I seem to be making a habit of reviewing shows which were cancelled before their time and this is no exception. I wouldn’t say Moonlight added much to the Vampire mythos and I can think of at least three other shows off the top of my head that deals with a vampire working with Law enforcement (Forever Knight, Angel and Blood Ties) but despite all of that it’s a surprisingly good show which made up for it’s not too original premise with a strong cast of characters and a good story.
During development the character was going to be called Mike Angel but they thought that people might relate it too much to Angel another detective show with a vampire and so instead Mick St. John was born.
While comparing this to other shows there are lots of overlaps between this and a 90’s CBS detective drama also featuring a vampire Forever Knight. In many ways this felt like a spiritual successor to Forever Knight although I think Moonlight had the edge in my opinion. Both featured Vampires with an innate sense of Justice who use their powers to protect the innocents and fight crime all the while trying to find a cure to their eternal curse. In my opinion they should have quit with the whining, oh my…eternal life, great strength and speed and all you need to do is drink blood…not even kill. What’s your problem that you think this is a bad thing?
Something that sets this apart is that he’s not a relentless goody two shoes. At the end of the day he’s a good man but he’s still a predator and he’ll kill to protect himself and others or when the situation calls for it. So he’s not just Angel (and psst he doesn’t need a fake soul to be a good guy either) with a slightly different outfit and a different city to call his domain.
Just like Twilight and just about every modern retelling of the vampire story he’s in love with a human. I mean isn’t that too much like people falling in love with cows, after all were still food to them. But ignoring that I think the two leads have fantastic chemistry, bit creepy though is that he’s known her since she was a kid. He saved her from his crazy ex (also a vampire) who wanted to turn her or eat her or something. And since then kept an eye on her and over the years fell in love with her. It’s somehow a whole lot weirder than the usual deal about the handsome vampire actually being centuries old…robbing the cradle from the grave so to speak.
It feels a lot more realistic than the vampire shows of the 90’s and has a distinctly romantic vibe like an old noir movie.
This show had some impressive cinematography which adds to the feel of the show. We get to see a nighttime Los Angeles (the city of angels and apparently Vampires as well)
What was most unique about this show was that it caught me off guard it wasn’t truly original and you could see certain plot points coming a mile off but they did really well painting a complex pair of leads who you want to get together (I’m big on getting emotionally invested in characters) and unlike some other shows like Vampire Diaries or Buffy they don’t care about showing off with the ‘Vampire Face’ thing sure it’s there and it’s pretty freaky but they do the whole supernatural element to the show really well. Sometimes downplaying it without it coming across a bit like Being Human where budget constraints forced them to reign in certain aspects to their vampires (we pretty much just get jet black eyes when they’re pissed off or hungry)
Unfortunately when I was watching this despite all it has to offer I kinda suspected this would be cancelled (maybe I just expect the worst when I get into a show) but I was also confident that it’d become a cult classic and I guess I was proved right because everyone I’ve asked who’s actually seen this show enjoyed it. Maybe not everyone loved it like I did which is probably why you don’t see any petitions like with firefly but people enjoyed this show nonetheless.
The cast was this show’s real saving grace we have Alex O’Loughlin as Mick St. John the 85 year old (aww he’s just a baby) vampire who works to his own moral code. A private detective who tries to deal with vampires as well as very real problems all the while growing closer to Beth a human and a reporter even though he’s knows it’s not a smart move.
Across from Loughlin as intrepid reporter and love interest we have Sophia Myles as Beth Turner. She’s smart and brave and not as vulnerable as Mick might think. She first encountered him 20 odd years before the start of the plot when he rescued her from his crazy ex but thinks it’s just a coincidence after all he looks exactly the same (I mean what is he a vampire or something haha)
The best character in the show isn’t even one of the leads that honour goes to Jason Dohring who plays the 400+ year old vampire Josef Kostan and he acts as a sometimes friend and sometimes father figure to Mick (he even is his dad a little, he’s certainly old enough…well he’s old anyway and he resired Mick when he becomes human again for a while) he’s witty and breathes life into the show (not bad for a dead man…well undead man) he’s rich and lives the life Mick might if he wasn’t so serious. Although both men are honourable when it comes down to it.
And the final main cast member the aforementioned crazy ex Coraline Duvall played by Shannyn Sossamon. She turned Mick initially and she herself is roughly 340 years old. She was presumed dead after an incident where she kidnapped a young Beth. However later in the season she comes back because no one can stay dead in a TV show. However she initially pretends not to be Coraline instead she appeared to just be her human doppelganger but this was all a ruse to first of all to get Mick back on her hook and to play on his desire to be human.
That’s all I can really think to say about the characters and they say that casting makes a show. They were right in this case because a strong cast made a okay show a good one. And night or day I think everyone should give Moonlight a chance. I think I’ll rate it 7/10.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org