Moonlight Resonance – The Good, Bad and Ugly

Moonlight Resonance is the much hyped-over successor to TVB’s 2007 hit, Heart of Greed. Its title in Mandarin, Jia Hao Yue Yuan (家好月圆) is a phrase that describes a family being together during the full moon, especially during the Mid-Autumn Festival, when the moon is at its fullest. The series is about a large family which was split up by divorce. The six siblings were separated, with three of them growing up in vastly different environments. The children who followed their mother grew up to be very close-knit, despite not being very well-off. The other three are somewhat dysfunctional, even though their father was rich enough to send them overseas and whatnot to study. The typical poor-but-loved and the poor little rich kids story, actually.

Why am I watching it?

Ray the sobber and Moses the Joker

Ray the sobber and Moses the Joker

Some brotherly love there. This time, Ray gets a bigger role as the second son. No longer an outsider brooding in. Now he can brood inside his family, but his character here is more cheerful that he doesn’t need to. Moses is the eldest son, a bit of a joker who doesn’t seem to take things seriously. Third in line is Tavia, who is the adopted daughter, then Chris Lai, who is the outsider of all six siblings. He was raised in the ‘dark’ side with Moses and Vincent (the youngest), and got brainwashed by the evil Sith stepmum. So he sort of sides with her, as of now. Fala Chen is the fifth daughter, the only biological daughter of Ha Yue and Louise Lee. She’s mute (but not deaf), so she communicates by sign language. The youngest is Vincent, who is the brooding one. Because he’s young and the Sith doesn’t care about him, he eventually goes back to his real mum. The seventh one that completes the phrase (家好月圆庆中秋) is Linda, the Sith’s daughter with her first husband. She grew up with six siblings so they used to be close, thus she is sort of adopted into their circle, and so completes the phrase. The phrase is as in the title of the show, and relates to the fact that the family business is running a bakery, so they sell mooncakes near Mid-Autumn Festival.

Raymond Lam the Baker

Raymond Lam the Baker

The Good

  • The fact that Ray has a significant role in the family and the show.
  • Most of the Heart of Greed cast are back in here, plus a few more additions like Kate Tsui and a couple more.
  • Susanna Kwan is still as bitchy in here. Even though she’s from the bright side, she’s such an annoying blabber over there. It’ll be fun if she can wreak some havoc over at the dark side, too bad her character is such a greedy woman.
  • Michelle Yim! I dunno why la, maybe it’s sentimental, but I still love her no matter how evil she is. When I see her I think of her in that super old sitcom where she was so lovable. Then I see her as the ruthless Sith and she’s still so good.
  • The little family moments in the drama. The little ones, between 2 or 3 of the characters. (see below)

The Bad

  • Those scriptwriters are so into recycling storylines, and even the love triangle between Ray, Linda and Bosco seemed like a retelling of the Heart of Greed love triangle.
  • The scriptwriters again…with the horrible lack of continuity in the series. One second everyone is yelling at Michelle because she lied about how she lost her baby, the next day she fakes a fainting spell and everyone forgives her? Even Chris who wrongly believed that he caused her miscarriage was okay with her again after that. Even the granny, the oh-so-full-of-hatred granny was blind to the fact that she lied about something like that.
  • Louise Lee being such a perfect person. Haih. Perfection irks me. She should be bordering on sainthood already, the way she stands up for her kids. It’s amazing how she can still empathise with Kelvin’s mum after that woman called Fala a handicap (indirectly). It just doesn’t balance off for me. She’s never asked her ex-husband for a cent after the divorce, and when he wanted to use her father’s brand as his own, she just allows it without putting up a fight. It’s so unbelievable. Let her be the mean one for once, can or not?
  • The over-emphasis of the family theme. Sometimes the whole family thing is so overdone, it’s like they’re trying to shove it down our throats. The little scene with Ray at Fala’s interview is sweet, but when they break into song and dance in a non-musical series more than once, it’s kind of too much right? This is still a drama after all, not a 40-episode long commercial for the mooncake company (which is incidentally, the main sponsor of the series).

The Ugly

  • Michelle’s hairstyle. Oh. My. God. No matter how much I like her, I cannot be blind to the fact that her hair looks horribly like a mushroom (think Mario Brothers). Yuck.
  • All those bordering-on-incest relationships. Again, the scriptwriters try to rationalise the situation by making them adopted, like how Tavia is. But still, how can you imagine Tavia even having feelings for Moses in the first place? They grew up together and everything. Ewww. Autumn in my Heart disgusted me enough. And there’s more – Kate is also related to Moses, but obviously with those silly adoption exceptions, they open up a possibility. These three make Ray and Linda’s relationship seem so normal in contrast.

Of course, these are just early comments, because the series is only halfway through. I’ll probably still continue to watch, because the acting is good, despite the pathetic writing and storylines. Seriously, Tvb needs to hire better scriptwriters. Give them more freedom to write breakout stories, instead of relying on big blowups and clashes in every episode which cannot be resolved logically. They’re supposed to be producing classy dramas, not soaps. Tv writers in the US are much more creative because they are given more freedom to be, and lots of them are young, unlike those Tvb uncles, who must be 60-plus by now. Nothing against their age, just that they’ve been around so long, they’ve probably ran out of fresh ideas 20 years ago. Buck up, people!

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