“Moonlight” – The Complete Series

Creators: Ron Koslow, Trevor Munson
Starring: Alex O’Loughlin, Sophia Myles, Jason Dohring, Shannyn Sossamon

Moonlight

Grade:  C+

Have you heard?  Vampires are the hottest thing in entertainment.  Oh you have.  Well, just because they’re trending doesn’t mean everything with vampires is actually good… and apparently it doens’t mean everything vampire is very popular.

“Moonlight” debuted in 2007 on CBS and only lasted for one season before being canceled.  It doesn’t have the most original premise of all-time: the protagonist is Mick St. John and he’s a private investigator in Los Angeles.  Apparently there are hundreds of vampires living in L.A. and no one knows about it.  During his investigation on a string of vampire-like murders, he meets Beth Turner who is a cop reporter for the tabloid news service Buzz Wire.

In the pilot episode, the writers lazily display Mick St. John seated in a room with an interviewer, explaining the rules of vampires in “Moonlight.”  This sort of fast-forward, catch-up method doesn’t really seem necessary in a TV-series of hour-long episodes.  Maybe in a rushed 90-minute movie, but I’m sure they could’ve explained the standards for the “Moonlight” vampires within the 692 minute length of the season.

Anyway, the guidelines are something like this:  Vampires don’t like the sun, but they certainly don’t turn to dust if sunlight hits their skin.  A stake through the heart merely paralyzes a vampire, not kills them.  The only way to kill a vampire is to be-head them or to burn them with fire.  The term “turning” refers a human changing into a vampire.  This is done when a vampire drips his/her own blood into a human as they’re feeding off of them.  These vampires still have incredible strength, speed, sense of smell and hearing.  They sleep in freezers or bathtubs of ice cubes, anywhere that’s cold.  Crosses and garlic doesn’t effect vampires at all.  And they cannot fly.  I think that’s about it.

The show suffered from the writer’s strike and the sloppiness was evident from the uneven storylines throughout the season.  My main problem with the show was that season-long story arc, which was basically the up-and-down relationship between Mick St. John and Beth Turner.  The whole romance plot entailed the issues between a human and a vampire, a serious couple being outted by a P.I., a love triangle turned into a love rhombus, and a bunch of mythology to give it any sort of authenticity.  It was messy, unfocused, and poorly executed.

I did like plenty of the individual cases that Mick St. John had to solve, sometimes with the help of Beth.  They did make a good team when they were on-screen together.  Separately, Alex O’Loughlin held his own better than Sophia Myles did.  This stems from the fact that I was on the border of hating Beth.  To me, her character wasn’t in the least bit likable.  She was in a relationship with Josh but then developed feelings for Mick even though Josh was seemingly perfect.  She wasn’t very subtle about her feelings towards Mick and when Josh confronted Beth, she didn’t have the courage or respect to tell him the truth.  In fact, she would try to spin it back at him to make it seem like it was his fault, and somehow he would end up apologizing.  She was a confused, ungrateful brat who always wanted what she couldn’t have.

The beginning of the series held my attention with the suspense of Beth finding out that Mick was a vampire.  The revelation was discovered in the conclusion of the second episode, which in my opinion was way too early for such a turn of events.  But it was clear the writers wanted to concentrate on the love story between the two and to throw all the mystery behind them as soon as possible.

As the series went on, storylines got more and more jumbled together.  It’s discovered that Mick and Beth actually have a past together, Mick’s ex-wife returns, Beth’s relationship with Josh hits a rocky road, people die and some come back, and the ongoing saga whether or not Mick and Beth will get together trudges on.

I will reiterate, the main reason I wasn’t too fond of this show is simply because the season-long story arc, in my opinion, was a weak one.  Perhaps the show should’ve followed a season-long story arc based on one huge investigation, with smaller individual cases every episode.  Having the main plot being character-based, they needed to develop better and more interesting characters.  Just because Mick St. John gets beat up once in a while doesn’t mean he’s flawed.  And for a vampire with morals, you can’t really relate to most of the things he does.  His character is static throughout the whole show.  You want to see a successful episode-to-episode series with a character-based plot… watch “House.”

It was mildly entertaining viewing the writers trying so hard to be hip and funny but instead only achieving levels of cheesiness.  They did have their moments though.  I liked the references to famous entertainment blogs like Perez Hilton and Ain’t It Cool News, along with mentioning emo music developing from Jimmy Eat World to Dashboard Confessional.  But the chatter isn’t close to the wonderful voice of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), nor is it even as good as Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars).

Overall, the show was solid but the only explanation for why it had a cult following was because of the vampire aspect.  I believe that with all these vampire movies and shows popping up everywhere, there’s a simple way to determine which are good and not.  If you take away the vampire element, is the show/movie still effective?  As for “Moonlight,” if you take away the vampire element you’re stuck with a very dull and corny cop show with two lead characters you don’t want to see get together, though you know they will.

