It’s nighttime. A neon green Lamborghini drives down a busy highway, past cars, vans, and HGVs. As we enter the city, the camera cuts to a panning shot of the bright streets of Tokyo, busy as ever, even at this hour.
This is the opening of the first episode of the Netflix documentary series Midnight Asia: Eat.Dance.Dream–a six-part journey through the nightlives of some of Asia’s busiest metropolitan areas. During this series, you’ll be taken from the club scene of Tokyo to the folk theatre of Bangkok; you’ll meet Mumbai rappers and the street food vendors of Seoul; you’ll get to experience Filipino techno and Taiwanese oyster omelets. All this and more has been packed into six 30-40 minute episodes, all of which are available to stream right now on Netflix.
But is Midnight Asia worth the watch?
Well, it depends on what kind of thing you’re looking for. Midnight Asia is undoubtedly a taste of culture; there’s no doubt about that. It’s fast-paced and frantic. It’ll keep you constantly intrigued with new curiosities, and you’re almost certainly going to see something you’ve never heard of before.
That being said, Midnight Asia does not delve too deep into its topics, preferring to show you little pieces of a big world. You’ll meet a vast cast of characters from all walks of life, getting to see how they live and work in amongst Asia’s bustling nightlife. While you probably won’t learn much about the deeper routes of modern Asian nightlife culture, this show is bound to spark your interest and leave you wanting to learn more.
In some ways, Midnight Asia does feel like an advert for the city’s it explores. The show works hard to create an atmosphere, a sense that in every town, behind every door, there is a story waiting to be uncovered.
It’s hard to watch this show without feeling the urge to go online and buy a plane ticket. But, if there’s one thing this show excels at, it’s showing you that there’s a wide world out there and, if you get the chance, you should go out and see it all.
Of course, Nexus Radio listeners will be eager to know how much music makes into the show, and, on that count too, Midnight Asia does not disappoint. Every episode has at least one new and unique music experience you’ve never seen before, whether it’s an 86 year old DJ, a Korean indie folk-rock artist, or a drag act in Taipei. This show promises dancing, and it delivers.
Another thing to favor this show is that it’s made with the usual Netflix budget. That means every shot is beautifully filmed. Midnight Asia puts the beauty of this kind of urban lifestyle on full display, front and centre, through a combination of stunning drone footage and excellently captured candids.
Will there be a season 2?
So far, there has been no announcement on a renewal for Midnight Asia, but given the first season’s success, the chances are strong for a season 2.
What would that look like?
While it did cover much ground in its six episodes, bustling Asian cities, and even countries for Midnight Asia to explore, what does nightlife look like in China? Or Vietnam? Asia is a vast and diverse continent with many incredible cities to explore. Fans of season 1 will undoubtedly be very excited to see what comes next.