Moonlight: In which we learn that inappropriate is not just for humans.

 

First aired:28th September 2007

Cast:

Alex O’Loughlin  –  Mick St.John

Sophia Myles  –  Beth Turner

Jason Dohring  –  Josef Kostan

Jacob Vargas  –  Guillermo

Brian White   –   Detective Carl Davis

Kevin Weisman  – Steve Balfour

Tami Roman  –  Mo Williams

Shannyn Sossamon   –   Coraline

Synopsis: LA. A vampire called Mick St.John sleeps in a fridege, dreaming of being interviewed and revealing to the world the existence and nature of vampires.

Beth Turner, an on-air reporter for a ‘new’s website is investigating the murder of a local college student. Mick is there too, either for the murder, or for Beth, it’s never made clear. She muses about the headling of vampire murder as she bumps into Mick. She seems to recognise him, but doesn’t really know from where. Before she can ask an further questions, Mick vanishes.

Beth is at her office the next day, her editor pushing the vampire killer angle. This causes upset for the vampire community, which is pointed out to Mick elsewhere by Josef Kostan, a vampire living the high-life as a stockbroker. As a 300 hundred plus year old, Josef has seen the torch and pitchforks routine before and this can be how it starts. He wants Mick to be involved and sort it out, before the food starts noticing stuff. Mick visits with his friend/dealer Guillermo, an employee at the morgue, who lets him see the body and they both take a sniff and notice that there’s no vampire scent at all. Confused by the lack of vampire in this vampire killing, Mick takes a six-pack of O-positive and heads home, this scene points out that there are a lot vampires in LA and they are being discreet, not leaving bodies lying around all over the place.

Driving to his next lead, Mick has a flashback to a missing child-case, his film noir-esque narration points it out as the moment he started to try to do good with his undead life. Beth on the other hand is breaking into the victim’ home. By the time she has broken in, Mick is already inside and the pair link the death to a cult ran out of the local university, led by a Dr Christian Ellis, made up of his students from his mythological studies class. Beth meets with one of the victim’s friends called Chloe, who confirms the cult angle while Mick meets with Ellis’ wife, a bitter drunk, who is convinced that Ellis himself is the killer. Beth goes undercover as a student and gets into the study group, despite her best efforts looking nowhere near college age. She gets the invite from Ellis and arranges it with Ellis’ assistant Daniel. After class, Mick meets with Ellis, mostly to suss him out and antagonise him. Later he goes to find Chloe, only to find her body, again killed as if by a vampire.

Beth goes to Mick’s home and talk about the case and as Beth leaves, Mick recalls rescuing a young girl, from his vampire wife Coraline. While that flashback is going on, Beth finds herself alone with Ellis, who finds the microphone she is using to record him and the two struggle. Beth escapes and is found by Daniel who gives her a lift. Turns out it’s Daniel who’s been killing people to put Ellis on the past of messiah that Daniel wants him to be on. Mick finds Ellis and gives him a scare and then chases after Daniel and Beth, crashing the car and throwing Daniel around like a rag doll, despite getting stabbed through the stomach. He gets Beth to safety and it’s revealed that she was the little girl he rescued and he has saved her again. She has no idea and he has no intention of telling her, he can’t bear someone he could love, seeing him as a monster.

Notes: Myths and legends need to be modernised, Vampires are not exempt from that need. Back in the early 90’s it was Forever Knight, the later 90’s gave us Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it’s Spin-Off, Angel (more on that story later) and in 2007, it was Moonlight.

Gone are the soul-less turning to dust vampires, here it’s assimilation and community. Vampires have jobs, commerce and interact with humans often. These aren’t evil demons, but people as idiosyncratic as most people, some are good, some are not and most really fall into the middle. This new take on vampires is interesting and there’s a lot to like about this whole program.

The cast does a decent job, Sophia Myles plays a funny likeable woman, clearly used to winning everyone over, but uses it to help others than benefit herself and Alex O’Loughlin is likeable and engaging as the noir-ish detective. The pair have chemistry, more of a quirky partnership than anything romantic, but it’s clear that is where the story is supposed to be going, but I’ll get back to that in a minute. The supporting cast is also pretty good, notable stand-outs are Kevin Weisman as cheeky cameraman Steve and Jason Dohring owning each scene he is in as the charmingly amoral Jozef.

Whilst there is all that good, there is that elephant in the room. Mick’s relationship with Beth is NOT OKAY!! Once more for the people in the back Mick’s relationship with Beth IS NOT OKAY!!

It’s by no means the vampire thing, despite it being a having a relationship with your food supply, it’s a staple of vampire fiction. So lets describe the relationship without the vampire thing. Mick saves a pre-teen girl from his crazy ex-wife. He then stalks this girl for years until she sort of comes of age. Then inserts himself into her life, without her remembering that he was in it before and most importantly, he doesn’t mention knowing her before. When she sort of remembers him, he gaslights her into disbelieving her own memories. Also there’s a big thing about him that he keeps a secret and through his own narration, confirms he has no intention of ever telling her. Now, what part of that is okay? Hardly courtship, but more like grooming.

Now as much as I enjoyed this story, the skin-crawling elements of this show kind of take that away from me. The age difference and the fact he is a vampire are much less creepy than the rest of it. This show only got one series, which when you consider the world that it is showing you, is something of a shame, but there are simliar shows that don’t have the same connotations to it.

Verdict:

Does it work? Yes, a noirish crime procedural with a vampire backdrop and romantic sub-plot. Nothing wrong there.

Does much need fixing? Not really, we have a world that’s already lived in and fleshed out and plenty of room for more.

Does it stand up? Have to be honest, it has dated. The whole news-website thing seems to date this quite a bit and second time round, this isn’t working quite so well.

Do I want to watch the next one? Yes, but not in any rush.

Did I enjoy it? Yes I did.

Overall: 3 out of 5. An enjoyable show, but it’s been done better elsewhere.

Published by Munky

Liverpool based family man and unrepentant geek, trying to understand what's going on in my own head, which is not always being a good place to be. Remember always, we live in a world of wonders.

One thought on “Moonlight: In which we learn that inappropriate is not just for humans.

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