Moonlight -- An early look
Okay, here are the similarities between Mick St. John, the vampire private detective of the new CBS drama Moonlight, and Angel, the vampire private detective of Angel: both are vampires (which I said already), both live in Los Angeles, both need blood to survive, both drive classic convertibles (which, being unable to use during the day, boggles my mind), both have long coats that flap in the wind while they stand on rooftops, and they are both fighting for the innocent person.
Here are the differences: the show that Angel was in was so much better than the show that Mick St. John is in. That, and Mick sleeps in a freezer instead of a bed.
When we all heard that the Tiffany Network was picking up a series about a vampire private detective who lives in Los Angeles what was the first thing we thought of? Of course, Angel rip-off (or, at least, Forever Knight rip-off). Honestly, I wish Moonlight took some of that show's elements, because it would have made itself a more watchable program. But, it went out in a direction all its own and the results were not good for the first episode of the series. Granted, it wasn't a cringe-inducing program that made me want to crawl under the couch and hide for all eternity, but it just left enough of an uneasy feeling at the back of my head throughout the entire airing that I couldn't wait for it to be over.
Before I rant any further let me talk a bit about the show. Moonlight, which premieres Friday, September 28th, at 9:00 pm, stars Alex O'Louglin (from the last season of The Shield) as the aforementioned Mick St. John. Mick is a fairly young vampire, being bitten about 60 years ago by his new bride Coraline (think Darla to Angel). However, unlike his other vampire friends, like hedge fund trader Josef, Mick doesn't think of humans as only a source of nourishment. He has actually foregone his vampire tendencies and decided to help humans rather than drink off of them.
In the episode I viewed a series of vampire-style murders is plaguing the streets of Los Angeles (which is better than a series of gang-related murders, I guess). Mick puts it upon himself to find who is behind this. Along the way he meets up with an Internet reporter, Beth Turner (Sophia Myles), who he had saved years ago from the clutches of his ex-wife. Together, they investigate the murders to determine if they are of a supernatural force or not.
Let me begin with Myles. She is not a good fit for this role. Maybe it's the fact that she's trying to hide her British accent that's causing this ill-fit (hey, not everyone can be a Hugh Laurie). Or, since the role was originally written for someone else, she just wasn't feeling the love of the character. Either way, she didn't convince me of a gung-ho Web reporter who was willing to get to the bottom of the story.
Now Alex. The press release I was given with my screener said that Mick St. John uses 'his wit and powerful supernatural abilities to help the living.' First off, I didn't hear a lot of that wit. I heard that wit from Josef and another vampire friend Guillermo (Jacob Vargas) but very little of it from St. John. If anything I heard the low monotone that seems to be standard for all good-natured vampires to have (the not-so-good ones, like Spike, seem to be a bit more brash).
As for 'powerful supernatural abilities' . . . well, they talked about vampires a lot, and St. John's senses were shown to be enhanced once or twice, but I didn't see any of the really powerful abilities until the last five minutes of the show. That's the only time I really saw Mick turn into a vampire and exhibit super-speed and strength. I guess the producers only had money for those five minutes of effects.
And, let's talk about the producers. Besides Ron Koslow (Beauty and the Beast, the TV series) and Trevor Munson (Moonlight is the first show he has produced), the executive producer of this show is Joel Silver. You may have heard of Mr. Silver as he was the producer of The Matrix Trilogy as well as fan-favorite television show Veronica Mars. The smartness and wit that was trademark of VM is definitely not in evidence in the first episode of Moonlight.
Look, even though I thought the first episode of Moonlight wasn't very good, I'm not going to give up on this program. I want to wait a few episodes to see if they can get the kinks out. It has potential to be a good series and I want to see if it can reach that potential. Otherwise, it will be another series lost to the cancellation netherverse.
|Yes, I am definitely looking forward to this new series. It sounds good||207 (43.3%)|
|Maybe. I'll watch and episode or two to see what happens||208 (43.5%)|
|No. This isn't really something and I'm going to enjoy||63 (13.2%)|