Nicole Kidman’s ‘Expats’ set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video, showcasing Hong Kong’s allure, launching 26th January, 2024

Nicole Kidman in the "Expats".

22nd December 2023 – (Hong Kong) The captivating world of Hong Kong’s expatriate society is set to unfold on screens worldwide as Amazon Prime Video lifts the curtain on its latest series, ‘Expats.’ The first trailer teases audiences with scenes shot against the vibrant backdrop of Hong Kong, headlined by none other than Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman. The six-part adaptation of Janice Y. K. Lee’s novel ‘The Expatriates’ delves into the interconnected lives of three American women, set amidst the tumultuous Umbrella Movement of 2014.

Kidman steps into the shoes of Margaret, an expatriate revelling in the city’s luxuries until an unforeseen calamity disrupts her charmed existence. Sarayu Blue, known for her role in ‘XO Kitty,’ portrays Hilary, a character wrestling with the throes of marital discord. Completing the trio, Ji-young Yoo plays Mercy, the recent graduate on a quest for self-discovery in the city’s contrasting milieu.

Directed by Lulu Wang, whose credits include the touching 2019 film ‘The Farewell,’ ‘Expats’ promises a narrative woven through the experiences of these women amid the elite, yet insular expat community—a setting inspired by author Lee’s personal experiences.

The trailer showcases iconic Hong Kong locales such as Temple Street’s night market, the bustling Ladies Market, the picturesque Victoria Harbour, and the time-honoured Mido Café. These glimpses are more than mere backdrops; they are threads contributing to the rich tapestry of the city’s story, highlighting the stark disparities between the lives of the expatriates and their domestic helpers, particularly spotlighted in an episode dedicated to the Filipino domestic workers community.

‘Expats’ boldly ventures into the nuanced dynamics of social stratification and racial discrimination in Hong Kong—a subject often glossed over. The anticipation for the series is palpable, with the hope that it will transcend the oft-trodden path of glorifying the expatriate lifestyle without acknowledging the complex realities of the city’s socio-economic landscape.

The production has not been without its controversies. Hong Kong’s decision to grant Kidman a quarantine exemption for filming sparked debate, coming at a time when locals faced stringent quarantine mandates and travel curbs. Further adding to the intrigue, rumours of a falling out between Kidman and Wang surfaced, leaving the city abuzz with speculation.

Despite this, ‘Expats’ stands as a testament to the rich storytelling potential harboured within Hong Kong’s shores—a narrative vessel charting the emotional and cultural voyages of its protagonists. The series will invite viewers to explore the dichotomy of lives within a single city, a microcosm of global themes of identity, privilege, and the search for belonging.

The release of ‘Expats’ is set for January 26, 2024, on Amazon Prime Video, with subsequent episodes to follow on a weekly cadence until the finale on February 23, 2024. The trailer offers just a taste of what is to come, and with it, the promise of a series that could redefine perceptions of one of Asia’s most dynamic cities.