New Channel 5 series Tanglin has 199 episodes

(From left) The Tong family: Charlie Goh, Laurence Pang, Jae Liew, Wee Soon Hui, Nat Ho, Darryl Yong and James Seah. -- PHOTO: CHANNEL 5 
(From left) The Tong family: Charlie Goh, Laurence Pang, Jae Liew, Wee Soon Hui, Nat Ho, Darryl Yong and James Seah. -- PHOTO: CHANNEL 5 

Singapore's favourite TV drama matriarch Wee Soon Hui is back on the goggle box for the long haul.

The 56-year-old, who played Mrs Tay on the local TV drama Growing Up (1996 - 2002), will be playing a mother of five in the upcoming series on Channel 5 - Tanglin.

With 199 episodes already commissioned, the show is the channel's first long-form daily drama. Based on audience feedback after the the series goes to air on June 30, more episodes could be produced later on.

For Wee, having to commit herself to such a major project again "feels great", she says.

In recent years, she has only taken on one-off productions every now and then, such as the telemovie Sunset (2015) last February.

Wee, who has three children aged 19, 21 and 22, says: "I've always loved filming, but I stopped because of my children. Now that my youngest is going to university this year, my husband very kindly asked me, 'Why don't you do something? Otherwise, there's the empty nest syndrome in the house'.

"This opportunity came up and the timing was just perfect. So, of course, I had to say yes to doing it."

She was speaking to Life! at the show's custom-built 10,000 sq ft sets located in the sound stages of Infinite Studios at Mediapolis. The five sets, which cost over $1 million to build, make up three residential spaces, a doctor's clinic, and a cafe.

In the series, she plays Tong Li Yan, a resilient widow who runs a cafe in the Holland Village area, and who is also busy watching over her five children. They are played by Darryl Yong, James Seah, Jae Liew, Charlie Goh and Adam Chen.

The show follows the Tong family and their interactions with three other families: the Lims, portrayed by stars such as Constance Song and Richard Low; the Bhaskars, who are headed by Mathialagan and Yuvina Malathi; and the Rahmans, played by stars such as Fauzie Laily and Masturah Ahmad.

waiyee@sph.com.sg

Tanglin premieres on Channel 5 on June 30 at 8pm.