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Los Espookys – Now streaming on Showmax

Los Espookys, one of Rotten Tomatoes’ 10 best-reviewed shows of 2019 so far, is now streaming on Showmax.

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When LA valet Tico finds out that his niece’s amazing horror-themed birthday party was designed by her brother Renaldo, he tells him he should start a business. “Listen, all I ever wanted to do was park cars. Now I do it full-time,” says Tico. “This horror business is your parking cars. Go for it.”

Los Espookys is a six-part, half-hour comedy series about the resulting business, where Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) and his three best friends – Andrés (three-time Emmy nominee Julio Torres from Saturday Night Live), Úrsula (Cassandra Ciangherotti) and Tati (Ana Fabrega from Portlandia and At Home with Amy Sedaris) – provide on-demand horror to those who need it. 

Their customers include an overlooked priest who wants a fake exorcism; an American ambassador who needs them to stage her own abduction; and a dying tourism destination desperate for a monster attraction.

Shot in Chile, in both Spanish and English, Los Espookys has a rare 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, universally praised for being unlike anything else on TV today.

Each of the friends is clearly and colourfully drawn. “You bring the smile; I bring the teeth,” Ursula, a tenacious dental assistant, tells Renaldo, who is noble and kind – and always running out of cellphone minutes. Gullible Tati juggles several (very) odd jobs – like wearing in other people’s shoes – and acts as the group’s test dummy, while Andrés is the brooding heir to a chocolate empire, an orphan who longs to unlock the secrets to his past – and avoid his trophy boyfriend Juan Carlos (José Pablo Minor).

“I love the idea of goths, and horror, but with a backdrop of Latin America,” says Fred Armisen, who plays Tico. Fred created the show with Ana and Julio, and executive produced the series with Lorne Michaels, the creator of Saturday Night Live, and Andrew Singer (Portlandia). “It’s supposed to be spooky and scary but at the same time about the optimism behind putting a group like this together.”

HBO recently renewed Los Espookys for a second season. As Collider says, “It’s a rare and wonderful thing when you find yourself watching an episode of television and realise, ’I’ve never seen anything quite like this before.’ HBO’s new half-hour comedy Los Espookys is a wonderfully weird and inventive show that inspires exactly that kind of thought at least once an episode, embracing bizarre characters, off-kilter humour, and a heady dose of magical realism where the impossible can, and often does, happen. It’s also hilarious.”

As director Fernando Frías (a Slamdance grand jury prize winner for Rezeta) puts it: “Every project is a universe in and of itself; this one is especially unique…”

Binge Los Espookys first on Showmax in Africa at https://www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/nkvyavey-los-espookys

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Stream of the Day

Get GTA: San Andreas free on PC

Rockstar Games has introduced its new Games Launcher for Windows, which includes a free download of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for a limited time.

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The Rockstar Games Launcher is a new Windows desktop application that allows users to access the Rockstar Games PC collection in a single place, across both digital and disc-based titles. This includes Rockstar Games tittles purchased from various other digital stores like Steam. Users can also use the Launcher to shop for new Rockstar Games PC titles to add to their collection.

The Rockstar Games Launcher comes with a host of features, including the addition of cloud save functionality to supported titles, the ability to keep one’s Rockstar Games PC library updated automatically, and ways to follow Rockstar Games news from inside the Launcher.

For a limited time, anyone can install the Rockstar Games Launcher and claim a free copy of the classic Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on PC within the Rockstar Games Launcher, to permanently add it to their Social Club account’s library.

The Rockstar Games Launcher is available for download now here: https://socialclub.rockstargames.com/rockstar-games-launcher

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Stream of the Day

Control: Combat meets supernatural

In Control, Jesse Faden becomes the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control and uncovers the supernatural threats that haunt the headquarters.

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When the new Director of the Federal Bureau of Control starts her job, she discovers the headquarters has been taken over by some kind of supernatural threat. She needs to do what it takes to get the building back.

Control’s reluctant leading lady arrives at the bureau searching for the truth behind a tragic event from her childhood that ended in the unexplained disappearance of her brother – the supernatural ripples of which have followed her ever since.

She’s a far cry from an alpha male videogame archetype. Traditionally, the bureau is starchy and by-the-book, but Jesse is spontaneous, instinctive and prepared to do whatever necessary to get the answers she needs. 

Control’s big-bad is The Hiss – a mysterious otherworldly entity which travels between dimensions, corrupting and consuming everything it comes across. What that means for Jesse is a skyscraper full of compromised bureau employees out for her blood.

Don’t assume that translates as hordes of cookie-cutter white-collar office drones coming after you. Remedy has taken the concept and run with it, twisting the bureau’s workforce into variety terrifying forms that require strategic thinking to take down.

The bureau’s name is the Oldest House, where the game’s action plays out. It’s a huge, brutalist, Tardis-like structure that transcends its own physical boundaries, shifting its dimensions as players explore.

Control’s combat sees players combining two separate sets of systems to devastating effect: a highly customisable service weapon, and a range of supernatural powers. It’s sophisticated, creative and lots of fun to play around with.

Alongside the big action set pieces, players also need to exercise their grey matter to solve both environmental puzzles and narrative riddles that, in keeping with the dream logic that underpins the game’s plot, demands thinking outside the box. 

Control is out now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

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