Four rich, strikingly handsome young men? Check. A horde of screaming university fangirls? Check. That dreaded F4 card with a skull on it? Now, it’s a much less threatening joker card. If you haven’t yet binge watched the first six episodes of Meteor Garden’s 2018 reboot, you’re sorely missing out. Just last week, a portion of this highly anticipated remake, produced again by Angie Chai, hit Netflix’s shores.
For many of us, the original 2001 show was an integral part of our childhood, and let’s not forget Korea’s wildly successful take of it in 2009 with Boys over Flowers. We were equal parts horrified by the rampant bullying and subsequently, slowly won over by F4’s character development, particularly their leader Dao Ming Si. Though I’m sure a large portion of us were quietly rooting for Hua Ze Lei all along. Who says nice guys finish last? Let’s break these gender stereotypes, folks.
The cast this time is headed by Shen Yue who plays Dong Shancai, Dylan Wang as Dao Ming Si, Kuan Hong as Hua Ze Lei, Liang Jing Kang as Feng Mei Zuo and Wu Xi Ze as Xi Men Yan. While their personality arcs were vastly more dramatic in the first remake, rebounding from flat out bully to kind, reformed gentleman, this new reboot gives them more dimensionality. F4, or at least Dao Ming Si, is presented right away as a rounded character, he “respects women” according to his classmates, pays his school fees out of his own pocket and treats his professors with the appropriate amount of deference.
The redeem-ability factor is more realistic here. He’s not teeming with hyper-masculinity and untethered amounts of testosterone. He’s just a rich boy with some unresolved love issues. As for Shancai, she’s not poor in a typically dramatised way (think: broken shoes, broken home) but you can definitely tell she belongs to the lower middle class. She rides an old but functional bicycle, helps her family do food deliveries, and clearly isn’t as flashy as some of her other classmates.
As asiaone has pointed out, the outright violence is significantly reduced. The drama takes on a more lighthearted, bright mood, while still incorporating all the elements exclusive to Meteor Garden. You really can’t go wrong when tapping on nostalgia, and you definitely earn kudos for freshening up and making current a drama that has already been adapted once.
Meteor Garden is streaming on Netflix and Viu in Singapore, and new episodes will be released every Friday.
Neon Lights festival returns for a three-day celebration of the best indie acts
Singapore’s biggest indie music festival, Neon Lights, is back for a third instalment this November with a stacked line-up spanning three days. The festival returns to Fort Canning Park from November 9 to November 11, complete with headline acts and indie legends from all around the world.
After successful runs in 2015 and 2016, local indie fans were left disappointed when Neon Lights took a break last year. The organisers made a promise the festival would return in full strength in 2018 and that it did. Festival director Declan Forde said they were thrilled to be returning and had put a lot of thought into the line-up to ensure both quality and diversity so everyone could enjoy the festival to the fullest.
Kicking things off on November 9 is Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna who will be serenading the crowd in her first public performance in over a year.
Fans of Interpol are also in luck because the band from New York will be making their Asian debut with a full set on November 10.
Other acts include the likes of Caribou, Riot !n Magenta and Cigarettes After Sex amongst others. For the full line-up, as well as schedules, head on down to the website.
Neon Lights runs November 9 to November 11, 6pm to 1030pm on November 9 and 2pm to 1030pm on November 10 and 11. Individual day tickets start from $99 for adults and $25 for children and can be purchased via the website or SISTIC.
Things to do this weekend in Singapore (21 Sept – 23 Sept)
This week’s an exciting one. We’ve got a 2000-2018 dance party, art exhibitions (some all the way till 3am) and something for all you tea-lovers out there. With these many options on your plate, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
1. Art After Dark x 6th Anniversary Celebrations (21 Sept)
Celebrate Gillman Barracks’ 6th anniversary with another run of their Art After Dark! It’s the perfect way to kick off your weekend – there’ll be live performances, interactive art experiences and delicious food served all the way till 3am.
When you’re done exploring the two new gallery openings presented by Ota Fine Arts and Yavuz Gallery, or traversed through our very own Nguan’s photography, you can rock out to the tunes of Pleasantry and The Pinholes. Definitely grab that late night bite from the likes of Park Bench Deli and Handlebar.
Address: Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937
Time: 7pm onwards
Ticket pricing: Free
2. Singapore Tea Festival 2018 (21 Sept – 23 Sept)
Quench your thirst with this year’s comeback of Singapore Tea Festival. With more than a hundred blends of tea, 30 tea and tea-related brands, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
There’ll even be dialogues and workshops where you’ll about learn skills such as modern kombucha making from industry leaders. To redeem a complimentary Yixing Purple Clay glazed porcelain cup, all you’ve got to do is register at teapasar’s booth!
Address: ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Time: Fri: 3PM-10PM, Sat & Sun: 10AM-10PM
Ticket pricing: Free
3. V A N I T A S Group Art Exhibition (21 Sept – 23 Sept)
This brings a group of talented women into the spotlight. Featuring six independent female artists, VANITAS is a group show which explores themes like mortality, the transience of life and the futility of pleasure.
