Moonlight Chicken – with only 8 episodes – tackling a diverse number of issues appears like an incomplete series to some, while I find it to be one of 2023’s BL masterpieces.
Now, here’s the thing. In a previous post, our analysis mentioned if Moonlight Chicken took on too many topics to tackle or if it has too little time on its side. Yet, how dir. P’Aof steers the direction of the series still make sense to me.
The heart of the matter for Jim-Wen is their trust issue.
One of the biggest complaints is the “lack of narrative flow” between Jim (Earth Pirapat) and Wen (Mix Sahaphap), and after their one-night stand, their relationship was not fully explored. Some felt there was something missing – some crucial events – that led to their character development and the justification for the ‘deeper’ relationship. Some simply don’t like the pairing.
The heart of the matter for Jim-Wen is their trust issue. After the initial and noncommital sex, Wen pursues Jim in a not-so-subtle way. Appearing in the diner like a normal customer yet everyone knows he is aiming for something else, and Jim acts demurely like some naive schoolgirl. That initial impression may appear harsh and completely judgmental but then Wen manages to ingratiate himself into the diner’s innermost sanctum, it did make sense. How would you justify Jim allowing Wen to sleep in his private room if he has no feelings for him? Hospitality? Empathy?
The guy has a huge trust issue and allowing someone to sleep in the same room? I don’t need any more justification for that.
Exactly. He doesn’t take control because he knows someone else might take that ‘control’ away. He knows it from experience.
That scene when Beam’s parents stole Jim’s life savings.
Note that this is an Asian BL with Asian characters residing in an Asian setting. Some Western audiences may have different perceptions of relationships and how people jump from a one-night stand to having an almost ‘wifey-husbandy’ dynamics. That’s the thing. Note how Jim rejected Wen’s advances in as many scenes as possible. That’s blimey to some, but romantic and/or realistic to others.
Yet, it was Wen who pushed Jim to meet with Beam’s wife. It was Wen who waited for Jim after the meeting. It was Wen who explained the financial ramifications of the diner in that well-targeted location (and soon to be demolished). It was Wen who joins Jim to watch his favorite movie. It was Wen who made Jim stay with Gaipa when the latter needed someone during a most trying time.
It was Wen who stayed and help Jim manage the diner in that oh-so-cozy new place! That’s how relationships are formed and maintained.
The development of their relationship doesn’t have to be too obvious.
Did Heart-Liming steal the thunder from Jim-Wen in Moonlight Chicken?
Not exactly. I think it’s a matter of what sort of character the actors are portraying.
Don’t get me wrong. I find both ships adorable and worth watching.
Jim and Wen’s relationship narrative is serious, exploratory, and unpredictable while Heart and Liming are more straightforward, in-your-face, romantic, and sweet (to the very core). Sometimes viewers have to remember that the manner P’Aof presented the couples is complementary rather than contradictory. It explores a youthful romantic love vis-à-vis a serious, mature, and unpredictable relationship. That’s what makes Moonlight Chicken special. It gives viewers many choices and it’s up to you which you enjoy the most.
Actually, it was Gaipa-Alan who stole the thunder!
The Eclipse couple of Khaotung and First was given subtle (supporting roles) yet they both manage to contain their characters’ volatility and unleashed them at the right time – when it matters. They were the ‘rejected’ individuals in the world of Jim and Wen, yet they are not just mere shells but imperfect characters people can identify with.
Unrequited love – unless you’re the ‘victim’ – may be like an alien feeling, but to those who have experienced the pain of rejection is as truthful as a full-blown affair or infidelity for that matter.
Infidelity is painful and a violation of trust. Say that again?
Infidelity is a violation of a couple’s emotional and/or sexual exclusivity that commonly results in feelings of anger, sexual jealousy, and rivalry. What constitutes infidelity depends on expectations within the relationship.as defined by the wiki
I thought Moonlight Chicken is the perfect example of how some BL fans (including me) have ignored the potency and relevance of the First-Khaotung ship. Given that Moonlight Chicken has a competent and visionary director, it doesn’t take away from the fact that First and Khaotung were given characters that are challenging and require plenty of emotional investment (both for the actors and for the fans), and such an investment reaps plenty of returns. At least for me.
Some people complain that the Alan-Gaipa dynamics were not fully explored. I think that’s the beauty of it. We were given ‘glimpses of a budding relationship’, let us be happy with that.
You can read our profile of First Kanaphan here.
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An old-timer BL fan way back in 2007. I started out loving BL after watching the Takumi-kun series from Japan, went on collecting BL manga, and watched old BL anime such as Junjou Romantica and the likes. Love of Siam allow me to transition into Thai, while Amphetamine gave me glimpses of Taiwanese BL magic. I love to write reviews and I’m one of the administrators of Psycho Weird.