littlenyonya

This year’s long-awaited blockbuster 34 episode drama started on 25 November 2008, at 9pm on Channel 8. It will have a weekly 2 hour special on Mondays, starting on 15 December 2008, at 8pm.

This drama stars:

1st generation —
Jeanette Aw as Huang Juxiang, Xiang Yun as Tianlan, Lin Meijiao as Guilan, Huang Hui as Tao, Dai Yangtian as Yamamoto Yousuke (Shanben Yangjie), Desmond Sim as Charlie Zhang, Pierre Png as Chen Sheng, Apple Hong as Huang Meiyu, Darren Lim as Huang Jin Cheng, Cynthia Koh as Xiujuan, Pan Lingling as Xiufeng, Li Yinzhu as Chen lao-tai, Yan Bingliang as Huang Yuan

2nd generation —
Jeanette Aw as Shanben Yueniang, Qi Yuwu as Chen Xi, Joanne Peh as Huang Yuzhu, Eelyn Kok as Huang Zhenzhu, Yao Wenlong as Liu Yi Dao, Andie Chen as Huang Tianbao, Zzen as Robert Zhang
(recurring)
Xiang Yun as Tianlan, Huang Hui as Tao, Pierre Png as Chen Sheng, Darren Lim as Huang Jin Cheng, Cynthia Koh as Xiujuan, Li Yinzhu as Chen lao-tai

4th generation (modern era) —
Xiang Yun as Shanben Yueniang (old), Felicia Chin as Anqi, Nat Ho as Li Xiuwen


THE STORY


1st generation
1930s-40s, before the war, Malacca and Singapore

The Huangs are an influential family in Malacca. The head of the house, Huang Yuan (Yan Bingliang) is a businessman, and his son, Jincheng (Darren Lim) helps him. His wife, Guihua (Lin Meijiao) makes sure her presence is felt and nurtures her daughter, Meiyu (Apple Hong) to become a good Peranakan girl, who can cook well, make kueh, sew and embroider beaded-shoes. Then there is Tianlan (Xiang Yun), who is Huang Yuan’s 2nd wife. She was previously a servant who was in charge of looking after Old Mrs. Huang. Old Mrs. Huang has since passed away, leaving no place in the house for Tianlan and her daughter Juxiang (Jeanette Aw).

This era focuses on Juxiang and how she suffered in her family. Although deaf-mute, she was a strong woman who refused to bow to her fate. Victimised and ill-treated, she was a wonderful cook, and made delicious kueh. Her sewing and embroidery were considered one of the very best in her generation.

Her looks and personality caught the eye of 3 men – Charlie Zhang (Desmond Sim), a lecherous businessman; Yamamoto Yousuke (Shanben Yangjie), a young Japanese photographer; and Chen Sheng (Pierre Png), a guy from a rich family.

Determined not to marry Charlie Zhang as his 2nd wife, she ran away from home, and almost got caught by human traffickers. Yamamoto Yousuke (Shanben Yangjie) saved her, but Charlie caught her. Yamamoto Yousuke (Shanben Yangjie) saved her once again, and brought her back to Singapore, where he married her.

They had a daughter, Yueniang. However, war came, and being Japanese, Yamamoto Yousuke (Shanben Yangjie) and Juxiang were attacked. Juxiang and Yamamoto Yousuke (Shanben Yangjie) die, leaving their 8 year old daughter, Yueniang.

Chen Sheng marries Meiyu, but is unhappy with the marriage. He chooses to fritter his life away by dancing and singing daily to escape from his fate.

Other sub-plots include the love triangle between sisters -Xiufeng (Pan Lingling) and Xiujuan (Cynthia Koh)- and Jincheng (Darren Lim) which goes into the 2nd generation. Xiufeng marries Jincheng, and they have 3 children. However, he still loved Xiujuan, and he had an affair with her…

2nd generation
1960s-70s, Malacca and Singapore

This era focuses on Juxiang’s daughter, Yueniang, and her cousins – Yuzhu (Joanne Peh) and Zhenzhu (Eelyn Kok). Yueniang’s fate is pretty much like her mother’s, as she is bullied by her family members. To protect her grandmother Tianlan, who brought her up, she lived life strongly and bravely.

Even though she and Chen Xi (Qi Yuwu) loved each other, the family did not approve of their relationship, and she was sold to gangster, Liu Yi Dao (Yao Wenlong). Not one to succumb to fate, she rebelled and refused to let Yi Dao get his way. He was impressed by her strength and courage, and they became sworn siblings after that.

