Lulu Wang’s follow-up to The Farewell is (finally) here, and it’s a flashy limited series with Nicole Kidman called Expats.
Based on Janice Y.K. Lee’s novel The Expatriates, the series follows three American women living in Hong Kong as their lives intersect around a personal tragedy. Kidman stars as Margaret, a wealthy housewife who is at the center of the tragedy—seems to be a missing child? The trailer, which dropped yesterday, plays coy with the nature of the tragedy, but it seems like her young son disappears. Sarayu Rao stars as Hilary, another of the expat wives, and Ji-young Yoo stars as Mercy, a young Korean-American woman looking for a “fresh start” in Hong Kong.
The trailer gives “Big Little Lies but what if these people were halfway decent” vibes, and Kidman seems to be dining out on the role of Margaret. She has gotten really good at playing high-strung women coming apart at the seams. All six episodes are directed by Wang, who was recruited to the project by Kidman herself, after Kidman saw The Farewell. Nicole Kidman continues to display good taste, in the matter of professional collaboration, at least.
Kidman did come under fire for a notable exemption from Hong Kong’s quarantine rules in order to film Expats in 2021, and the show was called “tone-deaf”, given the deteriorating political situation at the time, as a national security law led to arrests and a crackdown on pro-democracy protests (Exciting Times starring Phoebe Dynevor was also criticized). But after all the delays of the pandemic and the strike year, Expats is finally coming out. Lulu Wang is back, and this time she’s coming for those Emmys.
Here are Nicole and Keith Urban at a special screening for Expats in Sydney.