Joy is top of the agenda as DStv rolls out the best shows, series and movies this festive season, including six new local Christmas movies. As is now a tradition, M-Net and streaming service Showmax have curated content that reflects how South Africans “festive”, with relatable themes of love, loss, generosity and festive cheer.
Starring the likes of June van Merch, Natalie Robbie, Zola Nombona, Phumlani Magadla, Hamilton Dlamini and Sthandiwe Kgoroge, the movies are a celebration of all things South African.
Additionally, fan favourites such as the new season of 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way, Season 3, on TLC (DStv Channel 135), and Come Dine with Me: South Africa, Season 7 on BBC Lifestyle (DStv Channel 174) return.
The approaching season is a chance to choose joy when spending time with family and friends, or even taking much-needed “me time”. Through its Choose Joy campaign, DStv brings the freshest local and international content and the brightest stars from our shores and beyond.
Here’s what viewers can look forward to this festive season:
M-Net Movies 1 (DStv channel 104)
- Nativity (11 December at 12:45; available on Showmax on 24 December): Nagvlug Films (Skemerdans, Barakat) brings audiences a holiday-themed comedy starring the iconic South African actress June van Merch. A community group plans a Christmas show to save their local hall – but will things go as planned? Featuring David Isaacs and directed by Bianca Flanders of Troukoors (Wedding Fever) fame.
- Season’s Feelings (Showmax premiere 9 December; showing on M-Net Movies 1 on 18 December at 13:55): SAFTA-winner Jozua Malherbe teams up with Wonderlus producer Zandré Coetzer for an original holiday comedy that follows a group of outsiders as they travel to a Christmas party. Starring Natalie Robbie, Zandile Lujabe and Kiroshan Naidoo.
- Eve’s Christmas (Showmax premiere 24 December; showing on M-Net Movies 1 on 25 December at 12:12): From Die Byl actor Marvin-Lee Beukes comes a hilarious M-Net original comedy in which feuding siblings, Carl and Eve, finally face their differences when Carl’s son requests that Eve come to visit for Christmas. Starring Juliette Pauling (Tali’s Baby Diary) and Mark Elderkin (Reyka, Black Sails).
- Asseblief & Dankie (Showmax premiere 25 December; showing on kykNET on 25 December at 20:00): A homeless woman saves the life of a wealthy CEO, and in an unusual moment of Christmas spirit, he invites her to recover in his luxury penthouse. He laughs off her claims to be from another world – until his own starts tipping over. SAFTA-winner Crystal-Donna Roberts stars with Laudo Liebenberg in this latest offering from Marche Media (Kanarie).
- Boxing Day (Showmax premiere 23 December): Zola Nombona and Hamilton Dlamini star in this original Christmas comedy directed by SAFTA-nominee Mandla N (Lockdown, Loving Thokoza). Two siblings kidnap a government official to obtain money to help bury their grandma. Boxing Day also features Phumlani Magadla and Sthandiwe Kgoroge.
- Love, Lies And Hybrids (Showmax premiere 31 December): Daniel is excited to surprise his fiancee Jessica during her stay at a mountain cabin, but when he gets there he finds something more shocking than he could imagine. Starring Meghan Oberholzer, Shamilla Miller (The Girl from St. Agnes) and Alexander Maniatis. Love, Lies and Hybrids is directed by two-time SAFTA winner Amanda Lane (Is’thunzi, 4Play: Sex Tips For Girls).
Local reality TV
- Mina Nawe House, Season 2
Showing on Moja Love starting on 4 December at 21:00(DStv Channel 157)
Moja Love has premiered its new reality show, Mina Nawe House, which sees five couples on the brink of breaking up moving into a house where they will attempt to salvage their relationships.
International must-see TV
- Gold Rush: White Water Season 5
Showing on Discovery Channel starting on 22 November at 20:55 (DStv Channel 121)
The Dakota boys return to the richest ground of their lives as Gold Rush: White Water gears up for Season 5 in Alaska’s remote Chilkat Mountains. This latest chapter makes way for fresh blood, new gambles, dangerous snowfalls and an unexpected announcement. As conditions threaten to derail the team’s season, their journey will become a battle between miners and Mother Nature.
- 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way Season 3
Showing on TLC starting on 5 December at 20:00 (DStv Channel 135)
Americans move to a foreign country all in the name of love. Will uprooting their lives in the United States pay off, or will they be packing up and moving back home brokenhearted?
- Come Dine with Me: South Africa Season 7
Showing on BBC Lifestyle starting on 10 November at 20:00 (DStv Channel 174)
One of Mzansi’s favourite social cooking shows, Come Dine With Me: South Africa, returns for its seventh season on BBC Lifestyle. The SAFTA-winning show follows four home cooks from different backgrounds as they meet new people and cook for guests they have never met. Each host cooks a three-course meal at their home, which will be judged by their guests and scored out of 10. The highest scoring cook walks away with R10 000 in cash. Come Dine With Me: South Africa will once again be hilariously voiced by legend Dave Lamb.
- Serengeti II
Showing on BBC Earth starting on 14 November at 16:10 (DStv Channel 184)
The Emmy-nominated series is back to capture the dramatic and emotional stories of iconic savannah animals. In Serengeti II, we return to the unspoilt corner of Africa’s Serengeti for more real-life animal drama. There’s humour, heartbreak and nail-biting tension as new characters move in and familiar faces continue their stories. This time they are not only facing their own personal challenges: their whole world will soon be in crisis, too.
Something for the kids
- Ghost Force
Showing on Disney Channel starting on 6 December at 15:15 (DStv Channel 303)
GHOSTS EXIST! They are here, hidden in everyday objects, in an eternal slumber…
Three high school kids working as a team of superheroes, the Ghost Force, secretly fight against the ghosts that haunt their town in a wacky, comedic fashion. With their signature mischievous flair, the Force will use fright as fuel to increase their power and ability to affect the world around them. Our heroes put their daily lives on hold in order to ghost power up and restore the city to normalcy before citizens catch on.