With half of the year gone, the whole world can collectively agree that 2020 hasn’t been easy so far. Everything is changing, including TV viewing with a sharp increase in video streaming since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.
But what shows are people watching during this period? Even better, what TV shows and movies have Kenyan subscribers watched the most in the past six months?
Showmax recently released a half-year update of its most-watched TV shows and movies that captures the tastes of Kenyan viewers on the platform.
Local content shines
During the first half of 2020, three of the top 10 most-watched things on Showmax were Kenyan shows like Reuben Odanga’s Swahili telenovela hit, Selina, which is currently in its fifth season.
In a landscape where Swahili telenovelas continue to amass huge followings akin to Mexican telenovelas of old, it’s understandable to see Selina still appeals to fans five seasons in.
Producer and director Odanga has said in the past that seeing local shows at the top of subscribers’ list gives filmmakers in Kenya a sense of direction to what more needs to be done, and why they should keep raising the bar.
Other Kenyan shows on the list were two comedy-dramas – the Joe Kinyua-led Njoro wa Uba (a Kalasha nominee for Best TV Comedy and Best Lead Actor for Kinyua) and Ma-Empress which features Catherine Kamau, Neomi Ng’ang’a and Brenda Mwai.
Black-led comedies and drama
When it comes to international shows, among the ten most-watched TV shows in Kenya was Issa Rae’s Insecure, which recently concluded season 4 (its best season yet) with a relationship conundrum that set Twitter ablaze for two days in a row.
Kenya Barris’ progressive sitcom Black-ish and its spin-off Grown-ish also made it to the top, along with the drama series Ambitions and the crime drama Power.
Also on the list were the long-running comedy Modern Family and The Fosters’ spin-off Good Trouble.
All about live news
Launched in March as a temporary measure to help keep everyone informed of Covid-19 developments, live news has been one of the most-watched things on Showmax in Kenya.
As of July 2020, the news is now available permanently on the newly-launched Showmax Pro, alongside live sports like all EPL, La Liga, Serie A, and PSL games.
Comedy, Romance genres dominate most-watched movies
In the movie’s category, among the top 10 most-watched items were comedies like The Hustle which stars Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) and Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) as master con artists and Night School where Kevin Hart stars as a high-school dropout forced to attend night classes with Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) as his unorthodox teacher.
Also on the list were rom-coms like Taraji P. Henson’s-led What Men Want, Second Act starring Jennifer Lopez, Nobody’s Fool starring Tiffany Hadish and Tika Sumpter, After Sex, and Amy Schumer’s box office hit Trainwreck.
Others were superhero film Aquaman, the espionage action thriller Mile 22, starring Mark Wahlberg, and the 2008 action-thriller Wanted, which stars Angelina Jolie as an assassin who mentors a new recruit (James McAvoy) to join their secret society of assassins.