No Risk, No Reward
To Happiness, Health & Good Fortune
Failure To Launch
The Ex Factor
Mother, May I?
Moment Of Truth
C’Est La Vie
I am in love with Asian culture. I’ve recently booked a holiday to Korea after studying the language for a few months and spend a lot of my free time reading up about the culture from various different countries in the region, including Singapore itself. Singapore Social then is an interesting but ultimately culturally irrelevant reality-TV series. This show is clearly aimed at an American audience interested in Asian culture but ironically does little to actually show how the locals really live, spending most of its time around the privileged 1%. Reveling in all the usual reality TV tropes you’d expect from a show like this, Singapore Social is likely to be an instant hit with fans of the genre, especially in America, but for everyone else this is probably a show to avoid.
Split across 8 episodes, Singapore Social follows a group of young friends navigating the tricky world of love, friendships and career aspirations in a country rich with tradition. Making up this eclectic group of rich friends are entrepreneur Nicole, filmmaker Vinny, influencer Mae and burlesque dancer Sukki. There’s also Paul and Tabitha too, along with a whole host of supporting characters that crop up through the series. Each character has their own arc through this first season, especially Nicole who spends a lot of her time working on her relationship with her Mum. All the usual bubbling drama comes to the foreground through the various episodes too, so expect plenty of tears, laughter, drinking and glam as you watch these characters across the season.
Despite a unique slice of reality pie, showcasing all the drama under the neon-lit lights of the beautiful Singaporean streets, Singapore Social ultimately doesn’t offer anything unique or original you haven’t seen before amongst a myriad of other reality shows. Everything, right down to the on-screen text cues for each character and the various music montages during establishing shots, embrace that reality TV feel. While that in itself is fine, the show feels primarily geared for those looking for drama rather than indulging and learning about a different culture.
Don’t get me wrong though, there are some unique moments here and I actually found myself really getting into the drama for the various characters throughout the show but ultimately Singapore Social fails to offer anything new. I’m not a massive fan of reality TV as it is if I’m honest but Singapore Social’s likable cast of characters should be enough to keep you sticking around to see what happens by the end if you’re into this genre. Whether this one will be renewed for a second season or not remains to be seen, especially given the backlash this is likely to spur from Asian audiences, but then that only reinforces the target market this is actually aimed at.
For those looking for something wholly unique or more educational in regards to Asian culture, Singapore Social is not the show for you. If you love all things reality-TV and are hunting for something a little different but still very familiar, Singapore Social is your ticket. The musical cues, the deliberate dialogue and various different dramatic situations the characters find themselves in is trademark reality-TV fodder. For everyone outside the reality TV circle, Singapore Social is not a show I’d recommend, especially with more educational and culturally relevant shows on the platform already.
Verdict - 3/10