(Spoiler ahead) Like many c-dramas, Moonshine and Valentine 结爱千岁大人的初恋 doesn’t seem to have escaped the curse of bad endings. All hope is not lost as there is still one special episode to go, but recent developments to the story have provoked criticism.
Screenwriter Shen Yang takes the blame by writing a long explanation of what happened. She starts off apologizing and asking the viewers not to blame the director and the actors for the collapse in narrative and even said that Director Leste Chen has gone on ratings site Douban to apologize when it’s not his fault.
She started on the project three months before filming began and finished writing eight episodes. There were problems with scheduling as the leading lady was changed last-minute until they found Victoria Song as a replacement, which delayed filming by fifteen days. However, the actors’ schedules were already fixed and the show still needed to be completed on time.
Around the time when Shen Yang had written scenes up until episode 13, she was advised that she shouldn’t write a lot of scenes for Helan and Pipi anymore because they wouldn’t have time to film. The actors didn’t have it easy either as they often worked overtime. Victoria Song was hospitalized while filming the drama and went back to work after she recovered, but there was only so much they could do. Many scenes still had to be rewritten to focus on the supporting characters instead.
Compared to the earlier parts, the latter part of the story was written as it was being filmed, which was difficult for an adaptation that has been making many changes to the source novel.
Shen Yang said that she often admired the Korean and American live shoot systems which seemed cool and on a different level, but it wasn’t until she experienced it firsthand that she learned how hard it could be. Shen Yang admits that she is not happy with the result as there were many things setup in the earlier episodes that weren’t addressed. In hindsight, she realizes that she could have done better but it was the best she could do at the time. She ends with feeling regret for her lack of experience and apologizes for letting everyone down.
It’s too bad to hear that the show was facing all these problems, but I still think this is a better drama than most even if it seems to be giving a warning sign not to get our hopes of for the last episode. The show has recently hit 2 billion views online. Helan is a fox now.. how will this end!?