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The Little Nonya

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Listing created by Damien on August 24, 2012    

A critically acclaimed series by both viewers and critics alike, the little nonya aired in Nov 2008 and raked the highest viewership in Singapore in 14 years. The story centers around an extended Peranakan family in Malacca in 34 episodes and had a notable cultural impact in Singapore where a Peranakan trend / wave followed which still can be felt till this day.



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A usual, tragic show

This show is a monstrosity.

The show itself was original and not too shabby. With better actresses, it could easier make the cut to be broadcast-ed overseas to be the next Singapore pride. The only downfall is that the lead, Jeanette Aw, and her acting is enough to reduce anyone to tears but not because they are touched, but because the cheesiness has fully overloaded.

Not only so, this show spawned devil kids. Suddenly Nonya inspired themes were hogging every single prime time variety show and Mediacorp decided it was a great idea to throw back all dramas to be from another time, which leads to the hideous shows like The Pig's Quarters and what-nots on television now.

This show single-handedly caused the direction of all our future dramas and 2 years later, we are still suffering from the effects of it as seen from the directing themes of our current dramas. Also doesn't help that people started claiming themselves of Nonyas and Babas descent and making a huge fuss out of a bad show.

Words go beyond how much I abhor this show.

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One of the Better Singapore Shows

This is one of the better Mediacorp shows out there and one of the few that managed to get me hooked. I remembered spending a day watching episodes after episodes of this drama and not regretting a single second spent on it.

The show is driven by strong female characters, each one possessing their individual unique personality that often contradicts the other. It is interesting to see how these women’s character develop as they face problems unsolved by the males of the society. The drama tackles the importance of pride and honour and question the actions we take to uphold it.

The story moves at a slow pace in the beginning, but after that the pace quickens and the cliffhangers at the end of each episode always leaves me wanting more.

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No nonya for me

I've never been particularly interested in cultural stuff. And this drama certainly isn't gonna change that.

While everyone was possessed by the Peranakan spirit and going nonya over everything, I'm one of the minority who fails to see what the fuss is all about. On the occasional chance that I happen to catch the show, I find it resembling those taiwan soap dramas such as ah cheng and the taiwan whirlwind disaster. Generation feuds? Checked. Power struggles? Checked. Never-ending series? Checked. Like many of Mediacorp offerings, this show is just another rip off from the popular soap dramas that were all the rage then.

Perhaps the only thing I appreciate about the show is the awareness it gains for our Peranakan culture. But as I was saying, I've never been particularly interested in cultural stuff.

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(Updated: January 15, 2013)

The Great Nonya

The acting in The Little Nonya was awesome. Many would agree with me - it was one of the most widely discussed topic even in school. I also think that was the breakthrough for Jeanette Aw. I really started liking her after watching The Little Nonya. I was really obsessed with the show; I even cried once because my parents wouldn't let me watch it for they wanted to watch something else. It was an interesting drama series with a heavy emphasis on the Peranakan culture. The display of the Peranakan culture on tv has I feel led to a better understanding of it. I myself have a better understanding, especially of the glorious food. It doesn't feel like it was broadcast 5 years ago. I still remember the hatred I bore towards the stepmother because she was such a mean witch. But this just underscores how in character and good the actress was. It was definitely worthy of the popularity it warranted.

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Awesome series!

The Little Nonya is a one of mediacorp's best drama series ever. The entire series has lots of interesting plots and twists, is riddled with hot actresses and actors, and is so full of cultural value.

I learnt so much about the Peranakan's culture through the whole series, and as it was a sad drama, I remembered crying through many of the episodes and thinking about cultural information that I had learnt while watching the episode.

While the ending was kind of unexpected, it also has a moral value to it as it sticks true to the theme of the series that each of the characters have a choice in their life, and while their world view is limited by their stereotypes of their own culture, it is ultimately their own choice that decides their future.

It is a tear-jerker, but one which is worth watching, as evidenced by its popularity.

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Over rated

I'm not the biggest fan of The Little Nonya, and despite how locals may rave on about how excellent it was, I will never be able to understand its appeal.

Featuring an unique and original script about Peranakan lifestyles, The Little Nonya was set to be the blockbuster drama of its year. And indeed, it was, especially since the cast featured several 'it' artistes.