Yuzhu is a kind and gentle girl, who was Yueniang’s good friend. She even thought Yueniang to read and write. Liking Chen Xi (Qi Yuwu), she soon realised that he only had place for Yueniang in his heart. As if that was not bad enough, she was raped by Charlie Zhang’s equally lecherous son, Robert Zhang, and was forced to marry him… She gives up on life, and goes into depression.

Zhenzhu is Yuzhu’s sister, with a character totally opposite to her sister’s. She is selfish, unscrupulous, and downright evil. She sees Yueniang as a thorn in her flesh, as she also likes Chen Xi, and thus, pushes Yueniang into the well. She sees her sister being raped, but did nothing to help her. Even though she married Chen Xi in the end, he never loved her.

Meiyu, who has a deep grude against Juxiang, decides to take it out on her daughter, Yueniang. She is partly responsible for breaking lovers Chen Xi and Yueniang up.

Many ups and downs occur, and the Huang family business declines. It comes down to Yueniang to save the family business.

4th generation
2008, Malacca

Yueniang’s grand-daughter, Anqi (Felicia Chin) comes to Malacca to visit her, from Canada, where she was studying. Following her is Li Xiuwen (Nat Ho), who is serious in wooing Anqi, but she keeps ignoring him. Either that, or she makes fun of him.

It is to Anqi and Xiuwen that Yueniang relates the past to. She tells them more about the Peranakan culture, and how life was back then.

***

Mediacorp hasn’t done a period series like this in ages! I think the last ones were in… 2002? “Bukit Ho Swee” and “Springs of Life” (please correct me if i’m wrong!). And this is an epic drama which spans 3 generations!! Definately a MUST WATCH!

Channel 8: Little Nyonya 小娘惹 microsite

some articles of interest:

from 30 episodes to 34 episodes -> see here
in original Peranakan dialects -> see here
Press Conference -> see here
14 minute uncensored promotional clip -> see here

*smashes ALL viewership RECORDS!!! -> see here!!!*


  1. Cymm

    The plot sounds like a copy of TVB’s Maiden’s Vow. Maiden’s vow also spans four generations.

  2. [Cymm]: well… not really. this drama only focuses mainly on 2 generations. and it’s different:

    each generation in Maiden’s Vow has only 2 or 3 recurring actors acting different roles – Charmaine Sheh & Joe Ma in all 4 generations, and Sammul Chan in generation 1 and 4 – while in Little Nyonya, the characters appear based on their family connections – eg. generation 1 focuses on Jeanette as Juxiang, then generation 2 is her daughter Yueniang; generation 1 has Pan Lingling and Darren, generation 2 are their children; generation 1 has a newborn Chen Xi, who grows up to be the main male lead of the 2nd generation; generation 1 has Desmond Sim as Charlie Zhang, generation 2 involves his son Robert Zhang… etc.

    Maiden’s Vow had Charmaine as mother (1st gen.), daughter (2nd gen), grand-daughter (3rd gen), and great great grand-daughter (5th gen). that’s all the family connections involved. Joe Ma was a new character in every generation – he just springs up from nowhere, and it’s strange that her family never see the resemblance… that still puzzles me.

    ANYWAY, that is another different story. i might do a review on Maiden’s Vow on my http://qinglingtvb.wordpress.com site, and maybe a comparison between Little Nyonya and Maiden’s Vow here and there sometime soon!! :)

    what is similar is that in both shows, they skip a generation (Little Nyonya = 3rd gen; Maiden’s Vow = 4th gen) and they involve FOOD.

    i feel that Little Nyonya is unique to us, as we have this history and heritage. that’s something we could never copy from anyone.

    qingling~

  3. regina

    hey do you have the embbed code for the 14 min promotional clip of little nyonya? i would like to have it. :)

  4. joanronia

    Hi, can you send me the theme song of 小娘惹 <> to my email? thank you so much!

  5. [joanronia]: sorry, i don’t send songs anymore. please go to https://qingling.wordpress.com/drama-songs to find the DL links :)

    qingling~

  6. hi……… nth to tok abt… ok. bb!

  7. Hi do you have any link to dl the song xu yao from xiao niang re?

  8. [Darrel]: nope, not yet. if i get it, i’ll update at https://qingling.wordpress.com/drama-songs :)

    qingling~

  9. celestine chia

    i think it is good

  1. 1 Little Nyonya 小娘惹: after 4 episodes « ~i’m the girl who reviews~

    […] 2008 at 9pm on Channel 8. For an overview of the entire drama, please refer to my earlier post HERE […]

  2. 2 epic records | Digg hot tags

    […] Vote Little Nyonya 小娘惹 […]




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