The toughest women on TV

(Image: Supplied)
(Image: Supplied)

Whether covering up their sins or seeking justice for the sins of others, these powerful women light up the screen in five big titles coming to Showmax in June.

The Monterey Five (plus one), Big Little Lies

The Monterey Five (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley) returned to Showmax on Monday 10 June for a second season of the Emmy-winning mystery Big Little Lies.

In the second season, it’s starting to look like they may not get away with murder after all, as an unwavering and grief-stricken mother shows up looking for the truth. Meryl Streep joins BLL S2 as Mary Louise Wright, Celeste’s mother-in-law, who’s come into town looking for answers about the death of her son, Perry Wright. Remember him? The handsome, domineering and possessive man was played to perfection by Alexander Skarsgard.

Meryl Streep has been nominated for more Oscars than any other actor in history – 21 (she’s won three) so it’s a coup to get her to agree to come on a TV show. She’s in good company though: Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon have both won Best Actress Oscars (for The Hours and Walk the Line respectively), while all the main cast (bar Zoe Kravitz) have been nominated for or won Golden Globes and Emmy Awards.

Big Little Lies S2 might not have the murder mystery plotline of season 1, but Celeste and company have enough secrets and lies to take us all to the edge with them. And to have a woman like Streep help us dig up those secrets – amazing!

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is as dark as only a drama about patriarchal oppression can be - brutal with its trauma and very fleeting with its hope. But according to actress Elisabeth Moss, who plays June Osborne/Offred, that’s going to change in season 3 as it will show the audience that there is a way out.

And if you frowned when June gave up her chance of escaping in the season 2 finale, take heart in the fact that the resistance is coming, and it’s more than ready to take down the government of Gilead. Blessed be the fight!

The Handmaid’s Tale S3 episode 1 and 2 premiered on Showmax on Monday 10 June, with new episodes every Monday thereafter.

Kristin Kreuk, Burden of Truth

Kristin Kreuk has shed her Smallville sidekick persona, kicked Clark Kent to the curb and emerged as a strong, independent lawyer, determined to fight on the side of justice.

Kreuk plays Joanna Hanley, a big-city lawyer who returns to her hometown to represent a major pharmaceutical company in a lawsuit. Along the way, however, she develops a conscience and decides to represent the victims instead. As she uncovers the truth, she is also forced to confront some dark secrets about her family. Some critics have compared Burden of Truth to Sharp Objects, another gem on Showmax, helmed by Amy Adams.

Burden of Truth S1 and 2 are streaming First on Showmax.

Issa Rae, Insecure

Issa Rae’s busy schedule may have pushed Insecure S4 to 2020 but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge in a little Insecure guilty pleasure, especially with season 3 now on Showmax.

While season 2 mainly focused on Issa and Lawrence’s messy break up and the dalliances in between, season 3 gives Issa (and her bestie Molly) a much-needed fresh start. No Lawrence, no Daniel.

Issa picks herself up and moves into a new apartment. She even secures a side hustle as a Lyft driver where she meets a new love interest. She still has some issues to deal with of course but without any of her messy relationships, Issa's life is quieter, perhaps even deeper.

As is expected, Insecure S3 does everything perfectly – almost - but the one thing we might never forgive them for is reviving #LawrenceHive, the sometimes-toxic online community that supports her low-ambition ex.

How to get Showmax

If you’re not a subscriber yet, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial.

Thereafter, access to a tonne of local and international series, movies and documentaries costs just R99 per month. If you’re a DStv Premium subscriber, Showmax is included in your subscription - just go to the website to sign up.

DStv Compact and Compact Plus subscribers can add Showmax to their subscription for just R49pm.