However, I personally found it absolutely boring. Jeanette Aw's acting bores me, and her attempts to mimic the traditional way people used to talk sent me cringing.

I do have to admit, the film imagery was beautiful though, especially with the delicate costumes and jewellery, it certainly makes one develop a desire to try out a day as a Peranakan. Despite this, the drama just didn't strike me as amazing, and I feel that it can best be described as mediocre.

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One of my favourite dramas

This has to be one of my favourite dramas of all time. This drama adequately showcases the unique culture of the Peranakans in a subtle way without making the viewers bored. Peranakan delicacies were introduced on the drama, and through this I came to understand more and appreciate the Peranakan culture. I enjoyed every single episode of the drama because the story is extremely exciting, with twists unravelling now and then.

I was not very satisfied with the ending though; I hate sad endings and though the ending for The Little Nyona was not totally tragic but instead somewhat bittersweet, I was still angry at the fact that the lead actress did not end up with the lead actor. Such is the frustration of a viewer who fantasises about the main characters living "happily ever after" for every single drama.

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One Of My Favourite Of All Time

I have never known much about the details of the Peranakan culture that has existed in the past but I will credit this wonderful drama serial for enhancing the depth of my knowledge towards their rich history and amazing culture.

Besides, it would serve as a great platform for viewers to know about the different races that has been around in our cosmopolitan state. Besides, the filming was done in Malaysia and certainly, it provided me with much more refreshing and enlightening scenes on their locality!

I'm sure the transition from our usual "HDB" generic settings to the retrospective, olden places that is well-preserved in other places appeals to the viewers as well.

I loved the drama serial for it's exciting, heart-tugging and very intriguing plot that was brilliantly written - it steers away from the stereotypical plots that the viewers are intoxicated with. At the end of every episode, the cliff-hanger slotted in perfectly to leave the viewers craving for what's next to come.

Of course, the actors had done an excellent job in portraying each character to it's fullest depth - bringing the whole story to life and spicing up the story plot with tension, and excitement. I loved the way the actors evoke such strong, heartfelt emotions in me as I watched the episodes!

The ending of course, was known to have stirred quite a fierce response from the viewers in general, since the two main leads, played by Jeanette Aw and Qi Yu Wu did not ultimately get together - as what everyone was anticipating.

However, as much as I am taken aback by the surprise unraveled at the end of the show, I'm pleased to witness, finally, a non-mainstream end to a drama serial. Such novelty in creations should be encouraged, and not criticized on!

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A drama that captured the hearts of many

This drama premiered when I was in my secondary school days. I had to endure days and days of my friends and family chatting about what Xiang Yun and Jeanette Aw are going to do in the latest episode of The Little Nonya. Not one to be engrossed in a drama, I felt (and still feel) that it was overrated.

It has its credits, however. It is the catalyst that launched interest in Peranakan culture to a whole new level. The drama was an instant success, those actors who starred in it received mainstream recognition. The likes of Dai Yang Tian and Joanne Peh became pop culture favourites, and Nonya food was consumed like nobody's business.

I don't like it, but you cannot deny the impact it had on society.

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A telling of generations...

I have to admit, part of the reason why I watched The Little Nonya was because I thought it would provide me with a glimpse into the unique Peranakan culture. However, midway through the series, I found that I was watching pre-set stereotypes instead of genuinely interpreted characters.

Plus, I think it's downright ridiculous to have Pan Lingling play a teenager, not matter how pretty she might be conceived as. On the contrary, I loved Jeanette Aw's acting in the series, it was the first time I've seen her stretch her acting skills on-screen.

Story-wise, it's a great story, very well told and brought to life. The writers should all give themselves a pat on their backs.

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Nice drama

I have never been very interested in the dramas that Singapore produced as I think that they are not really interesting and do not seem to have any meaning in the dramas that are produced. The Little Nonya attracts my attention and I like the drama after watching it as it is different for the other dramas that are shown in Singapore.

The food, culture and story of the drama really attract me a lot and the nonya food really looks delicious. I think the storyline is really good but I do not really like the ending. I got interested in the culture and food of nonya after watching this drama.

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