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shirkers
Photograph: NetflixShirkers

The best Singapore shows to binge watch on Netflix

Netflix goes global and there are plenty of local and regional films and series to add to your watchlist

Cam Khalid
Written by
Cam Khalid
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In this age of online streaming, films of all genres and languages are easily accessible. And Netflix has everything for everyone, from rom-coms dating back to the Noughties, nostalgic sitcoms, edge-of-your-seat sci-fi original series, and more. What's even better is that Netflix is showcasing more global content, giving culture vultures their dose of European and Asian flicks aside from the mega Hollywood hits. Here are some of Singapore's golden titles, as well as regional ones from South Korea, Malaysia and China. Plus, we've got the scoop on upcoming Asian shows as well – exciting stuff.

RECOMMENDED: The scariest films to watch online and the best local films in Singapore

Shirkers
Photograph: Netflix

Shirkers

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know this sui generis documentary film has been making waves worldwide. Deemed as Singapore's first road movie by Singapore-born, LA-based filmmaker Sandi Tan, Shirkers follows a group of cinephiles – including a young Sandi – shooting an uncompleted movie in 1992. But what makes this Sundance Award-winning film even more intriguing is the fact that the footage was stolen before it could be completed. Fast forward to twenty years later, the unseen footage made back into Sandi's hands and the rest is, shall we say, history.

Fakkah Fuzz: Almost Banned

Fakkah Fuzz: Almost Banned

Singapore's motormouthed wisecracker Fakkah Fuzz landed his very own stand-up special on Netflix early this year – quite an achievement in the local comedy scene if you ask us. If it's anything like the comic's live shows here, expect plenty of cross-cultural jokes from his experience growing up as a brazen Malay man in Singapore.

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A Yellow Bird

A Yellow Bird

A debut film feature by local award-winning filmmaker K. Rajagopal, A Yellow Bird tells the story of a homeless ex-convict who is seeking to reunite with his family yet struggling to integrate back into society. As he carries on with life, he starts to form an unlikely bond with a Chinese sex worker while acting as her bodyguard. The grim drama featuring Sivakumar Palakrishnan, Huang Lu and Seema Biswas was also selected for the International Critics' Week at the Cannes Film Festival.

 

Other Asian shows to catch

Pulang

Pulang

Malaysia

Helmed by Malaysian-based Indian filmmaker Kabir Bhatia and starring Puteri Aishah, Remy Ishak and Alvin Wong, this acclaimed Netflix original film sees Thom telling her grandson about his grandfather who sailed off 61 years ago in search of riches around the world. His long absence brews questions that lead to figuring out what happened to him.

Meteor Garden

Meteor Garden

China 

You've probably heard this one before – this Netflix original series is a remake of the 2001 Taiwanese series of the same name and the sixth television adaptation of the Japanese manga Boys Over Flowers. The series starring Shen Yue, Dylan Wong and Darren Chen trails Dong Shancai who is determined to achieve the greatest at her dream university where she meets an elite clique of charming, like-minded high-achiever. She then finds love but will this distract her from reaching her goals?

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May the Devil Take You

May the Devil Take You

Indonesia

Once you're done with Timo Tjahjanto's action-packed The Night Comes For Us, press play on the filmmaker's next Netflix original film. Not one for the faint-hearted, this Sam Raimi-esque hair-raiser is about a young woman's quest to find out more about her estranged father after he falls into a mysterious coma. This leads to her seeking answers at his old villa where she and her stepsister uncover some dark secrets.

Upcoming Asian shows to look out in 2019

Kingdom

Kingdom

South Korea

An exciting new Netflix original series, Kingdom is set in Korea's medieval Joseon period. The period drama is written by Kim Eun-hee and directed by Kim Seong-hun with a plot that tells of a crown prince who is summoned to uncover the mysterious plague that renders the infected immune to death and constantly hungry for flesh. We're just hoping this isn't anything like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Triad Princess

Triad Princess

Taiwan

This Taiwanese Netflix original series directed by Neal Wu follows Angie who grows up in the shadow of her Triad father. Determined to lead life independently, she defies her father's wishes and takes on a job as an undercover bodyguard for a famous actress. With this newfound freedom, she learns to navigate the unfamiliar world of glitz, glamour and even love. 

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Cagaster of an Insect Cage

Cagaster of an Insect Cage

Japan

Anime fans rejoice! Another Netflix anime to add to your watchlist, this one is by animation studio Gonzo – the folks behind Hellsing and Afro Samurai. Based on the manga Mushikago no Cagaster, Cagaster of an Insect Cage is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a strange disease transforms people into giant, killing insects. The series focuses on the struggle of a young couple doing everything in their power to stay alive.

 

The Stranded

The Stranded

Thailand

This Thai Netflix original series shows a tsunami survivor who is spared death along with thirty-six of his fellow schoolmates on a remote island in the Andaman Sea. The realisation that no one is coming to their rescue dawns when mysterious events start unfolding on the island, and they have no choice but to rescue themselves.

 

Head out to catch a film instead

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