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Expats Media

Meredith Quill
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Expats is a 6 Episode (some episodes are as long as one and a half hours) TV Series with the first 3 episodes streaming on January 26, 2024 on Prime Video.

Expats is set against the vibrant and tumultuous tapestry of 2014 Hong Kong (moved up from the setting in the novel, The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee, on with the show is loosely based). Margaret, her husband Clarke and their three kids have moved to Hong Kong from the US. They have established a community of fellow expatriates that includes Hilary and her husband David. This close-knit community is fractured after a sudden family tragedy drastically impacts their intersecting lives. The series interrogates privilege and explores what happens when the line between victimhood and culpability becomes blurred.


Nicole Kidman as Margaret, a landscape designer and mother of three, whose happy life is upended by an unbearable tragedy.


Brian Tee as Clarke, Margaret’s husband


Sarayu Blue as Hilary Starr, a rich British expat housewife conflicted by her struggle to have a child due to her age. A career woman with immaculate taste, Hilary adores her international life. When her friendship with Margaret is fractured by fate, Hilary must learn to embrace the silver linings that come from new beginnings.


Ji-young Yoo as Mercy, a young Korean American, embroiled in an unforgivable scandal.  She is a carefree New Yorker who becomes tangled up in the lives of the expat community in Hong Kong. Though the move to Asia was meant to be a fresh start after college, Mercy's zero responsibility attitude to life begins to haunt her, proving what she has always believed to be true - that she was born with a curse.


Jack Huston as David Starr, long lived in the shadow of his impressive wife Hilary.

Amelyn Pardenilla as Puri, domestic migrant worker, Hilary’s live-in “helper”. 


Ruby Ruiz as Essie, Margaret’s Filipino live-in nanny. 

Will Or as Tony

Bonde Sham as Charly

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A few reviews trickling in.

Will be curious how it compares, reviews-wise, to The Undoing.

Nicole's TV projects since The Undoing haven't fared that well critically.


Kind of more intrigued by the trailers for this than Shogun as the Far East TV show of 2024.

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27 minutes ago, aghst said:

Those changes are interesting.

Wonder why they changed so many things.

Maybe they planned more episodes but ended up with 6?

One of the reason could be Lulu Wang’s creative choice. She’s known for her unconventional storytelling. She intentionally withholds crucial info in the premiere. She said NO to Nicole Kidman the first time NK offered her to adapt The Expatriates novel. She was feeling uncertain about creative freedom etc.

I guess they have discarded the South Korea’s reunion/trip because the filming was done during pandemic. So it would be logistically wise to have Gus disappears in HK. Also their casting choice - Margaret is played by a white woman, not half Korean.

Wang invited Lee (the novelist) to join the writers room. Lee wrote the final episode “Home”.

Episode 5 “Central” is said to be special (by some reviews) because it involves different perspectives. Looking forward to this…

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Well they needed some kind of big name and I guess they chose NK.

A relatively unknown Asian actress isn't going to play a lead role on a show primarily for American audiences.



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This show is not available in Hong Kong itself, unless people know how to jump through some hoops to get access.

Apparently it will depict The Umbrella Revolution which occurs later in 2014.

So speculation is that the government didn't want to show that event because it could put them in a bad light.

But the HK govt denies it's blocking the show.






Edited by aghst
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Another article with Lulu Wang explaining the trajectory of the characters after the finale.

Ominously it ends with:


“Expats” leaves room for more story as Wang shares, but the filmmaker never thought about continuing the show. 

“I think it just depends," she says, adding that she made the show she wanted. “I made things with a beginning, middle and end. I very much see it as a complete thing, like if I was making a feature film.” 

However, she says, “I’m never going to say never. That’s my rule. But right now, there’s no talk of doing another season.”



If the viewing numbers were strong and maybe just better reviews, Amazon would probably be offering her a new deal.

Also depends on how busy NK is with other projects.

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