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September 19, 2014

Moonlight: Out of the Past

by Jen Creer, posted Oct 6th 2007 1:04AM
mick st. john(S01E02) My name is Jen, and I have taken over reviewing Moonlight. If you have read some of the reviews so far, you will know that my colleague Rich Keller hated the show. Most of the commenters hated it too. I seem to have a higher tolerance for it, though, so here goes.

I watched this episode with my best friend, and she said, "If you like vampire smut, you kind of have to like this show." And we both like vampire smut. One other difference between my friend and me and Rich Keller is that we think Mick St. John is good-looking enough to tune to in every Friday night when we have nothing else to do. That might not be the greatest criteria in the world, but I don't understand why people tune in and watch Desperate Housewives week after week, so there you go.

What's bad
Let's go ahead and get this over with. The writing needs some help. For one thing, how convenient is it that Mick's old friend Bobby is blind? It makes it nice that Mick has someone to go to, but making him blind was just a little too obvious. I would have preferred another way for them to be friends: Bobby could have perhaps known Mick's secret. If that was too dangerous, then perhaps they talked on the phone. Mick, living in LA, could probably find someone to apply aging makeup that would be a bit more convincing than just having a blind friend who wonders why Mick's voice and muscles haven't changed at all. Blind people can't see, but they aren't stupid.

What baffles me the most, though, is how a show can appear on the same network as CSI and have such serious plot holes as Moonlight. Maybe 25 years ago, forensics weren't sophisticated enough for the police to know that Lee Jay made Eileen's shooting death look like suicide. However, things have changed.

When Lee Jay shot himself in Mick's apartment, and then Mick fled to escape arrest, Josef told him that Mick was looking at 25 years in prison. He also said that prison wouldn't be a vampire's friend. Let's take these apart one at a time: First, modern forensics would be able to tell from the angle of the gunshot that Lee Jay's wound was self-inflicted. Not only that, but despite the fact that Lee Jay held a cloth over the gun, gunshot residue would have been all over his hand anyway, not to mention his clothes. There would have been no gunshot residue on Mick. I can understand that perhaps Mick didn't want to be subjected to questioning by the police, but if he is a PI, he should have known that the forensic evidence would exonerate him.

Second: Why isn't prison a vampire's friend? Who is going to be able to mess with him? And he has an entire prison population to feed from. Twenty-five years is a drop in the eternal bucket. Not a lot of sunshine. So, what is the big problem?

We need some more explanations, too: Why didn't Lee Jay become a vampire when Mick attacked him 25 years ago? How much about vampire cliches (like crosses, holy water, garlic, sunlight) are true when apparently wooden stakes can kill (only if inserted fully and properly) and silver bullets are actually poisonous. I respect the series' right to make up their own vampire mythology, but they need to explain it to us better when the topics arise. Saying that the digital world makes vampires suddenly capturable when earlier in the same episode we learned that they are not capturable on film is confusing and a little inconsistent. The note about digital should have been inserted at the moment he talked about the image in film. And what about mirrors and reflections?

What's Good
I think one of the keys to enjoying this show is not to take it too seriously. It probably doesn't have enough camp to qualify as pure camp, but there are elements.The CI graphics when Mick and Beth were driving to the warehouse were absolutely terrible. That was the campiest part of the show, and it was hilarious-- but unfortunately, the scene was aiming for a serious tone as Beth tried to get out of Mick what Lee Jay meant by, "I know what you are." She knows that Mick is hiding something and that she is dreaming about him in connection to her childhood kidnapping. However, she can't quite connect the dots.

The character of Lee Jay was almost pure camp though. He was pure caricature. However, he fit the tone of the show. The tone is uneven right now though: I think the writers need to choose between seriousness and camp and just embrace one or the other. I hope they choose camp. Then, at least we will know that scenes like them driving with fake scenery are meant to be camp and not simply the result of being given a nothing budget for a Friday night show.

Despite the show's obvious flaws, I like Mick and Beth. I don't know that they have real chemistry, but I like the fact that Mick is earnest and that Sophia Myles is doing a decent job of developing her character and embracing the material. Kevin Wiseman as a supporting character is also, as Rich pointed out, great. I have no idea why Wiseman isn't turning up on IMDB as being on the show, because there he is.

