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Daisy May Cooper in ‘Rain Dogs’. Picture: SHOWMAX
Daisy May Cooper in ‘Rain Dogs’. Picture: SHOWMAX

Rain Dogs — Showmax

Part social realist Dickensian drama, part Bukowskian celebration of the rugged poetry to be found in life on the margins, and taking a Tom Waits song as its title, this bleak, brutal, nasty but darkly funny drama offers a fresh take on the dysfunctional family genre.

Starring the excellent Daisy May Cooper, it’s the story of the underbelly adventures of embattled working-class single mother Costello, whose daily struggle to keep a roof over her and that of her daughter, Iris, is complicated by the arrival of her longtime best friend and toxic partner in crime: the upper-class, wayward, gay self-loathing Selby (Jack Farthing). As Costello’s search for security brings her into a growing confrontation with Selby and reveals the worst of their love-hate relationship, it also takes her and Iris on a dark journey ever further on the margins of a post-Brexit, Tory-run England that wants to suffocate people like her slowly but surely out of sight and mind.

Meet our four Rain Dogs; a makeshift swaggerous family trying to go straight in a crooked world.

Bodies — Netflix

Adapted from the graphic novel by Si Spencer, this ambitious if not always successfully executed time-travelling British noir follows the twists and turns of what starts off as a present-day murder investigation by a London cop. It becomes a period-jumping dystopian headscratcher as we see three other cops in London in the 19th century, World War 2 and 2053 investigating the same murder. Its narrative trickery may sometimes get in the way of its mystery genre intentions, but the numerous dedicated performances and intrigue keep you entertained.

Four detectives. One body. Stephen Graham stars in this genre-bending mystery thriller.

Boetie Boer — Showmax

A disturbing piece of chilling SA history that is horrifyingly revisited for this docuseries. In 1990, while the rest of the country’s attention was focused on the release of Nelson Mandela and the negotiations towards a bloodless post-apartheid future, Stewart “Boetie Boer” Wilken began a killing spree on the streets of Port Elizabeth in which he marked himself as an unusual serial killer whose victims ranged from sex workers to young boys across races.

Featuring a chilling interview of Wilken by former police psychologist Dr Gerard Labuschagne and the recollections of the family of one of his victims, investigators who played key roles in apprehending Wilken and newspaper reporters who covered the case, it’s a grim look inside the twisted mind of a deeply disturbed and depraved man.

Even among its grisly true-crime counterparts, the true story of Stewart “Boetie Boer” Wilken stands apart, and you’ve probably never even heard his name. You won’t soon forget it.

Cocaine Bear — Showmax

A bear walks into a forest, finds a crashed plane and has a sniff of its illicit cargo of cocaine. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as it turns out in this schlocky but not unenjoyable piece of horror exploitation comedy directed by Elizabeth Banks, far more than you could imagine. If you take it on its own terms it’s a short, sharp line of ludicrous but enjoyable fun.

This wild dark comedy finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500- pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine.

Payback — Britbox

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio serves as executive producer of this tightly wound police thriller drama series in which an ordinary suburban Edinburgh housewife (Morven Christie) becomes embroiled in a dangerous underworld conspiracy after she discovers that her husband has been laundering money for a ruthless drug lord (Peter Mullan), who is also in the sights of financial investigators.  

In this compelling crime drama, Lexie Noble becomes entangled in a police investigation into a dangerous crime boss.

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