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Top 10 Local Shows to Watch on Netflix to Celebrate Singapore's National Day + BONUS

By Chen Shun  /  08 Aug 2020 (Saturday)

Since Singapore's independence in 1965, we have seen our film industry grow and blossom. Let us revisit some of Singapore's best films and series as we celebrate National Day together!

Do bear in mind that this listicle is based on our writer's opinion and should you have any opposition towards it, feel free to let us know in the comment section below.

We have also made a tribute video to movies made in Singapore over the years. Check it out here!


#10 Together | 当我们同在一起

What better way to start a listicle dedicated to National Day than a drama about the early days of Singapore? Together spans across 30 years, showcasing a group of diverse friends that experience happiness and hardship in a newly independent Singapore.


#9 Just in Singapore | 一房半厅一水缸

Just in Singapore is a comedic family drama that is set in a HDB estate and it revolves around the occupants. Hilarity ensues when an antique water vessel that is rumoured to worth US$5 million is passed around. Who will end up with the precious treasure?

The series premieres on Netflix on  8 August.


#8 23:59

23:59 is about an army recruit that is found dead one minute before midnight on an island military training camp. The gruesome incident reveals a terrifying secret, and his fellow soldiers have to confront their deepest fears.

Disclaimer: 23:59 is not for the faint-hearted as there are horror and jump-scare elements.


#7 Lang Tong | 靚汤

Lang Tong is an erotic thriller that talks about a serial philandering conman, Zack, that turns his lecherous attentions towards his lover's gorgeous younger sister (Li Er), while still borrowing money from his lover (Li Ling).

Disclaimer: Lang Tong is not for the underaged as there are graphic nudity and homosexual scenes.


#6 Best of Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd

Best of Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd is a sitcom revolving an eccentric contractor with his trademark yellow boots and large facial mole. While it carries the traditions of a sitcom, many unusual elements were used such as flashbacks, quick gags and celebrity cameo appearances.

The series gave birth to the notable character Phua Chu Kang (Gurmit Singh) and his iconic lines': "Best in Singapore, JB, and some say Batam" and "Don't play, play (pronounced as PRAY PRAY)!".

Best of Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd premieres on Netflix on 8 August.


#5 Homerun | 跑吧孩子

Homerun is a sibling based film set in 1965. After losing his sister's (Seow Fang) only pair of shoes, a boy (Chew Kiat Kun) must share his pair with her and soon joins a running race where the prize is a new pair of shoes.

Fun Fact: Due to the film satirising the political relations between Singapore and Malaysia, it leads to the ban of the movie in Malaysia.

#4 Ah Boys To Men | 新兵正传

Ah Boys to Men is a film that depicts a group of boys enlisting into the Singapore Army and their life as recruits. The male lead attempts to escape his mandatory service so he can study abroad with his girlfriend.

Upon its premiere, the film was praised for its portrayal of privileged children, over-protective parents and BMTC superiors. Ah Boys to Men II is also available on Netflix now!


#3 I Not Stupid | 小孩不笨

I Not Stupid is a film about three Primary 6 pupils who are placed in the academically inferior EM3 stream. While the boys are deemed lost causes by their teachers, they embark on a gruelling quest to improve their school grades in a cutthroat environment.

The film is said to be calling out the government and parents for looking down and deeming academically weaker children as 'stupid', 'useless' and 'embarrassing'. 


#2 ILO ILO | 爸媽不在家

ILO ILO is a family drama film that is set during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. For a better life, Teresa leaves the Philippines to work in Singapore as a maid. She is hired by a couple whose spoiled son delights in bullying and belittling her.

This film is arguably one of the best films made by a local production team. It has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has appeared in multiple film festivals!


#1 The Little Nyonya | 小娘惹

The Little Nyonya circles around the biographical flashback of an extended family in Malacca. The drama is set in the 1930s and spans to over 70 years and several generations of three families.

The Little Nyonya is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series made by Singapore. It has been highly acclaimed by viewers and critics and raked the highest viewership in the country for 14 years. The success of The Little Nyonya has led to the show being broadcast internationally. A 2020 reboot of the drama was created jointly by Singapore and China.


BONUS: Street Food Asia - Episode 8 (Singapore) 

We can't talk about Singapore without talking about food. Food is a huge part of Singapore and its culture. It is also one of the main reasons tourists from all over the world flock to Singapore. Also known as a 'rojak' of culture, most of the world's cuisine can be found on our little red dot due to our diverse culture. While this entry is merely just an episode, it is enough to make anyone's stomach rumble. 

Did we miss out some of your favourites in our list? Let us know in the comments below. Also, you may drop us some suggestions on other Top10s you'd like to see us do next.
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