Psychics, sci-fi, and soul food: A look at HBO Asia’s upcoming slate

With shows like Folklore, Grisse and The Teenage Psychic, HBO Asia is going from strength to strength in terms of Asian original productions. While none of the shows are as big as Game Of Thrones (yet), HBO Asia have revealed their upcoming lineup, with more new shows made in Asia in the pipeline.

At a recent press conference, HBO Asia showcased four upcoming projects: A crime drama, a sci-fi thriller, an anthology (food) drama series, as well as the second season of The Teenage Psychic.

DREAM RAIDER 《獵夢特工》

For starters, we have Dream Raider – HBO Asia’s first science fiction drama series. This eight-episode hour-long series will bring together cast and crew from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, including actors Vivian Hsu, David Wang, Jason Wang, Weber Yang and Ellen Wu.

Set in the near future, Dream Raider tells a story of a misfit team of scientist and cops that are trying to get to the bottom of a criminal conspiracy that exploits human consciousness. There’s hints of Inception as the police officers discover technology that allows them to enter dreamscapes of others to find the truth.

FOOD LORE

No, this isn’t Folklore. Food Lore is an eight-episode hour-long anthology series that explores the human condition with narratives inspired by and showcased through the perspectives of Asian cuisines, weaving tales of the tastes and aromas that have filled the Asian souls – tales of longing and forbidden passion, of connection and loss, of childhood memory.

Helmed by award-winning Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo, the series is shot in eight countries across Asia and directed by some of Asia’s most talented storytellers including Don Aravind (Singapore), Billy Christian (Indonesia), Takumi Saitoh (Japan), Ho Yuhang (Malaysia), Erik Matti (Philippines), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand) and Phan Dang Di (Vietnam).

The show is produced as part of a two-year partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore. Through a series of workshops and collaborations with local companies and talent on HBO Asia Original productions, the partnership aims to develop the content production capabilities of Singapore’s media industry. 

The Teenage Psychic 《通靈少女》

The Teenage Psychic is HBO Asia’s second returning series, following the success of the first season. The eight-episode hour-long second season of the coming-of-age Taiwan drama series returns with Kuo Shu Yau reprising her lead role as Xiao Zhen, a psychic born with the ability to see spirits and learning to use her abilities to help others.

Starring alongside her will be new cast members including two-time Golden Bell Award-winning actress, Wen Chen-Ling and rising star, Fandy Fan. The new season of The Teenage Psychic sees Xiao Zhen back from her summer break and determined to have a fresh start at school, but life is not that simple, especially when she is still coming to terms with the loss of the love of her life. Things get even more complicated with the arrival of Zhan Xiao Tong (Chen-Ling), a soft spoken yet resourceful new member of the drama club. Juggling the multiple pressures from school, the drama club and the demands of the spirit world, things are about to take a turn for the worse for the 17-year-old.

The World Between Us 《我們與惡的距離》

Finally, there’s The World Between Us, a ten-part hour-long Taiwan drama series that follows the aftermath of a mass-shooting where all parties involved – the killer, the victims, the victims’ families, the media and the defense teams, whose fates are all intertwined.

Shot entirely in Taiwan, the series features an all-star ensemble cast from Taiwan including Alyssa Chia, James Wen and Wu Kang-Jen. Directed by award-winning filmmaker, Lin Chun-Yang and written by the renowned award-winning screenwriter, Lu Shih-Yuan, the series is produced by Taiwanese broadcaster, Public Television Service (PTS), and will be jointly distributed by HBO Asia and CATCHPLAY outside of Asia.

The World Between Us just premiered on March 24, with two episodes debuting at the same time every Sunday.

“The best Asia has to offer”

“Over the past 7 years, we recognise the significance and importance of locally produced programming,” said HBO Asia CEO Jonathan Spink. “Since 2012, the number of Asian original productions we have done has been increasing and they have all proven to be very effective for us. We are encouraged to learn that our Asian productions are working well across the region, especially those in local languages.”

“We maintain our commitment to producing outstanding programming and will continuously aim to present our content to our audience in the region, in an easily accessible way,” he added. “We will continue to produce the highest quality content that the HBO brand represents and showcase to the world the best Asia has to offer.”

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