Loving dramas like I do, characters are the foundation of that love and therefore, the heart and backbone of any story being told. The stories that stick with you should be the ones that birthed characters that are unforgettable. For me, this is the case, whether in a book, a film or a drama, however, I find it hard often times to relate to or respect women written for the screen; big or small, so its wonderful when I come across wonderful, heartfelt characters like this one.
If you haven’t had the privilege of seeing Taiwanese drama ToGetHer, you have missed out on seeing one of the most endearing heroines in drama. There’s nothing overtly special or extraordinary about Chen MoMo but her quiet spirit, her determination to be herself and her fight to accept love is poignant, heart-wrenching and tremendously portrayed by Rainie Yang. MoMo is a beautiful character whom I loved getting to know and see embrace happiness for a few hours on television.
When I began ToGetHer I wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with this manga-character-quoting college student but very quickly you realize that Chen MoMo is a normal, intelligent and lovely young woman who has created a world of her own based on necessity due to vast loneliness and seclusion. After the loss of her parents, MoMo retreats into her comfort zone with best friend Prince Kashaba(a manga prince from space). I can’t say that she wasn’t destined to be a loner but I think that given her innate personality, in addition to the feeling of abandonment, she isolated herself, though it wasn’t wholly intentional. As a 20-something college student, MoMo had changed very little from the awkward little kid she was, lacking friends; older, younger or factual.
However, throughout the series, MoMo’s life is invaded, therefore, she grows to accept change but it’s not a personality overhaul. She remains the Prince Kashaba loving wallflower she was at the beginning of the drama, only now, her world opened up to allow other people in; she begins to trust again. Being alone for so long, she didn’t know how to build relationships and interact with others in a committed friendship of equals. Her trust levels were so low that her relationships with people were shallow(or non-existent). She was used to being ignored and misunderstood to the point of normalcy.
Mars(a struggling pop-star), coming to live with her, shakes her stability and resolve. He also has the audacity to actually see her for who she is, without assumption and prejudice. Subsequently, he decides to be her friend, confidante, ally and partner. For MoMo, this is too much to process, let alone believe. She would rather be a friend, than have a friend, for it’s safe and easy. No expectations, no pain, no disappointments. Mars challenges her to let one guard down at a time and begin to see herself and others differently. She realizes she deserves love, it’s ok to desire love and she can handle love and appreciation when it’s given to her.
MoMo’s story isn’t just another love story, it’s an inspirational story about life. The romance of the drama truly was just a bonus. For, MoMo was a woman comfortable in her own skin, yet not aware of the influence of her existence. Through another person she sees herself and the world afresh and new. The beauty of MoMo is that her obstinance toward people and outsiders wasn’t rooted in hatred for herself or others but rather her quiet acceptance of her life position. This in itself made MoMo as a character indelible, remarkable and lovely. There are definitely times when I was angry with her but never a moment I didn’t understand her thoughts, her feelings or her actions. I cried with and for MoMo, empathizing and sympathizing with her plight, worries and concerns but ultimately desiring for her to live the life she was meant to live, not stunted within the boundaries she’d created for herself or others. Thankfully, MoMo realized she wanted that too.
Here’s Fahrenheit’s Silently(MoMo). My favorite song from the OST.