I also like the vampire special effects, the eyes and the growling. I wish there were even MORE of it. My friend and I were so disappointed when Beth shot Lee Jay instead of us getting to watch Mick rip his head off. The end of the show was also great, when Mick was begging for Beth to leave him alone, and her response: "Oh, are you okay? I can't see the bullet holes in the back of your jacket!" But the end of the show when he told her, eyes wild, blood dripping from his mouth, fangs showing, "I'm a vampire," was great. We couldn't quite believe that he outed himself to Beth in the second episode. So much for tension building. I am not really sure what the tension of the show will be now. However, I have some ideas:

Obviously, Mick cares about humanity and has regrets (about Eileen's death and who knows what else). This would indicate, and Josef's observations support, that Mick hasn't really embraced his vampire identity. So, the show should delve into his history more and discover why he can't really let living among humans and caring about them and the desire to protect them go. We got glimmers tonight of his past: He used to feast on humans, just like Josef did. What changed that? Was it rescuing Beth? Was it something else? The show can also explore whether or not a vampire can have a romance with a human, and get rid of Beth's dippy DA boyfriend in the bargain. These unanswered questions are a double-edged sword: They are flaws, because they are unanswered. However, they give the shows directions to explore.

You kind of have to love Beth's name: Beth Turner. Turn Her. Any guesses about what's going to happen? I noticed on IMBD also that the main players are only listed as being on six episodes, so maybe they are trying to speed Mick and Beth's relationship along in case the show gets canceled.

The show isn't perfect. Obviously. But it has vampires and private investigators! I think it deserves a chance to find itself. Either that, or get Alex O'Loughlin on a new show, stat!

Do you think this show deserves a chance, despite its flaws?
yes702 (91.1%)
no; cancel it69 (8.9%)

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38 Comments

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Barb

I am enjoying MOONLIGHT very much. It fits well in the schedule on Friday night. It is a one of my favorites. Keep it coming. For those who don't like it let them change the channel.

November 30 2007 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Grape

Moonlight is currently my favorite show. I liked it from the first five minutes. And I must confess, the special effects are not a big concern to me. The relationships interest me. There is intense passion in some small ways that are easy to miss if you're not paying attention.

But what's up with this "vampire turning back into a human" thing? I gotta see how they explain that one!

November 30 2007 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nicole Simon

I think we should have a box to tick for being female or male ... who cares if the plot has wholes? Since when do guys care for the storyline as long as the babes are hot?

This is our eye candy and I agree with the other women in here- we don't care what they do as long as they give us enough of Alex. *g*

November 25 2007 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda

I think the show is fabulous! Remember it is T.V. and no T.V. is perfect that's why it's a fictional show. I'm sure people could watch and pick apart flaws in every T.V. show out there. From the huge grown dedicated fan base that Moonlight has it makes me think that maybe those reviewing the show are the ones who need to give their heads a shake. It's T.V. and meant for entertainment, then again maybe the reviewers actually prefer that boring same old hospital show, soap opera, lawyer drama crap all the time. Lighten up people!

November 05 2007 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michelle Cary

I have to agree that there are a certain amount of plot holes taking place, yet I really think the actors are doing the best they can with what's being given to them. I love the development of the love story between Mick and Beth. And let's be honest. Alex O'Loughlin is HOT! That is almost enough for me to keep watching and the only other show I bother to watch on TV is CSI. I can only hope that CBS gives this show a chance to develop, otherwise I'm going back to my writing and only watching one show a week!

November 04 2007 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dee

I love this show!!! Can't seem to get enough of Mick and Beth. I think they have great chemistry.

November 03 2007 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ruth Cooke

I really love Moonlight. I think Mick is gorgeous, for one thing, and what I couldn't stand about Forever Knight was how goofy he looked, especially when getting ready to fang someone. And Blood Ties is too prestine; if you read the books by Tanya Huff you will see that Vicki is constantly boffing both the cop and the vampire. Also the vampire is taller than anyone in that show, and Ms. Huff always reminds you in her books that he is really short, because people who lived when he was "alive" WERE much shorter than now.
Back to Moonlight, just enjoy the eye candy, that lovely vampire ought to make up for any weaknesses in the plot; give it a chance, please. I've been waiting for this show for too long for it to just die off without a chance to improve.

November 01 2007 at 7:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wendy

I started out DVR'ing 5 new shows this season. This is the only one I continue to watch. I can't wait to see the next episode. The connection with Mick and Beth is unbelievably sexy. Alot of the questions people bring up as far as the mythology is explained, but you need to see every episode. The writers can't reiterate each week the reasoning or there would be no room for the story line. I wonder if Beth will end up being turned. Possibly she will be near death and the only way to save her would be Mick turning her. I question I do have for the writers is why in the world would a Vampire who can't deal with sunlight be living near a desert. I would have them relocate to a cooler less sunny city such as Seattle.

October 27 2007 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert

Who made the decision about flaws, this is one of our favorite shows.

October 23 2007 at 6:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
grc161

Like Lee Ann, I never watched Angel or Buffy so I can watch Moonlight with nothing to compare it to. As someone who grew up on the old Dracula movies, I find this show a riot. Getting blood from the blood bank! If Mick St. John comes with each donation, sign me up.

October 21 2007 at 11:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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