events (Season 1 & 2)
Perhaps you know the brilliant book series, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett. Perhaps you don't. Perhaps it's actually better if you don't. It's so sad and about orphans, and death, and disaster. A lot of disasters actually. The wonderful series stars Neil Patrick Harris as the evil Count Olaf, constantly scheming to get his hands on the inheritance of the Baudelaire children, Violent, Klaus and little Sunny (who bites). Before the third and final season covering the last books, catch up on the first and new second seasons of this beautifully done story.

2.Vikings (2nd half of season 5)
While you're waiting for the final season of Game of Thrones coming to M-Net (DStv 101) in 2019, use this time to catch up on this Nordish "game of thrones". Showmax is adding the episodes weekly of the just started second half of the 5th season of this series about vikings that is inspired by the legends of one of the best-known Norse heroes, Ragnar Lothbrok. 
The characters are rich and multifaceted, the plot unexpected, and if you love Thrones we can fully guarantee that you will love this viking drama spectacle.

3.Doctor Who New Year's Special 2019
Daleks will probably come hunt the BBC for this but the Beep has broken with tradition. No, not for choosing a woman to take over from a man (here's looking at you Jodie Whittaker) from the current 11th season, but for moving the traditional Christmas Day episode to New Year's Day.
This year the season ender special additional episode that used to be on Christmas Day is moving to 1 January 2019, with Showmax that will have it on 2 January. This time it's actually set on, and taking place on New Year's Day and the producers are promising "a big, thrilling, explosive, moving, cheeky, surprising treat".

There's been basically no publicity for this but that's why we're here to tell you about Origin, a brand-new YouTube Original series that was filmed in Cape Town. Set in space, you can watch the first two episodes of this 10-episode drama series for free on YouTube. A group of people wake up aboard a space ship heading for a far-flung planet to colonise, after some type of a disaster. Oh, let's end the suspense - something is onboard! A mysterious alien thing. The survivors have to figure out who the alien inhabited, and it has a weak spot: memory. Tom Felton who was Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter is all grown-up (and still rude and ugly to everyone). Is he the alien?

Imagine The OC, Gossip Girl, Beverly Hills 90210 and How to Get Away with Murder all rolled into one, set at an elite (hence the title) private high school where one of the pupils have died.  This new 8-episode teen drama series is utterly compelling and there's something you don't have to worry about: It's Spanish, but you can watch it with an English soundtrack (that doesn't sound "telenovela dubbing" like at all, and there are also English subtitles.
This "whodunnit" series wonderfully playing and subverting every teen TV show trope you thought you knew in a whole new way, is absolutely brilliant and will keep you guessing right until the end. Three working class students, after their school collapsed due to faulty construction, get the chance to go to the private school Las Encinas. Now mix together the jock, the Muslim girl, the blonde girl, the "teen queen" popular girl, the working class good guy, the working class guy's best friend, the sports star and an array of others for an addictive murder mystery. Who is gay, who is pregnant, who is addicted, who is getting murdered? We won't answer those questions but you'll find out who died at the end of the first episode.

6.The Bureau of Magical Things
DStv Now Catch Up
This new Nickelodeon teen series filmed in Australia revolves around the teenager Kyra who discovers a magical world existing right alongside the real world, filled with fairies, elves, and other creatures. How to do high school while helping bookstore owner and Professor Maxwell who is a teacher of magic at the Department of Magical Intervention (DMI)?

The very best spy drama of the year is this new 10-episode series that has been renewed for a second season and is a modern-day version of the 1975-film, Three Days of the Condor, based on the 1974-novel. 
Max Irons (the actor-model son of Jeremy Irons), is the young CIA analyst Joe Turner literally running for his life, trying to solve a vast conspiracy within the CIA as vicious assassins are hot on his trail in a frenetic, Terminator 2-like chase that's seemingly without end. William Hunt and Mira Sorvino bring ballast to the cast, and the tension, and unexpected twists and turns will have you gasping.

8.Jack Ryan
Amazon Prime Video
The year's second best spy drama is this excellent and gripping modern-day version of the Jack Clancy's Jack Ryan character, this time with John Krasinski in the lead role of this 8-episode season executive produced by Carlton Cruse and Michael Bay, and that has been renewed for a second season.
The "desk job" CIA analyst Jack Ryan stumbles upon a series of dubious bank transfers done by terrorists. Quickly he becomes drawn into an international spy operation, while he finds new love, deals with trauma from his past, and ends up having to try and save the live of the American president.

9.Vanity Fair
This beautiful 7-episode British period drama miniseries is a retelling of William Makepeace Thackeray's famous 1848 novel about Becky Sharp (Olivia Cooke), a ruthless (but in a good way) social climber who uses her charms and intelligence to fascinate and seduce upper-class men to improve her position and circumstances in life.
Until that new Downton Abbey movie in 2019, the costumes, clever story, great acting, and sumptuous backdrops will give you all the feels about that wonderful bygone 19th-century British society era.

10. Marvel's Runaways (season 2)
The 13-episode second season of this drama series that became available for streaming on Friday in America will drop on Showmax from 24 December. In the first season, 6 teenagers going to the same school, trying to solve a murder mystery, discover that their parents have secret superhuman powers and are hiding dark secrets.
The nerd, the goth, the jock, the blonde girl, the socially-shy girl and the one with the purple hair all band together in the new season as they are on the run. They find a new place to live, as they attempt to use their new superhuman abilities as a group.