Behold, a curated list of new (some relative) Singapore creative content to watch and enjoy, from TV documentaries to music and books. In my opinion, some of these local productions are underrated and deserve more love. Be sure to add them to your #whattowatch list:
Television & video-on-demand
1. The Chinese Footprint (2020)
The Chinese Footprint is a Channel U (i.e. Mandarin) documentary that explores ethnic Chinese communities beyond the mainland. The 1st and only season premiered in 2020 and it reportedly broke records. Hosted by award-winning presenters, Danny Yeo and Charlyn Lin, the programme explores Chinese communities in countries like Fiji, Myanmar and Jordan. If you like the trailer, catch the series on MeWatch: https://www.mewatch.sg/show/The-Chinese-Footprint-179961
2) Undercover Asia (Season 8, 2021): Ep 4 Online Health Products in Malaysia
This CNA episode explores Malaysia’s fast-growing ecommerce market for supplements – the use of influencer marketing, cybertroopers and dropshipping – and how that has led to misleading claims and the sale of dubious products. It’s available on MeWatch as well: https://www.mewatch.sg/watch/Undercover-Asia-S8-E4-Online-Health-Products-(Malaysia)-205712
3) The Teenage Textbook (2021)
The film adaption, The Teenage Textbook Movie, from 1998 is a personal favourite because it captured the lives of kids growing up in the era: the late night homework sessions while listening to 987FM; Glenn Ong’s hugely popular radio show, and the pre-mobile use of the house phone for socialising.
I’ve not watched this reboot in its entirety yet, but from the little I saw, it looks promising. It stars Tay Ping Hui and real life couple Gavin Chong and Chen Yixin, Edmund Chen’s daughter.
4) Honeymoon by Brb.
Brb. is R&B and funk trio made up Clarence Liew, Auzaie Zie, and Marc Lian. I discovered ‘cool with it’ via TikTok and subsequently got hooked by the rest of the group’s smooth R&B singles. Every song is gold: ‘whoops’, ‘do me right’, and ‘talking to myself’. Brb., or holdonbrb, is one of those bands that is destined for greatness. It’s like an undervalued stock just waiting to soar.
5) Rise by Axel Brizzy
Axel is rapper and singer-songwriter. The music video for his new song ‘Rise’ drops tomorrow! Can’t wait to catch it.
6) uRight by Shigga Shay ft. Jay Park
Shigga is one of the biggest names in the Singapore rap scene. He has performed a few times in the past National Day shows. The music video has notched over a million views on YouTube.
Books & digital content creators
7) Brand Singapore by Koh Buck Song
Koh is an illustrious writer with more than 20 books to his name. He was a former editor and columnist with the Straits Times. He also has experience in strategic planning for Singapore’s Economic Development Board. This book is rich with analysis and factoids about Singapore’s history.
8) Navigating Disruption: Media Relations in the Digital Age by Bertrand Teo
I had to plug this book because I wrote it XD
Published by Marshall Cavendish, ‘Navigating Disruption’ tells the digital transformation story of traditional newsrooms and offers tactical insights for communications professionals. The topics covered include corporate storytelling, social media management, and internal communication.
9) Comedic skits by Tropic Monster TV
Singapore comedy talent can be found in abundance on YouTube. I just discovered HEYGROUP and Tropic Monster TV. HEYGROUP is hilarious but also a bit too crude, so I did not list them. I cringe a little at Tropic Monster’s comedy, but that’s only because these content creators make stuff that reflect some facets of Singapore youth culture all too accurately. And they’re super funny.
10) Informative content by DOTT
The producers behind this YouTube channel DOTT (Documentaries on the Tube) explore subject matters very meaningfully, like this video on insurance industry. They’ve certainly inspired me with their journalism.