7 scandalous series to heat up your long weekend

2017-09-22 13:55

Cape Town -  A three-day weekend means an extra 24 hours of binge-watching. Here are seven series available on internet TV about all flavours of saucy scandals and juicy secrets, from the seductive and the sexy to the shameful, the dirty and the downright dangerous.

1. House of Lies, Seasons 1-4 (Showmax)

Don Cheadle plays slick management consultant Marty Kaan of Kaan & Associates, the firm he’s built on the principle of taking people for a ride whenever possible. When not pulling the wool over his high-profile clients’ eyes, Marty has to cope with his disgruntled ex-wife, his energetic son, and his father, who won't stop psychoanalysing him. And then there’s Jeannie (Kristen Bell), one of Kaan & Associates’ most valued employees, who starts growing in all sorts of ways in Season 4.

2. The Honourable Woman, (Showmax)

After inheriting her father's business, Nessa (Maggie Gyllenhaal) changes it to help bring peace to the Middle East. But the death of a business partner triggers events that throw her into a dangerous game of secrets - all related to her having been kidnapped in Gaza eight years previously. Gyllenhaal won a Golden Globe for her performance in this spy thriller.

3. Ray Donovan, Seasons 1-4 (Showmax)

While the scandals that Ray Donovan (Emmy nominee Liev Schreiber) has to hide are usually those of his celebrity clients, he’s got plenty of his own skeletons waiting to burst out of the closet. One of them is in the form of his ex-con father (Jon Voight) … and the rest of his family faces their own demons, too. Look out for Hank Azaria in his 2017 Emmy-nominated role as Ed Cochran (which he took the Emmy for last year).

4. The Affair, Seasons 1-2 (Showmax)

Adultery is always a scandal - but when a steamy affair between a hotshot writer and a bereaved waitress starts in a small, wealthy town, and the two of them get caught up in a mysterious murder, their secrets become deadly. Ruth Wilson won the Golden Globe for her performance as Alison, the object of writer Noah’s secret affections, and Maura Tierney won the Golden Globe the following year for playing the role of Helen, Noah’s wife.

5. HBO’s Big Love, Seasons 1-2 (Showmax)

Adultery’s one thing, but for most people with Western ideas of monogamous marriage, polygamy’s a different calibre of scandal entirely. In the fundamentalist Mormon community in Utah, plural marriages are not uncommon, and Bill Henrickson is one of the men with more than one house, more than one wife, and a big brood of kids. Bill lives in a kind of wealthy commune, made up of three mansions, each of which houses one of his three wives, and he’s got seven children to look after. There are some big names in this HBO series, including Ginnifer Goodwin and Chloe Sevigny as Bill’s two younger wives, and Amanda Seyfried as his eldest daughter, who finds her family set-up scandalous and shameful.

6. Grace and Frankie (Netflix)

Finding out you’re gay in your 70s might not raise any eyebrows, but falling in love with a fellow divorce lawyer, whose wife is a longtime rival of your own, is likely to make you fair game for the gossips in your circle. This is exactly what happens when Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) announce that they’re in love and plan to get married, leaving their wives (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) to cope with the failure of their marriages and the loss of their husbands together - even if they can’t stand each other.

7. American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story (Amazon Prime)

His name evokes scandal, scorn, and, possibly, admiration, depending on your views on his often less-than-salubrious Playboy legacy, but this docuseries gives insight into the other ways the former Esquire journalist has changed the landscape of modern America. We know he’s always stood for sexual freedoms, but did you know that Hef was also considered a civil rights activist in his day? Find out more about the man behind the bunny with archival footage, reenactments and interviews, but beware - the series tends to glorify the man and his escapades. The archival footage, though, makes for a fascinating historical account of the rise of a magazine that it seemed nobody wanted to see in print. 

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