Be wowed by the dark art styles of @sarahthursday, @erikartoon, @mothhead_, @peithedragon, @yelselogy and @sanatoriium. Remember to bring some spare cash to purchase some of their merch!
Address: kult, Block C2-5, Emily Hill, 11 Upper Wilkie Road, Singapore 228120
Time: Fri: Opening Night @ 5pm, Sat & Sun: 12PM-8PM
Ticket pricing: Free
4. Xiao Kopitiam #2 (22 Sept)
Pop by this reimagined kopitiam for maybe the chillest weekend you’ve had in a while.
Dig into LAD & DAD’s comfort British fare – think bangers & mash and beef stew (we can attest to the amazingness of this dish), get a intricate henna design from the famous @henn.drawn or just grab a personalised haiku at the typewriter.
Address: 21 Moonstone Lane, Poh Leng Building #09-01, Singapore 328426
Time: Lunch: 3PM-10PM
Ticket pricing: Free
5. The Passion Pop-Up (22 Sept)
Support your local businesses and female entrepreneurship at this pop-up. Try out delicious treats from That Vegan Cake, juicy burgers from Hustle Co and more.
The Passion Panel, filled with names like Isabel Lee of An Acai Affair and Beckie Liu of Haikini,
will delve into how they sparked off their passion for entrepreneurship, developing it into an actual business. It’s not all work, though. Play beer pong or sign up for a HIIT session with Charity Chan, a personal trainer!
Address: 52 Craig Road, Singapore 089690
Time: 11AM – 4PM
Ticket pricing: Free
6. High School Never Ends (22 Sept)
Blast it back to your childhood or travel all the way to the present at HopHeads’ latest escapade, featuring 2000s-2018 electronic dance pop and the hottest radio hits.
Their parties are so popular that all their online tickets have been sold out. Your best bet is to head straight to the door for a ticket, then straight into the most nostalgic night of your life.
Address: 178 Clemenceau Ave, Haw Par Glass Tower B1-00, Singapore 239926
Time: 10PM – 4AM
Ticket pricing: Door tickets $20, inclusive of one drink
Tokidoki x River Safari: A Whale of a Time Awaits
What do you call something that provides comfort, is pleasant to have and is part of a larger establishment? A manatee (amenity)!
Jokes aside, manatees are the co-stars of the event at River Safari this September, as tokidoki’s Mermicorno characters are making a splash at Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park.
Designed by Simone Legno, the characters of the internationally recognised lifestyle brand are featured within the park as 10 life-sized sculptures, including the three newest members Submarino, Jade and Fortuna.
Hop on the Mermicorno x River Safari Trail and win exclusive, limited-edition tokidoki x River Safari enamel pins. All you have to do is answer two questions that are rotated each week. (they’re really easy, but I shan’t reveal them so as to not take away your fun.) Unfortunately, three of the five weeks have passed — but you still have the chance to bring Cerulean (week 4) and Jade (week 5) home. They run out of stock very quickly, so be sure to get there early!
Mermicorno x River Safari Trail
Venue: Around the park
Timings: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Joining Mermicorno and Manatee are mermaids, whose graceful performances and bubbly interactions in the aquarium are not to be missed. Watch as they swim elegantly among the manatees, nature’s very own mermaids of myth.
Venue: Amazon Flooded Forest
Timings: 12:45pm, 1:45pm, 2:45pm (20 minutes)
Make sure you and your loved ones catch a photo op with Canola, our lovable mascot. Fun fact: Canola, the actual manatee and animal icon of River Safari, just turned four in August!
Meet our Manatee Mascot
Venue: River Safari Entrance
Timings: 10:00am & 4:30am
Other activities include Colour Us Cute at the Mermicorno meets Manatee colouring wall, River Trail Encounters, where the park guides will share stories about the manatees along with their quirks and habits, and Amazing Encounters Await, granting you the opportunity to get up close in behind-the-scenes tours, Manatee Mania and Amazing Amazonia.
Colour Us Cute
Venue: River Safari Entrance:
Timings: 10:00am – 5pm(Weekends only)
River Trail Encounters
Venue: Amazon Flooded Forest
Timings: 12:15pm & 5:30pm (20 minutes)
Amazing Encounters Await*
Venue: River Safari Visitor Services Counter
Timings: Manatee Mania – 9:30am, Amazing Amazonia – 1:30pm (1 hour)
*Additional tour fees apply, and pre-registration is required.
At the end of your enjoyable day out, don’t forget to grab tokidoki collectibles such as plushies, key chains and blindboxes from the River Safari retail store to complete your Mermicorno experience!
There’s also an Instagram contest giveaway — all you have to do is share your most creative posts tagged #tokidoki and #RiverSafari on your public Instagram account for a chance to win a Manatee Mania tour and River Safari admission tickets for 2 adults worth $300.
Water you waiting for? Dive right in!
Activities runs until September 30, 2018, on weekends only, unless otherwise stated. For more information, please visit http://www.riversafari.com.sg/tokidoki.
Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729726
Opening hours: 10:00am – 7:00pm (last entry at 6:30pm) daily
Ticket prices: Adult – $32, Child – $21