Is Netflix’s At the Moment Based on Real Pandemic Stories?

Netflix’s ‘At The Moment’ is a Taiwanese drama series created by Tu Cheng-che and Nick Tai. It’s a compilation of different love stories that sprouted as a result of the pandemic. By setting the stories in Taiwan at a time when wearing masks was mandatory, the makers try to explore different ways in which people found love at such a lonely time and the complications of navigating a relationship in a time of crisis.

The anthology series stars some big names like Dee Hsu, Wu Kang-ren and Kelly Lin, posing as lovers whose stories are different yet connected in some ways. It shows how regular issues in a relationship coincide with the need for intimacy, support or recognition at a time when maintaining a distance is very important. Since the impact of the pandemic stretched for much longer than anyone could have imagined, it also changed the way people saw love, making us wonder if these stories are among the many heartwarming real stories that surfaced after the pandemic started.

At The Moment: Inspiration for the Pandemic Stories Explored

‘At The Moment’ is not based on a true story, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t inspired by real-life stories. The series is the result of a creative and original script by screenwriter Tu Cheng-che and executive producer Nick Tai, who thought that with the crime genres prevailing in Taiwanese films and shows, it was time to show contemporary love stories about the pandemic, which, according to them, hasn’t been explored much. By starting the series with the depiction of a reality dating show, they intend to show how love in changing times is all connected, and so are the stories of regular people who fall in love. With a reality dating series, it also engages viewers by prodding them to determine the real and fake aspects of the love story themselves.

Image Credit: Netflix

Screenwriter Tu Cheng-che also insisted that people of different ages would be able to relate to the different kinds of stories set in Taiwan and interpret them in a way that best suits them. These 10 love stories are primarily based on the makers’ perception of love during the pandemic and other responsibilities and factors that people had to start considering during the pandemic. A producer, Xiu Jiekai, has also worked on this project with his wife, Jia Jingwen, to tell what he feels is a good script and story. Some actors also felt that shooting with a mask and portraying an emotional love story were challenging, but that is exactly the point the entire series is trying to convey.

This theme of setting a love story during a pandemic isn’t unheard of in popular culture, especially since many filmmakers during the pandemic felt the challenges that it posed but also decided to take it as an opportunity to explore different genres set during the pandemic, since it became a reality for everyone across the world they had to learn to live with. Perhaps the most ideal reference that can be made which portrays similar elements is the romantic comedy film ‘Love in a Pandemic,’ which is a story many people can relate to, who found love during or just before the pandemic and tried to figure out how to take things forward in so much uncertainty.

Other examples of films that came after the pandemic started that portray the changing dynamics include ‘Love, Sex & Pandemic’ and ‘Locked Down.’ While the former focuses on how the pandemic forced some people to develop a different perception of love and the emotions involved, the latter is another interesting twist to this genre, where a couple forced to live together during the pandemic tries to use the pandemic as an opportunity to simply get rich. We all live for the grey areas in the film, and the pandemic, it seems, provided a platform to explore such instances where love stories aren’t that simple and involve a lot of complications. This is especially true for events that affect everyone in different measures but nonetheless impact all their lives. While these are just some examples of exploring love during the pandemic, ‘At The Moment’ tries to do it from the perspective of urban couples in Taiwan trying to adjust to the new lifestyle.

Read More: At the Moment: Shooting Details of the Netflix Anthology Series