Shows coming to Singapore in September: Last Madame, The Politician, Stranger From Hell and more

Marcus Goh
Contributor


Last Madame (Mediacorp)

Every month, we’ll tell you about new comedies and dramas to hit terrestrial and cable channels, as well as streaming sites in Singapore. We’ll also highlight the television shows that you’ve got to be home (or on your phone) to catch every month.

Bard of Blood (Netflix)

Overview of September's shows

September starts off a little slow, with only Viu's Stranger From Hell and an assortment of shows from Netflix, including the animation anthology Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre. It's only towards the end of the month that television starts to get good, with Netflix's The Politician, the return of Young Sheldon on Warner TV, and several other Korean dramas on Oh!K and Viu. But what we're really waiting for is Last Madame, a Singaporean Toggle drama that looks at a subject matter that few other local shows dare to touch — a high-end brothel set in 1930s Singapore.

Stranger From Hell (1 Sept) - Viu

When a young countryside boy, Yoon Jong-Woo (Im Si-Wan), finally gets to pursue his dream by going to work in Seoul, he finds himself staying in a cheap dormitory in the big city. The communal living space requires him to share the kitchen and bathroom with the other residents — who seem odd at first. Jong-Woo soon finds out that there's something strange in the neighbourhood. Lee Dong-Wook also stars.

As you might have guessed from pretty much all the promotional materials, Jong-Woo's neighbours come from a rather specific place. It's got all the hallmarks of a coming-of-age story: a country bumpkin coming to a metropolis, a character living on his own for the first time, and someone achieving his dreams. Unfortunately, with the title literally spelling out the mystery element of the show, there's little suspense in unravelling the secret of Jong-Woo's neighbours.


Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre (movie anthology) (6 Sept) - Netflix

Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre is an anthology of three animated films about heroes in the most unexpected places. Kanini & Kanino tells the tale of a pair of crab brothers who embark on a journey to find their lost father; Life Ain't Gonna Lose revolves around a young basketball-lover who is allergic to eggs; and Invisible is about a literal invisible man who tries his best to embrace life.

Brought to you by the same studio that did Mary and the Witch's Flower, Studio Ponoc's animated anthology explores vastly different ideas with the theme of heroism linking all three films. In case you're wondering, many of Studio Ponoc's animators started out at Studio Ghibli — so you know what level of animation and storytelling to expect from this quaint but exciting anime.


Last Madame (26 Sept) - Toggle

Last Madame (Mediacorp)

Set in a high-end brothel in 1939, Last Madame tells the story of Fung Lan (Joanne Peh), the last mamasan of the House of Phoenix. The show is framed by the modern day story of an ambitious banker, Chi Ling (Fiona Fussi), who has come back to inherit a shophouse left by her great-grandmother, and finds out that there's more to her family than meets the eye. Lina Ng, Brandon Wong, and Constance Lau also star.

It's been a while since we've seen a local period drama in English, and Last Madame intrigues not just with its setting, but its premise — the tale of a high-end brothel and the people within it. With good production values, a talented cast, and an intriguing idea, Last Madame may be a sign that Toggle is ready to embrace a more mature audience.


Young Sheldon (Season 3) (27 Sept, Fridays 8.35pm)
Warner TV (StarHub TV CH. 515, Singtel TV CH. 306)

The adventures of Young Sheldon continue in the third season of The Big Bang Theory spin-off. Mary (Zoe Perry), mother of Sheldon (Iain Armitage), worries about her son's possible nervous breakdown after witnessing the same thing happening to Meemaw's (Annie Potts) boyfriend Dr Sturgis (Wallace Shawn). The show also pays off the Dr Tire reference in The Big Bang Theory by introducing the sales talents of Georgie (Montana Jordan), Sheldon's brother. Jim Parson narrates the series.

It's nice to see how Young Sheldon manages to give winks and nods to the series that chronologically comes after it, even though it actually preceded it in terms of production. While it's certainly fun watching the show with knowledge of how Sheldon will turn out (since Young Sheldon fans are likely to be The Big Bang Theory fans as well), it's the journey that really matters — which is what the series is all about.


The Politician (27 Sept)
Netflix

Wealthy high school student Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) may be the future President of the United States, but many obstacles stand in his way between puberty and presidency. But when everyone around him is ruthless, how will Payton navigate the treacherous waters of high school and get to Harvard without losing his soul in the process? Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Fulchuk of Glee fame, The Politician also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Dylan McDermott, January Jones, and Bette Midler.

When your executive producers created Glee, you know what you can expect — a fast-paced series with snappy humour and some surprisingly emotional moments. The Politician will have to rely heavily on the portrayal of its central character, Payton Hobart, so its success lies firmly on the shoulders of Ben Platt. But a star-studded supporting cast won't hurt either, and the series will probably also have sly references to current political events.

Jika Masih Ada Rindu (Suria)

Terrestrial:

Suria

Jika Masih Ada Rindu (9 Sept, Mondays 9.30pm)

Cable:

Warner TV (StarHub TV CH. 515, Singtel TV CH. 306)

Young Sheldon (Season 2) (27 Sept, Fridays 8.35pm)

Oh!K (Singtel TV channels 525/611 and StarHub TV channel 816)

My Healing Love (2 Sept, Mondays 7.50pm)

Extra-Ordinary Haru (26 Sept, Thursdays and Fridays 7.50pm)

AXN (StarHub TV Channel 511)

Hawaii Five-0 (Season 10) (28 Sep, Saturdays 9.45pm)

Modest Heroes - Ponoc Short Films Theatre (Netflix)

Streaming:

Toggle

Last Madame (26 Sept)

In The Shadow of the Moon (Netflix)

Netflix

Elite (Season 2) (6 Sept)

Modest Heroes - Ponoc Short Films Theatre (movie anthology) (6 Sept)

The Spy (6 Sept)

Evelyn (movie) (10 Sept)

Tall Girl (movie) (13 Sept)

Unbelievable (13 Sept)

Criminal: UK (20 Sept)

Between Two Ferns: The Movie (movie) (20 Sept)

In The Shadow of the Moon (movie) (27 Sept)

Bard of Blood (27 Sept)

The Politician (27 Sept)

Viu

Stranger from Hell (1 Sept)

Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency (17 Sept)

Secret Boutique (19 Sept)

Miss Lee (26 Sept)

Marcus Goh is a television scriptwriter who writes for “Crimewatch”, as well as popular shows like “Lion Mums”, “Code of Law”, “Incredible Tales”, and “Police & Thief”. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find him on social media as Optimarcus and on his site. The views expressed are his own.

Criminal: UK (Netflix)

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Tall Girl (Netflix)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
The Politician (Netflix)