Credit: Instagram @joannepeh

Korean drama Crash Landing On You might have been what everyone watched during the Circuit Breaker period, but it was Singapore TV series Last Madame, which stars local actress Joanne Peh as a brothel owner, that was named Best Asian Drama jointly with Korean drama When The Camellia Blooms. This was part of the competition held under 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 (Oct 25).

Last Madame – the very first M18 drama from Mediacorp – has had much buzz thanks to Peh’s almost fully nude scene with Chou, who plays a police inspector on the series.

The English language 12-parter, which weaves a present-day plotline with another set in the 1930s about a brothel owner, is a story of intrigue involving spies, murders and an old shophouse.

Peh, 37, who plays Fung Lan, shared the good news on social media on Sunday, as she wrote: “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, who shone in The World Of A Married Couple, shares the Best Actress award with Japanese actress Haru Kuroki of Nagi’s Long Vacation.

In The World Of A Married Couple, Kim, 53, plays a doctor whose 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, shares 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 Season 2 is 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 goes to Chinese teenage actor Rong Zishan of The Bad Kids and Thai actor Paris Intarakomalyasut of In Family We Trust.

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

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

The ceremony, organised by the 2020 Busan International Film Festival, was held entirely online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.