Singapore Social Season 1 Review: Netflix Highlights The Pressure Of Young Singaporeans

By Daniel Hart
Published: November 22, 2019 (Last updated: November 23, 2023)
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Singapore Social Season 1 - Netflix Reality Series


Singapore Social Season 1 is interesting to a certain extent, defining the new meaning of happiness, but it is hard to care at times.

With Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Hills gripping our young generations, it was only a matter of time before Netflix created their own reality concept, and that is Singapore Social.

Singapore Social Season 1 follows young Singaporeans as they tackle love, life and careers in an intensive social world that is benchmarked with Asian traditionality and the urge to rub shoulders with modernity. The Netflix reality series feels “run-of-the-mill” with their cases studies, following the likes of highly creative people like burlesque dancer Sukki Singapora and singer Tabita Nauser.

It has that reality feel to it, where it is immediately obvious that the conversations are staged and half-natural and the director initiates the next situation based on how the young adults are feeling.

If you enjoy the Kardashians or The Only Way Is Essex then Singapore Social is an obvious alternative on Netflix. There’s plenty of drama bubbling underneath and complex relationships that keep a “reality” narrative going.

But there was one thing that struck me while watching Singapore Social and that is the repeated term of “happiness”. I’ve done plenty of soul-searching recently regarding what happiness means and how we structure our lives for that ultimate feeling. We are a generation that believes happiness can only be achieved by certain jobs or buying certain items or appeasing your judgemental family and friends, and even spouses. Singapore Social is the definition of leading a life based on judgment, and I did wonder on a couple of occasions whether some of these affluent young adults were actually happy.

On the surface, Singapore Social looks like a wonderful life to lead and the cameras tell that story. There’s a reason why there are so many mental health issues that follow from reality shows. It’s not only pressure to impress but it’s that damning realization that this is not the life that fulfills the soul. There’s a saying of “I’d rather cry in my Ferrari”, and that attitude often reeks from the cast of Singapore Social. Crying in your Ferrari is woefully tragic. I’d rather be happy with nothing at all.

I am sure some of the cast are genuinely happy, but I find it difficult to sustain a vested interest in a reality series birthed from purely “looking good” and articulating a life based on what you want viewers to think, which is why I’ll always struggle to engage with a show like Singapore Social. 

It also looks like the Netflix series is in doubt for a second season, as fans already feel it does not truly depict young life in Singapore.

Netflix, TV Reviews
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