Get in the mood for the Emmys with these 12 hot shows

2017-09-15 19:00

Cape Town - With the Primetime Emmy Awards coming up on Sunday, 17 September, and certain Emmy Awards already having been dished out, now’s the time to binge on the best series internet TV has to offer. Who’s your money on?

1. HBO's Big Little Lies (Showmax)

Five women, their children, and the backstabbing and deceit that go with being mega-rich in a small town where everyone knows everybody else’s business collide in this gripping miniseries based on the bestselling novel. Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are both up for the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series, while Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern will compete for the Supporting Actress award. Alexander Skarsgard is up for Outstanding Supporting Actor, and the series’ 16 nominations also include Writing and Best Director. Last weekend it won Casting, Music Supervision, and Contemporary Costumes Emmys to boot.

2. HBO's Westworld (Showmax)

Where do you draw the line between life and artificial intelligence? Prepare to have your mind blown in this incredible and unnerving show about man versus the machines we build. Last weekend, the sci-fi series won Special Visual Effects, Hairstyling, Make-up, Sound Mixing, and Interactive Media Emmys, putting it in the lead with five awards already in the bag. It’s up for 22 Emmys in total, including for Outstanding Drama Series, for Evan Rachel Wood as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and for Thandie Newton as Outstanding Supporting Actress. 

3. HBO’s The Night Of (Showmax)

Riz Ahmed and his co-star John Turturro are both up for Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series this year, and the early Emmy favourite has already bagged four Emmys (for Single Camera Picture Editing, Cinematography, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing in a Limited Series) out of the 13 nominations it received. The gripping thriller is about a student called Naz (Ahmed) who goes to bed with a stranger and wakes up a few hours later to find her butchered in her bed. Turturro plays his lawyer who, despite all the evidence and the details that start emerging about who Naz really is, believes fiercely in his client’s innocence.

4. HBO’s Veep (Showmax)

The first three seasons of this hilarious comedy about ambitious, ruthless, bungling politician Selina Meyer are currently available on Showmax. The series is the favourite to scoop the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, with Julia Louis-Dreyfuss expected to take the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy for a record sixth time in a row. Her co-stars Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale and Matt Walsh are up for the Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor Emmys respectively, and the series has already won three Emmys so far (for casting, cinematography and production design). If you haven’t watched it yet, get cracking - Veep’s being hailed as the best comedy on TV at the moment, especially considering the state of affairs in Washington IRL.

5. Mr Robot (Showmax)

Last year, Remi Malek won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and he’s putting on another brilliant performance as idealistic hacker Elliot in Season 3, coming first to Showmax on 12 October. Seasons 1 and 2 are already on Showmax for your bingeing pleasure (or terror). In Season 3, things are ready to explode as Phase 2 closes in, Elliot's multiple personalities grow stronger and nobody can trust anyone in this brilliant cat and mouse game. It was up for four Emmys this year, including Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for BD Wong, who plays White Rose, head of rival hacker group the Dark Army.

6. South Park (Showmax)

This adult animated comedy was up for the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Programme for the 16th time this year. Seasons 19 and 20 are currently on Showmax, with Season 21 coming fresh from the US on Showmax in weekly episodes! There apparently won’t be as much political commentary in this season as there was in Seasons 19 and 20, and we’re promised many more moments of the elementary schoolers just being kids. But this is South Park we’re talking about - it’s bound to be as irreverent and relevant as ever.

7. The Late Late Show with James Corden (Showmax)

Nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Talk Show this year, and winner of the Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Programme and Outstanding Variety Special in 2016, this popular late-night talk show is best known for its viral Carpool Karaoke skits. British actor, singer and comedian James Corden is the brilliant host, and he brings celebrities and musical guests together in an entertaining late-night party. The Late Late Show comes fresh from the US on Showmax with episodes going live just 24 hours after their US debut. 

8. The Young Pope (Showmax)

In this miniseries that comes first and only to Showmax, you not only get to see Jude Law naked, but you also get a behind-the-scenes peek at the inner workings of the Vatican. The miniseries scored an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Production Design, so you know the sets are awesome, plus it also got an Emmy nod for its cinematography, and when you watch it, you’ll agree that it’s beautifully shot. The story is about Lenny Belardo (Law), the youngest Pope in history but also the first American pontiff. The Church thought he could be controlled. They thought wrong.

9. Fargo (Showmax)

Winner of six Emmys to date, including this year’s award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, and too many nominations to count (including for Outstanding Limited Series, Limited Series Actress and Supporting Actor), this dark comedy is based on the Coen Brothers film of the same name. It’s full of suspense, is brilliantly written and will keep you hooked as the intricate plots unfolds in each self-contained season. Seasons 1 and 2 are both on Showmax, with Season 3 coming early 2018.

10. Stranger Things (Netflix)

A strong contender for the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, among others, and winner of five Emmys this year already (for arty things like Main Title Design and Sound Editing), this 80s-throwback sci-fi stars Winona Ryder as a woman whose son goes missing under mysterious circumstances. It soon becomes clear that there are supernatural forces at work, especially when a girl called Eleven, who can move things with her mind, arrives in town. It’s creepy AF, this one, with an exceptional soundtrack and mind-bending special effects.

11. The Crown (Netflix)

A favourite among certain pundits to win the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy this year, and winner of the Emmy for Outstanding Costumes and Outstanding Production Design, this beautiful series about the first years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is engrossingly filmed. A second season has been commissioned and is set to pick up in 1956 with the Suez Crisis. Even if 20th-Century British politics and the royals aren’t your thing, you don’t want to miss this series, if only for John Lithgow’s performance as Winston Churchill, for which he is tipped to take this year’s Best Supporting Actor Emmy.

12. Transparent (Amazon Prime)

Jeffrey Tambor is some critics’ pick for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series this year for his role as transgender woman Maura, formerly Morty Pfefferman, family patriarch. This series is witty, dark, cringe-worthy and enlightening, and features the glorious Kathryn Hahn as Rabbi Raquel, who’s often the voice of reason for this dysfunctional, difficult family.

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