Expats: The New Nicole Kidman Drama To Add To Your Watchlist
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Expats: The New Nicole Kidman Drama To Add To Your Watchlist

Lulu Wang's Hong Kong-set series premieres this week

From The Undoing to Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers, Nicole Kidman is the queen of captivating TV dramas – and this month, she’s fronting another. Premiering this January on Prime Video is Expats, a new six-part series from filmmaker Lulu Wang, adapted from Janice Y. K. Lee’s 2016 novel The Expatriates.

Nicole Kidman and Brian Tee in Expats on Amazon Prime

Courtesy of Prime Video

What Is Expats About?

Expats follows three women whose lives become intertwined after they move from America to Hong Kong. Margaret (Kidman), has moved her whole family to Hong Kong, and befriends Hilary, who is grappling with a failing marriage. There’s also Mercy, a college graduate looking to reinvent herself.

The story takes place in 2014, at the height of the Umbrella Movement: a series of protests following a decision made by China which meant elections would be allowed in Hong Kong in 2017, but only from a list of candidates pre-approved by the Chinese government. 

The official Prime Video synopsis says: ‘Set against the complex tapestry of Hong Kong residents, Expats depicts a multifaceted group of women after a single encounter sets off a chain of life-altering events that leaves everyone navigating the intricate balance between blame and accountability.

It adds: ‘The series interrogates privilege and explores what happens when the line between victimhood and culpability becomes blurred.’

Sarayu Blue in Expats

Courtesy of Prime Video

Cast

Alongside Kidman, Sarayu Blue (Never Have I Ever) plays Hilary, with Ji-young Yoo (The Sky Is Everywhere) as Mercy. Brian Tee (Chicago Med) plays Margaret’s husband, while Jack Huston (House of Gucci) takes on the role of Hilary’s husband.

As well as starring in the series, Kidman is also the executive producer of Expats, having snapped it up under her production company Blossom Films after being recommended The Expatriates book by her sister. She was keen to get Wang on board, having recently seen her 2019 comedy-drama The Farewell, which covered some of the same themes, such as grief and displacement.

‘I went, Okay, there she is – our visionary has appeared,’ Kidman reminisced to Vogue. ‘Now I’ve just got to go and convince her to do it. I think there was a lot of begging involved.’

Wang – who moved to Beijing from the US aged six years old – was initially hesitant to get on board. Speaking to The Independent, she said: ‘Firstly, I’m not from Hong Kong and I don’t live in Hong Kong, though I am an expat.’ She continued: ‘As a Chinese immigrant going to Hong Kong, am I an immigrant? Am I an expat? What am I there? And it was important to me to portray a world of Hong Kong that was outside that bubble of expats.’

Trailer

Where & When Is Expats Streaming?

Expats will premiere on Prime Video 26 January 2024 with two episodes. After that, one episode will launch weekly until the finale on 23 February 2024.