Written by Desiree Koh
Binge-watching Singaporeans are set for several seasons of stellar regional productions, with broadcast players eager to spotlight and showcase Asian talent, life, ideologies and culture codes.
This Singapore-Taiwanese high-suspense thriller weaves together parallel plots in which the same cybercrime kicks off in two countries before events diverge in seemingly unrelated arcs. Viewers can choose to watch the Singapore and Taiwan segments as standalones or in tandem, but the narratives converge in the show’s heart-stopping finale. It stars Singaporean stars Zoe Tay and Chen Hanwei, and Taiwanese heartthrobs Blue Lan and Liu Kuan Ting. All Is Well, co-produced by Mediacorp, Taiwanese production house Eightgeman, and Taiwan Television Enterprise, premieres late August 2019.
As part of Mediacorp’s Lights. Camera. Singapore. series celebrating uniquely Singaporean narratives and culture, one of Dick Lee’s signature musicals is being reworked into a 13-part series, complete with new songs. The Mad Chinaman himself will direct the first two episodes of the series based on his 1980s script about a young woman’s endeavors to keep her family’s coffee shop in business. Fried Rice Paradise is slated to air from early July 2019.
Michael Chiang’s classic play about dating in the digital age will also be feature in Lights. Camera. Singapore. as a 13-episode dramedy. The renowned playwright promises “humourous hijinks” heightened for television, new sub-plots with unexpected twists, and even a few musical scenes. The entire project, which airs from early October 2019, will feature local creative talent.
Based on Penang novelist Tan Twan Eng’s highly lauded epic, The Garden of Evening Mists will feature an internal cast of actors including John Hannah, Julian Sands, Tan Kheng Hua, Hiroshi Abe, Lee Sinje, Serene Lim and Sylvia Chang. Set against the lush Cameron Highlands landscape, this HBO Asia-Astro Shaw production weaves romance into the complex history of a modernising Malaya heading into post-colonial independence. Its world premiere is slated for later in the year.
More so than ever before, Taiwanese TV is sidestepping weepy soap operas and exploring new genres. HBO Asia’s brand-new Dream Raider, a Mandarin eight-parter shot completely in Taiwan, is the cable channel’s first foray into science fiction. It features an all-star homegrown cast that includes Vivian Hsu, David Wang and Jason Wang, and is scheduled for a 2019 release.
Move over Buffy – Asia’s own teenager with special powers has fans so under her spell that HBO Asia is expected to air an eight-episode follow-up to its award-winning first season – notably HBO Asia’s first Chinese language original series. Kuo Shu-Yao reprises her role as Xiao Zhen, and Golden Bell-winning Wen Chen-Ling and rising star Fandy Fan join the all-Taiwanese cast of the series which is expected to begin airing this year.