A Moonlight Retrospective

With the release of the DVDs, it seemed like a good time to do a Moonlight post. For those not in the know, Moonlight was the story of Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin), a vampire PI in LA and his romantical interest Beth (Sophia Myles) that aired on CBS last year. It was unfortunately (or somewhat fortunately – more on that later) not picked up for a second season, and while there was some talk of it possibly moving to another network, nothing came of it.

moonlight-mick-bethLet’s start with what the show had going for it. First of all, they had a pretty unique take on vampires and their abilities, a fair bit different from the standard (for example, stakes to the heard weren’t lethal to vampires, they merely paralyzed them so they could be killed some other way, like decapitation or fire). They also did a great job of building up their ‘verse over the course of the season. The vampire abilities were often portrayed in a pretty lame fashion (most of the time Mick would just run fast or jump really high), but it never took away from your enjoyment.

Beth and Mick had really great chemistry, which helped to make up for her not being the greatest character ever. Speaking of the greatest character ever (yes that was a horrible moonlight-dohring1segue, I know), Moonlight had Logan Echolls himself, Jason Dohring playing Josef, a 400-year-old vamp and Mick’s best friend. I’d actually say he was underused on the show, which normally spent far too much time focusing on Mick and Beth when THEY HAD DOHRING RIGHT THERE UUUUH.

Twelve of the sixteen episodes were filmed pre-strike, with a break before the show came back with the final post-strike episodes. The twelfth ep really built up the Moonlight ‘verse, delving into the past of Coraline (Mick’s old love, and the vampire who turned him played by Devour’s Shannyn Sossamon) in an extremely cool way (a taste: the French Revolution was secretly a war against vampires, as much of the nobles were vamps. The guillotine was the weapon of choice because beheading could kill vampires) and introducing a great villain for the series. This leads right into the things that weren’t so good with the show, as during the strike the showrunner was fired by CBS, and somebody new brought in. Who proceeded to make what were easily the worst episodes of the show (uuuh boat wtf), including not even bothering to bring back any of the awesomeness from ep twelve for the season finale, which wasn’t in any way a special or significant episode.

moonlight-coralineAnother problem with the last few episodes was New Josh. Josh was the District Attorney and Beth’s boyfriend at the start of the show, because they can’t make the main relationship too easy. He died in ep eleven, and was replaced with New Josh in the post-strike episodes. New Josh was the new DA, and immediately started to pursue Beth. He even looked like Josh. Why they decided to kill of a character just to replace him with himself I really don’t understand.

This brings me back to my ‘somewhat fortunately’ comment from the first paragraph, as if these eps were indicative of the quality of show we would have had for a second season, it’s probably better that didn’t happen. Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t go out and pick up the series on DVD, it really was good.

-Jerk

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~ by Jerk on January 24, 2009.

3 Responses to “A Moonlight Retrospective”

  1. That was so not a good sales pitch at all. You want a sandwich? This one has hair on it but if you forget about the hair you can probably still eat it.

    I had a really hard time getting over the huge connections between this and season 1 of Angel. They were SO close and that really bothered me. But the thing that makes the show good was the fact that they did manage to get me over that hump. I was quite sad to see it go and probably will pick it up on DVD eventually.

  2. I still say Moonlight is way closer to Forever Knight than Angel, but that could just be because it lacks that Whedony flavour.

    Huh, kinda tied it back to your sandwich analogy there.

  3. Ha, yet another show that I share with you two. Maybe I should move to Canada! Yes, Dohring was woefully underused til toward the end. I loved when they started having him interact more with Beth. Her I didn’t like so much but he made her tolerable. Plus, he was Dohring. I liked the alternate vampire universe as well, it was nice to see something different for once, but agree it got a little weird toward the end. I still would have liked to have seen what New Josh did with that list of vamps he ended up with though. Sigh. I’ll have to get the DVD as well I’m sure. Hilariously I am watching Season 3 of Buffy this very weekend…I just can’t get away from those vamps.

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