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14 Responses to “Moonlight” – The Complete Series

  1. moviefnatic says:

    Don’t even come close to agreeing with you about Moonlight. I watched for the Mich/Beth relationship. The fact that vampires were involved was completely irrelevant.
    Did you actually pay attention to the show? Beth was not a spoiled brat. She was torn between two men and was trying to do the right thing by episode by the end of episode 10 and try to make it work with her boyfriend.
    Most people concentrate so much on the Mick St. John character and Beth Turner is just a prop. There was a lot more to Beth than what you think you saw on the surface.

  2. moviefnatic says:

    Sorry for the typing error. It’s supposed to read – was trying to do the right thing by episode 10 and try to make it work with her boyfriend.

    • Rob Eng says:

      The character of Beth was just poorly constructed. I understand how that was the intention of Beth, to be torn in the midst of a love-triangle. It was a combination of inconsistent writing and Sophia Myles’ loose acting that resulted in my opinion. But I guess I should cut her a little slack. Myles is just a TV-actor, I shouldn’t have such high expectations.

  3. MariaMoonlight says:

    Take away the vampire element? It’s a show about vampires.. that’s part of what makes it so great. Mick and Beth were awesome as a couple. What a silly review this is.

  4. Renee says:

    “Myles is just a TV-actor…”

    Ouch, dude. Actually, Sophia Myles has been in a movie or two – this is the first time I’ve ever seen her on television…well, American television.

    Check out “Tristan and Isolde” – she was excellent in that.

    As for Moonlight? I loved the show, but you make some good points. However, I first tuned in for the vampires, and stayed for Mick and Beth.

    • Rob Eng says:

      Renee – You’re right. Sophia Myles has been in a few movies. But as her IMDB page displays, she’s primarily a TV-actor. I’ll try to watch Triston & Isolde soon though.

      MariaMoonlight – Well from your name it’s no surprise you’re one of the cult fans of the series lol… therefore, your bias response is irrelevant. But thanks for commenting.

  5. Silverchex says:

    Sorry, Can’t agree with you. I loved Moonlight. I loved everything about it. And Beth/Sophia was great. In the first few episodes she struggled to find her place but as the season went on Sophia definitely started getting her part together.

    And Beth was a very deep character. She had to struggle between two men, one of them being a vampire. She did the right thing by staying with her boyfriend which took alot on her part. She didn’t actually get with Mick til Josh passed away. She went through alot but managed to stay sane. I would say she wasn’t a brat at all.

    I’m sorry you didn’t get what Moonlight was all about. It was more than just about a vampire, it went deeper than that…

    • Rob Eng says:

      Silverchex – If she struggled between her boyfriend and the handsome vampire P.I., well then she certainly fooled me. There was no doubt she would’ve chosen Mick in a heartbeat. The fact that she was in a year-long relationship was just a small obstacle from getting what she really wanted. She (and the audience) knew where she stood and should’ve told Josh out of respect. Josh’s death wasn’t ironic or coincidental, it was merely convenient for Beth to get what she inevitably desired. I will agree with you that “Moonlight” was intended to be a deep show about relationship struggles and mythology between humans and vampires. It just failed to do so and in turn, failed to last longer than 16 episodes.

  6. Jo1027 says:

    It’s a little hard to take this review seriously when I doubt that you even watched it. If you had you would have known that Mick was outed in the second episode not the third.

    • Rob Eng says:

      Jo1027 – I stand corrected. The revelation was at the conclusion of the second episode while the third showed Mick explaining her the whole deal with vampires (think they could’ve cut out the intro to the pilot by explaining the Moonlight vampire rules here?). I guess 600 minutes after the discovery, a few specific details were blurred. And there was no way I was going to watch this series again to brush up on insignificant information.

  7. Chubz says:

    Forget about Moonlight. If you want a good vampire show, just rewatch old Buffy episodes. Of course, I prefer the ones before they transferred to UPN.

  8. Rosalyn says:

    I didn’t catch Moonlight until Ep 3 and it took a couple of eps before I was convinced. One more show about a reluctant vampire was not what I wanted to see, but I became hooked on the love triangle and the problems vampires have trying to blend into human society. And Alex O’Loughlin isn’t hard on the eye, either. But to compare it to Buffy is a mistake and I’m getting tired of the lack of imagination out there. Buffy was very unique, with a wry sense of humor and the guts to go where no one had gone previously (remember the ep where the floating grinning ghoulies went around stealing everyone’s voice?). While it had its serious side, it was often very tongue in cheek. Moonlight wasn’t about that.

  9. carolyn yegon says:

    i love every bit of moonlight and to me the characters were just perfect!

  10. acura suv says:

    acura suv…

    […]“Moonlight” – The Complete Series « The Entertainment Blur[…]…

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