The Little Nyonya (Chinese: 小娘惹) is a 34-episode drama series which was produced by MediaCorp in Singapore's free-to-air channel MediaCorp TV Channel 8. It was produced in celebration of the channel's 45 years anniversary that is partly sponsored by the Media Development Authority in Singapore.
The storyline is set in the 1930s and spans 70 years whereby more than 150 behind the scenes staff were involved in the production, and the cast went to Penang and Malacca to film part of the series. The series' production cost was also the highest ever for MediaCorp which required one year of research, and took four months to film involving a pair of beaded shoes costing SGD$1,200, while a dining table costs SGD$15,000.
The story starred Jeanette Aw as Juang Juxiang who is born into a large Peranakan family where her mother is a mistress. She is gentle, beautiful and a fantastic cook. Due to a serious illness when she was nine years old, Juxiang become a deaf-mute whereby she is ostracised by people. She is then forced to marry Charlie Zhang, a rich Peranakan to be his mistress before Japanese Occupation in Singapore which resulted in her running away from home with a young Japanese photographer, Yamamoto Yousuke. Yueniang, her daughter is then born after overcoming many obstacles and finally get married but during World War both of them died.
The orphaned Yueniang eventually walks to her grandfather's house on her own grewed up looking exactly like her mother and is exceptionally beautiful under the supervision of her grandmother where she learned Peranakan dishes and sewing but lead a life of her mother after her maternal relatives returned home from England seeking refuge after the war. She puts up with all these suffering to protect her grandmother.
Yueniang's pretty looks incurs jealousy from her elder cousin when she attracts the attention of many rich Peranakans. However, she only interested in penniless driver Chen Xi whom actually turned out to be educated and wealthy son of their family-ties related Chen family. Yueniang's kindness, purity and persistence move Chen Xi and he hides his identity to be with Yueniang as he was deeply in love with her. Their relationship is filled with many obstacles due to tremendous pressure from his family. Chen Xi was later forced to marry the elder cousin of Yueniang, Huang Zhenzhu when he nearly died from illness after he faced rejection from Yueniang of marrying him when his identity was revealed. Yueniang on the other hand is sold to a butcher, Liu Yidao. Many things happen after this and it is revealed that the Huangs use misunderstandings and mistakes for granted and resort to off-board measures for instance the forced marriage of Huang Yuzhu after she was raped by Robert Zhang.
Yueniang decides to end her own life as she is unwilling to accept the fact that her life is always manipulated by others impresses Liu Yidao for her strong personality. They become sworn siblings where they helped each other to carve out their family business. Yueniang begins learning how to run a business and in the process, she is framed and oursted from her business when in Singapore. Despite the odds, she managed to save her declining family business. Her meeting up with Chen Sheng, who harbour love for her mother and doted her allowed her to venture into other profitable business. The business flourished with their trading in bird's nest, textiles and antiques.
Sadly, her love life has yet to begin a new chapter with no news about her love interest, Chen Xi. Soon they discovered that they meet again when she found out that Huang Yuzhu was in danger and when Madame Chen was seriously illed. Chen Xi expressed his unfailling love affection to her despite he was married. Yueniang does not responded to his affection but instead accepted the marriage proposal by Paul, a British lawyer who has fallen in love with her. The couple have no children on their own as Yueniang has two miscarriages but adopted the child of Yuzhu due to the mental condition. Chen Xi later married Libby, a friend of his who is more liberal than social norms at the time and had six children when they moved to England.