Asia Contents Awards

Last Madame wins Best Asian Drama

Local TV series, starring Joanne Peh as brothel boss, clinches top prize at Busan event

Local actress Joanne Peh on the set of Last Madame, Mediacorp's first M18 series, in October last year.
Local actress Joanne Peh on the set of Last Madame, Mediacorp's first M18 series, in October last year.PHOTO: ST FILE
South Korean actress Kim Hee-ae in The World Of The Married. She is a joint winner of the Best Actress prize at the Asia Contents Awards.
South Korean actress Kim Hee-ae in The World Of The Married. She is a joint winner of the Best Actress prize at the Asia Contents Awards.PHOTO: VIU

Last Madame, starring local actress Joanne Peh as a brothel owner, has been named Best Asian Drama - alongside South Korean drama When The Camellia Blooms - at a competition held as part of the Busan International Film Festival.

The two winning shows beat K-dramas Crash Landing On You, Kingdom Season 2 and Hyena; Taiwan's Someday Or One Day; and China's The Bad Kids at this year's Asia Contents Awards on Sunday.

Last Madame - the first M18 drama from Mediacorp - generated much buzz thanks to Peh's almost nude scene with Taiwanese actor Jeff Chou, who plays a police inspector in the series.

The English-language 12-parter, which interweaves a present-day plotline with another set in the 1940s about Peh's character, is a story of intrigue involving spies, murders and an old shophouse.

Peh, 37, who plays brothel owner Fung Lan, posted the good news on social media on Sunday, writing: "It's been a year and I'm most grateful for having met and worked with the wonderful cast and dedicated crew of Last Madame. Congratulations @ochrepictures, thank you for bringing all of us together."

South Korean actress Kim Hee-ae, star of The World Of The Married, shared the Best Actress award with Japanese actress Haru Kuroki of Nagi's Long Vacation.

In The World Of The Married, Kim, 53, plays a doctor whose seemingly perfect life falls apart when she discovers that her husband, played by actor Park Hae-joon, is cheating on her.

Taiwanese actor Joseph Chang, who plays a forensic detective with Asperger's syndrome in crime thriller The Victim's Game, shared the Best Actor award with South Korean actor Ju Ji-hoon, who plays a righteous prince caught in the middle of a zombie outbreak in Kingdom.

Kingdom's second season was the biggest winner at the Asia Contents Awards, as it also took home Best Writer for Kim Eun-hee and Best Technical Achievement Award.

The Best Male Newcomer prize went to Chinese teenage actor Rong Zishan of The Bad Kids and Thai actor Paris Intarakomalyasut of In Family We Trust.

The Best Female Newcomer award went to South Korean actress Jeon Mi-do of Hospital Playlist and Thai actress Plearnpichaya Komalarajun of One Year.

The Asia Contents Awards, now in their second year, are given to outstanding Asian drama series on television and streaming services. The awards received 75 submissions from 17 countries this year.

The ceremony, organised by the Busan International Film Festival, was held entirely online this year due to the pandemic.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2020, with the headline 'Last Madame wins Best Asian Drama'. Print Edition | Subscribe