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Meaning is lost in the twisted plot

Meaning is lost in the twisted plot

Peter Ocko‘s Moonhaven feels a bit like AMC’s answer to Apple TV + Foundation customization and HBO Max have recently been canceled Raised by wolves. Set 100 years from now, the sci-fi thriller is set on the moon, in a utopian community designed to find ways to prevent the end of Earth’s civilization. But humans, no matter how developed, enlightened or educated, have a way of deconstructing what utopia they are placed within.

Moonhaven opens with the murder of Chill Spen (Nina-Barker Francis), which shakes the idyllic lunar society, especially considering the fact that they are “protected” by an artificial intelligence system that will prevent this type of violence from occurring. Despite this, the community has a couple of policemen – Arlo (Kadeem Hardison) and Paul (Dominic Monaghan) —Who arrives at the scene to investigate Chill’s murder.

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Back on Earth and at the same time as these unexpected events in Moonhaven, cargo pilot Bella Sway (Emma McDonald) is employed to transport the determined politician Indira Mare (Amara Karan) and her bodyguard Tomm (Joe Manganiello) to the settlement for Reasons. Bella’s arrival is at the heart of the whole series – she has been blamed for Chill’s murder, caught in a dangerous coup and stranded in a society she wants nothing to do with. Bella’s lack of interest in Moonhaven comes full circle when a deeper connection is established between her and the recently deceased Chill, further driven by the community’s ability to talk to residents who have moved on. The mystery of Chill’s death is as exciting as the mystery of her life.

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The first episode sets up an exciting mystery to solve, but the next five episodes go towards a rather disappointing conclusion. While the ethos to Moonhaven is compelling – a utopian world caught in dangerous conspiracies – the execution of that on-the-nose allegory is lost in translation. Building a world from scratch is a difficult task; even for a world built on our own bones. The stripped-down basics of Moonhaven often feel at odds with the surrounding technology. From the utilitarian costume to simplified traditions and carefully constructed belief systems, everything feels out of line with the technology they use. The plot seems to consider itself to be so very series, but it disappears alongside the campy dialogue and the burden of a half-baked world. It does not help Moonhaven seems untouched by leaving so much of the world building as an afterthought.


If you take Isaac Asimovtheir philosophical postulations, Children of the grainand MidsummerYou may end up with something similar Moonhaven. Under strict scientific perfection, the idyllic lunar society suffers from the same suffering that has brought a near end to their earthly home. This is a society of people who believe that they are future gods, the only saviors of a fallen people, and that kind of sublime opinions make room for something dark and sinister.

There are plenty of breakthrough moments there Moonhaven really shines, and shows that it has the potential to stand on its own as a new sci-fi world to get lost in, but not before you start buying yourself into this utopian paradise, then it undermines itself with awkward singing , bizarre jargon and pure nonsense. The rules of this world are delivered in small doses throughout the six episodes, leading to more questions than answers as it all unfolds. This unusual choice is made even more frustrating by the freaking out loyalties. And maybe that’s the point: everyone is looking for themselves, and you can not really trust anyone.


McDonald’s is the strongest performance of the cast. She acts largely as an entry point for the audience, and discovers new aspects of the Moonhaven community from a point of naivety. She is the only one in the core crew who does not feel like a massive miscasting. Manganiello is the most serious mistake, and it’s not even his fault; the text demands that he cross a line that it does not even seem to understand. It is unclear whether the scripts want his flirtations to seem sincere or whether it is part of his war-weary and double personality. Monaghan is at his best when he’s with McDonald’s or fooling around with Hardison, so he can be tender and kind, but then he is clothed in gruesome dialogue, or referred to singing or dancing and everything breaks down. Despite valiant attempts to give these characters a layer and backstory, it all appears as an attempt at the surface level to give them just enough to serve the cobbled plot. It’s frustrating to see characters who have so much potential being left to mess through mediocre attempts at development.


After six episodes of trying to make contact with this utopia in danger, Moonhaven culminates in a cliffhanger that feels like a cruel tease. If Raised by wolvesRecent cancellations were any indication, complex science fiction without an existing IP is a difficult market to navigate, and it is difficult to imagine a Moonhaven fanbase rises to embrace this series with enough passion to conjure up a second season. Moonhaven will definitely appeal to sci-fi fans looking for an off-beat series to spend the summer with, especially if they do not mind banal tech-speak and the marriage of primitive lifestyle with intricate technology.

It is disappointing to see such a project Moonhavena full of potential and full of convincing ideas, which culminated in a boring, incoherent and ideologically unhealthy series.

Rating: C

Moonhaven premieres at AMC + July 7.

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