Moonshine follows a quirky family at their deteriorating summer resort. Amid the death of Aunt Felicia and their parents’ ageing, siblings Lidia (Jennifer Finnigan), Rhian (Anastasia Phillips), Nora (Emma Hunter) and Ryan (Tom Stevens) are left to run the business by themselves. Cue infighting, backstabbing, marital affairs, dark family secrets and typical rivalry. However, underneath all of that dysfunction, there’s a glimmer of family sticking together against all odds, and finding love and contentment in the most unexpected places.
The series is filled with familial clichés such as inheritance (the least likely candidate ends up with the most), and assigns one-note, defining personalities to the five siblings. The rest of the script is heavily reliant on plot conveniences such as leaving phones unattended, which then leads to the discovery of an affair. It’s hard to take any of the events seriously when the characters’ choices and actions are so idiosyncratic.
Lidia is the lead, yet she is the most insufferable: she’s selfish and hypocritical, incites unnecessary fights, puts on the face of a victim, and has no regard for other people’s hard work. Her outstanding characteristic is that she always has the perfect solution for everything – except she is her own downfall because of her incessant need to be in control. It’s not just the writing that does a disservice to the role; Finnigan’s peformance is not very convincing with bland delivery that stays the same throughout, regardless of the emotion the scene demands. The music often ends up carrying and dictating the intention.
Visually, the series is creative. A warm filter exudes a convivial atmosphere and accentuates the summery, beachy vibe of the location. Quick cuts create chaos to highlight the dysfunctional family dynamic. There’s a lot of diegetic music used to further amplify this, but it also helps set the tone and alludes to how the characters feel, without spelling it out for the viewers. Creative cinematography plays with perspective and camera pathways, which results in some very beautiful scenic and photographic shots.
Moonshine is fun, comedic and sometimes heartfelt; visually, it’s enticing, but the overall execution of the plot, coupled with questionable and dull acting, lets it down (despite the involvement of talents like Corrine Koslo).
Moonshine is released on Amazon Prime Video on 10th March 2023.
Watch the trailer for Moonshine here: