Dubbed as one of the greatest television series on Singapore’s local channel, MediaCorp TV Channel 8, it’s inevitable for The Little Nyonya 小娘惹 to get picked up for a remake. Ten years after its initial release in 2008, it was announced that a Singapore-Chinese joint collaboration was working on a drama remake with the same writer onboard and a bigger budget. Fast forward to 2020 and we’re hearing hints of an upcoming premiere.
Set in the 1930’s until the modern day, the story revolves around the struggles of the heroine being born as an illegitimate child who was abandoned by her family and ended up being sold to a butcher. Having experienced life’s toughest challenges, she is determined to make her life better by saving her family’s business.
Shane Xiao Yan (The Legends) takes on the role of Yueniang which was popularized by Singaporean actress Jeanette Aw. Ryan Kou Jiarui (Sunny Happiness) plays her leading man.
They will also be joined by Yue Lina, Dai Xiangyu who reprises his role as Yamamoto Yousuke, Darren Chiu, Xiang Yun, He Yuhong, Fang Chengcheng, and Niu Beiren. It’s interesting to see that these actors have been appearing in various Chinese, Taiwanese and Singaporean productions.
Given its cultural themes, The Little Nyonya features a Peranakan family, a sub-ethnic group found in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. More than the actors and the story, I’m very curious to see how the remake factors in the Peranakan culture.
It reminded me of the time when I was traveling back and forth from Singapore and Malaysia then randomly visited a Peranakan Cultural Museum. That was my first exposure to the culture that is uniquely imbued in their everyday life and seen through their clothing, furniture, art and even yummy cuisine. You might also want to check out the original on Netflix if you want to compare both versions!